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The One About Bill

The One About Bill

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BILL! My friend, Bill, wrote a little comment on my site that I wanted to share with you all. It wasn’t a nice comment, but honestly, that’s what makes this episode fun! Let’s take a look at what our little gaslighting friend said and examine more closely where he got it wrong.

Related Resources:

  • I mentioned Episode 92 where I interviewed Amy Marlow-MaCoy on the topic of gaslighting. Amy has some insightful nuggets of gold in there that you’ll want to check out!
  • My newest book, All the Scary Little Gods, is a spiritual memoir about healing from religious trauma and toxic programming. 
  • Are you wondering what is happening inside your own painful and confusing marriage? I wrote another book just for you called Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage: A Christian Woman’s Guide to Hidden Emotional and Spiritual Abuse
  • Flying Free is my online membership program designed for Christian women in emotionally abusive marriages. Whether you want to stay well in your marriage or leave, we want to equip and support you through this program.
  • Flying Higher is my online membership program for divorced Christian women. Come rebuild your life after divorce with women just like you!
  • Support the Flying Free podcast AND get in on monthly deep-dive discussions with podcast guests by joining the Flying Free Podcast Club for a $5 monthly donation HERE. (Members of Flying Free and Flying Higher can join these discussions FREE. Just reach out to me,, and we’ll get you set up!) 

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NATALIE: Welcome to Episode 274 of the Flying Free Podcast. Today, I want to read an email that I sent to my mailing list a few weeks ago. And by the way, if you would like to be on my mailing list, just go to and sign up at the top. But I wanted to share this email on my podcast as well because it goes along with the last few episodes where we have focused on “abuserese,” the native language of the abuser, and how to interpret and answer it. Maybe not necessarily to answer the abuser because, you know, what good does that do, but more to answer it in our own minds so that we can unhook from the power of it and it can’t have any power over us. It will still sting, possibly, but we’re able to recover from it much more quickly because we don’t have this hook inside of us.

Okay, so here’s the email I sent to my email list: “An abusive man made a comment on my blog last year. No, I did not allow it to be published there because my blog is a safe zone for survivors. But I get these kinds of comments and emails regularly, and after I read the first sentence, my Rude part just rolls my eyes and deletes it. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But just as I was about to delete this one, I had a thought. What if I ran it through my CBSD,  Christian Bull**** Detector, and shared the results with you? This means I need to let my Rude part write this email. If you don’t know my Rude part, this will be your introduction. If you want to know more, you’ll have to read my new book, All the Scary Little Gods. Almost everyone tells me Rude is their favorite character. My mom would not agree.

Trigger warning: If you are triggered by abuserese, the abuser’s native tongue, then you can do what I do most of the time and just delete this.” Well, we’re on a podcast now, so just stop listening. “But if you want to see how I neutralize this language by anchoring into totally different core beliefs I now have, read on.

Here’s the little comment that Bill wrote on my blog: ‘Much of what is called abuse today isn’t. A husband disagreeing with his wife is not being abusive, yet many women really do think that. Yeah, scummy men exist, though most were scummy before marriage — the woman knew that. I am sure my ex-wife would tell you I was abusive, and she got plenty of sympathy from Christians and even the church we attended.

Too many details to go into here, but she did not want to be married, and thus she bailed, with no repercussions. She just stole the years I could have been building a long-term marriage like my grandparents. Neither men nor women are perfect, yet the blame is almost always focused on the men. Some of you would do well to step back and really examine your lives, though that can be hard in our emotionally focused culture. How many marriages has this site killed?’ -Bill Smith

Okay, the quick interpretation of this is quack, quack, quack.  But you’re possibly looking for a more complex interpretation, and I’d like to oblige. So let’s dig in, shall we?” I may be watching Downton Abbey these days.

“Bill says, ‘Much of what is called abuse today isn’t.’ This is an example of an abuse tactic called ‘gaslighting.’ In podcast Episode 92, I interview Amy Marlow-MaCoy, a licensed professional counselor, who says this about gaslighting: ‘Gaslighting is a term for a specific type of mental and emotional abuse in which one person tries to make the other person doubt their sanity, their experiences, their thoughts, or their feelings.

Some ways I see it show up a lot in relationships with family members or loved ones would be making someone feel guilty when they’ve done nothing wrong, implying that they have wounded you by standing up for themselves or having their own opinions, treating you as if you are overreacting for having an emotional response to something, being blamed and shamed for being your own person or doing anything the gaslighter doesn’t approve of, or retaliating for even the most minor incident, slight, or offense. A gaslighter will do or say whatever it takes to punish you for doing something they don’t approve of.’

