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RoseRed135

S/O of "Sad day indeed": "Accept my POV or else!"

13 posts in this topic

In her "Sad day indeed" thread, here in MILA, Gigima tells us that her XDIL insists that she (and her family) "accept (XDIL's) version of" what happened in her and DS' marriage - even if it totally contradicts what DS has told them or what they've witnessed themselves. This reminds me of some other threads I've read, lately, on a couple of other sites, where, say, an estranged GP complains that their ES (estranged son) & EDIL (or ED & ESIL.) insist that GP accept their (ED's/ES'/etc.) version of events, regardless of what EGP remembers or how EGP sees things. Sometimes, also, GP claims that that AC/CIL refuse to admit to any wrongdoing on their part, denying things like having called GP names,in the heat of argument, etc. In some cases, apparently, AC/CIL have even made GP's full acceptance of their POV a condition of ending the estrangement. What's this about?

Thoughts?

Edited by RoseRed135

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My husband has CO AIL for such a reason. We are on friendly terms with her ex-husband whom we still consider an uncle. Hubby's family insists UIL is pretty much the devil incarnate. AIL feels that if we have contact with him that's essentially a personal offense to her. This was one case where FIL DID take our side and told AIL she was being unreasonable. (He does take her side but recognized that it wasn't fair for her to insist WE couldn't have a relationship with UIL.) We stayed with UIL and his family (2nd wife and young children) while we were in the UK and had a blast.

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I haven't had this situation within family ( really blessed!) but have had something similar at work. My supervisor, who is and has been under psychiatric care for years was upset with me one day. She kept insisting that I agree with her POV, I kept calmly saying I disagreed but of course since she is the supervisor I would follow her directions. Not good enough! She kept hounding me until I finally lied and said OK, she had a good point. Next day it all blows back on us since her decision was contrary to the clients request. Supervisor then says that wasn't what she said the day before even when 3 people in addition to me witnessed the whole incident. There is no arguing with crazy, just coping as best you can.

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I believe this is all about the power in the relationship.  One person wants to control the entire narrative inside the relationship so that they have more control within the relationship. Abusers typically do this a way of controlling their victims so that they can continue their abuse while the victim is confused and mistrust their own judgement. It is called gaslighting  an is insidious and abusive.

IMO anyone who refuses to acknowledge that someone else’s POV is also valid is not really interested in working through the problem. 

Personally retaining my ongoing relationship with someone is always my primary objective and I am happy to apologise for hurt caused even if I didn’t intend it, but to demand that I denounce what I saw with my own eyes and have personal experience of, that’s unacceptable. XDIL for example claims she never assaulted me, while at the same time expressing her surprise that I didn’t lay a charge against her for the assault. How do you reason with that kind of convoluted thinking? 

Psychology Today

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting in Relationships.

Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph. D. 

 
Edited by Gigima
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People may not be aware they are gaslighting someone - some people with personality disorders have drives that cause them to naturally adopt this style in relationships. However even if someone doesn’t know it still doesn’t excuse their behaviour. Unfortunately this type of behaviour is hard to treat effectively. 

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3 hours ago, Gigima said:

I believe this is all about the power in the relationship.  One person wants to control the entire narrative inside the relationship so that they have more control within the relationship. Abusers typically do this a way of controlling their victims so that they can continue their abuse while the victim is confused and mistrust their own judgement. It is called gaslighting  an is insidious and abusive.

IMO anyone who refuses to acknowledge that someone else’s POV is also valid is not really interested in working through the problem. 

Personally retaining my ongoing relationship with someone is always my primary objective and I am happy to apologise for hurt caused even if I didn’t intend it, but to demand that I denounce what I saw with my own eyes and have personal experience of, that’s unacceptable. XDIL for example claims she never assaulted me, while at the same time expressing her surprise that I didn’t lay a charge against her for the assault. How do you reason with that kind of convoluted thinking? 

Psychology Today

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting in Relationships.

Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph. D. 

 

Thanks for the info about the article, Gigi! We've actually talked about "gaslighting" on these boards before. I usually associate it w/ someone trying to confuse someone else/convince someone else that their version of events is wrong when it isn't. But I guess that asking somebody to totally discard their own version of events fits in this category. I'm definitely going to check out the article.

Anyhow, I'm astounded and very sorry to hear that XDIL assaulted you, too! She's very lucky that you didn't press charges. I hope she goes for anger management, if nothing else, but I doubt she will any time soon... sigh...

