Gaslighting: Provoking and Secretly Recording

secret_recordingMy Sociopath (Kenan Umit) owns an electronic repair shop so I assumed the “Baiting and Recording” trick was a “speciality” onto his own. However, I recently discovered through reading other domestic violence pages, this is a common Gaslighting technique amongst non-techy sociopaths as well.  According to DNAIndia.com, gaslighting is “one person (spouse, parent, partner, boss) manipulates to make people believe their reactions are so far off base that they’re crazy, where more often than not, women are at the receiving end of this behavior.” (May 26, 2013)

We live in a time where all smartphones have easy to access recording buttons and most everyone walks with smartphone in hand. Not only did My Sociopath (MS) have his smartphone perpetually glued to his ass (sociopaths are hyper and addicted to attention), he bought an inexpensive and miniature recording device that he walked around with in his shirt pocket. MS was always out to get someone who was doing him wrong.

The first 2-years of our marriage, I never reacted to MS’s lies and tricks. I was just in a perpetual state of shock, a deer caught in the headlights, because of not being able to make sense of his games, slight-of-hands, lies, and crazy-making.  I had no idea what a sociopath was back then. I just thought he was “crazy.”

Year 3 of our marriage, I was completely broken down mentally and physically. I was swollen with fluids and the free clinic tested me and told me that I had screaming high cortisone levels, fluid buildup around my vital organs, and was in pre-stroke condition. (Side Note: I went to the free Community Clinic. MS was a hypochondriac [as most sociopaths are] and had a $700.00/month health care plan).

Year 3 was my year to react. MS would say the most horrible and off-the-wall distorted things to me.  MS’s face would gloss over with an eerie and dead cold stare and his horrible mouth would snicker as I was in full reaction mode. He would become stone quiet and blank as I was trembling with shock, fear, and confusion. All of a sudden, he would mechanically “console” me and try to “make nice” with me.  He became a different person…he was never calm and understanding but after the provocation and during my reaction, he would change into a  sympathetic man. I was thrown off balance.

After his show of “sympathy,” he would become quiet. I could never understand why he became quiet because normally he never stopped talking and always had to be in the act of telling lies, half-truths, and exaggerated tales. But I figured: “Oh, I get to have my 2 cents in…finally.” I would continue on with my verbal countdown on his lies and craziness and how I would be divorcing him.

MS talked me out of divorce too many times to count. We ended up in Istanbul, Turkey on what was suppose to be a long vacation but I never had one moment of rest. Immediately upon our arrival in an Istanbul apartment after a 26-hour plane trip, I lay my bags down and attempt to relax. MS pulls out an MP3 player, his face turns into that of a monster’s, his normally dead eyes sparked alive, and he says in a creepy and sinister whisper: “I’ve been secretly recording you all along…I have it all on this MP3 player, you will now listen to it.”

I screamed for my life and ran for the door to go, go anywhere…I didn’t know where. MS locks the door from the inside (a Turkish thing), puts the key in his pocket, calmly sits down and laughs at me as I cry and scream in fear…(story is much longer and includes his sister showing up; I am begging for her to help me, and she abandons me. I will soon post a blog on the dysfunction and often mentally-ill enablers of sociopaths).

If you suspect that you are being Provoked/baited and then secretly recorded, you probably are. A sure sign is the offender stirs-the-pot: says something off-the-wall, untrue, twisted, and mean, immediately pretends to calm you, and then turns quiet and “patiently” stands back and watches you.  You will feel that something odd is going on because he never usually allows you to speak and he never becomes calm and sympathetic after you catch him in an act of deception.  His act of consoling you during your reaction (which is very unusual for him) is because he too is on tape.

MS not only Gaslighted me with these secret recording, or tried to make me listen to them so that I would think myself crazy and not him, he took them to his creepy electronic repair business filled with dysfunctional enablers and played the recordings for them. I had previously filed for divorce against MS (he manipulated me into not following through with the proceedings), and I knew that he was dangerous and “crazy” (conveyed this to him numerous times) and that he knew that I would soon be gone, so he was laying the foundation with his enablers (support group) that I was the crazy one.  Gaslighting and the Smear Campaign go hand-in-hand.

If you cannot immediately leave this person for good…stay calm when you realize that you are being baited, put up your hand to the offender and calmly state, “Stop, what you are saying is not accurate, here are the facts…” List the correct facts quickly and succinctly. Walk away. Make plans to leave this very dangerous person.

