Quickie Post — Gaslighting Perspectives from my Psychologist/Author Wife


Giant Western Red Cedar, Meadow Creek, Selway Tributary, Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

In this post on her blog, my wife, who also happens to be a discussion partner and published author on trauma, brings up a very important issue regarding the issue of gaslighting that I’ve covered in the past.  In the movie Gaslightthe protagonist intentionally attempts to drive his victim (actress Ingrid Bergman) insane by messing about with the lighting in the house, with the goal of inheriting gems after driving her crazy and institutionalizing her.  It’s a diabolical plot, and good entertainment.

But is it a truly good paradigm for understanding the phenomenon? I’ve made the argument earlier that the Joker really doesn’t know what he does — in his own words, he just ‘Does Things…’

How much is the empathy-disordered HCP aware of what they do?  Or, in the context of this blog, how self-aware are they?  What are their natural time and spatial scales?  Unclear.  And while it’s certainly interesting, it doesn’t affect strategies for dealing with them all that much.  Agency doesn’t really matter when judging guilt.  Only the facts, legal age, and damage done.

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