Mental Wellness

The Flickering Lamp of Gaslighting

Do you doubt yourself sometimes? Do you think you might have remembered incorrectly? Although it is easy to forget once in a while, sometimes we have a little help to reach confusion. At times people would prefer we reach the wrong conclusion.

It’s the combo sandwich, the one two punch of bullying and lying called gaslighting.

A classic movie, Gaslight, is the source of the term. Summary: A man wanted to discredit his wife so she wouldn’t realize he planned to steal her deceased aunt’s jewels. He arranged it so every so often the lights would flicker in their home. She would get alarmed and he would tell her she was imagining it. Then he accused her of kleptomania, because he’d hide his and other people’s belongings in her handbag. This happened again and again and again. She felt as if she were losing her mind. Very suspenseful film; nightmarish to live through.

Gaslighting is subtle, insidious, and very damaging to our mental health.

What to look for:

  • Do you feel like you remember it differently?
  • Does it seem the other person is very persuasive or even pushy?
  • Is the other person indignant, saying phrases like, “I would Never say that!” or ” I Never said that!”?

If this happens to you, what I would suggest is to write down the plans, the thermostat settings, whatever it is that you agree on next time in order to have proof of it later. This kind of situation convinced me to end a serious relationship, with ample proof. For me it is a deal breaker.

I’d say to keep your eyes and ears open for repetitive situations where your memory is doubted when you know you’re no more forgetful than the next person. Gaslighting is a type of verbal and psychological abuse. If you’ve ever been told that gullible is not in the dictionary (it is) and doubted yourself, then you might be in danger of this harmful type of mind control.

What To Do Next
*Believe in yourself.
*Test your hypothesis.
*Act to protect yourself.

What are your experiences with gaslighting?

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

Ceiling Lamp Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
Mental Wellness

Mind ZZZ Gap

An Afternoon Nap

Around 3 pm, my attention span wanes. Heavy eyelids, nesting behaviors, yawns. If I have the time, I grab a blanket and snooze for half an hour. When I was 4 or 5, I stopped taking naps to my mother’s dismay. My child did the same thing! I guess I am making up for my missed naps now. Time to rest improves my mood and attention span.

Mind the ZZZ Gap

Don’t have the app?
Life give you a zap?
Go take a nap.
Put on a c-pap.
Don your night cap.
Go take a nap.
Employment mishap?
Spouse making a flap?
Go take a nap.
Need another REM lap?
Upgrade your neural map?
Go take a nap.
That’s a wrap, zzz.

–Rebecca Cuningham, 25 October 2020

Do you take naps from time to time?

It’s Manic Monday, and that’s a good thing. –Rebecca

Mental Wellness

Poetry as Therapy

Poetry is present for me whenever I need it. I sit down with pen and and it seems like the words flow out my fingers onto the page. I write what come to mind without thinking about grammar and punctuation. Expressing my feelings gives me peace. It is a tenderness I show myself.

Etching letters on paper has supported me through waning love and grief, rejoicing and celebration, and recording the beauty of nature. Each phrase is a cradle for a feeling.

Queen of Autumn

Maple Crimson Maple
Green Green Center
Delighting my Eyes
Windy Fall Chasing
Pico de Gallo Leaves
Round
to
the
Ground

–Rebecca Cuningham 10/11/20

*Pico de gallo: Salsa made from cubed tomato, onion, peppers, and cilantro leaves.

Do you use creativity to express your emotions?

It’s Manic Monday and that’s good news! Thanks for reading and commenting. -Rebecca

Red and Green Maple Tree Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
Bipolar, Mental Wellness

5 Favorite Mental Health Blogs

Mental wellness is a hot topic in the blogosphere. Here are my favorite sites that I read each week in order of how long I’ve followed them.

  1. It’s Good to Be Crazy Sometimes: Trina writes about her daily life in London, good days and bad. She generously hosts an excellent weekend share.
  2. Therapy Bits: Carol Anne is one of the sweetest bloggers you’ll ever meet. She has dissociative identity disorder and talks about her life’s ups and downs.
  3. Bipolar Barb: Barb blogs monthly, giving us an update on how she feels. She is honest and insightful.
  4. The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog: James Edgar Skye began his website to collaborate with other writers who have bipolar and to eradicate stigma. He strives to create community and a support system for people who are struggling.
  5. Cara’s Corner: This is a new site I’m reading. Cara struggles with bipolar and at times anorexia as well. She is thoughtful and gives good advice.

What are your favorite mental health websites?

It’s Manic Monday, and that’s a good thing. –Rebecca

Daffodils in the Afternoon Photo: Rebecca Cuningham