Lynna, My Sociopath-Struck by A Sociopath

 

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7 comments on “Gaslighting: Provoking and Secretly Recording

  1. Sari says:

    For a very long time I have been a lurker here. For over five years I have been sineeg a wonderful therapist, who has told me countless times that my father was a psychopath.People sharing about their hateful children prompted me to finally post here because if a child can still affect a parent there is no reason for me to be ashamed of not having been able, as an adult, to escape the clutches of my controlling sadistic father. Thank you for this post about shifting goals. Until reading it today I have felt like a complete loser in life.My father would beat us up, and he tried to break my leg when I attempted to stop him from beating my mother up. For that I was taken out of the home. Today father would have done time in jail, back then he lied and I was put into an institution for emotionally disturbed kids. While I was there my mother took my young siblings to Germany and left me behind. I was not a teenager yet.Now I read about and recognize it for what it was, the love bombing he did when I was in the institution.When I lived with father my shoes were boy’s shoes because they lasted longer. My parent’s excuse was that I bit a dentist even though I do not remember ever having seen one. Father’s teeth were all taken care of yet the first time I saw a dentist was in the not so bad group home type of institution, where a lot of dental work had to be done; he was very cheap with his offspring. Yet when I was in Browndale father would come bearing gifts, even though he knew he was not allowed to visit. He knew how to make sure I would be around to know he tried to give me a guitar etc. He got suggestive lingerie to me and another time wrote me a letter with a Dear Ann Lander’s clipping of how a girl did not listen to her father and got an infection and pregnant. Many ugly insinuations came in the mail.I ran away at the age of 15. I lived as a runaway /transient / hippie till I met my husband in Seattle. I was underage when I first met my husband and being Canadian I could not live there legally at first. We lied to my husband’s mother and told her that I was a fellow student; Dave attended the University of Washington. Those lies worked in my father’s favour in the future. I would get part time jobs from my husband Dave off the job board and make up names and Social Security numbers to be able to contribute to his mother supporting us. I truly loved Dave.One Christmas I thought there would be no harm in calling my father to tell him I am married and happy because it would just be a long distance phone call and what harm could that do. You see my husband’s family found it strange that I did not have anyone.A week after that fateful call my father showed up with his girlfriend and they charmed my non dysfunctional Seattle family to the point of allowing their son to move to Canada even though he had one more year of studies to complete. My father had promised to give us a house he owned in Hamilton, as a wedding gift. He also had Dave’s family convinced that their son’s education would be taken care of.We became tenants, one of five other families of the most cramped tiniest apartment in that house. We were happy in love; therefore the size of the room did not matter. So my father moved us to Toronto and in no time we were fighting due to his meddling. My father purchased a one way ticket for Dave to go and visit his sister in the States, saying that Dave needed a holiday to get away from the stress. When dad purchased that ticket he promised Dave and me that he would get us back together again.Immediately my father forced me to sign a postcard that said I was hitchhiking all over the continent, happy go lucky on my own while doing drugs. I forgot about that postcard till much later because I had no idea my father would send that card forward in an envelope to my aunt in Long Beach to put a California stamp on it and mail it to my father to forward to my husband’s family. When I did not hear from them my father had me convinced that Dave did not want me anymore.After Dave was gone the goals kept getting changed. Father moved me to my uncle’s house in Toronto. I found a really good job as a cocktail waitress; I was able to find a nice apartment and live on my own from the tips alone. My father would come and collect my paycheque on paydays and deposit it in his joint bank account. I was not allowed to touch it, according to father. That job was not a place to be proud of working according to my father. Actually it was a nice place with nothing sleazy about it. One of the times when father came to the house in Hamilton a tenant had a visitor who later told me that she knew my father had two children who were kidnapped away from him and taken to Germany (funny he never mentioned having me) and his brand of beer and cigarettes. When I asked her how she knew so much about him she said she would never forget those blue eyes when they were making love. She actually did work as a prostitute and was proud of it. But the place where I could make up to sixty dollars a day in tips legally back then was too sleazy for my father.Father decided it was time I go to school so that was the end of that job. He took the money from the joint bank account to put a down payment on a house near High Park and he put the house in both of our names. That house became my prison because he had put my name on it. At first I used a tiny screened in veranda facing the back yard as my living quarters then when I complained that it was not insulated he made a small ten by ten windowless room in the basement of that house to be my living quarters. I got to share the first floor kitchen with the tenants who rented the first floor. My father collected the rents and gossiped to the tenants about his wayward daughter. He taught them how to treat me.He would come on the mornings when I had to go to school and in the basement act out drama about how he and the woman he was living with were getting along. He also played other games, think I was his entertainment and amusement. I felt as if I would not be a good daughter if I did not stay and listen. I was very late for school a lot. That first year my tuition was paid from the house income. I do not know how I survived because I had to beg whenever I needed anything and my groceries were brought when my father came, I did not even get an allowance from the house that was originally supposed to be paying for itself and my education. I remember that I did not even have a telephone while living in that house and I begged for one.After the first semester I could see the surprise in his eyes when he saw that I was able to continue. That was when he refused to pay for the second semester saying that it would cost to much and take too long for me to make anything of myself.So I applied for a student loan. But with the drama created in that house I could not function. When I washed the floor and the stove shocked me from the wet floor dad laughed with pleasure. If the other tenants would not have complained he had no intention of replacing that stove. Father rented to a male person who tried to rape me and after the rapist moved out he broke into the basement and then came to visit and bragged about being the one who stole my stuff. I got an English sheepdog and father promised free rent to the couple on the third floor if they would poison my dog.Decided to work as a taxi driver after the school thing did not work out because I thought my father could not go to my place of work and demand my pay cheque. Cab drivers are self-employed in Toronto.My father would go up