I’m what most consider to be a nice person. I’ve even been accused of having an almost naïve childlike disposition. Understanding, wide eyed…ready for the slaughter. I think this is especially true in dating. I have no problem admitting I’m an easy mark for most men. Some either “just wish they were good enough for me…” or they “just wish I wasn’t ‘so good’ “ But no matter what type of man I interact with they all use the same method as their exit strategy. Gaslighting, and I’m starting to take it personally.
I find people take exception to being accused of gaslighting. Gaslighting is an abusive behavior, specifically when a person manipulates information in such a way as to make a victim question his or her sanity. Gaslighting intentionally makes someone doubt their memories or perception of reality.So when I accuse someone of gaslighting folks like to respond with “well I just see it differently.” Me, “Mmm no you’re just lying.” Them, “Oh why do you always take things so literally?” Me, “Why did I take the words you clearly said to me as literal? Can’t imagine why.”
I think we have created a society where gaslighting is the last acceptable form of victim blaming. We are just manipulative enough towards someone we find attractive…and then walk away. Then, not just the gaslighter, but society says to the injured party “you should have protected yourself.” Now, not one person with good sense asks anyone who was mugged “why did you go to the bank today?” So why do you ask a person who was genuine and open with someone who is committed to lying to them and presenting alternative facts” why didn’t you protect yourself?” As a native New Yorker, I can attest that there are things you should do to ensure your safety while taking money out of the ATM, but I can also assure you that the MUGGER is to blame for the incident, not the person who got mugged. So the person who is a liar and a gaslighter, even if it is miniscule (in their opinion) is to blame for the hurt feelings of the person they are speaking to.
We need to be accountable. I guarantee you if you can’t just admit you were in the wrong in your situationship, you won’t do it when the stakes are even higher. The most ironic part of me writing this is that probably not one gaslighter will read to the end or change their behaviors. So really this is for my fellow victims I guess. I want you to know it wasn’t you, it really was them, they are the problem not you and that you were not wrong to be open and kind, they were wrong to mug you of joy.