Lately I have been feeling if I made this all up about the abuse because I was so hurt in it so I needed to make it up to make myself feel better. But yet I can relate to the stories I read about being with a narcissist. Please note that when you read about domestic abuse, it’s always about narcissists, never about someone who has many issues or someone who is “normal” but likes control. I wonder if I have been dealing with cognitive distortions because you can read about something and it might seem like it fits but that is not what is going on. It’s like how you can google a symptom and a bunch of medical conditions pop up but it doesn’t mean that is what is going on, same with disorders.
My memories feel so real but I know I am not a schizophrenic. If I was, then I would have already been in treatment and be on medicine for it and my parents would have noticed because no way would they have let me fall into despair and let me get sicker and sicker. Plus I would have had other delusions than just this and I would have showed other symptoms. My husband would have noticed too if I were sick.
Plus my parents were there when I was with Jerry. They heard him argue with me when I would talk to them on the phone, him telling me what to say and him asking what we were talking about. Plus my mom remembers how I would abruptly hang up when he would come home and my mom told me the story about how I called her one time and I was crying but she couldn’t remember what I was upset about and then all of a sudden I say “Oh no he is coming out, I gotta go” and I hung up. My mother decided they were coming out there to try and get me to live with my aunt and uncle. But this can’t be a cognitive distortion can it?
But I know the abuser can make you self doubt and make you question yourself. I just have to go back and remember what my parents told me, how he acted towards me and tell myself this is all real, it really happened, you are not crazy. You are not lying to yourself or creating these fake memories, that is what they want you to think. Remember what you read online about gaslighting and how the victims self doubt and wonder if they are crazy. If you are still getting triggers and flashbacks, it is most likely real. Don’t let anyone make you self doubt. They were not there and if they have never experienced domestic abuse, they wouldn’t know what they are talking about. If your former ex comes back and acts like they did nothing wrong or acts like they don’t understand why you feel this way and they say they never did those things and if they do contradictions, don’t let them make you self doubt.
But what if the abuser claims to have medical diagnoses, that makes it even more confusing. But that is what they want right? Make you self doubt, make you question yourself, make you think what differently you could have done. Remember that. Don’t let them make you self doubt.
A genuine person would have told you how sorry they are for everything they put you through and apologize for everything they have done than denying it. They would have validated your feelings and apologize for how they made you feel and what they did to you. They might tell you what they have found out about themselves and say they are working on it and seeing a doctor but they wouldn’t demand you read about their diagnoses to understand them better. They wouldn’t say “Sorry you feel that way about me” or say other things like “Sorry you felt that way” “Sorry you think I did those things” and they wouldn’t toss their medical labels at you and tell them how they wish you would read about them and understand them better. That is like they have basically admitted to how they treated you but they are saying they are not responsible for it and you have to put up with it and deal with it. They are avoiding responsibility. A genuine person might also say they don’t blame you for how you feel and they would understand if you don’t respond to them. Think about how you would want someone to apologize to you if they treated you horribly. That is how you do a genuine apology if you wanted to do amends to the people you have hurt. Never put the blame on them. Take full responsibility, don’t make excuses.