north every Thanksgiving to close his cottage up. On thanksgiving I pulled a double shift driving cab and when I came home the girl from the third floor was sitting on the stoop crying. She said that my father and Stacy had put my dog Freedom in the trunk of the car and taken her up north to let her go in the woods where all animals belong’.For the first time I really got angry with him because to me the dog was the child I never had and helpless. I went to a cabby friend’s and kept phoning dad’s house till he finally came home from the cottage and angrily I told him that in Canada people go to jail for killing pets and he would be calling a jail cell his new home. He said nobody would believe me because he is family. He was right. He abused me all my life knowing that nobody would believe me. He was the charming father who could make me look off because he knew how to trigger my PTSD.I went to stay with another cab driver and we found a lawyer Roger Timms. Roger got the house put into my name because of a technicality. My father told everyone that he had bought his daughter a house because she was not capable but in truth the down payment came from the deposit of my paycheques into that joint account. To this day I have heard gossip that my father bought me a house and I squandered it. My father still collected the rents because I could no longer go back to the house after getting angry with him, due to what I now know to be PTSD. In retrospect that cabdriver I thought was a friend was an opportunist who wanted to collect the rents and when he saw he was not getting anything from me he became my father’s friend. Toward the end my father opened up all of the windows so that the pipes burst. Lambert oil was another bill for me to pay; they would fill up even with the windows open that winter. That winter the year was 1980 and it was a relief to put that house behind me because my father no longer had a place to come and terrorize me.I did move out of the city and with time became emotionally healthier. Father stalked me and when healthier I would think that I was strong enough to see if maybe this time he had changed and after all does not the bible say to honour thy father and mother. The parental love bombing would then turn into an abusive relationship with my dad over and over and over again because of my stupid belief that good would triumph in the end and that people mellowed as they got older. All my life I lost people and jobs because of my father to the point of not being able to function anymore. For example when I was still driving taxi my girlfriend discovered the TTC was hiring women. My father found out that I was going to apply the next morning and he threw a fake heart attack fit in the basement, holding his chest at his heart while heavily panting, stating that if I went I would be putting my father in the grave. My girlfriend Cindy, who had only driven cab a very short time, got hired. I would definitely have been hired but could I have kept that job with my father meddling? Only after his death have I been able to own a pet that does not suffer abuse because of my father. He would kick my pets if I did not talk rough to them. I knew he would kick them hard if I was not doing a soft shove that I faked to be hard. Father separated me from most of my girlfriends. Lillian Davidson is the only person who saw through him but she is no longer with us. Now I realize just how lucky I was to have lived with her and known her. She is the only person who told my father off for the way he treated me and he actually did not try to turn her against me. Think God brought her into my life at that time because she kept me safe from him when I most needed safety. Without Lillian I do not know if I would be alive today and that is not an exaggeration because I was an emotional mess when she met me. She got me on a disability pension because I was so emotionally beat up that I was giving up and the streets would have been my last place. Now I believe my father would have wanted that for me. My life had a semblance of normal in Lillian’s company and home until she died. After Lillian died my father and his girlfriend beat me up really badly, at his cottage in 1992, because I refused to give his girlfriend my Pembrooke Welsh Corgi puppy. Yes the same girlfriend who a dozen years earlier helped my dad put Freedom the sheepdog in the trunk of the car and drive out with my dad to abandon the dog in the woods.My father has bad mouthed me to the point of where, even though I do not have a criminal record, people who knew him thought I am a prostitute. When I rationally explain to them how ridiculous that is I have been told to ‘get over it’ or how liberal in their thinking they are. This is a discovery I made after he died. Imagine the surprise if your cousins were to, in a matter of fact way, imply that you may still be working at that. The cousin’s I saw after my father’s death have lived all this time thinking that. Now I know why I had not seen anyone for over forty years while they had Christmases, family get togethers, weddings and funerals. My cousin’s told me I am a prostitute and it was impossible to convince them otherwise. Father had 13 siblings and I remember the get togethers for any and every occasion with these cousins, prior to Browndale. Think this ugly gossip may have started when I went to Browndale because in that day and age the child was always seen as the one who was wrong. I lost my husband’s family and now I know why. Wish someone would have clued me in a long time ago about the things dad was saying but I guess that if they believed him they thought there was no reason to say anything to me. With that knowledge everything has fallen into place. The ugliness toward me when I was first introduced to people and the way that people, who I knew never had a chance to know me, turned on me always puzzled me. For example the women who had the cottage next to my father’s sold hers because on occasion he would bring me up to his cottage. That seemed a bit extreme, like a strange reason to sell her place at the time even though she very strongly showed how much contempt she had for me.I have an opportunity of getting subsidized housing in a lovely Lithuanian place for people over 55. None of my relatives would be there because they all own property and shall be taken care of by their children. I put in the application last December and earlier this week my girlfriend and I went to see where on the waiting list I stand. While there I spoke to a tenant, who was sitting outside, about the apartments. She asked me my Lithuanian last name and when I told her it seems she is a good friend of my cousin’s wife’s mother. On one occasion when the mother of my cousin’s wife saw me she let it be known that she had absolutely no respect for me. It was shunning at its best. I am reconsidering moving into this lovely place near a beautiful Toronto huge park, for which I have waited a very long time to be able to become old enough to get into. Because of my father’s poison the PTSD is kicking in big time. I am too paralyzed to even see my therapist because I do not believe that she can change the actual facts. I do not think it is possible to move in without being shunned in my new home and if they are anything like my father‘s family Lithuanians do love their gossip.Six years ago, when my father died, I felt relief I had never known before, thinking that he cannot hurt me anymore. Moving into this place has been my goal that my therapist and I have spoken about since I first saw her over five years ago. This goal has kept me going but now I am not so sure. To be emotionally abused again in my old age because of my father would damage me spiritually.

