The initial narcissistic abuse begins with belittling comments and grows to contempt, ignoring behavior, adultery, sabotage, and, at times, physical abuse. At the core of a narcissist is a combination of entitlement and low self-esteem. These feelings of inadequacy are projected onto the victim.
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that is usually subconscious, that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying. Gas Lighting attempts to destablize the target and delegitimize the target's beliefs.
Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term owes its origin to Gas Light, a 1938 play and 1944 film. It has been used in clinical and research literature.
Traumatic bonding occurs as the result of ongoing cycles of abuse in which the intermittent reinforcement of reward and punishment creates powerful emotionalbonds that are resistant to change.