One of the absolute hardest things about being an abuse survivor is trying to determine which parts of your past are real and which are made up. Part of gaslighting is the abuser making the victim feel like their reality isn’t actually reality.
I got a friend request on FB the other day from an old friend of my ex. I remember this guy being a lying douchebag. But, is that really who he was? Honestly, I’m not even sure. I think back to things A2 TOLD me about him. Stories I heard. Those stories are why I have these feeling toward the person. The few times I actually met this person and hung out, there weren’t any issues. So what’s reality? I feel like there are people in my life that I met through A2 that I really don’t even know.
QUICK NOTE: Anyone who knows who I’m talking about when I say A2, I feel like I should warn you, he talked shit about every single one of his friends and there may be things in this post you identify with. I will not name anyone by name, I just wanted to throw the warning out there.
I learned quickly that a lot of things A2 said about people wasn’t even close to truth. I had to hear all about how one was a whore, one was a whiny bitch, one would easily get a girlfriend if he just got a job, and the list goes on. He even accused one of his best friends of stealing from him until a few months later actually finding the thing he lost. He accused another friend of stealing a bottle of my pain pills after I gave birth. A2 was always judging and accusing, ALWAYS. Yet, anytime anyone said anything to him about how he should change, he was instantly offended. Through the years I listened to him talk about his friends and I would feel that way about them too.
After A2 was gone I actually started to hang out with these people without him. They are amazing people. Nowhere near what A2 told me. There are times I look back and I remember certain instances or things that happened, but they aren’t clear. I often wonder if what I’m remembering is really how something happened. I know it’s happened before. There are things I have more than one memory of. A memory of what happened and a memory of what A2 has told me happened. They sort of bleed together like some sort of mutant memory. I still have the same issue with things that happened while I was with A1. In the end, often times I feel like I’m lying because I may give two different stories about how something went down. I don’t do it on purpose, I just honestly don’t know which version is the truth sometimes. I’m starting to get better at determining which is the fake, but it’s still hard.
I accepted the friend request, btw. I figure it really can’t hurt. It’s just FB. I can always unfriend as needed.