  2. Sweetie says:

    I too see the definition of fsorivenegs presented by the original poster as a spiritual one specific to Christianity, and therefor not particularly relevant to non-Christians. I myself am an agnostic, but prefer the Judaic/Hebraic definition of fsorivenegs, which (if I understand it correctly) is more of a transaction or mutually agreed on contract between two people. In order for the transaction to take place, the transgressor must admit s/he has done wrong, express true remorse and ask for fsorivenegs from the person wronged; then its up to the victim to either grant fsorivenegs or not. So if there is no admission of culpability, no remorse, and no request for fsorivenegs on the part of the perp, there is no transaction or contractual agreement/forgiveness possibleI personally think that what the original poster is describing is simply letting go or detaching and walking away from the transgressor. Or, in the case of a highly dangerous spath, running away. Simply detaching and moving on works for me, unless some criminal act has been perpetrated against me; then I want justice in the form of bringing a lawsuit. I don’t feel that I need to grant fsorivenegs in order to heal and be whole again (or as whole as possible; it is after all an imperfect world.)And on a completely different topic: If you want to view an entire series about various spaths and their heinous behaviors, with background & psychological commentary, I recommend the series Wicked Attraction. Not unexpectedly, most of the perps in this series about real-life serial killers, rapists, torturers, and thieves are designated as spaths by the series-makers and the commenting psychologists, but some are described as having borderline pd and narcissistic pd instead of or in addition to having psychopathy/sociopathy. This series really makes it clear that the psychopath really does have an alien mind-set, an inhuman way of thinking and feeling that is truly creepy. Shocking and creepy. And that in some cases, these psychopaths did not themselves suffer hideous abuse as children. Some did, but some didn’t. Fascinating stuff.(Its frustrating to me that the term psychopathy is more current and correct, but there is nothing to shorten it to that is as cool and pointedly derogatory as spath. Oh well.)Babs

