It is in every psychological thriller. Take someone sane. And then. Through a series of related and unrelated events. Make them believe that they are crazy. Make them believe that they are so crazy that the only person who can help shed any light on what is happening is the one person that made them "crazy" in the first place.
This, in fact, has a term. It is called gaslighting. I'd never heard of it before now. I never needed to know it's definition. But as I sift through what I saw my former boss (who we will just call BossLady) do to all of the women who came to her for help, I am now aware that this is what was happening.
The official definition:
Gaslighting is an extreme form of emotional, psychological, abuse, and as such, gradually erodes the victim’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem (or, in the case of BossLady--prays upon those with already destroyed self-esteems), with the outcome being; self-confidence destroyed. Alas, the victim adopts a confused, disorientated stance and thus renders herself exposed, moreso, to criticism and judgment. Henceforth, the roles are quite clear: the victim is considered “crazy” (mentally deranged) whilst the abuser is the “suffering soul.”
Then, if you're BossLady. Make claims that you are the only one who can heal them. And take their money. And then send them home unhealed and worse than before.
The NUMBER 1 tool of an emotional manipulator is to get others to trust YOU and not their "gut" (or intuition, or feelings, or reactions).
You have instincts. They are real. If your gut tells you that there is something off with one person in your life, but they allow you to feel normal and safe with the rest of your world. Think about it. Victims shouldn't exist. And they won't if we don't allow it.