The Moment I Realized My Partner Was Gaslighting Me During Our Therapy Session

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser manipulates the victim into doubting their own sanity, memory, and perception of reality. It often happens gradually and insidiously, leaving the victim feeling confused, anxious, and helpless.

I first heard about gaslighting from a friend who had gone through it herself. She told me about how her partner would deny things that had just happened, twist her words, and make her doubt her own feelings and thoughts. I was shocked but also relieved that there was a name for what I had been experiencing in my own relationship.

I had been in a relationship with my partner for two years when we decided to go to therapy. We both wanted to work on our communication and intimacy issues, and therapy seemed like a good way to do that.

During our first session, I felt hopeful and optimistic. We talked about our goals and what we wanted to achieve in therapy. But as the sessions went on, I began to feel more and more confused.

My partner would often interrupt me when I was speaking, saying that I was exaggerating or misremembering things. He would tell the therapist that I was too emotional and irrational, and that he was just trying to help me see things clearly.

I started to doubt myself. Was I really being too emotional? Was I remembering things incorrectly? Maybe I was overreacting and making a big deal out of nothing.

It wasn’t until our fourth session that I realized what was happening. We were talking about a fight we had had the previous week, and my partner was again denying things that had happened and twisting my words.

But this time, I saw it clearly. I saw how he was manipulating the conversation to make me doubt my own memory and perception of reality. I saw how he was trying to make me feel crazy and unstable.

I spoke up and told the therapist what was happening. She listened and validated my feelings. She explained that what I was experiencing was a common tactic of emotional abuse called gaslighting.

I was both relieved and terrified. Relieved that there was a name for what I had been experiencing, and terrified of what it meant for my relationship.

After that session, I took some time to reflect on my relationship and my feelings. I realized that I had been unhappy for a long time, but I had been ignoring my own needs and feelings because I thought it was my fault or that I was overreacting.

I decided to end the relationship and seek therapy on my own to heal from the emotional abuse I had experienced.

Looking back, I wish I had recognized the signs of gaslighting earlier and sought help sooner. But I also know that it’s not always easy to see when you’re in the midst of emotional abuse.

If you suspect that you are being gaslighted, it’s important to seek help. Talk to a therapist or a trusted friend or family member. Keep a journal of your experiences and feelings to help you stay grounded in your own reality.

Remember that you are not alone, and that there is help and support available to you. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, and it’s never okay.