Exploring Gaslighting

I wanted to dive into the themes I've put in place for The Legacy series, starting with the one that is throughout all seven books and the biggest issue the characters have to over come; gaslighting.


According to Wikipedia, the definition of Gaslighting is as follows: Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment.


Let's look into a few other characters suffering under this.


We start with Azzura as the most obvious victim. She starts with an abusive mate, her power deteriorates as she disappears behind the abuser with the power. He not only had a physical power over her, but a mental one as well. He made sure that she was separated from the people she still held close; her father and the pack members. He belittled her, made her believe that he was the only one she could trust and that her only other option is death or banishment.


He fed her lies about the people of their pack. Saying things that make it seem as though they didn't need her, that she wasn't necessary. This made it easier for her to leave them behind, believing they would have rather have him, abusing his power, than her.


Eventually, after finally seeing the man she was supposed to love who he was, she left him and chose banishment over her duties. For a long time, she believed that she didn't have power. She moved from pack to pack, never settling and never making connections, for fear they would end up the same way. It took a long time to unravel the pain her abuser put her through, but with the help of the sisters, and her community, she was able to heal and move on.


Azzura's story is a little obvious. I don't hide the abuser from the reader, I want you to hate him because of what he does to her and it's worked! Derek is a low level character that is put out of his misery early in the series for good reason.


When we look at Genesis and The General's relationship, the gaslighting started when he met him. He talked to the younger Genesis about his father and the legacy he left behind. He walked him through what the possibility of being a king could do for him and that the family Selene left him with didn't serve his best interests.


Forcing him to see a false future, that would only bring him pain and torture, rather than staying with the family that loved him, he's manipulating him to do what he wants. It takes weeks, we watch him visit the young boy, telling him stories about the father he didn't get to meet, giving him something he wants in exchange, he plants the seeds of deceit against the family he's with.


He forces him to see the bad parts of the mother that gave him up. Painting the picture that she's the villain, when the villain is the artist. He slowly gains his trust, making him believe he could become the true king of the seven lands but in his heart, he wanted to bring about his eventual downfall. Even as an adult, Genesis trusts the general over anyone else. In his eyes he's been as loyal as anyone else could be. He's cleaned up the messes Genesis didn't want to bother with. The general crawled his way into Genesis' life, forced his ideals on him, and controlled him like a puppet to get what he wanted. All while he played the dutiful general, giving his life to the crown and the king.


Gaslighting can be subtle or it can be obvious to everyone, even the victim. None of the victims deserve this, yes even Genesis, but it takes support and a community around them to heal and move forward. Azzura had that chance, Genesis was trapped under his abuser, whom himself, had been abused. It's nearly impossible for him to be redeemed, but not completely impossible. He has massive decisions to make once he sees the truth in front of him. Will he continue down his father's legacy, the one pushed on him by Duke, or one that he chooses with the possibility of freedom from the crown and a life chosen for him?


Share your thoughts on other possible victims of this abuse, it could be from other stories, or from mine!


Read the latest chapter of The Last King on Inkitt with this link:


https://www.inkitt.com/stories/fantasy/468669/chapters/18


Happy reading!



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