ETA: Yes, actually, having looked at the article, I see it says the following:

"Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality" (bolding mine).

This^^^^ would clearly fit in w/ trying to make someone deny their own version of events.

BTW, Gigi, since Psychology Today is not a GP or parent website and the article doesn't contain a solicitation to subscribe, etc, you could have included the link. In fact, here it is:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-warning-signs-gaslighting-in-relationships?collection=1098660

Edited by RoseRed135
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1 hour ago, RoseRed135 said:

Thanks for the info about the article, Gigi! We've actually talked about "gaslighting" on these boards before. I usually associate it w/ someone trying to confuse someone else/convince someone else that their version of events is wrong when it isn't. But I guess that asking somebody to totally discard their own version of events fits in this category. I'm definitely going to check out the article.

Anyhow, I'm astounded and very sorry to hear that XDIL assaulted you, too! She's very lucky that you didn't press charges. I hope she goes for anger management, if nothing else, but I doubt she will any time soon... sigh...

ETA: Yes, actually, having looked at the article, I see it says the following:

"Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality" (bolding mine).

This^^^^ would clearly fit in w/ trying to make someone deny their own version of events.

BTW, Gigi, since Psychology Today is not a GP or parent website and the article doesn't contain a solicitation to subscribe, etc, you could have included the link. In fact, here it is:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-warning-signs-gaslighting-in-relationships?collection=1098660

Thank you. I was just playing it safe

People may not be aware they are gaslighting someone - some people with personality disorders have drives that cause them to naturally adopt this style in relationships. However even if someone doesn’t know it still doesn’t excuse their behaviour. Unfortunately this type of behaviour is hard to treat effectively as people won’t admit they do it and then there isn’t much to do about it. 

DS is trying to be amicable with xDIL but she proceeded to try and do this to him again today. Yesterday she claimed she couldn’t remember anything she said or did because she can’t remember back that far, today she claimed to have perfect memory and while DS was trying to be amicable basically told him he was a monster who made her life hell. He told me he had a very hard time not responding but since he knows xDIL will only punish him by withholding DGS from him, he just bit his tongue and said nothing. 

xDIL assaulted me when I was trying to prevent her from assaulting DS from behind as he was dressing their little boy after a bath. I tried to get her to walk away and calm down a bit but instead she assaulted me and DS had to call the police and then she chased him so he hid in the bedroom with DGS while I tried to get xDIL to calm down. xDIL wanted to assault him because he didn’t want to go along with the plans she had arbitrarily made for Father’s Day which would involve taking DGS who was ill, put into the rain. First she tried to get him to go with her to their bedroom where he would be alone in their room where she usually assaulted him. But he refused to go with her and stayed with me as he believed she wouldn’t do anything if there was a witness. Didn’t quite work out that way. I was still shaking from shock a week later   

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12 minutes ago, Gigima said:

Thank you. I was just playing it safe

People may not be aware they are gaslighting someone - some people with personality disorders have drives that cause them to naturally adopt this style in relationships. However even if someone doesn’t know it still doesn’t excuse their behaviour. Unfortunately this type of behaviour is hard to treat effectively as people won’t admit they do it and then there isn’t much to do about it. 

I'm also wondering if some people don't use some of these tactics only in given situations. Looking back, I can see where a few people in my life tried to gaslight someone else/me by pretending not to recall an incident or a conversation or suggesting that the other person "misunderstood" or remembered it "wrong." I'm talking about situations where the incident/conversation was significant/not easy to forget or misconstrue. In these few cases, the people were generally good, honest people who had a good relationship w/ the other person. They only resorted to gaslighting tactics, it seems to me, when caught in a lie ("deer in headlights") or trying to manipulate a specific situation. I don't feel I can say they were "gaslighters," overall. However, IMO, they did use  a few gaslighting tactics on one or two occasions if that makes any sense.

DS is trying to be amicable with xDIL but she proceeded to try and do this to him again today. Yesterday she claimed she couldn’t remember anything she said or did because she can’t remember back that far, today she claimed to have perfect memory and while DS was trying to be amicable basically told him he was a monster who made her life hell. He told me he had a very hard time not responding but since he knows xDIL will only punish him by withholding DGS from him, he just bit his tongue and said nothing. 

