Thanks For Putting Gaslighting On Display, Mr. Kelly

I’m not really super paying attention to R. Kelly. Never have. But I’ve paid attention peripherally, lately.

I’ve heard a few news reports on the accusations, I’ve seen some reaction from friends who have watched the Lifetime special, and I’ve read some headlines of coverage.

But a photo I saw this morning, to me, says everything. It’s him, enraged or having some kind of tantrum, standing in front of Gayle King but leaning her way, with his hand up for emphasis. The chair he’s supposed to be sitting in, and the one I assume he was sitting in moments before he became this agitated, is empty in front of King – and she’s staring straight at it.

Waiting.

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People show us all the time who they are. Even when they pretend to be something they aren’t, they still show us who they really are. What makes them tick. And what they think about themselves, and how the world should interact with them.

This man is projecting, a classic tactic to borrow victim status from the women he’s harmed. He’s turning the tables. It’s how he knows how to live. For years, he has so successfully used emotional and mental manipulation, rooted in threats, intimidation and gaslighting, to set his life up just how he wanted it. To keep those women in check. And for years it worked.

No doubt the women who have come forward knew exactly how he would respond to their strength – with this. This tantrum. In public. Because, things aren’t going his way anymore. His ship has been rocked. And his behavior exposed.

How dare they.

No. How daring of them.

He is no victim. He can’t even pretend to be one well. We’ve seen this person before in a number of shapes, sizes and colors. This type of person thinks that just because they’ve gotten through life by damaging others for so long, they are entitled to continue, and when they can’t because someone stops being quiet about it, they are suddenly the victim.

What a terrific shame.

It’s a good thing, though, that these type of people keep showing us who they are. They just can’t help it.