The origin of the word gaslighting was that some guy farted in a dark room and then shinned the light at another person, declaring that he was the one that farted. The accused person drove himself to insanity because he was led to believe that he couldn’t even tell if he was farting or not. That’s the story, right?
Well, no. According to the Google God, the term “gaslighting comes from a 1938 stage play called Gaslight, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights in their home (which were powered by gas), then denies that the lights change when the wife asks him about them.”
Ohhhhh. So the other type of gas. But will someone write a movie about a man farting in a dark room and then blaming someone else for it? It’ll be a real psycho thriller. (But please don’t attach my name to it).
Anyway, not that long ago I was gaslighted from someone whom I dated. We had met in a 12-step program. (Apparently not the best pool to draw from). He reassured me he was completely clean and sober. But sometimes his eyes would be bloodshot. I knew something was up. I’d stare at him suspiciously, doubting his sobriety. I’d then painfully ask, “Can I trust you?” He responded,“Dixie, there’s nothing I can say or do to make you trust me. Actually, that’s a question you need to ask yourself…whether YOU can trust?” I took a deep breath in and sighed. I thought, perhaps he was right. I mean, I do have trust issues. I was raised by a single father who was manipulative and a pathological liar. My dad’s motto in life was deny everything. Basically that motto does work, until you want to cultivate healthy relationships and live a non-sociopathic life.
But alas, I found out the guy was in fact, high. He wanted me to feel like I was the crazy one with trust issues. Now, I don’t have to date someone who is sober, but I do need to be with someone who is honest and doesn’t gaslight me purely because he’s a coward. (By the way, the answer to the question, "can I trust you?" was a simple no. Be honest. Show up. Be a fucking man. Or as I like to say, woman up and grow some tough titties. Actually that’s the first time I said it, and I liked it).
So, can we all agree that this behavior is gross? Okay, good. Now the next thing I want to address is embarrassing for me. This is the part I do not want to write. I’d way prefer to continue to rant on and on about that druggie douche, but instead I’m going to point the finger at me. Because I gaslight myself all the fucking time.
What he said wasn’t that mean, I’m just super sensitive.
My childhood wasn’t that bad, I never got beaten or molested.
I don’t have a right to be sad because I have a rich aunt and uncle.
I’m discrediting my own feelings. I’m telling myself that I’m wrong and that I’m crazy. Therefore, I should stuff whatever this is deep down and ignore it forever. It goes completely against my new journey that I’m on where I’m training myself to listen to my intuition and then honor it.
I’m not wrong. I’m not crazy. This is how I feel, and I’m going to investigate this feeling further.
Since I don’t want some douche to gaslight me, then I probably should stop doing it to myself. Even though the self-flagellation feels so good and oh so familial, my disdain for douches is far greater. And well, I just can’t allow myself to be one.