Gaslighting – the psychological manipulation of someone that makes them feel their memories of events are inaccurate. This manipulation happens when the perpetrator lies, twists the truth and tells the person that they are mistaken, that they are imagining things. This builds up over time to the point where the victim can start to doubt their own sanity. It’s dangerous and cruel and it is a horribly common experience for vulnerable adults, including autistic people, in all kinds of relationships – romantic, friendships, employers, every organisation tasked with ‘processing’ us in some way.

We tend to be very trusting – if someone says something, we have no reason to believe that is untrue. Our anxiety, our co-occurring conditions, our social isolation, unavoidable dependence on others for some of us, selective mutism, our exhaustion, our memory problems, any or all these and more contribute to our vulnerability to being gaslit. None of that is our fault, not at all. But at least knowing the signs of it is the first stage to doing something about it.

Here’s a really helpful article on how to spot the signs of gaslighting

See also bullying and friendships.