The Gaslight is ON.

The Gaslight is ON.

I’m sorry for writing another piece about this garbage when there’s already so much of it swirling around, and I’m sure it’s adding fuel to the flames. But I have something to get off my chest and I think it’s a slightly different perspective than people are used to. 


I haven’t written in awhile. I’ve been giving some speeches for the United Way Alberta Capital Region’s campaign. I am speaking about my experience with the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton… how they pretty much saved my life and helped me recover from so many issues and a lot of trauma. I’ve also had a couple of (exciting) life changes and am getting settled into a new routine.

Overall I have been very happy and healthy!

But recently I’ve found myself spending a little more time on the couch, falling down the rabbit hole that is the internet. For hours. And then I feel awful and cry for what feels like no reason.

I’ve been piecing it together, and there is a reason.
The US presidential campaign.

It is 20 god damn 16. A US presidential candidate should not trigger panic attacks or remind me of my abusive ex boyfriend (who I have never felt the need to publicly mention until now; but this is bringing it all back up to the surface)

It’s frustrating listening to the awful names he calls women.
It’s uncomfortable watching him lose his temper on national TV.
It’s creepy watching him point and posture aggressively at female reporters.
It’s embarrassing reading… well, anything he has ever posted on Twitter.
It’s offensive to watch him belittle his (objectively more qualified) opponent on stage.
It’s painful listening to him describe sexually assaulting women, and heartbreaking listening to their response “yes, he has done this”
But what really gives me chills is the gaslighting.

Watching Donald Trump gaslight the nation is so unsettling.

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser “denies they did anything wrong and avoids taking responsibility until they make you question your grip on reality: I never said that. I never did that. It’s your fault. I’m the victim here.” (http://ow.ly/zx7s305QbLB

Gaslighting in general is described in more detail here. 
This piece by Vox articulates Donald Trump’s brand of gaslighting really well.

As an example…

The first time I noticed it was during the first debate, when Hillary Clinton said he believed that global warming was a hoax created by the Chinese. He then spoke over her, saying “I did not say that. I do not say that.” I distinctly remembered reading one of his tweets about that exact thing, but I thought maybe I read it wrong, or it was written by a fake account. NOPE… here it is.

imageI did a quick search on twitter and found it right away. It made my stomach turn, and then I felt red-hot anger that I haven’t felt in a long time.

Blatantly denying an objective fact takes a lot of… something or other. It is so insidious and manipulative.
My ex boyfriend used to do that to me. He would get violent after drinking, and when I’d bring it up he would deny it up and down, to the point where I thought I was making it up or at the very least overreacting.
It made me question my own memories, and at times my sanity.

This is exactly what the US Republican presidential candidate is doing and it terrifies me. This can not be acceptable behaviour for anyone, let alone an authority figure.

I’m tired of thinking and talking about this. It’s exhausting. I don’t think I have anything more insightful to say right now. All I can do is hope for a safer world; one that is stronger together. And if nothing else, I hope we can use this as an opportunity to learn about gaslighting and see it for what it really is – manipulation and abuse.


While I am not up for debating politics, I would be happy to chat with anyone who has questions about gaslighting and truly wants to understand it & it’s effects. Write me a comment on this post, tweet me @elizabethjoy_xo or email me at elizabeth@wyrproject.org 

Author

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Hi! I'm Elizabeth, a blogger on When You're Ready.org I spent 2 years struggling with PTSD and panic attacks following a violent attack. I want to use my experience and my voice to raise support for others. I desperately want to make the world a safer place for girls and women, especially my two little sisters. Keep talking, Keep sharing. When You're Ready, I'll be here.

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