  3. My Sociopath says:

    again Sofia, i stand corrected. You are right about editing the tapes. My Sociopath was a great editor. And perfectly stated regarding the “hysterics” of the victim…It is always better to walk away, but most of us do not know that we are dealing with a sociopath and feel compelled to respond to crazy-making. So I was saying to respond in a calm, controlled way. This cannot get you in trouble even with editing.

  4. Sofia Leo says:

    Yeah…I tried that last paragraph, tried to calmly and reasonably state the facts and you know what? It led to lectures that lasted for HOURS, stripped me emotionally bare and then flayed off any remaining shreds of dignity I had left.

    My advice is not to engage at all. Turn yourself off. Plan your escape while he’s lecturing/yelling at you. The more you refute what they say, the more savage they will become. Will it lead to physical violence this time? You have no way of knowing, but you can bet THAT won’t be on the recording…

    Just get out. As soon as you can.

    • My Sociopath says:

      I absolutely agree with you Sofia Leo. Not engaging them is way better. A Sociopath will never back down from their trail of lies and will leave you exhausted and even suicidal.
      I stated the last paragraph for the benefit of the secret recordings…get the truth on recording in a calm, measured way so they cannot use the recording to blackmail you with. My Socioath was so crazy that he would practically walk up and down the street playing the recordings and never once thought that he would look like the crazy one!

      • Sofia Leo says:

        If a Socio is recording your conversations, what makes you think they aren’t editing the recording? It doesn’t matter what you say or when you say it – if you’re being recorded, you’re also being edited. Not engaging at all is the only way to come out on top. You must also remember that the court system (at least where I live) favors the “calm, logical, cool” demeanor of the Socio over the “hysterics” of the victim.

      • Azzuro says:

        Jules,Of those two books, I perfer Martha Stout’s. Of the two terms, I prfeer sociopath. It is a much more accurate term and is far more useful. Furthermore, I like that term because it specifies what I beleive is the etiology (origins, cause) of the sociopath. In my opinion, the sociopath is a result of extreme learning, perhaps in an extremely negating environment. Certainly a sociopath is highly organized. In contrast the term psychopath implies disorganization and thought disordered.You were lucky to be attentive and to catch the rare glimpse of a socipath dropping their mask for a moment and being purely honest about their evil. Most sociopaths are formed in the early years. I would guess by about age 5 or 6 they are formed by their environment.However, I must admit, the socipath challenges all the assumptions from which I practised psychology. I can’t tell whether it is heridity or environment but I am leaning towards environment and learning over genetic predisposition. Almost NONE of the major mental disorders are due to genetics!Indeed, I thought I observed a subtle smirk on Jodi Arias’ face indicating she was enjoying being the center of attention and (seemingly) getting away with murder. I have not been following the case closely. I am concerned the prosecuting attorney may be too harsh and that may backfire. If he is wise, he will figure out (more like happen into) a way that will allow Jodi Arias to hang herself, to reveal her true self. Now, that will take talent on the part of the cross examiner.Sentencing Jodi Arias to Condemned Row (That’s what it is called.) will send a major message to females that we are not going to let you get away with such horrible murder withouth paying the ultimate price. And I hope that society will not waste any time or much money on appeals.Sociopaths do not deserve to be considered human. They are strictly predators. I agree, there is no point in trying to figure them out least we get caught up in admiring their etiology and have pity upon them when they will always be dangerous to others.I have offered to work with sociopaths because no one has ever treated one successfully. However, I have yet to have one take me up upon my offer.My experienced peers have difficulty understadning socipaths. So much difficulty in fact that there is no category, there are no criteria in the DSM (which is a defective product any way) for sociopathy or the sociopath.Hopefully, your experience, Jules, has given you an immunity from the next sociopath. There is no sense in trying to beat them at their own game because they have honed their skills at least since adolesence! One can’t win. One can only walk away.Dr. Kent

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