“I can make you do whatever I want now. Come on, TRY to oppose me, I dare you.” “Aren’t you a good boy/girl, listening to every command I give you. Come here, let me give you a kiss.” “Undress. I have bought you new clothes.” “Are you hungry? Look at this plate of food. Don’t touch it. You’re only allowed to look. I love seeing your instinct lose from the control I have on you.”
“You’re my puppet now. How does it feel?” “How long has it been? Five days? Six? Don’t fall asleep. I SAID DON’T FALL ASLEEP!” “Hold your hand above the flame. It amuses me.” “How dare you speak to me before being given permission?” “I don’t remember telling you you could leave your room.” “Look at how good you are to me. You never complain. I think you deserve a present.” “I’m not going to lock the door this time, but you won’t leave anyway.” “Begging isn’t going to make me give it to you. In fact, I quite like the sight.” “I’m so sorry for disobeying you. I understand if you’re going to punish me now. I deserve it.” “Do you remember what freedom feels like?” “What would you be doing right now if you were allowed to do anything in the world, my dear?” “Why are you complaining? I’m doing what’s best for you.” “Of course I care about you. That’s why you’re not allowed to leave the house.” “What did you just say? I think I made it very clear what happens to those who don’t listen to my commands…” ”How does it feel to think in my voice?” “Your wish is my command. I’ll always listen to you.” “Oh dear, I see you’ve had a little accident… I thought I’d told you to keep it in.”
It’s scary when you question if it actually happened or not. That’s when you know it fucked you up so bad you tried to erase it without knowing. But you still feel the ache, the weight, the dirtiness of it all. And it never leaves.
How blessed you were that I cared for you so deeply. How ignorant of you to take it for granted. How mindless of you to walk all over me with your dirty feet. How cruel it was of you to attack me because your abuse caused me pain. How healing to know it had nothing to do with me. How sad to know you just continued to walk right into the next girl’s life without washing the old dirt off of your feet. How freeing to realize it’s not my problem anymore. How scary to understand how deeply I love, because after all I still see the good in you. How proud I am of myself, that I know now I deserve so much better. How liberating to understand you were unable to respect and treat me with kindness. How calming to let it sink in that it defines you, not me.
In 1938, a stage play called “Gas Light” debuted for the first time. The play is about a husband who gradually convinces his wife she’s insane by acting strangely and secretly manipulating objects in the house - like dimming the gas lights in the attic - and refusing to acknowledge that they’ve changed. Today, the term “gaslighting” is used to describe any behaviour designed to make another person question their sanity.
Gaslighting is abusive behaviour. Any person who tries to make you doubt your own sanity does not have your best interests at heart. Gaslighting is a tool to keep you in an abusive relationship, and prevent you from reaching out for help.
In its weakest form, gaslighting means convincing you that you are misremembering or exaggerating something that happened. “I never said it like that, you’re exaggerating!” or “You’re making it sound worse than it was!” are common examples of gaslighting. At the end of the conversation, you might even find yourself apologizing to the other person, even though you were pretty sure that they were in the wrong. This sort of thing can happen in a normal relationship, especially if one or both parties aren’t very self-aware, but it’s a concern if it happens all the time… especially if only one person seems to have a faulty memory.
Gaslighting can also mean convincing you that events didn’t happen at all. Your abuser can absolve themselves of responsibility, and keep you in check, by convincing you that abuse never took place. “We never had a fight at my brother’s wedding… are you feeling okay?” or “I’ve never thrown anything at you in my life! Do you have a fever or something?” are more serious examples of gaslighting, and they are absolutely not okay. If someone is trying to convince you that a fight or episode of abuse never happened, that’s a huge red flag that cannot be ignored.
At its very worst, abusers may go out of their way to stage strange events in order to confuse their victims. An abuser trying to keep a victim in check, or socially isolate a victim, may go out of their way to act strangely in order to make their victim doubt their own mind. Abusers may steal things from you, disappear for days on end and claim that they told you where they were going (or deny being gone), or mislabel your reactions as they’re happening (eg. pretending that you are irrationally angry when you are actually calm). These are also huge red flags, and cannot be ignored.
Gaslighting is not unique to abusive romantic relationships: it is also common in toxic parent/child relationships, sibling relationships, friendships or school bullying. Anyone who mistreats you can gaslight you.
The best defense against gaslighting is self-confidence, and careful recording. Trust in your own mind. You know when you’ve been abused. You know your own reactions. And write things down - keeping a careful record of abusive incidents and what was said or done gives you a record to consult when someone else gets in your head.
Gaslighting can make it especially difficult to recognize and leave a bad relationship, and no one deserves to go through it. Know the signs. Protect yourself. You deserve better.
