Recovering from abuse - online support group UK

Recovering from abuse - online support group UK

FREE online support groups on Wednesdays at 18:30 and Thursdays at 15:00.
1:1 available, too.

Operating as usual


The typical goal of the gaslighter is not just manipulation, but power and control—typically with the misguided cooperation of the manipulated victim. This type of learned behaviour is often rooted in psychopathy or a personality disorder such as narcissistic, antisocial, and borderline.


If you are experiencing gaslighting in a relationship, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Things you might do include:

❗️ Gain some distance:
It can be helpful to take a step back from the intense emotions that gaslighting can evoke. Physically leaving the situation can help, but you might also try using some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or grounding exercises.

❗️ Save the evidence:
Because gaslighting can make you question yourself, work on preserving evidence of your experiences. Keep a journal, save text conversations, or keep emails so that you can look back on them later and remind yourself that you shouldn't doubt or question yourself.

❗️ Set boundaries:
Boundaries tell others what you are willing to accept in a relationship. Make it clear that you won't allow the other person to engage in actions such as trivializing or denying what you have to say.

❗️ Get an outside perspective:
Talk to a friend or family member about what you are going through. Having another person's perspective can help make the situation clearer to you.

❗️ End the relationship:
While it can be difficult, ending the relationship with someone who repeatedly gaslights you is often the most effective way to end the abuse.


Being subjected to gaslighting can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns including addiction and thoughts of su***de. For this reason, it's important to recognize when you're experiencing gaslighting. Ask yourself if any of the following statements ring true:

❗️ You doubt your feelings and reality:
You try to convince yourself that the treatment you receive is not that bad or that you are too sensitive.

❗️ You question your judgment and perceptions:
You are afraid of speaking up or expressing your emotions. You have learned that sharing your opinion usually makes you feel worse in the end, so you stay silent instead.

❗️ You feel vulnerable and insecure:
You often feel like you "walk on eggshells" around your partner, friend, or family member. You also feel on edge and lack self-esteem.

❗️You feel alone and powerless:
You are convinced that everyone around you thinks you are "strange," "crazy," or "unstable," just like the person who is gaslighting you says you are. This makes you feel trapped and isolated.

❗️ You wonder if you are what they say you are:
The person who gaslights you says words
to make you feel like you are wrong, unintelligent, inadequate, or insane. Sometimes, you even find yourself repeating these statements to yourself.

❗️ You are disappointed in yourself and who you have become:
For instance, you feel like you are weak and passive, and that you used to be stronger and more assertive.

❗️ You feel confused:
The behaviour of the person gaslighting you confuses you, almost as if they are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

❗️ You worry that you are too sensitive:
The person minimizes hurtful behaviours or words by saying “I was just joking" or "you need thicker skin."

❗️ You have a sense of impending doom:
You feel like something terrible is about to happen when you are around this person. This may include feeling threatened and on edge without knowing why.

❗️ You spend a lot of time apologizing:
You feel the need to apologize all the time for what you do or who you are.

❗️ You feel inadequate:
You feel like you are never "good enough." You try to live up to the expectations and demands of others, even if they are unreasonable.

❗️ You second-guess yourself:
You frequently wonder if you accurately remember the details of past events. You may have even stopped trying to share what you remember for fear that it is wrong.

❗️ You assume others are disappointed in you:
You apologize all the time for what you do or who you are, assuming people are let down by you or that you have somehow made a mistake.

❗️ You wonder what's wrong with you:
You wonder if there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. In other words, you worry that you are not well mentally.

❗️ You struggle to make decisions because you distrust yourself:
You would rather allow your partner, friend, or family member to make decisions for you and avoid decision-making altogether.

If you identify with any of these signs of gaslighting, it's important that you seek professional help right away. Left unaddressed, gaslighting can take a significant toll on your self-esteem and overall mental health.


❗️ Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that often occurs in abusive relationships. It is a covert type of emotional abuse in which the bully or abuser misleads the target, creating a false narrative and making them question their judgments and reality. Ultimately, the victim of gaslighting starts to feel unsure about their perceptions of the world and even wonder if they are losing their sanity.

❗️ People who engage in gaslighting are often habitual and pathological liars and frequently exhibit narcissistic tendencies. It is typical for them to blatantly lie and never back down or change their stories, even when you call them out or provide proof of their deception. They may say something like: "You're making things up," "That never happened," or "You're crazy."
Lying and distortion are the cornerstones of gaslighting behaviour. Even when you know they are not telling the truth, they can be very convincing. In the end, you start to second-guess yourself.

❗️ When you ask a someone who gaslights a question or call them out for something they did or said, they may change the subject by asking a question instead of responding to the issue at hand. This not only throws off your train of thought but causes you to question the need to press a matter when they don't feel the need to respond.

❗️ Blame-shifting is another common gaslighting tactic. Every discussion you have is somehow twisted to where you are to blame for something that occurred. Even when you try to discuss how the abuser's behaviour makes you feel, they're able to twist the conversation so that you end up questioning if you are the cause of their bad behaviour. For example, they may claim that if only you behaved differently, they would not treat you the way that they do.

❗️ A person who gaslights tend to retell stories in ways that are in their favour. For instance, if your partner shoved you against the wall and you are discussing it later, they may twist the story and say you stumbled and they tried to steady you, which is what caused you to fall into the wall.

❗️ Gaslighting can include a range of tactics including lying, distracting, minimizing, denying, and blaming. When you are dealing with someone who uses gaslighting as a manipulation tool, pay close attention to what they do, not the words they choose.


