We’ve all been there, haven’t we? People around us don’t understand and don’t care to. It’s too uncomfortable for them to ask the hard questions to try and understand why we see the world the way we do. They all just want us to be normal and function. I honestly think this is gaslighting. Some may disagree. No one ever acknowledges how we feel. No one listens. No one tries.
We are wrong. They are right.
We are misguided. They are keepers of truth.
We are “speaking through our illness.” They are our saviors.
I’ve been in abusive relationships in the past, and I know all the signs. Abusers always want to control you. They want to erase your autonomy, bit by bit. Not by taking it, but by getting you to surrender it. What do doctors do? If we’re sad they give us a pill to LITERALLY CHANGE HOW OUR BRAIN FUNCTIONS! Excuse me? That’s NOT abuse? And we are shamed and blamed when we refuse, because oh that’s right. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE DECISIONS ON MY OWN BEHALF!!!
The abuser becomes enraged when we disobey his commands. To make us conform, he shames us and punishes us. When we are broken and exhausted, we give in. The line is moved forward. The level of his control is increased. And he starts all over again, and he takes more away.
This is what doctors and therapists I’ve had in the past have done. I’m sure there are good physicians out there, but I haven’t met them. Therapists tell me what to do and how to “get better.” But I am never asked what I need to get better. Really? I am the patient. I am here to get better. This is about me and my life (why else would I pay for it?), but THEY get to be the ones to tell me how to live? Why? Because they are the therapist? What, are they avatars of divinity? Were they sent by a higher power to hallow the filthy soil upon which we mortals tread? I swear that’s how they think, because it seems to be how they act.
When therapists gaslight, it’s called progress. When an abuser gaslights, it is called abuse. When a doctor give us a pill to change how our brain works, it’s treatment. When someone gets us drunk to make us more compliant, it’s a felony. The fact of the matter is that we pick and choose what is abuse and what isn’t. We arbitrarily make those judgments because someone has an expensive piece of paper (a degree and certification) hanging in their office. They have power. We do not.
And just like an abusive dynamic, if we dare stand up and assert our boundaries, they can tear us down with smiles and lies. Their word has power. Like an abuser who tells public lies through smiles and fake kindness. And they bring it all home with the ultimate form of gaslighting: We are sick, which means that we are not capable to make decisions for ourselves. The lines is moved forward. The level of their control is increased. And it starts all over again.
When this is what treatment looks like, is it any wonder suicides are on the rise?