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Image by Brock Roseberry. Used under CC BY 2.0

What to do when you feel awful & nothing seems to make sense: identifying & navigating gaslighting.

People who engage in gaslighting (a form of emotional abuse) often have an underlying, untreated illness: substance abuse, narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, etc. This means that they are unlikely to stop the behavior without undergoing a crisis, realizing that their behavior is the source of their own unhappiness, and undergoing therapeutic intervention.

(Full disclaimer: this is not intended to suggest that all people with mental illness are terrible humans. I live with mental illness myself. It does, however, behoove us to recognize that untreated and unrecognized mental illness can contribute to antisocial behavior. …


Dear readers, we are at a reckoning.

Well, to be honest, we are in the midst of a series of reckonings. But the particular one I’m thinking of involves the rule of law and our national consciousness about whether it applies equally to all people.

Let’s not be sly. Our national consensus of late is that the rule of law does not apply equally to all people.

Middle class people, professional people live under the rule of law. Working class people, poor people — live in large part outside its protections. Citizens — as long as they are white, and men, and not living in a U.S. Territory or Possession — live under the rule of law. A social contract protects them. …


America, you are being robbed.

The masked men are hidden behind shell corporations and dark money. The pistol is wielded by the hand of politicians dependent on robber barons for their campaign financing. And what they are demanding we hand over is our commonwealth: the lands and resources held in trust by our government for us all.

When the current administration hands over national monuments to exploitation as a crony favor to billionaires, the are giving away your stuff. Those parks, those monuments, those federal grazing lands — they belong to you. They belong to all of us.

This is what we mean when we say, “the commonwealth.” …


I am not a pundit. What I am is a futurist, and somebody who studies narratives for a living. And quite honestly, I’m finding myself pretty compelled by my professional take on what’s going on in the White House these days.

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Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Vietnam, 2017

Let’s be honest with ourselves, though. The alleged president of the United States of America is not very good at his job. He’s not a diplomat; not a statesman; not a successful executive. Not even a politician. What he is is a swindler, a con man, and an intermittently successful reality TV host. …


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Photo by Jayden Sun on Unsplash

My mom and I were working poor while I was growing up, and working poor with very little in the way of the sort of community that helps people climb out of those circumstances. My grandfather was a union plumber with disabilities and four children. I myself worked in a variety of terrible, exploitative jobs that damaged my health and harmed my body while building a career in the arts.

I do okay these days, but let me tell you: writer broke can be real broke indeed.

I have something to say to my fellow working-class white people. It’s this:

I get it. I get that the system is opaque. That nobody teaches us how to work it. …

About

Elizabeth Bear

Award-winning science fiction and fantasy author of THE STONE IN THE SKULL and over 20 other novels. Futurist. Irascible autodidact. Compulsive animal rescuer.

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