Yeah. Imagine having a parent who does this. It is even harder to get people to believe you because social programming states parents would never do such a thing as abusively gaslighting their own kids. And like you said, it can be small at first and escalate over time.
A narcissistic parent using this toxic means of manipulation as a ploy to make their children question themselves, their worth, their reactions to things, often minimizing them by using terms like “I was just kidding” when they reveal something horribly embarrassing on purpose to other people. Or telling you, “You’re being too sensitive” when you justifiably react to something with a proper corresponding emotion (sadness or anger). Also, these people will never apologize, or apologize in such a way where it ‘sounds’ like an apology, but really isn’t one. It is hollow and does not take responsibility for what has happened. Sounds something like, “I’m sorry you were upset by the thing I said.” Nowhere in there is the person actually sorry about what they said, just your reaction to it. Very tricky.