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Gaslighting

I've just seen this, a tweet where Ghosting is referred to as a form of gaslighting, and it's getting to me.

Gaslighting is a form of abuse that, used enough, can have real and severe lasting consequences.

Ghosting is the immediate and total severing a relationship, which you might not like and may find difficult to deal with, but you also have no automatic right to people's time or attention.

Misrepresentation of gaslighting is happening a LOT lately.

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Gaslighting

Things you don't like, find insulting or disrespectful, things which are hurtful or when someone has a perception of a situation that is different to your own... These are things I've seen described as such and that's not it. This is not gaslighting.

Gaslighting is to deliberately, maliciously misrepresent reality.

Having lasting psychological problems from not having a fixed grasp on reality growing up, because of gaslighting, it's hard not to be annoyed by it.

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

I was lied to about things that happened to me throughout my childhood.
I was told lies were true, things that happened never did, things that didn't happen did, that clear and absolute truths were lies. It could be immediately after, days, weeks, months or years. Sometimes mistruths even conflicted.

I have no idea how many of my memories are real, how many are completely made up, what things were said to or about me, what my familial relationships were like.

Gaslighting

@sophia Holy fuck, whoever wrote this has absolutely no idea what gaslighting is 😫 I wish people would take a moment to learn what they’re talking about before going all galaxybrain. Especially about something this harmful!

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

It's an extreme example but that's what gaslighting is and does. It's deliberately fucking with a person's perception of reality.

Not seeing eye to eye with someone, an abrupt relationship breakdown, or feeling slighted, those are far, far from the same thing.

Gaslighting
@InvaderXan @sophia

I wonder where they got that twisted notion from? Made it up?
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Gaslighting

@InvaderXan I am seeing it used incorrectly so, so much lately.

Saying something is gaslighting automatically shuts down a lot of arguments, since it's a known term of abuse. I've seen it mostly in that regard. Few people seem fully aware of what it means so it often works, particularly on 'differing perception of events'.

re: Gaslighting, abuse (personal)
@sophia I can totally relate, for similar reasons.

re: Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@nikita sorry to hear that. Solidarity

Gaslighting

@ckeen @InvaderXan it's a word that's deeply misrepresented lately

Gaslighting

@sophia Well put. Thank you (and I'm sorry about your experiences)

Gaslighting
That's what I understood. Do you happen to know about the origin of that, @sophia ?

@InvaderXan

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@sophia expressin' solidarity — yeah — it is Extremely weird and uncomfortable to have 'gaslighting' become the new 'toxic' when like, this is an extremely specific thing where I've been like. forced to agree that I thought and felt things that I didn't; was told I was lying or exaggerating; about things that happened; consistently encouraged to doubt my every single instinct and perception, especially that I had been mistreated; later in life and by other people told I was hallucinating real sensations... like, this language of trauma, abuse, and (related) madness ending up in the hands of sane people with normal lives... like what are they even using it for? dramatizing and moralizing about their pet peeves?? 'ghosting is gaslighting' what the everloving fuck

Gaslighting

@sophia I think a problem is that, while there have been representations of it in movies and TV (including at least one Star Trek episode), it’s seldom referred to by name. Which is unfortunate, because those are good ways to teach people about these things.

Weirdly, there are posts describing what gaslighting is on Twitter and Tumblr fairly often, and they do get attention. Though, I guess, not enough.

Gaslighting

@ckeen @InvaderXan the origin of the term or its misrepresentation?

For the former it's a play called gas light https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_Light

The latter:it has transformed over the last few years, from what I've seen it's mostly as people have tried to frame opponents in arguments as strictly abusive rather than just unkind

Gaslighting
@sophia

Ah, I only knew about the movie thanks!

@InvaderXan

Gaslighting

@sophia ugh and this example just flips it around on anyone trying to get away from abuse by making them sound like the bad person for considering that step

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@byttyrs Solidarity back at you, I'm sorry you've been through that too. The way you describe it feels very familiar.
I had the conversion syndrome nonsense too, turned out to be a compressed spinal cord. 🙄

I wish there were better representation of what it actually means, being used correctly to describe actual abuse, because in the last year or two I've seen things like this far more than the truth of it

@ckeen @InvaderXan Hyperbole? Shutting down arguments, as @sophia said above.

Gaslighting

@boisdevache yep. I have immediately and completely severed ties with people who have done me harm. Claiming it's abusive would be absurd.
I presume they would add caveats for that, but then they can never know a person's reason for doing it blobshrug

@ckeen For some reason I thought it was an Ingmar Bergman film. Now I learned there are two, neither of them Bergman.

