Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where someone is made to question their perception of reality. (The term is derived from the film Gaslight where the husband lowered the gaslight incrementally and told his wife the light had never been changed.)
I have had the misfortune of being wronged by a most unpleasant individual for a number of years now. He seemed like a friendly enough person when I first met him at my place of work, four years ago now. He was new to the city and needed help and support. And so it was a complete shock to be suddenly subject to his abuse, to hear that he had slandered me to friends, and then was insulted directly over and over again. He dragged others into his damaged and crazed world. He made it his mission to attack me and eventually orchestrated a campaign of lies against me, with the aim of having me removed from my job. He is, without a doubt, one of the worst, most damaged people I have ever known. It has been awful to have had him in my life. Time has passed. I recently began research for my new book, my science fiction trilogy journey into space. I have been reading about dark matter. No one knows what dark matter is, just that it is there only because of how it affects the orbits of suns and galaxies. It obstructs. It obscures. And it is said to comprise the majority of matter in the universe.This concept of dark matter has made me think. As much as I would rather not have had this damaged person in my life, I have come to realize that he is dark matter for me. He has obscured and obstructed; he has done everything he can to ruin my path.However the real question for me is how well I respond to this, how well I can maintain my journey through the stars. While it has been disorienting at times, I have righted my course and expect this piece of dark matter to dissolve behind me, to collapse into itself and, in all likelihood, drag other bits of dark, and waste, matter with it. And more than that, I have been readied for the next bit of dark matter coming my way.