Why do women think this stuff is okay? I used to wonder about that. Then I realized that every once in a while I meet some very selfish, charming, narcissistic man who manipulated me into believing anything that goes wrong between us is my fault. It works every time.

It works because I’m never expecting it, and it works because when they act like they’re superior to me I agree with them. It works because they act like they want a real connection and I think it’s even true, except they are only interested in the kind of connection that leaves them in total control and me feeling helpless and gaslit.

What I finally concluded is that women who are normal and relatively healthy are easy prey to men who are neither. They have a lifetime of practice making the other person seem crazy, even in that person’s own eyes. They know how to get away with their cruelty and mind games.

We don’t realize what’s happening not because we’re pathological, but because we’re basically normal and healthy. We just aren’t prepared to prove either thing to dudes or the public, whereas they are entirely prepared to destroy us to save themselves.

We just need to get better at listening to our instincts.

Writes all the things. Photographs the light. Smiles at odd moments. Reads in the shower. Sings to the trees. Hopes a lot.

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