If you didn't read yesterday's post, I suggest you do it since this is kind of like a follow-up from that one. Yesterday we talked about gaslighting, and the stories you shared felt, unfortunately, way too familiar to me. Anyone can be gaslit, it's not a thing we experience just Autistics, BUT because it is still a form of manipulation, and Autistics are at higher risk of social manipulation than most people, we are gaslit a lot more frequently than others. I agree with some of you who stated that sometimes the gaslighting doesn't come from a place of malice. Sometimes it really doesn't, but it doesn't make it okay either, and the side effects on the victim are pretty much the same as if there was an intention to harm. I've been gaslit by my mother my whole life. From "how can you be tired?" to "why are you doing X if you failed Y? You will fail," and "people are bad, stay at home with me." And, as a child, you BELIEVE your parents. We are hard-wired to believe their intentions and actions come from love, so whatever comes out of their mouths MUST be right. Well, spoiler alert: parents and caregivers are human beings, and they mess up and have issues as much as the next guy does.
All of this gaslighting left me with so many issues that I'm just NOW realizing and working hard to unlearn and repair. A few of them are difficulty to trust people, high self-doubt, and low self-esteem. When you are repeatedly told by someone who is supposed to love you that you can't seem to do anything right, at some point, you actually start believing them. And as Autistics, due to our challenges in cognitive flexibility, we are prone to have a fixed-mindset about things, especially when arguments have been made in their favor. Example: someone says you can't do a certain thing> you do the thing anyway, and you fail > your brain thinks the person was correct and there's something wrong with you. Suddenly narratives such as "I can't do anything right" or "I never learn from my mistakes" become the soundtrack of our lives. We must overcome these mindsets to move forward in our healing and growth. Okay, I'm kind of rambling, but I'll talk about that other day! - 45 minutes ago