"Let's start at the very beginning...it's a very good place to start..."
We know this as the beginning of a very iconic song, "My Favorite Things," by Maria Von Trapp (her character name), in the movie "The Sound of Music."
I'm not really sure where to start with this topic, and I will probably write on this for a series of blog posts.
I'm really working on finding my voice after years of what I'm determining to call "trauma."
I know that's a strong word, and I know that others will commonly say, "oh, you shouldn't use that term, because it's unfair to people who've actually gone through trauma." I recognize that, but that's kinda what my blog post is about.
If you're familiar with the movie "The Gas Light," you might already be familiar with its premise, where a man who's trying to cover up his crimes tries to drive his wife crazy slowly over time. In that way, he can continue to control her by noting that she's making things up and the things she is actually noticing aren't actually happening. That IS clearly trauma.
People like me have gone through that type of gaslighting, and some of us, like me, for as long as 8 years. In as early as 2013, I started to notice that as people would start to discuss political events on Facebook with their so-called "friends" (see my subsequent blog posts for reasons why I use the quotation marks), there began to be an intolerance for some people's thoughts and ideas. I was one of those people.
Lately, I've noticed the almost-8-year effect of this is that I'm much less likely to not only share my thoughts, but be in touch with them. I'm scared to share my thoughts for concern of what the responses will be. I'm afraid to say what I think because people I considered "friends" who didn't like what I said didn't ask questions or even challenged me, they doxxed me, called me names, told me things about myself that weren't true, and at the end of the day, FRIENDS, or who I thought were friends, even my BEST friend from seminary, made rash and degrading "conclusions" and would delete and even block me.
After getting away from them following the election, I am starting to realize the severity of the consistent attacks, not from one person, but from many people from a certain ideology. And it didn't help that they were not willing to talk about anything at all. Their responses didn't match my apparent "crime," and there has been no recourse or resolution, besides a complete ghosting from people who I thought I could call "friends."
It doesn't matter how the trauma happens; it is real, and it is true. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, and I've been subjected to that for years. Even four months ago I got told that someone was "praying for me that my eyes would be opened." Unfortunately, I have not been wrong, and MY eyes were not the ones which were closed. Typical gaslighting.
It just hurts. I'm trying to get the pain out. The reason for that is that I keep seeing what is happening and coming out, and I can't keep being "pitied," blocked, unfriended and otherwise told I'm wrong when I know I'm right.
So lately I've also had to engage in blocking and unfriending, just to protect my own heart. I will not live my life scared of what people will say about me, especially if I'm right, and I will not live my life wishing I had said something. I've already had many of those days especially after the last 2 years. One has to wonder why someone would work so hard to silence someone else. What's so threatening about the truth, unless the truth is what exposes?
I'm still working all this out, and I'm not sure how to wrap up this blog post. I don't want it to go on forever. Right now I'm working really hard to heal the wounds, and to force my voice to speak my message. My voice got separated from my message when it was perceived I was getting hurt for what I was saying. Typical response when you get hurt is to protect yourself, right? So I am healing, and protecting myself from the pain, and forcing myself to speak the truth in love.
I will keep speaking. I will keep telling people gaslighting is dangerous and incredibly toxic. I will keep encouraging people to seek the real truth, to expose the hidden things by shining a light on them. I will always do that. People can try to cut me off, but no, they will only make me more resilient and resolved to do the right thing and say what I see.
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