Series: Criminal Minds
Pairing: Spencer Reid x Reader
Warnings: mentions of emotional abuse
‘Request: can I get protective Reid pls? Like over an abusive ex or something? Thanks’
Well, this request coincided well 😂💕
- - - - - -
Your phone vibrated on the desk beside the case file. The conference room was empty apart from you and Reid so far. You picked it up, glancing at the message before signing and placing it back down.
“Everything okay, Y/N?” Reid asked beside you.
“Yeah. It’s just, uhm, remember Y/E/N?” You saw Reid’s jaw clench for a brief second. You took that as a yes. “He keeps texting me saying he misses me lately and that he wants me back.”
“And do you? Want him back, I mean?”
“God, no. He was manipulative and selfish. I told him to piss off after the first string of texts but I’m just ignoring him now.”
“Good. You deserve so much better, Y/N.” Reid muttered under his breath as the rest of the team filled the room and took their places.
“Yesterday in Boston, the bodies of two women were found-”
As you focused on Garcia, Reid stared at you, looking for any traces of stress.
Spencer knew what your ex was like. He was the one who’d hold and comfort you on your bad days while your ex went out and partied and then got upset with you because Reid had his arms around you.
Spencer was there to witness the gas lighting, all the arguments that were Y/E/N’s fault but somehow ended up in you apologising.
Spencer was there when you doubted yourself because your ex made you feel guilty for speaking about something that made you uncomfortable and accused you of just being jealous or clingy or oversensitive.
Spencer was the one who helped you realise that when your ex cheated and ended the relationship, you were lucky. Lucky that you had managed to get out of a relationship that was extremely toxic.
Spencer was the one who helped you to never look back but he never once forgave what your ex had done and was worried that your ex might try to manipulate you back into his arms.
You and the rest of the team stepped out of the elevator after a successful case. You were happy. Spencer had made sure that your mind was off your ex, not that you had time to dwell while dealing with a serial killer.
You grabbed the handle and pulled open the door to the Bull Pen, looking over your shoulder as Morgan told a joke. You stopped in your tracks as your head turned towards your desk.
“Oh God. Oh God, oh God, oh God.” You held your face in your hand and turned towards the others.
“Y/N, what’s wrong?” Hotch asked, his eyebrows furrowing.
JJ’s eyes widened as she looked over at your desk. “That’s not…? Is it?”
“God, he cannot just take a hint.” You groaned. Spencer put his arm around you protectively and stared daggers towards Y/E/N who was brazenly leaning against your desk waiting for you.
“Who can’t? JJ, who is that?” Morgan’s voice rose.
“Y/N’s ex. Excuse me.” Spencer cleared his throat and motioned for JJ to take his place before striding across the Bull Pen.
“Care to explain what you’re doing here, Y/E/N?” Spencer crossed his arms.
“Dr Reid. Long time, no see. Listen, I’m just here to show Y/N how sorry I am for the way our relationship ended. I was a jerk, I shouldn’t have cheated. I was drunk and stupid and Y/N didn’t give me sex when I wanted it-”
Spencer landed a punch to your ex’s face that sent him crashing to the ground before crouching down at eye level. “No, you listen. You were emotionally manipulative. You were abusive. You made Y/N feel like shit not only about having normal worries but about herself. She deserves so much better than that, deserves much better than you. You are an asshole. She deserves someone who’s going to give her the world.”
Your ex gave a humourless chuckle, a trail of blood dripping from his nose. “And you think she’s gonna find that with you? The bloke she only views as a best mate.”
Spencer’s jaw clenched as he grabbed your ex and pulled him up. “She doesn’t want you back. Take a hint and stop trying. Don’t go anywhere near her and if I hear that you’ve bothered her again, I will be forced to do something that will have my badge and gun taken away from me. Are we clear?”
Your ex stayed silent.
“Morgan, get him out of here.”
Morgan stepped forward and grabbed a fistful of Y/E/N’s shirt, dragging him out of the building.
Spencer looked at the shock on your face and turned apologetic. “Y/N, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have freaked out like that-”
You cut him off by pulling him into a hug. “Thank you.”
Hellooo. So, I decided to not take a break after all. I figured the best thing to do after a break up is to keep busy so please keep hitting me up with requests, aha :’) Hope y'all are doing well 🌹 x
No one’s calling Eudocia a slave bc ‘we don’t get ur culture’ we call her a slave because of the exact conditions of her life as described by the author who, by the way, also agreed that she was a slave. Slave is a slave is a slave no matter where it is. If you have a person laboring for or owned by you in any way who does not have the right or ability to escape you and you’re also hardly or not paying them (poverty is binding, mind you) and abusing them, they’re a fucking slave.
what she means: i wish fandom would stop turning the blue food into something fun and cutesy, it’s a very powerful symbol that connects mother and son and represents small acts of bravery and glimmers of hope in the form of adversity, which is what the series is all about. sally made everything blue because an abusive domineering man tried to take away simple pleasures from a child and she needed a way to show percy that it was going to be okay. i’m certain she paid the price for that small act of rebellion later, but she kept at it because she believed in the power of little miracles, that there was hope for the future, that she could make even the smallest difference while struggling under the hand of her abuser. it’s a symbol for sally and her immense impact in shaping percy into the person he is today, which is why he drinks a toast of blue coke to her upon her death, which is why a blue cupcake represents building a new life together, which is why percy clings to blue food when he’s homesick and doesn’t know if he’ll ever see his mother again. it’s certainly fine to use it to represent happiness because that was sally’s ultimate goal, but by god, don’t strip the meaning away from it.
