If you’ve ever been in a situation where someone was saying or doing something that made no sense to you at all, and the only reasonable conclusion seemed to be that one of you was somehow impaired, then you know what a creepy feeling it is to wonder if you’re the one who’s lost your grip.
You may be almost positive that it’s the other person who’s making things up or not seeing things as they really are, but you’re not absolutely certain.
The situation is especially troubling if the other person is someone you’ve come to trust – like a spouse or a close relative or friend – and someone who is able to persuade people you both know that you’re the one with the problem.
Such is the scenario of the movie Gaslight, in which a seemingly doting husband purposely confuses his new wife and tries to make her think she’s going mad in order to keep her from discovering what he’s doing behind her back.
Margaret Ashmann may have felt gaslighted when her daughter, Kathleen Wilshire, had her committed to an assisted living facility in Collinsville.
The 85-year-old Ashmann was living by herself in her own home in Fairview Heights when her daughter petitioned for guardianship, insisting that her mother was unable to take care of herself and manage her estate.
Armed with a physician’s affidavit affirming Ashmann’s alleged incapacity, and represented by a prominent ex-judge, John Baricevic, Wilshire secured a temporary order for guardianship.
But mom hired her own attorney. At a hearing to reconsider the guardianship order, it came out that Wilshire had removed her mother’s hearing aids before the physician’s examination creating the impression that Ashmann was befuddled.
It also came out that Ashmann’s estate is worth more than a million dollars and that her daughter is the one with mental problems, “having suffered from a somatoform disorder, a psychiatric illness, for the past decade.”
Something tells us that Wilshire may have lost her mother’s trust.