The healing process:

🌼 understanding how specific childhood/adulthood experiences influenced your life;
🌼 healing those emotions and moving on;
🌼 understanding who you are without them, how you would like to live your life;
🌼 planning your better life;
🌼 creating behavioural patterns accordingly;
🌼 achieving your big and little goals;
🌼 living a fulfilled life! 🎀


It is impossible to understand what someone is going through when encountering abuse, manipulation and gaslighting from your nearest people, if you have not experienced it yourself. Our life coach Gina is an abuse survivor herself and that is why it is now her deepest passion to help others overcome this incredibly painful trauma, too. She specialises in personality disorders, psychological and physical abuse and trauma bond.
It is extremely important to feel support and receive validation for your feelings, so join us in our weekly, free online support group meetings.
You CAN and WILL overcome this!💚


We have amazing news. 🎉Make sure you share this with your friends and family, so this reaches the people in need - we are starting a second free online support group on Thursdays at 15:00. Apply by messaging!
* The group on Wednesdays at 18:30 is currently full but do leave a message if you'd like to get notified when there's a free space.
* If you require a 1:1 session with a professional life coach, get in touch to find out the available dates and times.


🚩 It is vital to take the "red flags" seriously. 🚩
These kinds of behaviours are very unhealthy and will, most likely, worsen over time.


What is abuse?
We define abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour:
⚠️psychological and/or emotional abuse;
⚠️physical or sexual abuse;
⚠️financial abuse;
⚠️harassment and stalking;
⚠️online or digital abuse.

Abusers vary from partners to friends, family and even strangers. Whatever you are going through or have been through, know you are not alone.

Join us in our weekly free online support meeting where you will also receive helpful tips on how to deal with trauma and heal yourself.
*1:1 also available.


Just as important to know your partner's love language, is to know your partner's fight language.

"The way you fight, or really, argue, is what’s going to determine whether or not your relationship will work. Anybody can get along when you’re both in a good mood and life is going swimmingly and there are no pressing decisions to be made. Challenges either make or break relationships, and that’s not a coincidence, because it’s then that you see what you really need to know about a person. Here, in order of least healthiest to most, are the “languages” that people use when confronted in an argument. Striving toward the end of the list is usually the goal for most couples, but either way, being aligned on the same style tends to be more important than that. It’s when you fight differently that you have a harder time resolving things.

The problem is never really addressed because it is immediately deflected from when brought up. When someone’s fight language is deflection, they are completely closed to hearing any feeling or opinion that doesn’t align with their best interest, and so they either bring up a counter-argument, name-call, and tend to become very aggressive. All of this is usually the result of their egos feeling very fragile – they can’t bear to hear how they’re “wrong,” or even consider changing themselves for someone else’s sake.

People who suppress their emotions and then have a meltdown one day believe their feelings are not going to be heard or valued. They hide them for the same reason that they eventually blow up: they get tired of feeling as though their ideas don’t matter, and try to prove how valid they are by displaying how angry and emotional they become. Another trait that tends to be true of people who suppress and then over-express is that after they explode, the issue is quickly swept under the rug and they are back to acting as though everything is normal.

People who dominate will hear the other person’s feelings, but they won’t actually listen to them. Instead, they find roundabout ways to convince them that their emotions are misinformed or incorrect. A trait that tends to be common in people who dominate is that they lack empathy. Interestingly, these also tend to be the most emotional and fragile people, and what they are trying to avoid is the sense that they have done something wrong, or hurt somebody. Underneath what appears to be a narcissistic façade is a very sensitive person trying to shield themselves from the world.

Mediators have one objective in mind, and that’s to reach a compromise. They don’t have easily bruised egos, and are able to truly listen an argument, and then respond with their own. They are masters at maintaining an even tone and temper, and will use strategies such as taking a break and then coming back to the conversation, or writing points and then communicating them, to ensure that things stay balanced and healthy. Mediating is the most common fight language of couples who did not begin with the same fight language, but have, over time, learned to communicate with one another better. For people who are naturally mediators, it’s sometimes a struggle to convince someone who is not to get on board with your tactics, which can be frustrating.

Free communication is the ultimate goal, meaning that both people feel comfortable enough to express how they are feeling the moment they are feeling it. They are in tune with themselves but also have enough command of their language that they can communicate with precision, and feel understood. For “free communication” to work in a relationship, even tone and temperament is absolutely imperative (as people often learn to do when “mediating”). People who are free communicators don’t necessarily avoid every problem, but they have the least trouble overcoming it and reaching a compromise or conclusion in which everyone feels their perspectives are heard and valued."

- Brianna Wiest


What is your love language? And your partner's?
It is extremely important to know about love languages to be able to communicate your feelings accordingly. Having different love languages may seem like the other person doesn't care about us or doesn't appreciate what we do. Take time to figure this out together and realise what each of you need to say/do to feel loved.


We often say these three beautiful words to our children, pets, friends, family... But have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and said it to yourself? YOU are YOUR most important person, first of all you need to look after YOURSELF. It's not egoistic, it's called self-care. Start every day with sitting in front of the mirror and saying "I love you" ten times and watch the results!


The healing process:

🌼 understanding how specific childhood/adulthood experiences influenced your life;
🌼 healing those emotions and moving on;
🌼 understanding who you are without them, how you would like to live your life;
🌼 planning your better life;
🌼 creating behavioural patterns accordingly;
🌼 achieving your big and little goals;
🌼 living a fulfilled life! 🎀

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