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gaslighting abuse

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I remember being 22 years old, visiting my long-distance boyfriend—he lived in Lake Tahoe, I lived in Los Angeles—and having a full on, ugly-cry meltdown in the bathroom of a bar, with women who didn’t even know me, gathering around me to comfort me, after something my boyfriend had done. It wasn’t even necessarily just one thing he’d done. He’d done one thing, that triggered a reaction in me, and then he reacted to my reaction poorly. He’d just made me feel crazy. It was something so simple, too. I’d ordered a cocktail, tasted it, and it was the wrong one. It just was. I could tell they’d used dark rum, which gives me migraines, instead of the light rum I’d ordered. When I said I was just going to ask them to make a new one, my boyfriend at the time stopped me, and said, “Please don’t do that. Don’t be one of those women.” I was so upset that he was more concerned with how other people perceived me than whether or not I—a person he claimed to love—was happy. I said as much, and then he said, “Oh great, and now you’re being crazy.” I felt like the room was spinning and ran to the bathroom to have a meltdown.


The whole thing seems so silly now, but I think, on some deep level—because society has done this to us—every woman feels some obligation to not appear crazy. History has always made us out to be crazy, so we can feel this pressure to be so chill, so easygoing, and never difficult all as a form of overcorrecting for this reputation we didn’t ask for. Once a man calls me crazy—or even insinuates it—I feel like there’s no going back. Like I’ve been pigeonholed as a crazy female. But you know what I’ve learned since then? A good man will never make you feel crazy. Know that. My partner today has handled so many situations in which he could have called me crazy, very well.


When I react to my family

My relationship with my family can be complicated, what with a dad who had a ton of mistresses and all. Sometimes, after interactions with my dad, I can spiral out of control, and just feel this darkness come over me—like my relationships and future family is screwed because of this ugliness that runs in my family.

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