Inspired by music and conversations…

Some people think I’m bonkers, but I just think I’m free.
Man, I’m just living my life, ain’t nothing crazy about me.

Gotta love a bit of Dizzee Rascal right?

It’s interesting though how often I have been hearing about this phenomenon lately.

It is the end of mental health awareness week – are these words offensive? Is it okay to say someone else is bonkers, mad, lost the plot, brainwashed? Is it okay to tell others that “it’s all in their head?”

Well I don’t think so, and yet this is what I hear, from friends and clients.

There’s a name for this: gaslighting.

When someone tells you so often that there’s something wrong with you, that you start to believe it, or at least question & have to check it out with someone else – “am I okay?”

In my recent experience, this is something I hear from women about the men in their lives, but it probably happens to men as well. I don’t think you have to be a man to be a culprit of gaslighting.

It’s an awful thing to be on the receiving end of this. To start to question your own sanity because of things that someone else says to you. The question “am I okay?” arriving in our thoughts at too frequent moments.

Others can make you feel insane.

Remember that truthfully no one can make you feel anything. We do it to ourselves, our thoughts are the things that create our feelings, that drive our actions. Take care of your thoughts. Choose them wisely. And don’t take the words of others in and use them as your own.

Standing tall within yourself is a great stance to take, get support, surround yourself with people who will act as your scaffolding during the tough times, and return the favour when they need that of you – because they will, everyone does from time to time. Remember: one in four people at any moment will be experiencing some kind of emotional distress, or mental ill health.

Question yourself, your own emotional health is important, and to maintain a good sense of how you’re doing is important. But don’t let anyone tell you there’s something wrong with you.

Being strong enough inside to not allow others to cause you pain is quite a skill, especially when in a gaslighting situation.

This is because you don’t notice what is going on initially: it can be really subtle. The odd throw away line – you say, “you’ve hurt my feelings”, they respond, “you’re so sensitive, I haven’t done anything”, right up to the blatant, “you need help, you’re broken.”

Gaslighting can be a serious form of emotional abuse. And often it takes someone else to point out to us that it’s even happening at all.

Well here’s the thing: you are never broken, there is nothing lacking about you. Even when you feel at your very lowest, these are just feelings, caused by thoughts.

Some people think I’m bonkers: I just think I’m free.
Man I’m just living my life, ain’t nothing crazy about me.