Gaslighting

@InvaderXan @sophia a lot of words and phrases have been skewed beyond recognition compared to what they used to mean

cancelling x, emotional labour and involuntary celibacy, just to name a few.

most words that originated in feminist, leftist, PoC spaces are transformed into new meanings, far removed from the source

we're not very protective of our words — perhaps because we also try keep the stance that words can change meaning…

mental health language degradation

@meena @sophia
Meanings can change and evolve over time, sure. The problem, as I see it, isn't evolution of vocabulary, it's homogenisation. Words with their own very specific usage and meanings become degraded through continual misuse, so that they become interchangeable with other, more common words.

The word "gaslighting" becomes homogenised to just mean lying or having differing perceptions. The word "triggered" becomes homogenised to just mean annoyed or upset.

Particularly when those words are about mental health and abuse issues, this harms people for whom those words are actually intended.

Gaslighting

@sophia I was getting extremely mad online on the other site when people call everything, especially things that are broad and not personal interactions 'gaslighting'.

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@sophia I'm sorry you had to endure that. Gaslighting is very harmful. I got my share of that and still suffer from that.

got nu nudes @sophia ?

Gaslighting

@sophia No ma'am to that person.
I hate how broad this shit is people go 'THAT PERSON LIED I HAVE BEEN GASLIT.'

@jackiemoon if that's your response to a discussion of abuse then fuck off

Gaslighting

@cambrian_era I was shoving it on my alt over there but really wanted to expand. I just know if I put this on my main it would be leapt on in a second 😬

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@AzureKingfisher solidarity, I'm so sorry you had it too

Gaslighting

@sophia There's a lot I don't say on Twitter because the tenor of the discourse is... yeah.

Gaslighting

@cambrian_era it's a nice place to have a very small account. Not so much beyond that

Gaslighting

@sophia it's hard to assess intent though, people do all sorts of abusive things without being fully conscious of it if they've learned it as a defense mechanism.

Gaslighting

@amphetamine

Yeah. My mother knew she was doing serious wrong but mostly had no idea when she was doing it, even though it was often clearly malicious. She still has the responsibility of what she did.
Having been abused or not fully understanding they've done it doesn't reduce the harm done.

Gaslighting

@sophia god. as someone who has also dealt with a lot of gaslighting (solidarity friend), this is godawful. 9 times out of 10 that I have tried to explain my reasoning and be a "decent person", it ends up in an argument. Which is what I was trying to avoid. In the end, I don't owe anyone an explanation. If I feel my interactions aren't healthy or conducive to my wellbeing, I dont need to damage that more by trying to explain why. God, this is just the worst take.

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@sophia I still don't know what feelings I have and when I'm exaggerating.

Gaslighting

@ritualnoise Boundaries are good and it's up to you what boundaries you feel are necessary, why, and how you enact them. It might not be comfortable for others but you have every right to protect your own wellbeing

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@AzureKingfisher I find it really hard to measure the same thing.

I find myself questioning stuff a lot to ensure I've got it right, seek out context to ground myself in things, and having to firmly correct people when they jokingly misrepresenting things.

Gaslighting

@sophia oh yes. i'm no psychologist but i think if you don't realize what you've done and be accountable for it, there's no getting better or stopping the behavior.

i'm so sorry she did that to you.

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@sophia in my case it was luckily not about outer facts that much but about my feelings, my reactions and my abusers actions. He needed me to think I was the bad part and I exaggerated and made things up.

Gaslighting

@sophia Couldn't agree more. It's something I've seen on the rise for the last few years and it really fucking makes me angry. Thanks for speaking out.

I've never experienced gaslighting first hand, but I've dealt with the impact second hand; and seeing someone you love have no concept of what is real and what isn't, is truly horrifying. I'm sorry you've been there yourself.

Gaslighting

@amphetamine oh absolutely, and problem with that becomes how do you get an abuser of any kind to own up, especially on something so subtle 😬

Most won't admit it let alone seek help, and certainly won't admit any kind of psych problem behind it

Gaslighting

@sophia i keep coming back to this lerner quote: "No individual will feel accountable and able to apologize—no matter how we communicate—if doing so threatens to define her in an unacceptable or intolerable way. The other person’s willingness to own up to harmful deeds has nothing to do with how much she does or doesn’t love you...the capacity to take responsibility and feel remorse is related to how much self-love and self-respect that person has available."

mental health language degradation

@InvaderXan @sophia so i'm currently reading https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/future-no-future-depression-left-politics-mental-health/ and wondering how to frame this issue in such a way that we can collectively address it

Gaslighting

@amphetamine excellent way of putting it, thank you. Gonna bookmark that one

Gaslighting

@sophia it's from "the dance of connection"

Parental abuse

@sophia @amphetamine sometimes when we break thru the surface and have an honest conversation, my parents will still ask why i do x, and, sometimes when i have the energy, i'll try to get to the core of x.

nearly always i do x (something they don't disapprove of, or find just very odd) as a pathological reaction of the unrelenting and unpredictable beatings i received from them.

