Stay away from the gaslighters, when will I learn?

I recently tried to have a discussion with a gaslighter, to convince him of my truths and experiences.  If you don’t know, gaslighting is a psychological term where the gaslighter tries to separate another from their reality, to make them doubt themselves, and their sanity.  The more he tried to gaslight me, the more I wanted to speak my truth.  Instead I should have just walked away.

My parents would sometimes gaslight me when I was a kid.  I think my mom still does today.  I wonder, was she conscious of what she was doing?  I know she imagined my life in a certain way, if I told her something that contradicted that she didn’t want to listen.

Once, when my daughter was in elementary school, she came home and told me a story about her school day.  I can’t remember the details about the story but the words “oh, that didn’t happen” started coming out of my mouth.  I was mortified at myself for saying those words.  This is something my mother would have done so she wouldn’t have to deal with the reality of whatever I was saying.

Have you ever had an experience with gaslighting?

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3 thoughts on “Stay away from the gaslighters, when will I learn?”

  1. Well, yes, but not in the way you use it. I was very puzzled when I started reading this post because I had never heard the term, Gaslighter used in that way before. When I was growing up as a child, a Gaslighter was a man who walked the streets turned on and lit the gas street lights. And don’t get the impression that I am ancient, certain places in Europe were very slow to change and some streets in London, I believe, are still gas lit. This is the first time I have ever heard that word used in that way.

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    1. The term comes from the 1944 film Gaslight. The character Greg does various things to his wife Paula to make her think she is crazy. Paula believes she sees the gaslights flicker, but Greg says it is all in her imagination.

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  2. Gosh yes. Gaslighting is infuriating. I suspect most of the times when people have done it to me it hasn’t been on purpose, it’s come from folk not listening to me and not recognising their own privilege. When the reality of your experiences are routinely denied and alternative versions of reality are routinely pushed upon you, it can take a lot of confidence to push back.

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