Very much so. It leaves different invisible bruises. I have a mother who is a clinical level narcissist. She used this tactic regularly. Even with proof, you were a liar or exaggerating when in truth, SHE was the liar or the manipulator of the situation. It was very frustrating because as a child you are socially groomed to trust your parents. And when you don’t, you feel weird about it. You don’t grow up wanting to think your mother is a chronic liar, and yet I noticed inconsistencies in her stories, often. By the time I was an adult, I knew in my bones there was something wrong with the mother-daughter relationship. She was constantly gaslighting; she liked to control the narrative of conversations between family and friends; she orchestrated smear campaigns; feigned fragility and played off being a victim when she was the one victimizing everyone around her like some twisted puppetmaster. And whenever it was pointed out she was in the wrong or when she refused to accept responsibility for something, she would ramp up the emotional abuse factor to 10 until we were so exhausted with her antics. She basically acted like a bratty child when she didn’t get her way.
I’m sad to say, I stuck with the relationship far longer than I should have. But like I said, socially, it is hard to accept a parent as a monster, and knowing the best course of action is to have nothing to do with a toxic person. There was no changing her. Trust me, I tried in vain for years to make things better. They only got worse. The harder I tried, the uglier, meaner, and more demanding she became.
I regularly remember phrases like,
“You are too sensitive…”
“Oh, why can’t you just let it go. It wasn’t as bad as you make it out to be.”
“Your brothers are just easier to love” — whenever I asked why she treated me so poorly in comparison.
“We’re not as bad as she (me) says we are” — what her or my golden child brother would say upon meeting my friends or boyfriends for the first time. Anything to discredit me in case I confided anything to anyone.
“You’re overreacting” — when justifiably emotionally responding to a situation where I was angered, embarrassed, or frustrated.
My feelings, my need for safety/security, and boundaries were regularly disregarded by her, her golden-child(ren), and flying monkeys.