Gaslighting & Ghosting
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.
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’
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.
SILENT TREATMENT IS NOT GHOSTING
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, 25 April 2019
Written for the #sb4mh meme of “Gaslighting & Ghosting”. Why not go check out the other posts by clicking on the button.