I know, I’ve already written about the war in Ukraine, but I have dear family in the country, and it is just so heartbreaking and troubling to witness what is going on.
It’s hard to believe that this is happening in the 21st century!
Not only does Putin and his cruel regimé’s actions and rhetoric showcase the worst kind of toxic, patriarchal system of “power over”, but it is like a case study in severe gaslighting (in this case, the ”gas” in the term is eerily befitting…).
Definition of gaslighting according to Wikipedia:
”Describes a person (a “gaslighter”) who presents a false narrative to another group or person, thereby leading them to doubt their perceptions and become misled, disoriented or distressed. Oftentimes this is for the gaslighter’s own benefit. Normally, this dynamic is possible only when the audience is vulnerable, such as in unequal power relationships, or fearful of the losses associated with challenging the false narrative.”
A narcissistically wounded person with an (unacknowledged) inferiority complex will, often through manipulative means, try to control their surroundings and can inflict a lot of pain and destruction. Of course, healthy people are able to see through such tactics, but if (as sadly must be the case with a huge chunk of the Russian population) people carry more or less trauma from previous times, in particular the so-called freeze/immobility-response, it can shut down the ability to make healthy discernments and take necessary action.
In such cases, (mentally) sick and/or deluded individuals may sadly be able to propagate false narratives and exert their tyrannical, fear-inducing forms of power over others on a grander scale.
As always, the first step toward healing is awareness of what’s going on.
It’s only the first step but a crucial one!