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Absolutely. I'm in the group of people who strongly believe that our freedom is being taking away from us, bit by bit, by the ever-expanding federal government. There are numerous examples and proof of this. The Constitution has been completely stretched, eroded, and mostly ignored whenever new legislation is passed or executive orders issued.
But when I and others bring this up, we're treated like we're crazy. We're fear-mongers and conspiracy theorists. At best, we're patted on the head and told "there there, little crazy person, you're imagining things." At worst, whole groups of us are marginalized and labeled dangerous haters, racists, terrorists, etc. In many circles, to say you're Libertarian is almost like admitting you're mentally ill.
That is certainly gaslighting on a large scale.
And it's only one example. Look at how religious people are being addressed these days. It's essentially "there, there, you widdle dewusional person, you bewieve in sky fairies, don't you?" As worst, people who are religious are considered dangerous and full of hate.
I don't think I've ever (knowingly) been a victim of this. Or at least I haven't been under the spell of a substantial lie for a significant amount of time...
The only time I usually encounter anything resembling this is at work where I am too busy to remember if I actually did something. I guess I'd be gaslighting myself.
Usually people who say that I didn't do something at work, when I know I did, are usually crazy themselves...and or just busy and forgetful. They just happen to have insistent behavior.
But I don't know if I would consider these things gaslighting because I think that goes beyond a single time, and is a "systematic con."
Other than, say, protecting kids from sex at an early age until they are ready to understand it, I don't think gaslighting happens too often. I'd think, again, that they are either just small lies or mistakes.
(I'm gaslighting you all right now, pretty meta huh?)
I've experienced this type of thing from my father and my first BF. I didn't know what it was called then, I just called it "mind games". It's very disconcerting. Basically the person is taking advantage of your relationship and trust in that relationship; you don't want to believe that someone is manipulating you. The kind of gaslighting i have experienced is where someone hurts you or insults you and then when you react badly to that (by yelling, getting upset, lashing out), they then turn it around like you have done them wrong and you end up apologizing to them.
With my first BF, he said something really cruel once and I slapped him. I had never hit anyone before or since. But I was provoked. Boy, did he make me regret that slap. Boy, did I beg for his forgiveness. We never did address what he said that was so hurtful, it became all about him and how I had done him wrong.
Thank God I'm on to rat bastards like that now
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