My mother is a covert narcissist. Took me years to realize what she was and to accept that nothing I did was going to change how she treated me — like garbage. As I got older (and wiser), I would call her out on the inconsistencies in her stories, question them, and point out each and every time she was disproportionately unfair. She liked to heap an inordinate amount of responsibility on us. The double standards in our household were glaring. My brothers were treated like little Gods while my sister and I were meant to be maids and wallets. We lived in abject poverty and filth, neglected, and went without basic needs because of her.
Over the years, she ramped up her gaslighting efforts against me because I wouldn’t just let her do whatever she wanted in silence. Things like faking an illness so she could financially sponge off her friends and kids to supplement her income while she refused to work full-time or take disability. You know, because you have to have proof you are sick to take disability. Instead, she plays the sick old lady card, the victim card. And because she was delightful to most people outside of our home and looks like a pleasantly plump mother earth type, everyone adores her and believes anything she comes up with. Whereas I’m jaded and moody. You would be too if your mother essentially got away with decades of abuse and turned people, who knew better but apparently didn’t care, against you. So it is easier for people to assume she is the truth-teller. Ah, if only they could crack that facade and see the gaslighting, manipulative monster underneath that I do.
Anyway, she used this tactic for years to evade blame for the unpleasant or frustrating situations and messes she would create. She would tell someone an embarrassing story about me from high school but deny saying anything later when confronted. She would brush things off like hiding my jury duty notice until after the due date or that a male family member had physically attacked me like they weren’t a big deal. She would either boast an outright denial of events or take true parts (like who was where when) then craft a believable enough story so it was hard to argue or disprove.
Gaslighting is extremely difficult to combat because the person doing it is willing to say or do anything in lieu of having to take responsibility for their own faults and mistakes.