For me, there is nothing more entertaining than sitting down to watch a vintage black-and-white movie. A click of my TV remote fills my living room with a Bogie, Cary Grant, or Joseph Cotton flick. Psychological thrillers were and still are my preferred genre. I wonder if my interest was prompted by the nailbiter, Gaslight, the 1944 movie starring Ingrid Bergman, and the sinister, Charles Boyer.
You haven’t seen the movie? Not familiar with the term, Gaslight? Neither are many others. That may explain why Merriam–Webster Dictionary has named “Gaslighting” the Word of the Year 2022.
“The increase in dictionary lookups for gaslighting is striking. In our age of misinformation — ‘fake news,’ conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes — gaslighting has emerged as a word for our time. Lookups for the word, “gaslighting” on Merriam-Webster.com increased 1,740% this year.” ‘Gaslighting’ named 2022 Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster – ABC News (go.com)
So there was a name for it. For the dysfunctional drama my husband and I played. “Gaslighting,” that’s what it was called!
When my husband’s alcohol use disorder escalated, so did his denial, shame, and blame. The role I played in our personal psychological thriller would qualify me for an Oscar. At the time I didn’t know it but I had my own disease. In tandem with my husband’s disorder, my codependent use disorder and enabling increased.
Just like Ingrid Bergman believed her screen husband, I believed mine when he said, I was the one who started all the confrontations. I was the one with all the problems. I was the crazy one in the family. I believed his accusations, and like a dry sponge, I absorbed his poor self-image as my own.
That was before I knew or heard about the term Gaslighting. That was before I began attending 12 Step support meetings. Now, my goal is to share the wisdom gleaned from these meetings.
If you feel like someone is messing with your head, slowly and systematically driving you out of your mind, then I pray you to care enough about yourself to take five minutes to watch this informative video.
When you understand the dynamics of the subtle manipulation of gaslighting, you will find the empowerment to move forward.
Don’t miss God in all of this. 12 Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in” (John 8:12 MSG).