I don't blame him for keeping quiet. He's probably going to have to do a lot of tongue-biting & bean dipping (changing the subject) when talking w/ XDIL if he wants to keep seeing DGS. But, eventually, he may want to go back to court, I imagine, to try to secure his visitation w/o having to depend on her "good will."

xDIL assaulted me when I was trying to prevent her from assaulting DS from behind as he was dressing their little boy after a bath. I tried to get her to walk away and calm down a bit but instead she assaulted me and DS had to call the police and then she chased him so he hid in the bedroom with DGS while I tried to get xDIL to calm down. xDIL wanted to assault him because he didn’t want to go along with the plans she had arbitrarily made for Father’s Day which would involve taking DGS who was ill, put into the rain. First she tried to get him to go with her to their bedroom where he would be alone in their room where she usually assaulted him. But he refused to go with her and stayed with me as he believed she wouldn’t do anything if there was a witness. Didn’t quite work out that way. I was still shaking from shock a week later   

Wow. Just wow.

 

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7 hours ago, agnurse said:

My husband has CO AIL for such a reason. We are on friendly terms with her ex-husband whom we still consider an uncle. Hubby's family insists UIL is pretty much the devil incarnate. AIL feels that if we have contact with him that's essentially a personal offense to her. This was one case where FIL DID take our side and told AIL she was being unreasonable. (He does take her side but recognized that it wasn't fair for her to insist WE couldn't have a relationship with UIL.) We stayed with UIL and his family (2nd wife and young children) while we were in the UK and had a blast.

Thanks for reminding us, agnurse, that it's not always an AC or CIL who tries to push their POV to this extent. Glad you and DH did what you felt you should do - and that you "had a blast" w/ UIL and family!

And thanks for showing us, missmm, that this kind of thing can even happen at work. Looks like your supervisor not only pressured you into agreeing w/ her, but then turned around and tried to throw you under the bus... sigh... So sorry about that.

ETA: In these 2 cases, I don't think it was a matter of the offending person trying to gaslight someone, as Gigi mentions . IMO, here, the guilty party was trying, instead, to coerce others into agreeing w/ her. But, of course, that's just as bad in its own way.

7 hours ago, missmm said:

I haven't had this situation within family ( really blessed!) but have had something similar at work. My supervisor, who is and has been under psychiatric care for years was upset with me one day. She kept insisting that I agree with her POV, I kept calmly saying I disagreed but of course since she is the supervisor I would follow her directions. Not good enough! She kept hounding me until I finally lied and said OK, she had a good point. Next day it all blows back on us since her decision was contrary to the clients request. Supervisor then says that wasn't what she said the day before even when 3 people in addition to me witnessed the whole incident. There is no arguing with crazy, just coping as best you can.

 

Edited by RoseRed135
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6 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

 

They are definitely going to court to make the visitation arrangements formal they are just going to sort it out amongst themselves without the lawyers and nastiness first then tell the court what they agreed to. 

As for gaslighting it’s quite possible that some people, when put on the spot, might do things like these, but I think that’s just human nature in the fact that they don’t want to look bad  

The gaslighter is more systematic about it and does it because they want control over someone else and by making them doubt their own reality they can keep them in a position where they are dependent upon the gaslighter. My xDIL for example had convinced DS that he could not remember anything. She was his “memory” and would tell him what happened. We would sometimes sit there, mouths hanging open, to hear her describe something (which we witnessed) to him in a totally different way from how it happened. 

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10 minutes ago, Gigima said:

The gaslighter is more systematic about it and does it because they want control over someone else and by making them doubt their own reality they can keep them in a position where they are dependent upon the gaslighter. My xDIL for example had convinced DS that he could not remember anything. She was his “memory” and would tell him what happened. We would sometimes sit there, mouths hanging open, to hear her describe something (which we witnessed) to him in a totally different way from how it happened. 

Again... wow...

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The only other time I've heard of something quite as overt as this was, again, during a custody battle.

One party was desperate to get relatives of their, soon to be ex, partner to agree with their narrative. They did everything from withholding visits with minor children to blackmail attempts to get what they wanted in writing and later - when that failed - via voice recordings.

Of course, this could purely be a manifestation of mental illness and/or control issues but treading carefully - especially considering the custody situation - is very wise.

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I have a friend who has told me that when her husband and her disagree about something, he will go on and on and on until he gets her to agree with what he wants to do.  But apparently her just going along with him is not enough and he wants her to actually agree that he was right and she was wrong.  I always thought it was weird but didn't know it was a thing.

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