Based on this article about gaslighting.
“Gaslighting” is a term for a very unhealthy event (or series of events) to be the recipient of: according to wikipedia it’s ” a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.” It is so damaging because it messes with your trust in yourself and your trust in reality.
I find gaslighting inherent in the closed adoption system (the only one I can speak about with any experience).
According to the article:
Gaslighting doesn’t have to be deliberate.
Adoptive parents don’t typically set out to be emotionally unhealthy towards their children, but if “gaslighting only requires a belief that it is acceptable to overwrite another person’s reality” then the whole idea of a closed adoption IS gaslighting. My reality was overwritten – my birth certificate was changed, my name was changed, I now have to call two strangers my parents. If one or more adoptive parents are not open to hearing the child’s feelings on the matter, this is made all the worse.
This is where the gaslighter showers you with special attention, but never actually gives you what you need. They put you on a pedestal, but then they are not there, in fact they may get angry at you, when you need a shoulder to cry on.
I see this so much in some adoptive parents and the whole of society in general. The adopted child walks on water, is such a gift, is the answer to prayer, is soooooooo wonderful….until they complain that adoption HURTS. Then we get comments like “you’re a whiny self centered hag who should be thankful you weren’t a coat-hanger abortion.” (OK, so that is a compilation of three different actual comments said to an adoptee I know, but you get the idea).
It is normal for adoptees to become people pleasers, because they don’t want to be left again, but that leaves them (us) very susceptible to gaslighting in any form.