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#219 - It's Time to Stop Gaslighting Ourselves with Amy Taylor Kabbaz
Episode 21916th November 2022 • Happy Mama Movement with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz • Amy Taylor-Kabbaz
00:00:00 00:09:39

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Today I want to explore an idea with you. Something that has been permeating within me ever since I had a divine conversation with Nicole Matheson on her new book, The Beauty Load (episode number 211). During that conversation we talked about how we often gaslight ourselves and each other when it comes to the beauty load. This heavy load we carry around the way we should look, the way we should present ourselves, the way we should be viewed and seen as women. Listen as I reflect and think about:

  • How well meaning comments, with right intention, often answers we have been taught to say can actually be unhelpful in acknowledging each other.
  • How we can start to question our own realities, memories or perceptions.
  • How to stop dismissing our own feelings and allow ourselves to be heard, within our heart, head and within community.
  • Turning the conversation around, both externally and internally with each other and with ourselves.

There needs to be a change in the way mothers are valued and seen in our society. We are here to spread the whispers of Matrescence together.

Find out more and receive your Matrescence map here https://www.amytaylorkabbaz.com/matrescence/

Transcripts

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz:

Welcome to the Happy Mama Movement Podcast.

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I'm Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.

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I would like to start by acknowledging the Gadigal people of the Aura nation

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on which this podcast is recorded, as the traditional custodians of this land.

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And pay my respects to the elders past, present and emerging.

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And, as this podcast is dedicated to the wisdom and knowledge of motherhood, I

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would like to acknowledge the mothers of this land, the elders, their wisdom, their

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knowing and my own elders and teachers.

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Welcome back Mamas.

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Today I want to explore an idea with you.

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Something that has been permeating within me ever since I had a divine

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conversation with someone just recently.

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If you haven't listened to it yet, I have a recent podcast episode with Nicole

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Matheson on her new book, The Beauty Load.

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Episode number 211 and recently she was in Sydney and asked me to host her

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book launch, locally at a beautiful little bookstore here in Sydney.

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And during that conversation we talked about how we often gaslight ourselves

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and each other when it comes to the beauty load, this, uh, heavy load we

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carry around the way we should look.

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The way we should present ourselves, the way we should be viewed and seen as women.

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What this sounds like is, Oh, I hate my hair.

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It just isn't working for me today.

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And your girlfriend, your sister, someone with all the right intentions

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says, no, you look beautiful.

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I love your hair.

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I always love it.

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Now, that's what we've been taught to say.

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And so there is no guilt here or shame.

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But actually when you look at the definition of gaslighting, it is

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when you make the person who has stated something question their

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own reality, memory, or perception.

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In other words, you silence them in some way, making them feel the thing

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that they've just said isn't true.

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And as Nicole said in this conversation, in the bookstore, actually, we need to

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start acknowledging that when a woman says, Ugh, my hair, that is what she's

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feeling in that moment, and instead of dismissing it, we don't wanna say,

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Yeah, don't love your hair either, but acknowledge that that's the feeling

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she's holding about herself at that time.

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Ever since that conversation.

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I have been thinking about this over and over again around motherhood, and how we

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both gaslight ourselves and each other.

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The way we gaslight ourselves, I have heard this, I would like to say hundreds

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of thousands of times over the last decade from all the women I've listened to.

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I don't even know if I could put a number on it.

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It sounds like this, but I'm so lucky that I get to stay home.

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But I'm so grateful that my baby was healthy, but I'm so lucky

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that I fell pregnant in the end.

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So many people have it so much worse than I have.

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And in that moment, we're dismissing our own feelings.

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In that moment, we're questioning our own feelings, our memories,

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our perceptions, and our reality.

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We're not allowing ourselves to be heard, even within our own

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heart, even within our own head.

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And then if we are to share outside, if we are to say to anybody around us how we are

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feeling, we're also often, unconsciously, let me say this, unconsciously gaslit.

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Oh, but it will pass, and these will be the best years of your life.

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Oh, she's just a animated little one.

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Oh, that's just what motherhood is about.

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Oh, why don't you just sleep while the baby sleeps?

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All of these little dismissive moments.

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None of this is intentional, I'm sure.

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It's what we have all been taught to say to each other.

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As women especially.

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We placate each other.

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We try to make each other feel better.

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We try to remind each other that it's all good.

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I've been there too.

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You're beautiful, you've got this.

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It's a mixture of gaslighting and spiritual bypassing, and

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it's time we need to stop this.

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And so I said in this conversation, what do we say instead?

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What do we say to someone in front of us who is trying to show us a

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glimpse of what they're feeling?

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And our automatic reaction inside of us is to say, Oh, but you're such a great mum.

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You're doing such a great job.

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I know it's so hard, but you know, these are the best years of your life.

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It goes so quickly.

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When in fact she feels like this is the worst and longest time of her life.

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Oh, do I remember that?

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Those days, it just felt like months within 24 hours.

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And everybody around me would say, Oh, but it goes so quickly.

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And yes, in hindsight it kind of did.

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But in that moment, I felt dismissed.

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I felt like my reality was wrong.

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I felt like I was thinking about this the wrong way.

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So what do we do?

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How do we stop gaslighting each other and ourselves?

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I think it has to start with when we listen to each other.

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Can we make this promise to each other here right now?

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No matter what it is, whether as my friend Nicole Matheson talks about

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in her book, The Beauty Load, and one of your girlfriends or your sister

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or your daughter says, Ah, I don't feel good in the way I look today.

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Instead of just dismissing it and putting a bandaid over the top of it

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and say, No, I love the way you look.

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Can we just pause and take a breath and say, Ah, I know those moments.

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I know what that feels like.

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Doesn't feel good, does it, personally, I think you look awesome, but I know

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what it feels like to not feel that.

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And can we do that to each other in motherhood?

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Can we please, please, please stop dismissing the struggles of, well,

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at least I have a healthy baby.

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When the birth was incredibly traumatic.

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Can we stop saying things like, you're so lucky you get to stay home when

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she's actually deeply struggling with her loss of identity in her work.

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Can we just meet each other in our truth and try not to rush into the next step?

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You may have heard me say this many, many, many times before, but the change we

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want to see in motherhood begins with us.

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It will be us.

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We are the ones who begin to change the way we talk about this.

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We acknowledge it, we fight for it, we speak about it.

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The way we acknowledge it in each other and the way we

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acknowledge it within ourselves.

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And that means when you hear that internal dialogue, or I like to call

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it the inner mean mama, dismiss your feelings by internally gaslighting you.

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Oh, but you should be so grateful that you get to do this.

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Can we come back to that voice and say, actually, you know what?

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This is hard.

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I get it.

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It's hard.

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It probably will get better one day soon, but right now, I'm sorry, it's hurting.

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I see it.

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I think that's how we start to turn this conversation around,

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both externally and internally with each other and with ourselves.

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I hope that lands.

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Until next week, Divine Mama Community, thank you for being here.

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Thank you for continuing to have these conversations with me and with each other.

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Truly, this is an act of activism to have these conversations and be

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open about how we are really feeling.

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Thank you.

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