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  • Writer's pictureDogukaan

A Sudden Turn of Events: My Disturbing Encounter with Gaslighting

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Hey there, D-Squad! It's your buddy Dogukaan here, and today I've got a story that'll make your head spin. Picture this: I'm in class, ready to showcase my video presentation about our school website. I added a touch of humor to spice things up and offer some constructive critique. The room fills with laughter as my classmates and teachers enjoy the show. But little did I know, things were about to take a drastic turn.

As soon as the video ends, it's like someone flipped a switch. The laughter fades, and the atmosphere grows tense. The tutor and a colleague start bombarding me with negative feedback. It's like they've forgotten the light-hearted spirit of the presentation. They're nitpicking every detail, and it feels overwhelming. I speak up, expressing my confusion about their harsh critique, but it falls on deaf ears. It's as if they're determined to push their own agenda, regardless of how it makes me feel.

Now, let's talk about the tutor in question. She's an outgoing and extroverted individual, always asking thought-provoking questions. When you meet her, you can't help but feel analyzed. It's like she thrives on attention and has an unspoken mission to change the world. She studied pedagogy and English, which makes her all the more intriguing. But here's the funny part—we've only had five lessons together the whole semester!

During our unexpected one-hour conversation, she kept insisting that I had played a prank on her to achieve some hidden goal. Can you believe that? I couldn't answer her accusation of me faking coolness. The smile on her face spoke volumes, indicating that she had made up her mind about me. But how could she make such judgments with so little time spent together? It just didn't add up.

What's even more bizarre is that she repeatedly told me to look within myself and reflect. She claimed she wanted people to change and for me to find my "true method" and "authentic self." But her words felt manipulative, like she was trying to mold me into her idea of what I should be. It was disheartening to be repeatedly labeled as inauthentic - over and over again. Especially when we had such limited interaction due to her being a substitute teacher.

Throughout the conversation, the atmosphere grew darker and more unpleasant. It was just me, the teacher, and my friend (who's like a brother to me). She even asked if I wanted my friend to leave, creating a disgusting and uncomfortable dynamic. I expressed my confusion and frustration, often telling her that I didn't understand her claims. I questioned how she would feel if someone accused her of similar things, hoping to make her understand the impact of her words. But she always evaded a direct response, using manipulative techniques like horrifying, intense smile breaks - telling me to "ask myself" why I would fake or play a role. As if that's not enough, encouraging me to do a poll asking tutors and friends if they perceive any fakeness from me.

Let's collect all arguments, shall we?

  • Invalidating and dismissing feelings: Despite expressing confusion and frustration about the harsh critique, their concerns are ignored, and their emotions are undermined.

  • Manipulative tactics: The teacher uses manipulative techniques, such as evading direct responses, employing intense smile breaks, and suggesting to reflect on alleged intentions.

  • Creating doubt and confusion: The teacher accuses of playing a prank and faking (possible) coolness, despite having limited interaction and evidence. This causes to question their own perception of reality.

  • Shifting blame and control: The teacher puts the burden to "look within" and change, implying that the authenticity and character are flawed. This manipulative tactic seeks to control and mold behavior and identity.

  • Isolation and discomfort: The teacher creates an uncomfortable dynamic by asking if there's a wish for the friend to leave the room, leading to further isolation. This exacerbates the power imbalance and increases the emotional impact of gaslighting.

The emotional impact of this encounter was immense. It happened during the tenth period when I was already drained and vulnerable. The exhaustion amplified the effects of the gaslighting tactics used against me. At first, I was confused and disbelieving. How could someone I barely knew make such assumptions about my character? But I realized that gaslighting is a real phenomenon, and anyone can fall victim to it.

So, what did I learn from this disturbing experience? First and foremost, recognizing gaslighting is crucial. Understanding its tactics empowers you to protect yourself and your perception of reality. Seeking support from trusted friends, family, or professionals is also essential. Their perspective can provide clarity and help you navigate the emotional aftermath of gaslighting.

When faced with gaslighting, it's important to trust your instincts and maintain your self-worth. Remind yourself that you are authentic and deserve to be treated with respect. Journaling your thoughts and emotions can be a therapeutic outlet and aid in self-reflection. Engaging in self-care activities that bring you joy and strengthen your resilience is equally important.

In conclusion, my unsettling encounter with gaslighting serves as a cautionary tale for us all. Gaslighting can happen in various contexts, from personal relationships to professional environments. Stay vigilant, D-Squad, and if you ever find yourself questioning your own reality due to someone's manipulative behavior, seek support and hold onto your truth. Let's create a community that uplifts and supports one another.

Remember, you are unique, valuable, and worthy of genuine interactions. Don't let anyone dim your light or manipulate your perception. Together, we can recognize and overcome the toxic effects of gaslighting. Stay true to yourselves, D-Squad, and never stop shining bright!

That's it for today, my amazing readers. Until next time, keep rocking and stay gaslight-free!

- Dogukaan

Dear Teacher,

As I reflect on our conversation and the themes that emerged from it, I wanted to share with you the result of our interaction. This post encapsulates the essence of our discussion, highlighting the values and lessons that I have taken from it.

While it may not align with the specific value you may have intended or expected, I want to emphasize my commitment to extracting the value that I deemed necessary. Your insistence on reflection and finding my "true method" and "authentic self" resonated with me. However, I interpreted these concepts through my own lens and applied them in a way that felt genuine and meaningful to me.

I understand that our perspectives may differ, but I hope this post serves as a testament to my willingness to engage in self-reflection and growth. It is a demonstration of my ability to process our conversation and extract value from it, even if it diverges from your intended direction.

Thank you for the opportunity to engage in this discussion, as it has allowed me to explore the nuances of gaslighting and its impact on personal perception. I believe that open and respectful dialogue can lead to growth and understanding, even when viewpoints diverge.

Words and accusations are known to be heavy. People may feel harmed. Use it accordingly.



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