Can you fix a toxic relationship? How about an abusive one? If you’re in an abusive relationship, the first step is to ask yourself if you really want to fix your relationship. An abusive partner does not respect you. They think that they are entitled to control your existence and your experience as a human. … Continue reading How to Fix Toxic or Abusive Relationships
How do you decide if someone’s behavior is toxic or if it’s abusive? That’s a really, really difficult question. It can be tough to clearly assess what someone’s motivation is through a lens of love or a lens of pain. We all have personal context that colors our judgment. We’re often inclined to give our … Continue reading Is it Toxic or Abusive?
What is the difference between a toxic relationship and an abusive relationship? A lot of people use either of those phrases to talk about unhealthy or damaging relationships, but we don’t have a clear breakdown as to what constitutes as toxic behavior, and what constitutes as abusive behavior. It’s often ambiguous, even to the people … Continue reading Toxic Relationships vs. Abusive Relationships
Something I frequently see is people using the phrase “gaslighting” to describe argument tactics in one-off online conversations. The problem with this is that gaslighting is something specific: the act of deliberately manipulating a person to doubt their sanity and judgment over a period of time. It’s not questioning someone’s judgment, it’s not calling someone’s … Continue reading What Gaslighting Isn’t
While getting ready for work one morning, one of my partners said, “I have 10 hours banked up. I’m not *really* needed in the office today. Maybe I should just take the whole day off.” “You could do that,” I responded, “but you probably shouldn’t. They’d like you to give input in that meeting at … Continue reading Why It’s So Easy to be Gaslit in Relationships
cw: abuse and abusive relationships. . . . What is gaslighting? The textbook definition of gaslighting is an abuse technique used in long term relationships, where one partner manipulates the other into questioning their memory, sanity, or perception of reality. It places the abused partner in a position of vulnerability, where they don't trust … Continue reading What is Gaslighting?
On a weekend trip to Boston, several years ago, I met a cute guy at a club. We danced and made out, and at the end of the night we made plans to meet up at his place for a pancake breakfast the next morning. After a horrible trudge through the snow in sneakers, and … Continue reading No Rewards for the Bare Minimum
How sexual trauma can affect sexual attraction and orientation, and the implications for queer fights and queer rights. A lot of times when someone comes out of the closet as queer, ignorant people assume that it’s because they’ve experienced sexual trauma. They figure, someone must have hurt this person to make them no longer want … Continue reading Sexual Trauma and Queer Rights
A quick thought, for people wondering if any of their friends, acquaintances, or community members are abusers: Where are their exes? It’s always possible that a particular break-up was too painful for continued contact – that happens a lot. We switch social circles and communities often, to optimize comfort and support. But a … Continue reading Where Are Their Exes?
So, what *should* a community do when one of their members has been accused of abuse? At its conception, the community needs to make a choice: Is their policy “believe victims, eject abusers” ? That’s a valid approach. It means that people will lose out on a communal social resource for misunderstandings, co-dependent toxic dynamics, … Continue reading How Should a Community Respond to Abuse?