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Did you ever wish you had not seen

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Optimista is not able to post, this was her question.

 

Upon calm confrontation about what happened between two people, I was served denial in various forms. I know what I heard and saw. My ears and eyes were not deceiving me. It was even confirmed in the immediate aftermath, then denied later. But it was so shocking I am almost in disbelief. Partly because I do not want to believe it.  How do people react to stuff they would like to unsee or unhear?

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Context and reference to those of us not on the board constantly perhaps?

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3 hours ago, hooperski said:

Optimista is not able to post, this was her question.

 

Upon calm confrontation about what happened between two people, I was served denial in various forms. I know what I heard and saw. My ears and eyes were not deceiving me. It was even confirmed in the immediate aftermath, then denied later. But it was so shocking I am almost in disbelief. Partly because I do not want to believe it.  How do people react to stuff they would like to unsee or unhear?

Does @optimista wish this to be discussed?

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She said as much earlier today on the "Why are you unhappy" thread, otherwise I wouldn't have done so.

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this is all very mysterious and I sincerely hope optimista is ok, but I'll bite

 

in the scenario that a friend or family member has said or done something I wish I could un-witness, the response is either end further interaction (sometimes permanently) or call them out on it big time and see what happens.  Other cases, it's hard to say as this topic is so vague.

 

optimista's scenario sounds like she not only witnessed something shocking, but was then gaslighted about it.  Gaslighting is a no-go for me.  Especially in a serious matter.  Big fat nope.  I'm done.  I had a situation with my brother wherein he basically robbed me then came up with all kinds of "plausible" excuses for why he did so when I raised the issue, none of them washed.  It was a ruse.  This coming from a person who flips out and wants to go postal on others for what I'd categorize as minor infractions.  I sincerely tried to work it out with him, he just lied and wheedled and did everything but admit things he did weren't quite kosher even if I had been a perfect stranger, let alone a sibling. and I haven't spoken to him in going on three years.  I just can't.  Do I want it this way?   Nope.  He's my brother!  But tbh I've seen enough and don't want to see any more of his true character.  I just can't stomach it.  Theft is bad enough, but there are ways to make amends for something like that.  the gaslighting is what put me over the edge. 

 

for something horrific and completely impersonal like witnessing or being involved in an accident or injury...what can you do?  try to forget what you saw, but you never will.  

 

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As Lisa said- it is all so vague, so very difficult to imagune/ consider/ advise.

But it is obviously disturbing to optimista, I hope you can discuss/ resolve with those  in the situation. If it is something really nasty, then you need to act on it.

Whether you can forget or come to terms with it- well, as we have no idea here,  I just wish you strength.

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17 hours ago, silty1 said:

Context and reference to those of us not on the board constantly perhaps?

No. I can't share this. I am interested in how others have reacted to shocking circumstances they would rather not believe. I thank Hoops for opening the thread on my behalf.

 

Lisa, your post is what I am looking for. It is helpful. And mirrors what seems to be happening. Gaslighting and denial. Right on.

 

Please people, share your experiences. I need parallels and comparisons and am interested in how guilty parties react.

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You might want to look up "Confabulation" on wikipedia.

 

This article mainly addresses  this with reference to mental deseases,, but it can also be observed with narcissists and egomaniacs:  They blacken out unwanted memories or facts, fill the gap with stories that makes them look way better, and it is sufficient (to them) that they believe the story... After all, your different way of looking at reality is wrong anyway (to them).

 

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I also think the mind, when confronted with something terrible tends to filter certain things out to protect itself, like a survival instinct.

 

Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.

 

I have often had my memories being questioned by others, lucky for me my partner was also a witness to a certain event and backed me up. It made me realise that I had my emotions invalidated most of my life. Quite a lot of families are toxic, it is sad, the very people who are supposed to love and support you end up destroying others with contempt. Contempt is the opposite of empathy, you would be amazed how many people react with contempt instead of empathy.

 

Example:-

"I have a really bad headache"

 

Normal response:- "That's not good, would you like some water and or maybe a paracetomol?"

 

Toxic response:- "Stop moaning, I had a headache and it was much worse than yours! Pull youself together stop being so weak"

 

You cannot change the way people are, but you can change how you respond to them to protect yourself. It is very hard especially if it is a family member.