“Why did you stay?” “Why didn’t you leave?” “Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
These are the questions that are fired at a survivor of gaslighting.
So what is gaslighting?
It is one of the most manipulative form of emotional abuse. It is when the victim blames themselves and has lost the faith in their own abilities. It is when you start to question your own ability to make decisions or even think. It is when someone that you are emotionally attached to becomes the person who causes you immense distress and pain.
The victims stay because they genuinely believe that they may be the cause for the distress. They stay because when it comes to someone you trust, it isn’t someone who you’d give up on that easily. They stay longer than they should because it is painful to watch someone that you love and care about (in any form be it friendship, relationship or otherwise) turn into someone that you hate. They stay out of genuine concern for the abuser’s well being.
As for why they don’t leave, it’s because they believe that they wouldn’t be able to make it without their abuser. To put it dramatically, they think that they wouldn’t be able to live without them. They believe (as they have been made to) that they are incapable of doing anything without the abuser. Sometimes, they don’t leave out of fear of the abuser spreading false information about them or maybe because he/she has threatened to reveal the victim’s weaknesses.
They don’t tell anyone the full extent of damage being inflicted because isn’t it a human tendency to protect the people that you care about? Regardless of the type of behavior, when it comes to someone you trust, you’d tend to be protective of them and wouldn’t want anything that you say to hurt them. So they don’t tell anyone about this sick form of demagoguery fearing whether they would even be believed or whether they would in turn be questioned about their willingness to submit to the oppressor’s wishes.
How did you let it get so bad?
What people don’t seem to understand is that the changes are so subtly done and the manipulation is so carefully implemented that the victims don’t even know what they’re falling into. These are people you trust so at first they believe that maybe they have some hidden agenda which would lead to the betterment of themselves when in reality they are falling face flat into an emotional trap.
Then, the victims start questioning the very facts that have been presented to them because the oppressor would have made slight changes to the version of the truth which in turn would result everything being the fault of the victim.
They cut off the attachment with them only when it reaches a point where they have been hurt so badly or the abuser does something so morally wrong that no amount of excuses could pardon their behavior and they run out of instances to defend the manipulator.
This isn’t something that the survivor can “move on” from or just “get over”. It takes time to heal the wounds that have been cast on their minds. They have been through a mental trauma, an emotional rollercoaster and a psychological assault on their very mind and these aren’t the type of scars that can be healed very soon.
It is a battle with themselves and their mind that follows in their path to recovery.
It is enough to drive anyone to the point of insanity and requires and immense amount of grit and emotional strength on their part to overcome such an ordeal.
These abusers may actually be someone who may have cared for them, or someone who may have been dealing with their own issues in such negative way or just a manipulative piece of shit who cares only themselves and don’t give a damn about how their words and actions have destroyed someone that they may have claimed to care for.
The process of healing is slow and painful. There may or may not be any physical injuries but the degree of hurt that has been cast on their minds takes a different duration for different people depending on the extent of trauma, the support from genuine well-wishers and their own strength.
Reminder that everyone copes with trauma differently. Not everyone looks at characters that remind them of their abuser and are repulsed. Some want to see them get better, in fiction, because it’s much fucking better than reality. It’s hella therapeutic for some to deal with their trauma in a more head-on way, and just because you could never see yourself doing that doesn’t mean others don’t all the time.
Abuser’s most common tactics:
• Distorting what you say
• Accusing you of doing what he does, or thinking the way he thinks
• Using a ton of absolute certainty and final authority – “defining reality”
• Not listening, refusing to respond
• Laughing out loud at your opinion or perspective
• Turning your grievances around to use against you
• Changing the subject to his grievances
• Criticism that is harsh, undeserved, or frequent
• Provoking guilt
• Playing the victim
• Smirking, rolling his eyes, contemptuous facial expressions
• Yelling, out-shouting
• Name-calling, insults, put downs
• Walking out
• Towering over you
• Walking toward you in an intimidating way
• Blocking a doorway
• Other forms of physical intimidation, such as getting too close while he’s angry
• Threatening to leave you
• Threatening to harm you
Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men