When I find myself in an interpersonal conundrum, specifically when someone who hurts me attempts to back peddle, blame and evade accountability all while trying to spin themselves into the victim (narcissist), it helps me to write a check list identifying every hurtful action, then comparing this list to my own respective failures.

Irrefutable data you can chart.

I called mine “I Didn’t You did”. For example:

  1. I didn’t drink & drive, you did
  2. I didn’t lie to the family, you did
  3. I didn’t abuse my kids, you did

I was able to list 50 lines for a 3 month period alone.

Then for my own mistakes, I listed my own errors and whether I had control over them or not.

I had 6 lines, 5 of which I had no control over. For example:

  1. A health crisis left me unable to work suddenly. (no control)
  2. I called out family in denial for decades of enabling addiction. (no control; fact)
  3. I failed to prepare a backup plan for catastrophic loss & inability to work. (my fault)

Sometimes you have to confront the people who hurt you. Rather than acknowledge this hurt, slippery folk in denial will try to gaslight you into the enemy.

The conclusion I came to is removing these people from my life and sparing myself the implied accusatory guilt. Thanksgiving will never be the same… it might be better.

This helped me see the bigger picture without emotional bias or guilt. Similar to a therapy “stuck sheet”.

One of the best tools for therapy and personal growth is simply a pen.

It’s not your fault. Unless it is.


Gaslighting: (v) manipulating someone using psychological methods into questioning their own sanity or powers of reasoning. CK Glossary


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