Here’s a good article on Escape Abuse about how abusers try to turn things around and make you seem like the abuser, even though your mind is screaming, “NO! It’s not me!” They can only succeed at this mind game if we let them. We must stay strong and resist the gaslighting and crazymaking:
I’ve seen this for myself. My recent bullies (Richard and Tracy) gaslit me constantly, making me think I was the one with the problem, while blaming me and persecuting me for being an introvert with NVLD (and for recognizing instinctively that Tracy was dangerous).
I saw things going on, but they tried to make me think I was imagining it. Then they behaved like a**holes over a misunderstanding, tore me a new one, went into a narcissistic rage at me and at my husband both–
–and are now trying to pretend that they’re the innocent ones, that I was somehow to blame for their being jackasses, and they’re playing the victim. This is precisely what abusers do, so don’t let it get to you!
The trouble is, I want to go completely no-contact with these people, but they are stalking me precisely because I stood up to them and told them to stay away. I’m gathering documentation for a restraining order, and they’re giving me plenty.
Have you ever marveled at how your abusive wife, girlfriend or ex is able to do and say the most hurtful, underhanded and contemptible things and then portray herself as the innocent victim?
Have you ever wondered how she is able to convincingly accuse others, usually her victims, of the abusive behaviors and attitudes of which she is actually guilty? Wonder no more, the answer may be DARVO. –Shrink4Men, Presto, Change-o, DARVO: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender
Many individuals with BPD and related personality disorders are masterful at portraying themselves as victims, when, in fact, they are the aggressors.
There is a psychological phenomenon described by Dr. Jennifer Freyd, PhD of the University of Oregon who specializes in trauma called DARVO.
DARVO stands for Deny Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender. Many abusers engage in DARVO when confronted with exposure of their disgusting behavior and/or when they experience unwanted consequences for their abusive behavior. –Shrink4Men, The new face of borderline personality disorder…
DARVO refers to a reaction that perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior.
The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender.
This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation. –Jennifer J. Freyd, What is DARVO?
As Shrink4Men’s Tara J. Palmatier puts it in the comments here:
Diagnosing an individual with a personality disorder can be difficult for several reasons:
1) PD’d individuals tend to lie/minimize/blame others/portray themselves as victims to therapists. They can be very proficient at playing the sweet, injured party and as such, are able to fool a lot of people, even well-trained therapists.
2) They often refuse to acknowledge their problems, blame others and drop out of therapy once the therapist starts to recognize the real issues and tries to make the PD’s behavior the focus of treatment.
3) Many therapists, even when they strongly suspect/believe the individual has a PD, do not give them the diagnosis for a variety of reasons.