Messaging and gas-lighting

About four years ago my ex put together a computer for each of our then pre-teen children.  We were in the middle of a family court case and he was courting their favor after having previously paid them little attention while he was binge drinking.  For Christmas he gifted them each with the computer tower, and did not provide them with keyboards, mice, monitors, nor connecting cables.  Fortunately, I run a tiny computer repair company and had some extra computer peripherals hanging around that I could use to set up the computers. 

As preteens, the kids didn’t use the computers much, but as time went by one son began getting serious about Minecraft.  The gifted computers were slow, so when I received a surplus computer from a client that was faster, I replaced that son’s computer, and he took the gifted computer to his dad’s house to use there.  During 2020 the other two children were using their gifted computers for online school.  For each of them, I was helping them learn to use the computer for school, but found myself losing so much time just waiting for the computers that my patience wore down to nothing, and I replaced them with speedy little refurbished computers that I had sitting around. 

A few weeks ago the Minecrafting son asked about getting more memory for his computer – Minecraft would run even better with 32 GB!  My domestic partner explained to him that 16 GB should be quite enough for the graphics of Minecraft.  I agreed, however, this teen asks for very, very little and I decided to go ahead and get him the memory upgrade.  He got it a couple of days ago and is happy as a clam.  (He installed it himself – I’m so proud!)

The same day he explained that a few days prior while at his dad’s he had become frustrated while using Minecraft on the computer gifted him by his father nearly 4 years ago.  It was so slow, and he had to spend so much time simply waiting for the graphics to load.  He approached his father, and explained the situation, asking if the computer could be upgraded.  My son relayed to me what ensued – his father began to explain to our son how much the request distressed my ex, because it made him feel like our son did not appreciate the gift of the computer all those years ago.

This is gas-lighting. 

The mainstream media and the politicos are currently engaged in the same behavior. 

Vaccine refuser: “I will not take the vaccine.”

Political message crafter: “Oh, I see that you have been consuming mis-information on the internet.  That is very bad of you.  Here, let me explain to you that we have been very patient, but now our patience is wearing thin.  Soon, you will not be able to engage in civil society or in normal economic activities if you do not comply.”

Messaging cannot compensate for gas-lighting.

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