As you know I’ve been reading more about Gaslighting lately and have come to learn that true Gaslighting is a type of communication that is done with the intent to create confusion and self doubt so the gaslighter can gain power or mastery over another, wielding power and control. Basically, what this means is that having this sense of power while destroying another individual gives them a “high” of some sort. Emotionally beating you down feeds their own fragile ego and insecurities. In the world of narcissism, it’s called being their ‘supply’. They need your submission and lack of confidence to “prove” their superiority over you.

Now I cannot read another person’s heart and I am careful about imputing wrong motives in an individual. However, I do know my own physiological response to various words and phrases that were said to me while growing up.
Here are some of the things I heard:

Oh, I didn’t say that!
Why would I say something like that?
Stop your whining.
Quit your whining.
It wasn’t that bad. 

Stop your complaining or belly aching.
You always make a big deal out of nothing.
You’re making a big deal out of nothing.
I said nothing of the kind.
Here we go again!
You’ve got it all wrong.
How could you think I’d do such a thing?
I never said that!
You’re such a baby.
You need to toughen up.
You’re too sensitive.
Oh, for Pete’s sake.
You’re blowing this out of proportion.
You’re just trying to get attention.
Your perspective is all skewed.
That’s not how I remember it.


These words still…. I can feel a sensation go up and down my spine when I recall some of these being said — a somatic response. Regardless of the reason why these were said – the key is – the pain inflicted on the receiver is what causes trauma.

Trauma is not the event, it is the wounding that stems from the event or circumstance. As Gabor Maté says: Trauma isn’t what happened to you, it’s what happens INSIDE of you because of what happened to you.

On another note, have you found saying some of those words to yourself?  You may be gaslighting yourself.

Lisa Hilton, CTRC-A, founder of Hilton Coaching & Consulting. I am a trauma coach; I educate, consult, and am a published author. I work with adult survivors of Childhood Trauma and those suffering from Complex PTSD so they can Transform their Travesty into Triumph, one step at a time.

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