As a survivor of emotional and mental abuse and gaslighting, it took me a long time to come to terms with what happened to me. My ex husband often would tell me how I felt and how I was not doing things properly.
One day while driving him to his classes at a local college he told me, "You don't love yourself. And if you don't love yourself, then how can you love me? You can't."
He would often say things like that to me, telling me my feelings and using his knowledge of psychology to tell me what I should think or feel.
Because I had no idea how to handle such things, I started looking for a way out or some kind of comfort. I developed a relationship online with a group of friends that eventually resulted in my having an emotional affair with a few other people. My ex found out about these relationships by putting a keylogger on our computer. He also logged into my e-mail and chat accounts and copied chat logs from them.
I felt terrible about hurting him in this way, he was very angry and upset when he found things out, but he didn't confront me directly, he instead brought his "proof" with him to a counselor and show them to the counselor first. He used the conversation with the counselor to shame me and expose me.
I honestly felt nothing but relief over the situation. He was finally to the point where he wanted nothing to do with me. I cried in relief, he was finally going to leave me be.
I blamed myself for everything, obviously. It was my fault for getting involved with him, for moving to another state to be with him, for being stupid enough to get pregnant and so on. It was all my doing for not seeing, not realizing, for being too trusting.
The other blame that I was often given was from my mother. "I told you you didn't have to marry him, but you didn't listen." She still brings this up, even though she supports me and is glad I'm out of that abusive situation.
Until recently I didn't see myself as a victim of domestic abuse. Too often it is shown as simply physical or verbal and physical, never just mental, verbal, emotional abuse. Naming my abuse has helped me in a way to forgive myself and to tell myself it was not my fault.
The BBC, rape myths and damaging 'advice' http://everydayvictimblaming.com/discussions/the-bbc-rape-myths-and-damaging-advice/ via @EVB_Now