Healing Journey

A Gaslighting Society

Unfortunately, we are in such an unhealthy society at this point that the majority of people are being gaslighted by their peers or the general masses. Anytime you have an opposing opinion or a different point of view you are often berated for it and then if you react after being attacked for your own mindset then you are accused of being aggressive or a maniac.

If you are a Christian you are expected to be a passive overly sweet doormat that just takes a beating without saying a word in response. Many people in the Bible were able to do that. Others in the Bible showed their humanity quite clearly (cough cough Peter).

We are expected to accept everyone but never speak about the Word. Otherwise, we are imposing on the free will of others. We are considered bullies, oppressive, judgemental, or even outright insulted, simply for speaking the truth.

We are accosted regularly and the term “holy roller” is meant to be an insult. When we react, even in love or to point out logic, we are considered to be attacking others. While it isn’t just Christians undergoing this type of treatment, this is from my perspective so I can only reflect on my own experience.

Social media is the worst! People are bold with their semblance of anonymity. I had a coworker get offended just because I mentioned Chick-fil-A once. She said I was supporting the oppression of her people. Really? I can’t even talk about food? I mean, they marinate their chicken in pickle juice! How can I silence such awesomeness?

The sad thing is that it isn’t just non-believers throwing shots at Christians. We tend to do it to one another as well. While the Bible says we can recognize our fellow brethren by their fruit and their words, I now see the body gauging one another on a much more frivolous level. If you wear a mask or don’t wear a mask, if you are vaccinated or not vaccinated. If you are a Democrat or a republican. The shallowness stretches endlessly.

The frequent attacks and then justification of it is quite frankly unhealthy. Instigating arguments and separation and then calling foul when someone reacts is toxic, plain, and simple. Rather than seeking out a space to pick a fight with someone, pause and ask yourself- “Am I responding from a place of hurt?” “Have I been conditioned to feel this way or does this genuinely spark anger in me for a legitimate reason?”

Someone having a differing opinion or even lifestyle should not elicit anger in you. It also should not pose a reason for an attack or to become offended. Maturity can handle differences with grace. I heard someone on a podcast say that we as Christians need to learn to deliver Grace with one hand and Justice with the other. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that defending our opinion is justice. The masses believe that if you do not make the same choices that they do then you deserve to be attacked, belittled, and isolated.

Again, this is a toxic mindset to have. Anytime we are imposing our ideals on another it is not only unhealthy but often can be abusive. Spending your time and energy in an attempt to control another should never wear the label of love. We need to reexamine not only our motives and actions but our very definitions of the things we so proudly display in our lives.

If you say you are speaking the truth in love, can you define what love is? If you are concerned that another person is heading for disaster, can you define concern? What are the meanings of Justice and Grace these days? I ask myself these questions as often as I ask others. If we are not questioning ourselves then we are growing stagnant and that is never beneficial to anyone.

Can we challenge ourselves to set new parameters for love, justice, grace, mercy, and equality? I think a revolution is needed and that most certainly should begin on an individual level. Join me?

Shadows of giant

Most of my Life, I lived in fear because my mother could be a terrible monster and times. I am not referring to a typical fear, like being late for work or not having enough money. I am referring to a crippling life altering fear that continues to grip me, even today. Because of that fear I have battled so many insecurities and doubts over the years. Growing up with a mother that was plagued by BPD was an ongoing nightmare that continues to haunt me every day.

She thrived off of the fear she was able to invoke in other people. It made her feel empowered and like she had control. Her tyranny ultimately led me to have a deep distrust of authority. Part of my distrust was because of her direct abuse towards me, the other layer came from all of the gaslighting and mental abuse she would attach to other authority figures. She wanted to ensure that SHE had the ultimate control over my life.

In middle school, a counselor at school told my mother in no uncertain terms that I had to start therapy, or they would get the court involved. She took me to a few sessions but very strategically ensured that I never opened up to the therapist. After the very 1st session, she told me that the therapist recorded the session and allowed her to listen to it. Her and her 4th husband mocked me over things I did not even say in the session. Even though she was relaying inaccurate information, my young, already traumatized brain did not consider that she was making the entire story up. I believed her and refused to talk to the therapist about anything significant.

There were other instances where she would tell a medical doctor some outlandish story and they would believe her and treat me based off of her words. By the time I was a teenager she would have me locked in a mental institution when she felt she was losing control of me. They never once questioned the situation. I became a cutter when I was 13. Based on that alone they would institutionalize me. That may not have been so bad if they had actually applied any sort of legitimate treatment to resolve my cutting. They never even attempted to find out WHY I was cutting. I was told repeatedly that I was only cutting myself for attention. Which did not make a lot of sense because I would typically hide the cuts.

From the time I was admitted until a few days before my release they would have me on a strong regimen of drugs that would make me almost comatose. The scary part is that they would put me on the adult side because they did not want to give the other teenagers any “bad ideas”. That was how it was explained to me. The whole ordeal was terrifying and disempowering.

So, after a culmination of all the mental manipulation over the years, I never even thought of disagreeing with a doctor or changing my doctor. My mind had become so trained that I did not have a voice that it continued well into adulthood for me. I was seeing the most awful doctor for years. I would tell her that I did not want to be on birth control, and she would respond with that was what was best for me and put me on it against my will. I would follow her instructions because again, I had been conditioned to do so.

When I would try to assert myself, she would become so aggressive and dismissive that I would shrink back. Many of my appointments with her would result in a panic attack. People who know me personally would never think that I would be plagued by that sort of behavior and if they had saw me in that environment they would have been shocked!! I have been seeing my therapist for 8 years now and she is VERY familiar with my story and trauma on a level that no one else ever has been. At some point she asked me why I did not change Doctors. I just stared at her. That never even occurred to me as an option. I was very cautious and detailed in my search for a new doctor. I finally switched at the beginning of this year. My new doctor is the exact opposite and having the experience of her has been SO empowering and freeing!!

I say no to the things that I do not want, and I am actually heard and respected. If she refers me to a specialist for something and I ask for something specific that is denied by a different doctor, I ask them to notate my request and their denial in my chart. Being able to say no or ask for what I need has made such a HUGE difference in my life. I am now seeing how many other people live the way I did. Maybe they didn’t have a narcissistic parent terrorizing them, but they still do not realize that their voice is valid.

I see people post on social media about how others aren’t supportive of them, and I often ask them if they have asked for a specific type of support. They often respond in a dumbfounded way. Or I will hear other women tell of their horror stories of crappy doctors. When I give them this feedback and the options, they have they typically respond the way I did….” that’s a thing?”

The more you grow, heal and become more emotionally healthy, the more you will become aware of how deeply unhealthy the vast majority of society is. That realization can be sad and frustrating. But as we change, we need to offer grace to others by sharing these same methods. They don’t know what they don’t know maya said, when you know better you do better. Not everyone will do better but at least equip them so that they have the option.

My greatest hope is that I can live in peace and be filled with joy, and to show others how to do the same.