Gaslighting (for real)

Police and MHS run to Protect Him from the Truth

She called it ‘gaslighting‘ because she’d seen a film called ‘Gaslight’, starring Ingrid Bergman and some actor whose name she could never recall. There was a later remake, but she could never recall the names of the actors in that, nor recall seeing it. She’d heard there was going to be a new one, round the ‘new millenium’, yet she never saw follow up publicity so she assumed it hadn’t been successful.

She could never get the hang of the middle ground of anything. In fact, by 1999 she was pretty much allergic to it. Her husband, now ex-husband, had occupied the middle ground. He had hidden in the midst of ‘respectability’ status, middle class, middle income, middle sized house, middle sized fate, middle range height, middle range dick, middle range body, middle range age, middle range mind, – or was it, really, a middle range mind? She considered him a genius of disguise, or disappearing behind a fog of bullshit and lies.. Was that, really ‘middle minded thinking’?

She hoped it wasn’t.

In 1997, 8, 9, 2000, she told him “I’ll keep smoking while you keep creating smoke. Smoking cigarettes is much healthier for the lungs than your breath restricting fog of smoke.”

She holds to that still. She stopped smoking for just over 3 months last year (August 9th – December 13th) because she began to suspect he’d finally lost his power over her life, lost the power to keep her enslaved to stigma, discrimination, socially isolated, impoverished, unloved…

When all four of her tyres were slashed outside her house overnight in late October she was distressed and upset. But a couple from a kitchen/bathroom furniture shop she waited in the following morning, while her tyres werre being replaced, were the very essence of kindness to her; her best friend arrived the next day with a huge bouquet of flowers a great big hug and a lot of love; the man she was in love with found out on the following Tuesday and came straight round, bought her a take-away, spent the evening with her, and the following Tuesday transformed a part of her property so that everyone who visited remarked on it for months afterwards, even the little 7 year old who brought her mother.

So in fact she really thought the tide had turned.

When, some weeks later, 2 of her friends tyres were slashed; when they fell out over the issue of stigma and discrimination, such that she actually doubted his love for her, a love that had never was, and has never been, in question, so that she hurt him very badly; when the man she was in love with sank under paranoid texts she had sent him when living in terror of a return of the ‘old days’ of lovelessness, friendlessness, companionless, support-less-ness, kind-lessness, protection-less-ness –

And the man she was in love with simply stopped getting in touch, unless she got in touch with him for a practical need, and even then he was less than enthusiastic. By Christmas Eve, when she saw him, there was reserve in his manner; by Christmas Day, she found out why – he’d “found another girl” and thus “could never get in a relationship” with her. Rich – she discovered in that single clause that she had both already been in (‘another girl’) and had never been, would never be, (‘never’) in a relationship with him. Well, since he’d never touched her, had never told her he wanted to, had never told her he liked the look of her, had never told her anything… Talk about distressed confusion…

She took up the cigarettes again immediately and smoked as much as possible. How do you fight the smoke of malice with the smoke of cigarettes? Who knows!

– NB not the malice of the man she’d been in love with obviously – he didn’t have a malicious bone in his entire body: We speak, obviously, in relation to the vindictive violence inherent in the body of this husband/ex-husband who cloaked himself in anonymity as the man who was ‘too good for his own good’ whilst projecting onto his errant wife/ex wife the status of ‘bad – mad witch from hell’ cum ‘pathetic nutter bag lady’.

But this woman did. Perhaps it gave her ‘dutch courage’ just as whisky, beer, cocaine, foundation cream and sexy, seductive girls wear, give it to others.

reminded me of a poem she wrote in about 1994: it will be blogged on, tomorrow.

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