Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed


I was familiar with this term, but never really thought about it much beyond it’s association with the 1944 film of the same name. I understood this very broad interpretation of it as a phenomenon where “someone is trying to make you think you are insane,” which doesn’t really acknowledge it’s many more subtle manifestations. I just listened to an interview with writer Ariel Leve, who has a book out about her experience growing up in traumatic and destabilizing environment as a child. She made a couple of statements that were really kind of revelatory for me – I had never thought about these concepts in quite this way.

Initially she was talking about gaslighting as a tool of manipulation in relationships, on a micro (one to one) level of human interaction. But then she made a couple of statements that stopped me dead in my tracks, because of their obvious implications on a macro/national scale. She said:

Anytime someone denies reality, it is a form of gaslighting – they are denying your experience.” Followed by (I’m paraphrasing here) the statement, “It is a tool used by narcissists as a means of control.” Holy fuck – I’m making a conscious decision in this blog not to be political, but the ramifications of this statement are shockingly clear. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions…

She went on to make another point in the interview that I thought was profoundly important. She was talking about PTSD, and how we recover from trauma. Step one is obviously to seek professional help – this is paramount. This is not a process you can do on your own. But I found her final step to healing, the one that cements one’s growth as permanent, the one that literally rewires the brain and gives back to others at the same time, to be crucial.

Express your experience through creativity – make something out of your pain