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  • Fe Robinson

Your reality is yours and yours alone

Reality is a construct, it is our own, individual experience of the things that happen within and around us.  Neuro-science is increasingly revealing the mechanisms by which we predict experience and match it (or not) what actually happens to us, updating our prediction model as we go.  It is becoming clearer and clearer that this is a universal, and yet unique process, we all do it, and yet we have individual prediction models based on our genetics and life experiences.


This makes it important to know then that someone else can not correctly tell you what your experience is, or what it should be.  Sometimes people may attempt to convince us of something in a benign way, all good, debate is a healthy thing and it is good to be challenged.  Dialogue enables you to try on different ideas and to stretch your understanding of things.  


However, when someone attempts to convince you that your experience is ‘wrong’ and that you should have a different reality and does so for their own means or to have power over you, we call that Gaslighting.  The purpose of gaslighting is to replace your reality with what they would rather you had, in the process wobbling your sense of not only what is happening, but also of yourself.  If someone is repeatedly undermining your trust and confidence in yourself, that is not healthy.


It may be that a person is not aware of their behaviour, and that when you ask them to stop, they respond and do something different.  If so, growth and learning will result for both of you.  If not, please take care to stay safe if things escalate, and consider what is right for you in terms of contact with the person doing the gaslighting.  It is easy for this behaviour to become an aspect of coercive control, which is not only wrong, but also a criminal offence in the UK.


If you are feeling in any way unsafe, seek help.  You can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. If you are worried that a friend, neighbour or loved one is a victim of domestic abuse, please also act.


Always, you get to say what is real for you, what you think, what you feel, and what you know to be true.  Have confidence and faith in yourself, and seek support if you need it.



silouette cupping the setting sun in its hand

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