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A Serious Talk about Gaslighting

There are things that people do that have a pretty clear motive. You witness what happened, you know why it happened. The end. For example, if your husband drinks directly out of the milk carton you can say, “Hey, I saw you drink out of the milk carton.” Then, he should respond, “Yes. I was thirsty.” You can be pretty sure there are no other motives behind his actions… unless you have told him a million times to not drink out of the milk carton, then there’s a chance he might be passive aggressive… So maybe that’s not a good example. Maybe a better example would be if someone has a headache, they might take some Tylenol to get rid of it. They aren’t taking Tylenol to piss you off or make you feel stupid. They are doing it for the sole purpose of getting rid of their headache. The end.

There are other times when a motive might not be so clear. Say your husband starts demanding you show him all the receipts from any shopping you might do. He says he needs to have all of the receipts hanging on the fridge by the end of the day that you go shopping. If you don’t have the receipts up there, he accuses you of not being committed to the marriage and you are sabotaging your relationship. So, this is kind of a domineering request in itself, what is the motive on his part? Are you in money troubles that you aren’t aware of? Is he doing a spending experiment with you that he can’t tell you about because it’s a blind study? You know it feels wrong, it feels controlling but the motives aren’t clear enough for you to make a solid decision on it.

So maybe that example became a little muddled. I’d like to be explicitly clear on this because I feel like it’s important.

My ex-husband is the master of unclear motives. Since I have known him, he has honed his skills at making me doubt myself and whether or not what happened was something he intended. It’s this thing called Gaslighting. I’m pretty sure he isn’t aware there is a term for the sociopathic behavior he exhibits but the fact that I know brings me comfort.

I hope educating about this term might bring someone else comfort too.

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Me and My Little Ray of Shitshine

Today had such potential to be a good day. The sun is shining, it is above 50 degrees out there and I was ready to make a good day of it.

Gabe, however, had other plans…

It started out brilliantly. I woke up, had coffee and Gabe was being a real doll–not fussing, playing happily and just, in general, being a good baby. It felt like the perfect opportunity to go run some errands, and by running errands, I mean “go to Walmart,” as usual. Now, I’m not a ‘Mart fanatic. I’m a mother. I have limited time and resources. If I can make one trip, I better make it count. So, out of sanity-saving necessity, I go to the Mart. I hate the Mart, I do. But, shit, girllll, they got e’rthang!

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Murder Was the Case that They Gave Me

I killed it. I loved it and I killed it.

Exhibit A.

Exhibit A.

I don’t even know what happened so I’m going to re-trace my steps in an attempt to figure out how it all went wrong for poor Basil here.

It was a beautiful sunny day. I became convinced spring was upon us so I swaddled up the baby and went out on an adventure… to Wal-mart. This is a reoccurring trope in my life. It seems that all things that happen to me begin, end or somehow involve a trip to Wal-mart. This is a scary realization.

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My Children: Getting Pleasure from My Misery Since 2002

Your sadness sustains me!

Your sadness sustains me!

My three-month old son laughed for the first time last night. It was a magical little cackle that would melt the iciest heart. And I, his doting mother, is the one who made him burst out in adorable giggles. How? By showing him what I look like when I cry.

What a dick, right? (Him, not me. I’m SUPER nice.)

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Livin’ la Vida Landfill…

Someone in this house is trying to drive me crazy. I MIGHT be exaggerating but I’m sure that every crazy person had a moment when she doubted the validity of what was plaguing her. But then, BAM. She turned full-blown crazy. Like, in a second. She found ONE MORE FUCKING CANDY WRAPPER ON THE FLOOR and the transformation was complete. Crazy. Poof. Continue reading