It wasn’t until my September 2000 suicide attempt that I learned about gaslighting.
gas•light•ing — manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
Until my hospitalization, my therapy was observed and critiqued by my abusers.
A psychologist who might have been on the verge of figuring things out had to be ghosted — I’d lied to them to get them to say what I wanted to hear.
It took only a few days away from the constant condemnation of my every thought to realize I was being manipulated in this way.
Up until the date of the attempt, I believed I was saying and doing these irrational things they claimed, because it was two against one — and why would these people collaborate against me?
The culmination of their abuse was the end of a life.
My first life ended that day. The Day I Didn’t Die.
Every damn day since I left the hospital has been part of the new life. It took a little more time to leave — I didn’t have a job, a car, or a place to stay. December came, and there could be no more keeping the peace while I worked on the details of my escape. After a month on an angel’s couch I had all three, and started building the life I wanted.