I have been thinking a lot about parental brainwashing of children in the context of narcissism and narcissitic abuse. Growing up with a narcissitic parent is not unlike growing up in a cult. Parents have tremendous power to shape the perceptions of their children. They instill core beliefs, attitudes, and values. Some parents instill dependency, not in material, but in the sense of reality and emotionally. The child, later adult, filters everything through the parent. If that parent instilled fear, obligation, guilt and encouraged the child pile on shame and keep secrets; they’ve got’em for a lifetime. That child will sacrifice out of programming, or what it really is brainwashing. The child may never understand why their life is so difficult, or why their relationships fail, and keep repeating destructive patterns they do not want to.
Narcissistic parents are very good a protecting themselves. They spend a lot of time crafting a fake outward image, in part, to hide their exploitations and abuses. In fact, it is the outward appearance of normalcy that is often the most difficult for an adult child to rectify in their minds. After all, this is all they have ever known and it sort of appeared normal, but it is not! It is a Machiavellian game and other people especially those that can be controlled, the family, are the players. The expectation is sacrifice and adulation. If you fall out of line, that is when the claws come out. If you are the scapegoat in the family and fall out of line, they will ensure that you endure severe punishment but it will be done in a way to preserve their deniability. Do not fall out of the role you were designed to play; do not disturb the narrative no matter how unbelievable it is. They call it F.O.G., narcissistic parents rule like cult leaders out of fear, obligation, and guilt; not to mention years of programming making the child hyper-sensitive to the narcissistic parents desires, they always come first.
If you have been affected by an immature narcissitic parent, who has somehow managed to keep you stuck, please do yourself a favor break free! Start by examining why you believe the things you do, the answer will not be hard but it will shock you… do it! F*ck them!
There is a lot of help out there and a lot of people who have been affected, some so severely they have slipped off into a full time delusion and fantasy life to cope. Find your community or person for support.