Am I being Gaslighted?

  • Creator
  • #87736
    Melanie Penson

    A few weeks ago, it was my 48th Birthday. My family had organised a birthday meal out and my brother, his partner and little girl were there too. A few days beforehand, I told my parents I would be coming as Melanie, in a skirt and blouse.

    My dad was a little surprised but said he would “warn” the rest of my family. I turned up in a pink blouse, floral pattern skirt, lingerie and hold-up stockings. It felt amazing and no-one in the restaurant batted an eyelid.

    Later that evening, my mum started a row, calling me “selfish” for living my authentic life. She’s horrified about my decision, probably because she has no control over it. She was also very sceptical about my career change to be a mental health counsellor.

    To deflect from her transphobia, she and dad began undermining my childhood memories of what today would be regarded as child abuse, sustained between 1977 ( when I first knew I didn’t fit as male) until 1989 when I first fought back). Being strangled, thrown around, having my arms twisted behind my back, threatened with borstall ( young offenders) are seared into my memory yet somehow these things “didn’t happen”, that I’m a ” fantasist” for believing these things.

    I get it that mum and dad are lashing out against what they don’t understand or approve of, that they are using my mental illness against me to discredit me and label my transitioning as me being “crazy”.

    It’s a toxic relationship right now so I’m staxing away for the time being. There’s no point talking to them whilst they are in the “deny, defend, defame” mode. I want them in my life but I don’t NEED them. There is a difference.

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  • Author
    • #87749

      I do understand your situation. If you stick to your true self you will be happier. The family are the people who are being selfish, not you. The family wants you to be who they expect and are disappointed when you go fem. The family seems to only wish the boy they raised to be a man they can be proud of, but of course they should be proud of who you are as an individual.
      This site and others have helped my to be stronger in my transition and I have learned to believe in myself and not be offended or depressed because others disapprove. You are on top of your transition and should be happy.
      My family supports me except for my wife, she tolerates my transition. She sees changes and realizes I am not backing down. Now we share jewelry and buy pajamas for each other. I agreed to be respectful of her wishes to not dress in the house.
      Good luck, All will eventually work out in time.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #87740

      It sounds like gaslighting to me.   From my limited vantage point, their denials perhaps serve their need to block out a past that they should recall with shame and regret.    There appears also to be a continuation of the past cruelty in their efforts to cast doubt on your desire to go forward with an authentic life.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #87737

      OMG! I can relate to that and how you feel. Stand your ground stay strong. In time they will come around. I to am having same thing with my sister her actions and things she said to me were horrible when I came out to her. Things are little better now, That was just few weeks ago. I think she is coming around to understanding the whole my sister is not my sister he is my brother in the wrong body. Life gives you lemons make lemon aid. Hugs to you.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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