::pack:: of fixations



life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.

1.21.2018

Gaslighting

When I was around 22 years old, I remember sitting in a room at the Dr’s office while waiting for the Dr with my Mom.  I was having gallbladder attacks even though I no longer had a gallbladder.  

I had been wanting to ask her & test out my new theory & we were just sitting there alone in a room together.  I’d rationalized her behaviors & even started to convince myself about what I was about to ask her.  “Mom, ya know uh,....when I was in Junior High & High school?  Were you going through, uh, menopause or something?  Is that the reason why all you & Dad ever did was yell & scream at me?”.  Her face froze with question & shock.   “Kelly, I never went through menopause.”  

“Mom, are you sure?  Why did you scream at me so much then?”, I asked  unbiasedly.  I just wanted answers, I just needed to understand.  These questions came from a place of forgiveness & understanding, but that wasn’t how she took it.  But, I didn’t know how she took it until a few weeks later.  “Well yes I’m sure, I had a hysterectomy & I was most certainly not always yelling at you!”.  I was so confused.  I don’t remember arguing with her any further, or perhaps that’s when the Dr waltzed in.  I felt crazy & dillusional.  She acted like she had no idea what I was even talking about.  If she wasn’t going through the worlds worst menopause causing her enormous fits of rage over the tiniest of things then why?

I called my parents house about 1-2 weeks later.  My Dad answered the phone & snapped at me.  “Kelly, why’d you say those things to your mom?!?”.  I had no idea what he was even talking about.  He didn’t care what my response was, he interrupted me, “she’s been in her room crying for 2 weeks, because you said that all we ever did was yell at you & now I’m the one having to take care of her because of what you did!”

I remember feeling horrible & ashamed that I made her feel cry for 2 weeks.  I also felt horrible from them denying their treatment towards me.  I also felt sorry for my poor Dad, I was so disgusted with myself. I had assumed she felt bad about the way she treated me throughout my childhood.  But the truth was she didn’t even care about any one else’s feelings besides her own.  So I was the one to blame for everything while my Mother Dearest played victim...again.  And that was the last time I brought it up.  Because, I guess it didn’t happen.



My Dad had just had a knee replacement & we were all to go and visit him in the hospital.  This was made out to be a big deal, (which now being what I’ve been through makes it a bit laughable to me).  My Dad will tell you himself that his knees went bad because he had been both the football AND basketball star in High school.  As I approached his Hospital room I could see his big belly sticking out the side of his hospital gown & that his room was filled with some of my siblings.  He was sitting up in his bed & was very alert, soaking up all the attention he was receiving.  I’d only been there but a minute as he looked up at me, grimaced & loudly stated, “you really need to lose weight, you’ve gotten fat!”.  I didn’t even realize he was paying attention to me.  I was speechless & extremely hurt & embarrassed.  He was right though.  I had put on some weight & it’s all I could think about.  

I was so upset by his comment for days following it.  I remember telling a sister or two how rude I thought it was, & could sense that word had  traveled back that I was upset.  Inside I felt deeply rejected by him because of my weight gain, but I’d never felt accepted either.  I called their house a few weeks later to tell my mom how I felt.  My mom answered.  And it was made known that I was somehow in trouble for having my feelings hurt.  “But Mom, he needs to lose weight more than I do.  Mom, it was rude of him to say that!  Mom, my weight is all I ever think about.  Tell him that it was really rude of him to say that.”  I was crying.

Silence.

“He’s just really hurt by you honey.  I don’t think he had any idea what he was even saying Kelly, he was on so many meds”.  I remember arguing back & forth about why I was the one in trouble.  It seemed that everyone involved were on my parents side.  Why wasn’t he even being told it was rude of him to say?  Why can’t he just say he was sorry?


Both of these stories are examples of some hard core gas lighting, a new term I’ve learned (my vocabulary is growing fast).  I have been gas lighted so.many.times.  Here is the definition of gas lighting from Wikipedia (again I am still in shock there are names for the things I experienced 🙏🏻😭🙌🏼✨):


Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target's belief.[1][2]
Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term owes its origin to the 1938 Patrick Hamilton play Gas Lightand its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations. The term has been used in clinical and research literature,[3][4] as well as in political commentary.[5][6]

If I experienced gas lighting does that mean every one in my parents wake did too?  Or do gas lighters have specific targets?
You know what else I’m now seeing?!?  That therapist that told me how BPD & NPD get married AND just partner up so well (she interlocked her fingers when she said it).  Wow, my parents partnership is super impressive.  If gas lighting were in the olympics I bet they’d take the gold for sure!  Also, the abusive asshole I dated in High school definitely had NPD!  I was dating my Dad!  So grateful I didn’t marry my Dad you guys!  Unanswered prayers, sometimes you just gotta bee grateful for them✨.

Ryan turned 40.  The triplets are in gymnastics.  Finn starts flag football in March.  The triplets are constantly playing “Honey’s” or “puppies” when they play house.  Dale brushes my hair, Wren is glued to my side, & Holland’s hair is always hanging in her face.  Finn is such an awesome kid.  I never have to worry about him in school & he is so responsible.  He actually is a lot like I was, they all are.  I look at my kids and see all their sweet innocence & it makes me ill to imagine myself at their age getting screamed at, shamed, & criticized.  I feel so free writing my truth.  I was severely abused & I had already survived it even before I knew it wasn’t normal.  And for the first time in my entire life, I myself feel that I am amazing!

4 comments:

  1. Love your posts! You are amazing and so strong to have make it through all that crap. Respect to you! -k

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  2. I have never met you Kelly, I only know you through things you have written since the accident, but I also think you are amazing! Never doubt that for a second!!

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  3. Kelly, your strength and honesty has amazed me from the day I started following your blog. It is interesting how the "perfect" families have so many "imperfect" members that motives are hidden to the outside world. Like you, I have reached the point where some family relationships are no longer necessary in my life. No excuses, no exceptions, just no longer necessary. I don't have to justify my choice to anyone. Yes it is liberating. I have so much respect for the person you have become and the way you have triumphed the adversities thrown in your life. Continued success to you for your darling family and business.

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  4. I so agree with the other 3 comments. Write down all the stuff that has been eating at you all these years. Then you can let it all go. You are brave and strong.

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