Defining Emotional Abuse: An Assault on Reality

This article is part of a series that examines different aspects of emotional abuse.  I will focus on one of the primary control strategies of emotional abuse, which is an assault on the wounded partner’s view of reality. The clinical terms for this are “gaslighting” and “crazymaking”. These refer to one person’s attempt to change, distort or deny the other’s understanding of events. The goal is to keep the partner off balance and make them unable to trust their perceptions. I often hear women in emotionally abusive relationships say things like, “Did I just imagine it?” or “Am I making
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