SwirlingFire: Gaslighting & Ghosting

By | May 6, 2019
Reading Time: 4 minutes


Gaslighting & Ghosting

7 Stages of Gaslighting in a Relationship

The term originates from the Film ‘Fanny by Gaslight’ – A charming and handsome man with a dastardly past exploits his knowledge of her family history to manipulate an innocent young woman.  This is done by moving things and gradually adjusting the old style open gas flame lighting, brightening and dimming around the home.  These subtle acts were designed to make the young woman think she was losing her mind and in fear of her life.




The irony of knowing this today ?  This was the film I chose to write about for my English Language O level.  I knew about it, in detail, yet a reasonably intelligent woman was successfully manipulated and brainwashed by a charming, handsome, affluent high flier that pretended to promise to take care of all aspects of safety as my Mentor and Lover.

When Is a Relationship “Bad Enough”?: Leaving a Gaslighter

A film is fiction.  The reality was an expertly applied process over many many months.  Naturally with the benefit of hindsight and the availability to access people, web resources and learning about regular local meetings with like minded kink folk that know the kink lifestyle, what happened to me makes it all the more sickening.

I was targeted, groomed and broken beyond any recognition of whom I thought I was.  Negotiations and consent never happened at a level that I understood and where asking questions would result in his temper tantrums.  Until one is on the receiving end of how volatile a man can become when questioned, when such a man senses his words are doubted, it’s terrifying.

That is how I would also learn about ‘The Silent Treatment’

The Surprising Truth About The Silent Treatment


There seems to be a trend for people claiming GASLIGHTING lately.  It’s a very specific set of behaviours.  I can see how some could think a partner’s bad behaviour is narcissistically driven, to a degree it possibly is.  We all have personality traits and defects.


Why Does Ghosting Hurt So Much? I Never Heard From Him Again

Ghosting in a nutshell is when you’re dating and the partner disappears off the face of the planet.  You will never see them or hear from them again.  The silent treatment in comparison is a psychologically controlling tactic to force the partner into behaving in a way to benefit the abuser.  It’s intermittent, irregular, but will be repeated.  They will return as quickly as they disappeared without skipping a heartbeat as though they were never absent.  Woe betide the submissive that questions the absence.  The few crumbs you just had thrown would be quickly stamped on and silence would return.

The amount of times I would hear or read via SMS

“You’re a good girl .You know your place”

“Be a good girl, learn your place”

Or less kind versions with a barrage of vitriol to ensure I knew what was expected of me and in turn, less and less to expect from him.  The power balance skewed and abused.


Silent treatment could range from, initially a few hours post task ignored to a whole day and later anywhere to over a week or more.  Without prior notice of work trips, meetings, even a holiday with another woman and not telling me he would be unavailable for a week.

It’s incredibly difficult to admit to oneself that you’ve been a fool and trained to not acknowledge all the red flags that would be far more easy to spot in a vanilla / non kink ‘relationship’.  I have dispatched professional business men at the slightest sign of something being ‘off’.

There are days I feel physically sick if I dwell too much on what I allowed when my guts were screaming at me.

One becomes addicted to the adrenaline peaks.  Imagine the greatest date and physical play you’ve ever had.  It’s incredibly powerful.  Oxytocin bonds and brain chemistry lights up the same way a junkie gets their thrill.




Swirlingfire: A Posting History

@Swirlingfire, 25 April 2019


Written for the #sb4mh meme of “Gaslighting & Ghosting”.  Why not go check out the other posts by clicking on the button.

Sex Bloggers for Mental Health

11 thoughts on “SwirlingFire: Gaslighting & Ghosting

  1. DeviantSuccubus

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I think it will be very helpful for people to maybe notice that something just isn’t right in their relationship. I find the distinction between actual abusive behaviour like gaslighting and ghosting, and common relationship behaviour like silent treatment or fighting with each other, quite important. A lot of people jump on the “he is a narcissist”-train, which kind of invalidates though that are manipulated by someone who truly display narcissistic behaviour!

    1. SwirlingFire

      Thankyou for reading my blog and your comment.

      It’s easy to dismiss bad behaviour as NPD.
      I find some dont understand quite how dangerous it was for me in a very twisted power exchange set up.

      Swirly 🌻

  2. E.L. Byrne

    Thanks for this comment- I especially like that you make the point that ghosting is not the same as silent treatment. The silent reatment, over and over again is one of the worst feelings ever and can definitely “condition” someone to a certain place in a relationship.

    1. Swirly

      Thankyou for visiting my post and commenting.

      I wanted to highlight the differences.
      I was just another target on this mans radar.

      Swirly 🌻

  3. May

    I have ghosted “friends” in the past – sometimes you grow in different directions – I have been ghosted too. Luckily I do not think I have been gas-lighted and I know the film well, – Informative post and great diagram too 😉

    1. Swirly

      Thankyou May
      We do indeed grow in different directions. Time gives clarity.

      Swirly 🌻

  4. Liz BlackX

    Hmm, like Sweetgirl I may have more experience with Gaslighting than I thought.
    My then-partner would disappear and only afterwards tell me he had been in the hospital for two weeks. I could have come to visit, you know…
    Thanks for your piece 🙂

    1. SwirlingFire

      Thankyou for taking the time to read and comment

      There is no worse feeling than the churning to the very core of what you realise was all lies.

      I’m so very sorry to learn you’ve had since unpleasant life experiences.
      I hope writing your blog is helping you heal

      Best wishes
      Swirly 🌻

  5. Pingback: Gaslighting - Sweetgirls Journal

  6. Sweetgirl

    What an insightful and interesting post. I didn’t think this topic was something I had anything to say about… after reading this- I know I do…. thank you 😊

    1. SwirlingFire

      Thankyou for taking the time to read – I’m glad this piece has struck a chord for you. I look forward to reading your blog.

      Swirly 🌻


Leave a Reply: I'd love to hear your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.