Children abused by narcissists learn to shut-up and agree
We learn to normalize the brutality of everyday life in an abusive family.
The US Department of Justice defines Domestic Violence as follows:
Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. US Department of Justice
We use the term gaslight to discuss an insidious form of domestic violence.
The department of justice defines two critical elements of the pattern related to gaslighting:
Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.
Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include – but are not limited to – causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.
The strategic goal of gaslighting is to make a child or partner doubt his perceptions and question his sanity.
As the target becomes more dependent, he begins to doubt his thoughts and opinions.
At its worst the target becomes utterly dependent on his abuser for his sense of reality.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline
Gaslighting typically happens very gradually in a relationship; in fact, the abusive partner’s actions may seem harmless at first. Over time, however, these abusive patterns continue and a victim can become confused, anxious, isolated, and depressed, and they can lose all sense of what is actually happening. Then they start relying on the abusive partner more and more to define reality, which creates a very difficult situation to escape.
Gaslighting is a mind game played by the most malignant kind of abuser.
This kind of abuser has no use for love or morality.
This kind of abuser must obliterate his target’s capacity for both.
This kind of abuser wants your mind.
How does gas lighting affect a person’s mind?
Gaslighting is psychological and emotional in its effect.
According to the Department of Justice, ″Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. Even though there is no established definition for emotional abuse, emotional abuse can possess a definition beyond verbal and psychological abuse. Blaming, shaming, and name calling are a few identifiers of verbal abuse which can affect a person emotionally.”
As an abuse survivor I was instinctively aware that something was wrong with the way the press and Donald Trump treated Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle.
From stalking Clinton during the debates to character assassination and threats of violence Trump’s campaign for President stank of psychological abuse.
An abusive man and his political party psychologically raped a woman in front of the Nation and no one saw it.
It was weird.
That Access Hollywood Tape should have been the death of Trump’s campaign.
At any other time in U.S. history a taped confession of sexual assault would be the death of a politician.
Yet, 62,984,825 voters thought Hillary Clinton was more corrupt and unqualified to be president.
Trump emerged from the cesspool of his political campaign with the power of the President.
Even if I factor in the fringe on the fringe right that would gleefully destroy
the nation just to piss off the unicorns called liberals his win made no sense.
Americans had the chance to listen to the concerns of the men and women who dedicate their lives to saving ours.
And those of us who were paying attention discovered that we are under attack by the Russian government in ways we can barely comprehend.
The best way to for an average person to understand the Russian hack of the U.S. 2016 election is the NATO Handbook of Russian Information Warfare.
Below is a copy of the handbook as a PDF file for you to download:
From the New York Times, the purpose of Russian disinformation:
The fundamental purpose of dezinformatsiya, or Russian disinformation, experts said, is to undermine the official version of events — even the very idea that there is a true version of events — and foster a kind of policy paralysis.
One way Putin’s achieves this goal is to deploy an army of internet trolls whose function is to overwhelm and derail legitimate public debate.
from the Atlantic, 2014
A June article by Max Seddon of BuzzFeed reported the Kremlin was spending millions of dollars to pay English-speaking Russians to promote President Vladimir Putin and his policies in U.S. media like Fox News broadcasting and The Huffington Post and Politico news sites. Trolls are reportedly expected to manage multiple fake accounts and post on news articles 50 times a day, often with sentiments as simplistic as “Putin makes Obama look stupid and weak!”
In order to promote its narrative, the Kremlin has adopted a two-fisted strategy, unleashing its troll armies even as it tightens Internet restrictions at home. On August 1, Russia enacted controversial new legislation aimed at muzzling social media, the last bastion of the country’s embattled opposition and a free flow of information about the war in Ukraine.
Anton Nosik, a popular Russian blogger and programmer who is sometimes referred to as the “father of the Russian Internet,” says the Kremlin is falling back on a time-honored strategy in its propaganda war on Ukraine. But this time, he says, the stakes are higher than ever before. (BuzzFeed reports that at least one trolling company—Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg—is expected to spend more than $10 million in 2014 alone.)
These trolls are out in force in the United States and they aggressively attack anyone who challenges the Kremlin line.
For instance, my post, We are Human, was hit by trolls.
The following comment is an example of skilled online gaslighting:
Let’s break it down:
My correspondent appreciates my opinion and tells me what part of it is true. He asks for specific instances of the violations I referenced as if he has no access to Google. He then goes on to repeat the Kremlin line that all governments are cruel and corrupt and illustrates it with the logical fallacy that an alleged crime by Obama obviates my right to be outraged by the possible theft of the 2016 election.
He closes by saying my fears are an artistic exaggeration (i.e. crazy) and invites me to share more of my fears.
Distort, devalue and demean.
The comment is a gaslight from the opening sentence to the closing line.
Imagine thousands of paid media trolls and automated trollbots at work 24 hours a day fabricating a false reality.
From Wikipedia, regarding Russia’s Web Brigades:
A collection of leaked documents, published by Moy Rayon, suggests that work at the “troll den” is strictly regulated by a set of guidelines. Any blog post written by an agency employee, according to the leaked files, must contain “no fewer than 700 characters” during day shifts and “no fewer than 1,000 characters” on night shifts. Use of graphics and keywords in the post’s body and headline is also mandatory. In addition to general guidelines, bloggers are also provided with “technical tasks” – keywords and talking points on specific issues, such as Ukraine, Russia’s internal opposition and relations with the West. On an average working day, the workers are to post on news articles 50 times. Each blogger is to maintain six Facebook accounts publishing at least three posts a day and discussing the news in groups at least twice a day. By the end of the first month, they are expected to have won 500 subscribers and get at least five posts on each item a day. On Twitter, the bloggers are expected to manage 10 accounts with up to 2,000 followers and tweet 50 times a day.
Putin’s gaslighting has the same strategic goal as a guy who psychologically tortures his wife.
He wants us helpless:
In most civilized nations psychological abuse is a considered a crime.
In Russia it’s a way of life.
Is this how we in the United States wanna live?
See President Puppet for another post on this topic.
And in closing
Some of the formatting of this post is inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, D. Parker, at yadadarcyyada.com . Give her a visit. 🙂
All images in this post except for the header are found online and are used for educational purposes only.
(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved