10 Things I wish I’d known About Gaslighting
Shea Emma Fett

I find myself arguing with people every time I see this sentiment expressed that hate criminals somehow act out of rationality. They don’t. Hating people for a superficial and/or innate and/or harmless trait is NUTS. So is plotting to hurt or kill them for that trait. The problem is that we don’t give people of color or women of any race leeway enough to wonder what was wrong with them that drove them to crime, not that we ask ourselves that question about white men. Just because you disagree and can’t come to terms with the fact that some sick people’s illnesses are dangerous, whether mental or physical, doesn’t mean I’m gaslighting when I ask these questions.

As for polyamory, as far as I’m concerned the whole culture IS gaslighting. Here’s what I heard it saying when I was in it. “You are not worth enough to me for me to bother respecting my relationship with you. My marriage is more important to me than you are, even though I’m supposedly poly. If you want to see me, it’ll have to be on a schedule, but if I feel like having sex with my wife in the middle of our evening together, even on your birthday, tough, she’s my primary.” And no, I’m not just unlucky or bitter. I have yet to see a group relationship succeed. They always fall apart. And they’re never really group relationships. They’re side hobbies for the partners in the primary relationship, and said partners drop said hobbies when they’re bored with them. That is really gross and I had to be in a place of bad self-esteem to ever believe it would work for me. I have come to realize that if you can’t handle monogamy, you will never be able to handle poly either. And if you COULD handle monogamy, you’d understand that having other people for side hobbies is an energy drain and time suck. Don’t you have anything else to do with your life but get laid? I bet you do. If the idea of commitment is problematic, fine, don’t commit. It’s supposedly a free country. Just quit pretending to be something you’re not.

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