gaspundkiss asked: Hi Clay, I know you've had lots of responses to the latest post. I don't care if you reply to this at all - I just wanted to say thankyou. I work in mental health but have never experienced depression myself... but the "love of my life" did... when I was 16 and unequipped to deal with even knowing what it was. He was very manipulative and gaslighted me a lot - I always felt like I was drowning due to him, anchored to him, yet whenever I thought of leaving I felt SO guilty.. I was so stuck (1/2)
(2/2) but I couldn’t face leaving. I felt guilty and awful for leaving even when he’d do things like lock me out of the house and tell I was the worse thing that ever happened to him. It was due to learning about manipulation and gaslighting that gave me the power to face up to what was happening… He needed professional help, not mine. I managed to escape. My self esteem isn’t what it used to be, but I survived and I’m working on it. These people aren’t bad, we can all be them…but its not us
It is very rare that someone thinks they are doing something bad when they are actually doing it — they think they are doing what they have to do. And we’ve talked about how depression and mental illness messes up your perception of things, making things seem bad when they are really okay and making things seem okay when they are really bad. It doesn’t make them a bad person, it makes them a person who needs help. But people who are too close to them may not be able to help them at all, either because they don’t have the strength, they are too close to the person emotionally, or they are themselves entangled in the web of negativity that the sufferer has created. as you said getting professional help is so important in these situations.
I’m glad you got out of it and I hope you can build your self-esteem up. Self-esteem can be easy to lose but very difficult to get back once you’ve lost it.