Friday, October 21, 2011

the gaslighting oroborus

A few weeks ago this article by Yashar Ali about 'gaslighting' made the circuit on Facebook. I'd never heard the term before then, but instantly recognised that it's a practice so common that I hardly know a relationship in which I haven't experienced it. 

I'm a woman of emotion - perhaps not more than average, though I suspect, based on the common family myth, that I might possibly excel here. And it's been an issue throughout my life to have what I think are valid concerns heard because I express them packaged with emotion.

"You're too sensitive."
"You're over-thinking."
"Just relax"

They've been such common refrains since I was a child that I've just come to expect to debate those statements instead of whatever the issue is. 

So it was a huge relief to me to read Ali's article, and - yes - I admit that it held a little more credence for me because it was written by a man. 

And then last night I gaslit myself.

I had a valid concern. But I also hadn't eaten in a while. And I had carelessly eaten gluten 2 days before and spent all day with ... extreme digestive distress. And FedEx wouldn't deliver where I need them to, and I can't figure out how to pay for what I need and still do what I want, and ... and ...


But behind the tears and the moaning and the drama I had what to me is a valid concern. And before STG could even get to my house, before he even said his first loving, supportive, word I had already started:

'It's not a big deal'
'I'm just worn out'
'I should probably just eat something'

I caught myself - gagging on the taste of my own tail. I stopped. STG said it wasn't the time for a conversation - it was just time to be. And he was right. And so we be'd. We ate M&Ms and cuddled and watched TV and I tried to breathe.

I've spent some time this week reading discussions of feminism and patriarchy and culture and class and what's changed and what hasn't and how so much of what we live every day we don't even know to question or even have the distance to fully experience because it is so much just the air we breathe.

I'd like to change the air I breathe. And to stop doubting everything I say just because it's accompanied by a feeling. And ... maybe ... read packaging better so I don't stupidly assume that things that 'shouldn't' contain gluten don't. But that's a post for another blog. 

1 comment:

  1. That's a great article. I really enjoyed it and your post. Thanks.


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