The presidential debates have provided survivors everywhere with a gift. We have been speaking and speaking and speaking about the harm caused by this kind of gaslighting for years. Yet unless you have witnessed this yourself, it can be almost impossible to believe that it exists. The logical switchbacks, emotional manipulation, moves to control the terms of discussion, utter […]Read more "Cultivating Compassion for Gaslighting Survivors"
Of soup-friends and token-exchangers. I’ve noticed a pattern. (surprise!) It seems to me that two very different models exist of what people in our culture think we are doing when we nurture one another. This makes sense given that any modern culture is a complex swirl of ancestral inheritances only recently jumbled together and barely […]Read more "Two Models of Nurturance (Which One Are You?)"
There is a variation on ‘Not All Men.’ It is called ‘I Feel Bad When You Say That.’ My godson Kyle is six. He is fairly emotionally perceptive for his age, as his grownups have been working with him to create an emotionally responsible and self-aware boy who we hope will grow into an emotionally […]Read more "Own, Apologize, Repair: Coming Back to Integrity"
There are two kinds of boundary violations: overt and covert. We know a lot about one half of boundary violations: the kind acted out in an anxious way. This first kind of boundary violation is hopefully already obvious. This is when you say no, or are unable to consent, and someone goes ahead and touches […]Read more "There is another kind of boundary violation: the covert cross"
My regular readers will know that I give my posts to a panel of mostly-male early readers before they go public. One of these early readers read For Men Who Desperately Need Autonomy and asked me to add a section flippantly called How You Can Put This Into Practice Right Now If You Are Flipping Out Because […]Read more "The Tricks of Shame and Hope"
The attachment literature teaches us that autonomy is a paradox. Jordan and I are in the car about to drop him off at a weeklong arts program working with teens on a small gulf island off the British Columbia coast. In front of us through the windshield is a farmstand: berries, eggs, a hand painted […]Read more "For Men Who Desperately Need Autonomy"
I keep having the same conversation over and over. That thing where someone undermines your perception of reality, and says you’re crazy, or denies that something is happening that is in fact happening? When people we love and trust do that to us? It really messes with our minds. Over time, or when it is about important […]Read more "On Gaslighting"