So Bill here is saying, ‘Oh, are you saying that you’re experiencing abuse? Nope, that’s not abuse.’ Bill, you gaslighter, you. Bill says, ‘A husband disagreeing with his wife is not being abusive, yet many women really do think that.’ This is another example of gaslighting, but it’s also an example of the abuse tactic called ‘minimizing.’ Bill is comparing abuse to a simple case of disagreeing, i. e. minimizing the abuse. He’s also slamming women here, implying that women are the ones who do this silly thing of believing that they are abused when what’s really going on is just a mild disagreement. Notice how he didn’t say that men do this, just the women folk. He’s a misogynist — can you tell? Oh, Bill, we so see you.

Bill says, ‘Yeah, scummy men exist, though most were scummy before marriage — the woman knew that.’ Besides struggling with where to put punctuation and spell words, Bill struggles with grasping the concept of ‘other.’ This is quite common for an abuser. Bill believes he knows what women know, namely, that the men they are dating are scummy, and they want these guys anyway.

In other words, Bill is saying, ‘You knew he was scummy before you married him, but you wanted that, you loved it, you enjoy being mistreated, so own what you want and live with it now.’ Bill is blaming the victim, which is another abuse tactic. Fascinatingly enough, he’s also calling himself scummy, but I don’t think he’s smart enough to grasp this.

Next, Bill tells us about his ex-wife: ‘I am sure my ex-wife would tell you I was abusive’ — ya think, Bill? — ‘and she got plenty of sympathy from Christians and even the church we attended.’ Well, I’m glad at least one woman is getting sympathy and help from their church. I wish every abuser like Bill could whine about this. He goes on: ‘Too many details to go into here’ — thank God — ‘but she did not want to be married’ — I can’t imagine why not — ‘and thus she bailed with no repercussions.’

Bill just revealed more of his lack of empathy and lack of self-awareness, typical traits of narcissistic abusers. Here, Bill is attacking his ex-wife, accusing her of bailing on the relationship, refusing to see how he bailed on the relationship the first time he abused her, and no repercussions? Those of us who have been divorced or know women who have gone through a divorce know that is a bald lie. But again, he dismisses her reality and her pain because to him she is just an object, a plaything he lost.

Then Bill says this: ‘She just stole the years I could have been building a long-term marriage like my grandparents.’ No, sir, you stole that from her. If you want a long-term marriage, grow up and build one. Bill continues: ‘Neither men nor women are perfect’ — this is an abuse tactic called ‘mutualizing’  — ‘yet the blame is almost always focused on the men.’ Well, Bill, just in case you didn’t know, statistics show that men are more likely to abuse women than the other way around, hence the blame.

By the way, that doesn’t mean women don’t abuse. Just read my book, All the Scary Little Gods, for examples of that. No, Bill, I’m not telling you to read my book. I’m telling the listeners. Trust me, Bill, even though I’m just a woman, you will not like my book.

Bill begins to wrap it up with, ‘Some of you would do well to step back and really examine your lives, even though that can be hard in our emotionally focused culture.’ I almost laughed out loud at this one. He’s projecting what he needs to do onto us women folk. And then he’s slamming women again with his alluding to our emotions. He’s saying, ‘You women should examine your lives, but it will be hard for you because of all your emotions and how our culture says it’s okay for you to have them.’

Bill, if you had even an ant’s belly of self-awareness, you would see how emotional you are right now. Bill, you have so many emotions. Just saying. Bill ends his emotional diatribe with one last shot across the bow: ‘How many marriages has this site killed?’ I can only hope to high heaven that this site has killed and will continue to shoot through the heart thousands and thousands of abusive marriages. Why? Because marriage is a beautiful thing, and it deserves to be held in honor, not smeared through the mud by the likes of Bill.

Long live healthy marriages! Death to abusive ones and life to the victims. So thank you, Bill, for that last compliment. I’ll take it with a bow.”

And that is the little email from my Rude part. If you want to get to know Rude, Rosie, Freaked, Melancholy, and all the rest of the gang, go get my new book, All the Scary Little Gods. Even though it sounds a little scary, it’s not. Love, Natalie and all my little parts, but mostly Rude.

"This podcast changed my life and gave me tools and direction to get unstuck. This podcast helped me realize I wasn’t alone in the struggle."
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The Comments

  • Avatar
    May 12, 2024

    I really like Ms. Rude and would love to introduce her to my Ms. Sarcasm who often pops in for a visit when gaslighters start lighting!!

  • Avatar
    Jacqueline Elliott
    May 7, 2024

    I especially enjoyed hearing Rude’s response to Bill today. Excellent! Poor, abandoned, emotional Bill.