Mad Mischief is the tale of a woman who regains her power from a bullying marriage and situation. At one point in the novel, she wakes up to the fact that she’s had enough:
“Sarah’s legs tremble, slamming against one another, though she is sitting down. Her hands move about without heeding her instructions to stop. Inside her chest, her heart threatens to burst through. I can’t go home, Sarah suddenly realizes. I cannot face one more scream, one more session of hostility, one more reproach, one more finger pointed in disapproval. I cannot look at those eyes burning with anger or rolling with revulsion. I won’t plead my case one more time. I am no longer able to search for common understanding or sympathy. I really just cannot do it one more time. I can’t. I won’t.”
She has her turning point in the novel because finally, she listens to her own inner voice that’s been telling her all along – somethings wrong and it had to end here!
This can be a crucial step in recovering from narcissistic abuse and being gaslighted. So how does one start to listen to one’s own inner voice in the face of judgement and criticism, often times having faced it for years?
1. Because gaslighting can alienate us from our own thoughts and feelings, the first step is simply listening. Notice your basic needs like fatigue, hunger, and then notice your emotions. This alone can help you validate your own experience.
2. Journaling can be an invaluable tool; recording those feelings will help you become more and more in tune with them. And can help you clearing see patterns that repeats the cycle of abuse, as well as separate out your own feelings/thoughts from the beliefs of the person gaslighting you.
3. Practice every day giving yourself validation and self-affirmations. Developing this skill to reinforce your own self-esteem is critical in the healing process.
4. finally, it’s ok to ask for help. Many times, getting feedback from a supportive neutral perspective such as a therapist can help you gain clarity of your feeling and learn to trust yourself more.
Self-empowerment can be a scary step but can help you break free of those toxic patterns and relationships!