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  1. #1

    Question Am I being scapegoated or gaslighted????

    I will try to condense this the best I can but I could really use someones take on this, as I feel totally confused!

    My boyfriend is like smoke and mirrors - my boyfriends seems like a master confuser and passive aggressive manipulator. He deals with conflict by either withdrawing or attacking. When I say withdraw, I mean he completely disengages....I'm not even in the room and might as well be a ghost. He's dismissive of my feelings or tells me I'm insecure. According to him, he is NEVER responsible for his part in any of our conflicts, even though he has lost control in the past and freaked out at me in a rage...physical violence by breaking my stuff or even striking me. The physical abuse is over but the emotional mind games are not. If I want to talk about where we are at, or I want to resolve a conflict, he generally tells me to breathe...relax....I am paranoid or insecure. Then he ignores me, which becomes an issue in itself. It's a wall I can't get through and he guards himself completely. Sometimes he finds my need to explore him/us insulting!! If i am upset that he won't be honest and direct with me, he's insulted and turns it around to me and my insecurity!

    He's out of town right now but has phoned to check in and to say "I love you" EXCEPT the three calls each came with a comment that upset me and then he thinks I'M nuts and doesn't take responsibility for what he said. First phone call...."I'm going to a nude beach today." Second phone call..."I'm going out with Cynthia tomorrow." Third phone call, "I was out for dinner with Peter, Debra and Erica last night." OKAY....the nude beach???? The second call pertains to a friend of his who we have NEVER looked up in the 10 years we have been going to this city to visit and he KNOWS I'm sensitive about her and the third call made it sound like a double date. He sounded innocent like just seeing friends but the way he worded it....I said the dinner with Peter, Debra and Erica (Erica i don't know) sounded like a double date and he says, yeah it was like a date I guess. He says he knows me inside and out so then he would KNOW I would react to these comments. When I do react, he calls me insecure and crazy. He acts so innocent like hey, they're just friends. Sure, friends he NEVER looks up when I'm with him out there every summer!

    WHY does a person say something that he knows will get a rise out of you, cause emotional turbulance and then turn it on to you like YOU are the crazy one? It even amused him that I reacted!

    I have run the gamut of "personality disorders" that he strikes me as having; narcissist...passive/aggressive....even psychopath! Does he sound like one or a variation of these to anyone else? I could write a book about him, but have condensed this into what probably sounds like a reactive, bewildering muddle, sorry. Help me....I feel scapegoated and gaslighted!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    North American lakes and rivers

    Re: Am I being scapegoated or gaslighted????

    Hi tinagasolina,

    First off, welcome to the forum. It's a great community of insightful and caring people.

    As to your post, it's obviously impossible for us to diagnose your boyfriend. First off, we're simply not qualified to do so, and secondly, we've never met him.

    How long have you been together? If you don't mind saying, can I ask how old you are? I'm assuming you live together, is that correct?

    Is this a relationship that you want to pursue? If the answer is yes, then I would hazard to guess that if the relationship has any chance whatsoever, some couples counselling is definitely in order for the both of you. If he is not open to that idea, you will have some decisions to make.

    From what you've written, it does not sound like a healthy relationship that is based on mutual trust and respect. Your post screams of trust issues. That alone is cause for major concern as to the strength of this relationship. It sounds like he's playing you, and it's only a game to him.
    ~ Allow yourself to be the light that the world so desperately needs. ~ Unknown

  3. #3

    Re: Am I being scapegoated or gaslighted????

    Howdy tinagasolina, and welcome aboard.

    Holy manipulation, Batman! My lay-opinion is that unless what you're gaining from this relationship is more than what you're losing by his condescending mind games, this will not end well for you. But only you know if his crap is worth it. Frankly, from the little you've written it simply sounds cruel and controlling. Nobody deserves that.

    Good luck to you. I mean that sincerely.

  4. #4

    Re: Am I being scapegoated or gaslighted????

    Hi tinagasolina,

    welcome to this forum,

    After reading your post,
    My reaction is, this relationship is distressing you to the point that you needed to come here to sound out your doubts.

    From my own life experience, when we have doubts and questions such as yours then the wisest thing to do is to seriously ask yourself , what is good about this relationship?
    If there are fewer advantages than disadvantages, more distress than delight. Then it is time to cut your losses and bring an end to the relationship.

    We only have your first post to go on, Turtle asked the right questions, for instance how deep is your commitment to your boyfriend?

    There are several options to consider.
    1) Couple counselling.
    2) A temporary break,
    3) A total break.

    I do know that if you are so unhappy by his behaviour now, and if his behaviour doesn't evolve signifigantly, then you will become increasingly unhappy in the future.

    My best wishes wp

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: Am I being scapegoated or gaslighted????

    Hi tina,

    I didn't reply yesterday because I had an instant reaction to your post - because of my own life experiences (a very long time ago for me now).

    This is the sentence that brought on emotions for me:

    According to him, he is NEVER responsible for his part in any of our conflicts, even though he has lost control in the past and freaked out at me in a rage...physical violence by breaking my stuff or even striking me. The physical abuse is over but the emotional mind games are not.
    I think everyone has given you wonderful advice. But from a purely personal experience viewpoint, I personally wouldn't stay. I've been in relationships where physical violence was present in exactly the way you've described. In my experience, it's never over. It comes back a little later, maybe in a different form. But if the person hasn't sought professional counseling for it- it always comes back.

