Y'all, I'm watching a master gaslighter at work. I thought my ex, who had me convinced that his victim was the real problem, was good.
I then thought that this Missing Stair, who has left a trail of broken victims throughout her city and somehow managed to stage a coup against me which I caught wind of and yet she still convinced half the online poly community that I was unreasonable and on a power trip because I put a stop to the coup, was good.
It's truly impressive to watch a real pro categorically deny ever having done or said things when there exists actual print evidence that they did, and to see people fall one by one, like dominoes, into the pro's camp. And there's nothing that can be done. To speak up after the smear campaign has started is to create "drama". And Hades forbid we have "drama" in our communities! To keep quiet to avoid "drama" is to allow the accusations to go unchallenged, which makes them believable.
Any attempt at a defense is met with hostility by people who heard the first accusations and have chosen to "believe the victim" rather than look into the situation. Remember, abusers often use our sympathy and empathy against ourselves. In our current subculture climate, they can cry "victim" first, and be automatically believed, setting up their victims for a no-win situation and further traumatizing them.
As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell the difference between a true victim bravely stepping forward to share their story and prevent future abuse, from an abuser crying "victim" first to win over public approval and support and further traumatize their victim, without a thorough, deep dive into the situation, which most bystanders are not in a position to do.
And the more gaslighters I have the misfortune to meet, the more and more difficulty I have in telling the difference because I keep meeting better and better gaslighters. They just keep upping their game.
This one is fucking *good*.
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