 

For example, responding to the toxic response:-

 

"Oh, I am sorry you had such a bad headache why did you not mention it? Asking for help when you are pain is not a weakness, we are all human after all"

 

It is not the response they expect. You react with empathy rather than fighting contempt with contempt. It is not at all easy though. In the worst case you have to try and deal as little as you can with these people to protect yourself.

 

When it comes to confrontation between two people it is a pretty tough one. Sometimes it is best not to get involved to protect yourself, especially if two people are arguing and want you to take sides. It is between them and it can cause only grief and sorrow. People, especially if they are angry and arguing say terrible things to each other, that they can never take back.  :( Sometimes it is said in the heat of the moment. They need to sort it out between themselves and not use other people as ammo against each other.

 

 

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Having experienced severe parental narcissism and  narcissistic relationships with much gaslighting from all, I felt emotionally vulnerable for much of my life until my early thirties. I realize now that my mind has blocked several horrendous experiences. When a particularly serious incident arose, I was absolutely gaslighted to the max by all involved.  Due to the severity of the incident, I engaged in a private investigator who indeed proved the facts.  I may never directly use the information gathered though it gave me the strength to leave the toxicity behind and start a new life.

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why can't we take these principles of psychological manipulation and use them to make people feel happy and satisfied?  Happy people don't generally cause a lot of kerfuffel.  It seems so obvious.

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I get your point but I have learned that I cannot make another person happy - even if I am super positive and nice to them. We all own our own happiness and it begins with self worth. Of course treating people nice can help. I find it is only unhappy people who treat others (and themselves) like crap. Been there,  got the t shirt.

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Gaslighting is a huge breach of trust.  Not only the lying itself but then trying to convince the other person that THEY are crazy - horribly evil. 

 

As others have mentioned, it is really hard to respond without specifics, but in my experience the gaslighting effected me personally and it was therefore important for my own personal preservation to be firm.  As it was continous, I had to be more aware of what I said and did and what the other person said and did and insist that the reality was actually what happened  I even thought of recording conversations to prove that the other person was trying to gaslight me, but it never went that far.  As long as I knew what was going on and was firm both to myself and to the other person that I was able to counteract the gaslighting.  I was confident that I knew what had occured and didn't need to prove it to myself.  This person tried to take advantage of the fact that I am not usually such a detail-oriented person to try to convince me of their alternative reality where I was the bad guy and their bad behavior was actually virtuous.  My advice is to remove yourself from the situation as far as possible.   You don't want that sort of manipulation in your life.

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@fraufruit I'm not talking about this on an interpersonal level - far from it.  You're not a profi - most people aren't - and the idea of laymen running around trying to manipulate people into a different mindset is not what I'm getting at here. 

 

just noting the extreme lengths the stasi went to to break "enemies" down mentally in a professional and systematic way, surely different but equally targeted techniques could be used to lift people up.

 

if you're going to manipulate people in such a heavy handed way, why can't it be done positively?

 

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Thank you for these responses. We know what happened and what I saw and heard. For me there is only one conclusion. The other party is in denial and arguing that my interpretation is wrong. :D:angry::wacko: The other person feels accused of lying and I feel like I am being treated like an imbecile, which is a check-mate situation that will not resolve itself. Breach of trust, yeah. Not possible to extricate myself from this one without doing myself a lot of harm, which means living with it.

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On 7/14/2019, 12:19:00, lisa13 said:

 I'm not talking about this on an interpersonal level - far from it.

 

Your thoughts just brought up something personal for me and I went with it.

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7 hours ago, optimista said:

Not possible to extricate myself from this one without doing myself a lot of harm, which means living with it.

 

Yes, I've had to do this over a long period of time with my family regarding how it really was for some of us as kids - clearly we didn't and don't see it the same way - and it's been a really difficult and painful process. 

 

I wish you well.

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8 hours ago, optimista said:

Not possible to extricate myself from this one without doing myself a lot of harm, which means living with it.

Please don't gaslight yourself.  I had the same situation with a persuasive narcissist, and though it took me years to break free, it was the best solution.  For me.  
Don't settle for anything less than your best solution.

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