The Silent Suffering of Caregivers: Understanding the Impact of Ghosting and Gaslighting – PART 3

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment

Marcus Aurelius

In the care industry, we are not immune to pain and abuse and our imaginations can get the better of us as we try to unravel and make sense of situations that leave us flummoxed and confused. We think we have gone above and beyond for a client and yet the family sees us as expendable!

I had been gaslighted by family (when all I wanted was validation), ghosted by clients (when all I wanted was closure) and tormented by my opinions of both – I needed to start a conversation around this important issue because I had been on the receiving end…

And so,

the following are some simple, perhaps obvious, but beautiful reminders of how I found solutions to make sense of how I was feeling. I blended spirituality and stoic philosophy to put me back in the driving seat where the unfamiliar became comfortable

Focus on self-improvement

Rather than dwelling on the person who ghosted me, I used the experience as an opportunity for personal growth. I worked on improving myself physically, emotionally, and mentally to develop a stronger sense of self-worth and resilience (I started to look for better opportunities)

Practice acceptance

I accepted that the person who ghosted me may have had their own reasons for doing so and that their behaviour is ultimately beyond my control. I started to practice acceptance and let go of any anger or resentment I felt towards them. (This is on them not me)

Detach yourself from the outcome

From a stoic perspective, I went back to basics and focused on what was within my control and let go of my attachment to outcomes that are outside of my control. In this case, the behaviour of the person who ghosted me is outside of my control. Instead of fixating on getting closure or understanding why I was ghosted, I focused on my own well-being and happiness. (Stop trying to get in their head)

Develop self-awareness

I needed to be honest with myself about my thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, and not allow someone else to define my reality. To do this I had to develop a strong sense of self-awareness so that I could recognize when someone was trying to manipulate me and make light of a painful situation.

Build inner strength

Gaslighting can be emotionally and mentally draining because you are dredging up the same conversation hoping for a different outcome. So it’s important to build inner strength and resilience to feel centred and grounded.

Inevitably, if someone ghosts or gaslights us, we can choose to view the situation in a way that doesn’t disturb our inner peace. We can choose to recognize that the other person’s actions are a reflection of their own issues, not ours and that we have the power to control our thoughts and VALIDATE ourselves!

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