Why I have mixed feelings about the current trend around the term

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This morning Twitter informed me that gaslighting is now a trending hashtag in the UK. On the one hand, I am happy about the rising awareness of a manipulation tactic frequently used by abusers. I am glad that the online community is starting to recognise toxic behaviour that can be extremely dangerous for the victims. But I also cannot help but wonder if gaslighting just becomes a trendy new word for lying.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question…


And it wasn’t miscommunication, it was misassumption

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The incident I am about to describe is so insignificant that I would forget about it immediately if I didn’t write it down. It’s the sort of thing that happens every day. It’s not deeply offensive and I am sure there was no ill-intention whatsoever. Simply an assumption. An assumption that is so easily made. It is just a syllable. A word. A tiny little change in a word.

Chances are that if this incident happened to me years ago, I wouldn’t even have noticed. …

The one emotion I never expected to feel for my abuser led me down the path of recovery.

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“You look great, you lost so much weight!” my friend exclaims as she steps through my front door. I haven’t seen her in two years. I wish I could tell her my current body shape results from a healthy diet and plenty of exercises, but she is right: I look much healthier than I did months ago.

It’s been over half a year since I saw my abusive ex last; I would have never expected the road to healing would be so long and bumpy. But here I am, alive, facing each day as they come. …

An unexpected milestone in my journey as a writer

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I have a theory: On every writer’s journey to success there is an “Angry Comment Threshold”. It’s the point where you start getting negative comments on your articles. It also exists for other professions where success is defined by validation from others, like musicians or artists.

For writers, the threshold is different depending on the platform. For example, I consider this threshold to be quite low on Twitter. Everyone can have a Twitter account, it’s relatively anonymous and easy to use. On Medium it’s a little higher since members have to pay to read content and the comment section isn’t…

Asking for a friend…

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I have had mind-blowing sex and mind-bobbling sex in equal measures. I have had the sort of sex where the guy ejaculated in his boxers while dry humping me for a few seconds. And I have also had the sort of sex where an orgasm lasted for minutes. To state the obvious, I preferred the latter.

But what set apart the orgasm-gods from the dry-humpers?

All “genuine connection” and size arguments aside, if I had to boil it down to one key characteristic, I would have to say it was their dominance. It doesn’t always have to be the alpha-male…

A friendship born out of shared pain

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A few months ago, I spent most of my evenings speaking to Maria*, the woman whose 7-month relationship with my ex had started only a few months after he had declared himself to be my soulmate. Although we both had experience in uncovering infidelity in previous relationships, with this one, we were both in the dark.

Our now mutual ex was a skilled manipulator. As my therapist pointed out, his lying and gaslighting techniques were developed over years of practice.

One night when anger overcame me, Maria and I discussed our situations and she surprised me by stating, “I really…

I didn’t fully comprehend the situation then, but it has since changed me forever.

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I don’t remember a lot of the details from all the things that happened during my childhood. I remember the hospitals, every time it seemed to be a different one. I remember not being allowed to bring my favourite teddy into my mum’s room. I remember eating a lot of omelettes, the only dish that my Dad could cook. And I vaguely remember that one hospital visit when my mother seemed sadder and more worn down than usual.

I don’t believe that she cried.

I don’t know how she did it. I didn’t realise back then that this was…

What if our health is at risk in committed relationships?

Do We Need Relationship Contracts To Protect Our Sexual Health? | Kara Summers | Stone with love written on it and gavel
Do We Need Relationship Contracts To Protect Our Sexual Health? | Kara Summers | Stone with love written on it and gavel
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“I have to tell you something though,” his message came over chat, “I have a fear of condoms. I don’t know why, I just can’t get an erection soon as see one. I hope that’s OK, I mean you know that the only person I have ever slept with is my wife. And she hasn’t ever been with anyone else either”.

Of course, I was OK with that, I loved him. I trusted him more than anyone else in the world.

We had already shared so many secrets with each other, it felt like we had known each other our…

Let’s stop repurposing it.

Love Can’t Fix Anything | Kara Summers | Show with heart patch
Love Can’t Fix Anything | Kara Summers | Show with heart patch
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When I was 7 a boy in my class got expelled from school for racists comments and vandalism. This is when I started developing an interest in psychology that hasn’t left me since.

“But why?” I asked my mother. “Why would someone do something like this? No one has ever been mean to him.” My mother explained everything as good as you can explain something this complex to a 7-year-old. I don’t remember what she said, but I remember what I understood: The boy had never experienced love. …

Kara Summers

5x Top Writer. Raising awareness of emotional abuse and toxic relationships. Narcissistic Abuse Survivor.

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