Gaslighting

@amphetamine thank you!

re: Gaslighting

@sophia I feel this has very similar energy to those who prize *civil* politics over *good* politics

Parental abuse

@meena @amphetamine there's been occasions with my mum where she'll lie or misrepresent something and I'll outright tell her no. It takes her a moment but you can almost see her mental processing leading up to 'shit, this isn't going to work' and being confused as to why.
She started finding ways to use my husband as a proxy for it, and after several years he started to finally see how it worked and do the same. She truly resents it

Parental abuse

@sophia @meena triangling is bonkers but it seems to be inherent to how humans do

Parental abuse

@sophia @amphetamine they feel disturbed and hurt that i could possibly feel that way! they only had our best interest in mind. after all, they brought us from war in Bosnia to Vienna, a metropolis! provided us with all we need: 4 walls, food, money, a satellite dish

i usually leave it at that. i don't try to explain how those things aren't love, especially not when coupled with unrelenting and unpredictable beatings and verbal and emotional abuse.

Parental abuse

@meena @amphetamine fucking hell, I'm so sorry. The mental gymnastics there are absolutely wild 😕
You deserve so much better than that

mental health language degradation

@meena @sophia Hmmm... I should read this in detail and give it some thought.

Parental abuse is fucking over, lol

@sophia @amphetamine i do.

that's why i now live a thousand kilometres away from them, and that's how i can now be happily trans, and ten thousand times a better parent than they could even possibly imagine anyone to be.

Gaslighting, abuse

Well this got bigger than anticipated. I don't think I've been able to keep up with replies. Solidarity to all of you who've also been affected by this stuff too, you deserve better 🧡

Gaslighting

@sophia
The silver lining is that the original poster has probably been ghosted for a good reason.

There's a lot of really toxic unsafe people who don't belong in safe spaces and use language to do some real harmful bullshit.

People just don't say 'no' enough, because who has time to fight on the internet these days? I drop out because I got my own social gardens I've cultivated online. Why even approach a person who uses language like this when you know you'll be shouted down?

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@sophia Solidarity, 20ish years of that and now my grasp on reality is so confused and dissociated I can only really say for certain the last few years are 'accurate' in my memory and experiences. But my long and short term memory is blasted into bits lol.

Gaslighting

@sophia I know it's kind of a depressing take but I just feel that big spaces eventually spiral into places to fight and pick fights. People who like, seek or instigate fights crowd these sites and the people who are too tired to fight, too done with being shut down with some cool language just decide to stick together in private areas instead.

And I think that's been bad for the social climate on many sites, like tumblr, twitter and so on. The sites are too big.

Gaslighting

@FimbulK I agree with you entirely. As you say it descends into a fight. There is no way to call out someone for using the language of trauma and abuse like this, you're likely to end up getting labelled abusive in some way yourself and unfortunately once that happens, they tend to be listened to.
It happened to someone high profile the other day and a lot of people are branding them abusive for essentially doing nothing but confronting something unkind about them. It's a losing game

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@FrazzledBrynn I am so sorry, I feel that so hard. I still find myself trying to figure out the deeper intent in every damn word from people close and questioning myself for days if something is off

I've started to bluntly confront when people are misrepresenting things, even if it's meant jokingly. Writing down things that happen has helped so much recently too.

Hang in there ♥

Gaslighting

@sophia I really hate how negative I am sometimes.

So hey, on the plus side, there's this thread with all these people going "Fuck yes! We think so too!" so there's hope, there's hope.

There's people who know it, see it and maybe just need to see other people agreeing with them. And that can't be too bad.

language misinterpretations ugh

@sophia

"lately"

I've seen it misrepresented so much over the past few years (though maybe it has been getting worse lately)
Most people misunderstand "gaslighting" to be simply "lying that hurt me emotionally" and it's not and that's so frustrating.

(Also, recently saw someone break "executive dysfunction" down into two separate things, one being "am anxious so avoid task." That's not exdys, that's anxiety?? Executive dysfunction is an actual medical term??

Gaslighting

@sophia so much this. Useful terms to talk about being harmed seem to always get co-opted into being hyperbole for "unpleasant"

Same thing happened with "toxic". It describes repeated emotional harm, not disagreements over relationship priorities or incompatibility

It sucks, because it deprives people who are victims of such tactics of the means to understand, discuss, and research them

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@sophia we don’t know each other, so I apologise beforehand if this is too personal, but I wanted to say that I very much appreciate your take on this issue and that I am sorry to hear you have formed it by going through such a traumatic experience.

language misinterpretations ugh

@certifiedperson yeah it's been for a few years but now it seems to be absolutely everywhere.

That is one I've noticed too!

Gaslighting, abuse (personal)

@kopischke thank you