To any good people accused of being bad, use this example from my personal life as an aide. In a modern world where we are all ruled by the weakest people, it’s good to know how to stay strong when weak and stupid people try to ruin your life.
Nearly a week ago, a YouTube channel I sometimes keep up with released a video on the subject of gaslighting. And of course, it got me thinking.
Gaslighting means whenever someone is manipulating you by making you question your own sanity. People seem to use this word to mean any and all forms of brainwashing, which is why it annoys me so much, because gaslighting is a specific kind of brainwashing, not all forms at once.
Gaslighting is most certainly real; I don’t deny that at all. What I’ll talk about in this post, though, is the fact that there is no substitute in life for discussion and examining evidence. No substitute.
To reinforce what I just said… Nobody knows the absolute truth at any given time. All of life, as in 100% of life, is perspective. Nobody has Truth Goggles that display the absolute, indisputable truth. Two people, or two-thousand people, who experience the exact same event have can vastly different perspectives of what happened. This is why I don’t even trust myself completely, and I therefore frequently examine evidence regarding my ex-wife and I. Sometimes I am wrong with what I say. For example, my ex-wife claimed I called her a sociopath in an email, and I fervently denied that. I looked back at that email, and sure enough, I used the word ‘sociopath’ in the opening of that email. I didn’t use the word like how she perceived, but I can understand why she thought I was calling her that word in that email. So, that’s an example of how we were both wrong.
So, again… There is no substitute for discussion and examining evidence.
I had never heard of the term ‘gaslighting’ before my ex-wife started using it to shut down every argument I make about what happened between her and I. She had started using this word to shield herself from all criticism. Anything, literally anything, that I said that she didn’t already believe, she proceeded to chalk up to ‘gaslighting.’ This word is the ultimate crutch to people like her. She still to this day believes I am a ‘gaslighter.’ She will believe this for the rest of her life.
Since I watched that YouTube video, and I got thinking about this subject once again, I finally found a way to articulate how I know I am not a ‘gaslighter’ like my ex-wife wants everyone to believe. It’s quite simple…
‘Gaslighters’ do not invite conversation, debate, or evidence, about the very thing they are being accused of gaslighting about. And ‘gaslighters’ most certainly do not speak their minds consistently.
I think about my ex-wife, and the fact (yes, fact) that she has never once tried to discuss any of the matters that tore us apart. I have. In fact, I have invited others to join her, as in people who blindly side with her about everything, like her mother. I have been very open about the fact I am willing to get my perspective challenged by everything – and I mean everything – that my ex-wife can throw at me. All the evidence she has of her claims, all the logic, all the everything.
Not once has she accepted such an invitation. Not once has she made such an offer herself. During divorce court when she accused me of abuse (after signing a statement saying there was no abuse), she brought in no evidence – literally no evidence. Well, of course she couldn’t, because there wasn’t any. The most she could have done was bring in a diary (which can’t prove anything), and probably some tribal girlfriends of hers who were just as immature as she is. But she didn’t even do that much.
And this is exactly what negates the entire ‘gaslighting’ shield whenever anyone who hides behind the Victim Card uses this word. Simply ask yourself if they ever tried talking things through. Simply ask yourself if they are the type of person who can admit when they are wrong, and admit when they make mistakes. My ex-wife is not one such person. She verbally runs away every single time her arguments are scrutinized. She’ll pretend to get annoyed and say, “ANYWAY…” or she will say, “I’m not gonna talk about this, Michael!” or, my personal favorite, she will say, “I already told you!” (I routinely review the things I’ve recorded between us, old and new, and there keeps being nonexistent examples of things she ‘already explained’)
She is the adult version of a child plugging their ears and going “LALALALA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
The term ‘gaslighting’ has been around since the 1930s, but in recent years, it has gained a lot of popularity. Everybody’s saying it these days. And as always, in our collective efforts to protect and give voice to victims, we end up silencing many actual victims. Women these days are believed automatically, and men, especially masculine men, are told to shut up and bow down and apologize. Women can wave the Victim Card around with impunity because they know they will not be questioned. So, my point is, just because someone cries, “They’re gaslighting me!” that doesn’t mean it’s true. Especially regarding people who use the word ‘gaslighting’ in order to get their way, and shut down any viewpoint that doesn’t match their own.
In court, I confessed to things I could have very, very easily lied about, such as why our daughter was hospitalized shortly before she turned 1 year old. (She ultimately wasn’t hurt, but I thought she had been.) In court, I confessed to things like improperly securing our daughter’s car seat on 2 occasions. My point is, it has never been beneath me to own my actions and mistakes. Even in court. And we all know my overall tendency to speak my mind, regardless if it sounds nice or flattering at all. If you’re trying to manipulate someone, you never reveal your true thoughts or feelings, ever.
In court, I confessed to seriously screwing up, and I still won. Soon, I will get our daughter 4 days out of the week. And my ex-wife is still too stupid and immature to realize she lost because of the kind of person she is. Our judge quoted my ex-wife’s own words back to her. And she still wants to blame everything on her lawyer (because it’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault).
So, when I say she’s a narcissist, and when I say she’s mentally a child, this is the kind of shit I’m talking about. The only times she doesn’t behave this way is toward people she wants something from (like attention, favors, general dependency, etc.).
If I’m a gaslighter, I sure as hell don’t put any effort into being one. I confess mistakes, I speak my mind without giving a shit if it makes people feel good or bad, I invite evidence, and I invite conversation, instead of running from it like my ex-wife.
Anyways, thanks YouTube video for making me think about this subject again.