Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which the abuser deliberately tries to make their victim question their own sanity or reality. The goal is to make the victim feel so confused and uncertain that they doubt their own memories, perceptions, and even sanity. Gaslighting can be extremely damaging and is often used as a way to control and manipulate victims. It can be done in many different ways, such as by lying, denying, or constantly changing the story. Gaslighting can also involve making the victim doubt themselves by questioning their memories or telling them they are "imagining things." Oftentimes, gaslighting is done in a gradual way so that the victim does not realize what is happening until later on in the relationship.
"Love bombing" is when an abuser showers the victim with excessive praise and attention at the beginning of the relationship to win them over. Once they have succeeded in gaining the victim's trust, the love bomber will start to withdraw their affection and use it as a weapon to control the victim. For example, they may withhold compliments or acts of love until the victim does something that they want them to do.
Unfortunately, gaslighting and love bombing often create a vicious cycle in which the victim is constantly doubting themselves and their reality. This can be incredibly confusing and traumatic for the victim. In some cases, it can even lead to a mental breakdown.
1. The Warning Signs
There are several warning signs that you may be a victim of gaslighting or love bombing. If you find yourself questioning your reality or doubting your own experiences and perceptions, that is a red flag. Other warning signs include feeling like you are always walking on eggshells around your partner, feeling isolated from your friends and family, or feeling like you are going crazy.
2. Love Bombing
"Love bombing" is a tactic often used by narcissistic abusers in which they shower their victims with excessive displays of affection, attention, and flattery in order to gain control over them.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which the abuser deliberately manipulates and confuses their victim in order to make them doubt their own reality and memories.
4. How does love bombing lead to gaslighting?
Love bombing often leads to gaslighting because it creates an imbalance of power in the relationship. The person who is being love bombed starts to rely on the love bomber for their happiness, which gives the love bomber a sense of power over them. This power dynamic often leads to gaslighting, as the love bomber uses their power to manipulate the other person into doubting themselves.
5. "The Cycle of Abuse"