Seann Walsh’s ex-girlfriend Rebecca Humphries has opened up about their “draining” relationship and how discovering the term ‘gaslighting’ helped her overcome their bad breakup.
In a powerful essay for The Telegraph, the actor said she felt “vindicated” when a friend made her realise she’d been emotionally manipulated by the comedian in the run-up to him kissing his Strictly Come Dancing partner Katya Jones in October 2018.
“Nine months ago, some photographs were taken on my birthday of my then boyfriend kissing someone else,” Humphries begins. “When they surfaced on the front pages of the Sunday papers, it wasn’t the cheating that hurt.
“It was the the fact that for months, years he had been dismissing my concerns about stuff like this.”
The 31-year-old goes on to recall that shortly after she publicly ended their five-year relationship on Twitter, she turned to activist pal Sam Swann who “changed everything.”
"‘Rebecca’", he said, Humphries remembers. "‘You’ve been gaslit.’”
“Hearing that word - knowing there was actual terminology to describe the feeling of being manipulated into doubting your own sanity - gave me the vindication and courage I needed. The word ‘gaslighting’ gave me back my voice.”
After their split, Humphries says she listened to all who encouraged her to focus on herself, attempting to “rediscover [her] uniqueness and to start to enjoy things about [herself] after so long feeling like some crazy b***h who wasn’t enough.”
But it wasn’t always easy. She adds that if it wasn’t for “friends, family, therapist and legions of strangers on the internet, [she] would still be prioritising [Walsh’s] need over [her] own.”
Later, Humphries acknowledges those who have inspired her recently, such as #SaggyBoobsMatter creator Chidera Eggerue, Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies author Scarlett Curtis and Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander. All of whom use their personal experiences and struggles to try and help change human perspective for the better.
“As another of my inspirations, RuPaul, puts it: ‘The greatest threat facing humanity is unconsciousness’, she concludes. “I want to encourage everybody, as I did, to share your experiences.
“I am speaking in Commons this week as an ordinary woman who on the brink of collapse, told her truth.”