    And the verbal and mental abuse is just as damaging in my opinion. Sometimes even more so. At least when you get physically assaulted, you know where it begins and ends.

    You deserve far better than that. And the longer you stay with someone who does these types of things, the longer you'll doubt how deserving you are of a loving and caring relationship, where manipulation and violence never enter into the equation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: Am I being scapegoated or gaslighted????

    Before I forget Tina,

    I really wonder if you, yourself, wouldn't benefit from counseling. I say this because once we've been in these types of relationships, we inadvertently keep drawing the same types of people into our lives. Therapy would help you to understand your feelings, sort them out, so that you're not always doubting your instincts, so that you can decipher a good companion versus a bad one....Just a thought.

  7. #7

    Re: Am I being scapegoated or gaslighted????

    he doesn't respect you. this is an abusive relationship. unless he is willing to go to counseling and make a serious effort i think it would be best to end the relationship. you deserve love and respect. being single is infinitely better than being in a relationship where someone is playing mind games with you.
    ~ our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall - confucius
    ~ it is the journey, not the destination, that matters
    ~ keep hanging on, the sun will come shining through for you again

  8. #8

    Re: Am I being scapegoated or gaslighted????

    thank you all so much for your thoughtful, caring and insightful comments! when i posted, i was in such a state of confusion and you know, i am getting so tired of being there. i am actually ashamed to admit i have been with this person for 10 years and am feeling played and like i have wasted such a colossal amount of time on him - trying to reach him, KNOW him, have him know ME.

    i have accomplished some of this but at what cost? the cost to my self esteem (which admittedly was in the toilet when we met so of course i would attract his brand of energy to me) and the cost to my very trust in my own intuition! yes i know him better than anyone in the world and yet he still remains, for the large part, UNknown (he designs it this way for control purposes i would imagine).

    he has opened up to me more than anyone before which must strike everyone as really bizarre...what the hell does he give others? very little. he's an enigma, a master confuser as i said before. smoke and mirrors. secretive, guarded, unreliable, emotionally immature, cruel, withdrawn, and.....charming, gentle, creative, laid back, understanding....a person whom i can actually be myself with and he'll never leave no matter how dark or insecure i get! yikes, never leave (lol)....good on paper, very SHADOWY in reality.

    ahhhh, the shadow...that's what he is like, very shadowy. in fact, i know that anger is his major issue. he hates anger, abhors it in himself so he disowned in. therefore, the control i have seen him lose speaks of operating from that very shadow. he was forced into "counselling" about 8 years ago after i slapped an assault charge on him.

    he had to go to what i laughingly referred to as "the wife beaters meetings" once a week for a year. it helped marginally but he never took full responsibility either....always wanted to graciously share the blame 50/50 with me. of course i took MY part of the equation....realized i was sarcastic and mouthy when we fought but i won't take HIS part. i didn't MAKE him slap me around. i did incite him but he was the one who is responsible for his own reaction/action.

    ANYway....long story short.....that part of our relationship is over but the resentment on both our parts is huge. i at least KNOW i am resentful (as long as i stay with him) but he is in major denial. he denys any resentment, he denys he has a problem with anger, he denies he is anything less than open and willing to give his ALL. maybe, in his eyes, he really IS giving all he has got.

    couple conselling has been mentioned but never brought into fruition. i'm not certain it would help anyway, as he is light years from seeing himself as anything other than his idealized self. he figures he's pretty healthy and's me who needs major therapy!

    i admit that i DO actually and when it comes down to it, it is I who has created my life, my play, my drama and called him to me, energetically, to be the leading man in this life movie of mine. if i was in balance i wouldn't be so involved with someone who is so out of balance as well. we must be an energetic match, otherwise we wouldn't have shown up on each others radar screen yeah?

    all that being said, yes i know what it is i am getting from him but i won't go into all that here (wait for the book and subsequent movie, boy does he not want to see THAT come out, LOL). it's usually psycho-sexual or money isn't it, and involving daddy issues? well it's not money that's for sure, ha ha! put it this way, i guess i'm still chasing him so therefore i'm still in the game. i have a past history (VERY past but it was/is? a pattern of mine) of chase and catch.

    once i catch.....i eventually want to uncouple. i'm not proud of this and it goes against the fact that i truly care about people. he is the first man i have ever been with that i am still attracted to after 10 years! to lose that feels like a death sentence to me and i'm not sure if i have evolved to the point of being able to sustain a healthy relationship with a healthy person. i know that THIS relationship is far from satisfactory however.

    yes...i do need counselling. i think at least a temporary break from him is in order because he has helped to really fog up my head and i need to get out from under that influence, to get some clarity for myself. this is for him also, he needs clarity. it's not just him, there has been a dual does take two to tango yes?

    sorry for the loooooong post, i think i relayed some of the jist of things in my probably confusing way, much to say, so little space! thank you once again for your very caring and thoughtful comments, you all rock!!
    Last edited by white page; August 16th, 2009 at 05:34 PM. Reason: Formating

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Ottawa, Canada



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