This is a great post. I’ve experienced gaslighting by others, and by myself, to the extent that I ended up mistrusting myself completely. I’ve touched on it in my last couple of posts but didn’t have a name for it before I read this excellent blog by Rhi.
Being an undiagnosed autistic has many challenges.
When you compare your reactions to things with other people’s, you feel like you’re getting it wrong. When other people take things in their stride, and your brain feels like it’s expanding inside your skull to the point you can’t think, then you feel like you’re overreacting.
And then there’s the gaslighting.
Gaslighting is a useful term, named after an old film where Ingrid Bergman is psychologically abused. Her abuser tells her that her memories are false, he questions her experience of her environment, he denies that things she remembers happening, have happened.
The result is that she ends up questioning her own perception of reality. She doubts her own memory. She doubts her sanity. She cannot trust that what she thinks is her lived experience is true.
Being an undiagnosed autistic can feel like the whole world is gaslighting you. From being…
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