My mother was abusive, and I replaced her in marriage. She followed me across the country and made good friends with my ex-husband, who drinks a lot and goes Jekyll and Hyde. I made the mistake of moving on too quickly as I tried to escape the abuse when I was pregnant again and fell right into the arms of another abuser. As I tied to extricate myself again, I went no contact with my ex and mom, not knowing that the new man was stirring the pot to hide his addiction to drugs. For years I tried to escape, and they ganged up on me because I cried abuse/help, stop hurting me. The addict didn’t want to work or be homeless, and he defended his status with me viciously, all while messing things in the house, stealing, and withholding affection. The addict hit me. I was bruised badly, so I called the police, and he and scratched his arm slightly and convinced the police to arrest me, saying my daughter said she witnessed it.
I didn’t see my oldest daughter for a year, not knowing why she had lied about it. Later I found conflicting records he had given, proof he had lied. My ex-husband told everyone I knew and didn’t know embellished versions of the gaslight, and the stories got more intense as he drank. It was horrible because I was forced to take care of an addict who couldn’t parent and wouldn’t leave. Addict was out of control, and I demanded he goes and he brought kids to the mom who put a restraining order on me for coming over to get my kids because I had called the police to collect them, and she grabbed the phone and said I was trying to kill her. I didn’t see kids for a couple months, but I had time to collect evidence. I found medical records that showed the addict had sent suicide messages from my phone After Mom kept it. She never apologized to me; I just wanted to tell sensational stories to the family because she had always told them I was crazy and made up stories about people hitting me since I was 3. It took a couple years more for me to gather enough evidence and uncover his drug stashes before I could get him out, but my relationships with my friends and family were all but destroyed. I even defended myself on my own in court against a lawyer and came out not owing to a dime and getting half time, but the damage has been done. There were times I was so alone because they isolated me from hundreds of contacts to keep me quiet about their abuses.
I used to hang with my family a lot, and she got jealous they stayed with me instead of her and devised a plan to make herself the center of attention again by cutting me out of the picture. That was my punishment, to shut me up. So now I don’t drink, date, do recreational anything, and quietly collect evidence every time I communicate. I carry bags of evidence around me in case I get gaslighted again. I record everything I can. The scariest times now are when my ex is drunk and abusive, and I try to protect my child because he lashes out and accuses me of what he does. He smokes pot with a kid and tells my mom I do that, and she says I am projecting my lousy behavior on him and really doing the things I accuse others over.
I have even taken voluntary random drug tests multiple times to prove I do nothing, but the results don’t change their twisted stories. My mom even called my doctors and told them I was a psychopath, which seeds doubt in their minds. Had to leave two doctors. Mom/ex use Facebook like a weapon to hurt me. I went no contact with all my family except for my children.
Some nights, like right now, I feel I can barely go on, but I know I’m so fortunate to have survived, and I now live on my own. A domestic violence survivor who had been gaslighted horribly and put through the court system coached me every step of the way and saved my life by challenging me to take responsibility for my life and stop giving my information away, stop explaining, to stop reacting to abuse, and to protect myself and my children without involving toxic people who could hurt me. If your parents/spouse abused you, be cautious of choosing because sometimes people can gravitate to what they know. If you haven’t healed, you can be attractive bait to a narcissist. I’ve been battered, beaten, and blamed for trying to do the right thing, and I feel like it nearly killed me, but now I’m stronger and a better person. Although I often feel deep pain, it is starting to subside, and the little things in life, like holding my child’s hand, give me great joy, and I no longer have to live day by day under abuse feeling life my brain is scrambled.