Brainwashing – Learn How Its Done So You Can Undo It

brainwashing

How Your Abuser Brainwashed You

Once an abusive person has your attention and empathy, the brainwashing can begin. Abusers tend to use certain coercion techniques to bring you under greater control. We’ll discuss them below. Before that, it’s important to know that your abuser didn’t have to learn these techniques from a book, at school, or during military training. Most likely, your abuser

  • observed control techniques as a child, or
  • figured out how to get her way with parents and teachers, or
  • otherwise integrated control methods into his or her subconscious repertoire at a very early age.

As anecdotal proof, if there is such a thing, my abuser went to a military school in which he ‘learned’ how to control and manipulate the enemy during verbal negotiation. He came home one day, handed me the textbook, and said, “This is the easiest bullshit class I’ve ever taken. All this is stuff everyone learns on their own!” Er-hem. No. Not everyone learns how to verbally and emotionally control other people as a science. But my abuser did. And he ‘learned’ it so young that he assumed everyone had the same knowledge.

So, here we go with the steps your abuser took to brainwash you. Learning these steps will help you undo the brainwashing inflicted upon you.

1. Isolation

Abusers isolate victims from family and friends. If the abuser cannot isolate you, then it is unlikely your relationship will last very long because your friends and family support you and point out things they don’t like about your new love. Your support network is your reality check against what the abuser wants you to believe.

Cults and other groups that use brainwashing to control others have multiple members who already fell under the group’s spell. The desire to “go along” helps cult leaders bring victims into the fold. Your abuser is a one-man-band (or a one-woman-band) so they have to work harder than a cult leader to isolate you. Abusers create barriers between you and your supporters by

  • finding fault with your friends and implying you don’t want to be like them or else,
  • introducing you to their group of friends (often other abusers) and insisting their friends are superior to yours or participating in social events only if their friends host,
  • acting jealous of others and implying you are sexually attracted to friends or strangers,
  • talking about you behind your back to make your friends doubt their perception of you (especially effective if your friends are catty, new to you, or young),
  • acting like such a great guy or gal that your unsuspecting friends cannot believe the abuser is the evil, foul creature they truly are,
  • calling you their soul-mate and creating a fictional world where only the two of you exist,
  • convincing you to move where they live or want to live, far away from those who love you.

In your relationships to come, be constantly aware of your connections to your friends. If you find yourself slipping away from your support system, reconnect immediately.

2. Monopolization of Perception

“Monopolization of perception” is Biderman’s fancy way of saying four things:

  1. Abuser keeps your attention on them (may act like they love you so much they can’t bear to be away from you, cause drama in your relationship, act jealous, blow little things out of proportion, break into tears or become angry and expect you to know why, etc.)
  2. Abuser says things that cause you to turn introspective – you look inward to solve problems of your soul (whether they truly exist or not)
  3. Abuser attempts to remove from your world anything they cannot control (doesn’t want you to watch certain television shows, talks badly about the groups/clubs you belong to, tells you where to get your clothes or wants to shop with you,…you get the picture).
  4. Abuser makes it almost impossible for you to do those things that are off-limits (texts/calls incessantly while you’re with friends, shows up unexpectedly, creates uncomfortable feelings, …whatever they can do to force you into compliance while making it seem like you choose to comply).

3. Induced Debility & Exhaustion

Abuser attempts to weaken your ability to resist their control by

  • Announcing certain emotions are unacceptable or make fun of you when you show certain emotions (you have no “right” to be angry or frightened, to cry, to find humor in anything other than sarcasm because sarcasm lends itself to accepting abuse through jokes),
  • Finding ways to make you feel guilty for not going along with them or agreeing to their opinions,
  • Claiming your character is sub-par and insisting that you correct it,
  • Keeping you busy meeting their “high standards” of beauty, cleanliness, holiness, parenting, etc.
  • Demanding you make friends with their boss’s spouse, attend social functions that enhance their career,
  • Adding responsibilities to your life that are above and beyond what is usually expected in a relationship,
  • And anything else that forces you to show joy or contentment despite the heavy demands placed on your time and character.

4. Threats

The abuser threatens to leave you (or much much worse!) if you [fill in the blank]. The abuser’s threats are credible to you.

5. Occasional Indulgences

The abuser will sometimes be especially nice or allow you temporary freedoms for being “good”. In the cycle of abuse, the period of indulgences is known as the honeymoon period  which follows an episode of intense emotional, verbal or physical abuse. These intermittent treats come at any time the abuser feels they’re pushing you too hard and senses that you’ve had enough of their crap.

The abuser’s occasional indulgences of your wishes works to “keep you in the club” so to speak. If you get one thing you want even after you’ve lost a hundred other things you wanted, it is enough for you to want to “earn” more or to comply with the abuser’s demands. You may even fool yourself into thinking the abuser is “coming around” or changing.

In a reverse situation, consider a child’s temper tantrums. Every day for 3 days you ignore the child’s tantrum and do not give him what he wants. Then, on the fourth day, you can’t take it anymore and give the brat his candy. What do you think that child is going to do on day 5? One good thing after a hundred bad things is enough to make you keep trying to please the abuser – especially after your support network is gone, your abuser is your sole focus, and you’re mentally and physically drained by the abuser’s demands.

6. Demonstrating “Omnipotence”

Most abusers stalk you during the relationship, use their friends or exploit lucky coincidences to prove that they know everything you do when they are not present. Perhaps they have a job in the military or working with computers and convince you that they can track you wherever you are (but, in reality, have placed a GPS locator in your car or purse). Your abuser may seem like s/he is everywhere and you do not have one second to yourself.

Abusers also display omnipotence by playing judge, jury, and prosecutor. They say what you did, why you did it, and dole out a punishment suitable to your crime. Nothing you do or say will stop the verbal or physical violence of their punishment, and by the time the abuser is done berating you, you may feel as if you deserve to be punished.

7. Enforcing Trivial Demands

My husband once told me that I should know the exact cost of cleaning the bathtub. He wanted an account of the cost of the cleaning product, how much of it I used, and how long it took to clean the tub. He insisted that my time was worth minimum wage and wanted to know how much it cost him to get his bathtub clean each week. Your abuser will make the same type of demands on your time, thought processes, and emotional energy as you dread what will happen if you don’t comply.

The demand could even concern something that once pleased you, like gardening or painting. However, due to your abuser’s insane requests to do it this way, or do it during this time frame or under these circumstances, you lose interest or begin to detest your hobby (or job!).

8. Degradation

The abuser causes more harm to you when you resist their demands and stand up for yourself. Anytime your anger rises and the abuser must deal with your fury, the punishment is quicker and more severe than if you just did the damn thing to start with. You feel as if complying preserves more self-respect than refusing to do it.

Your abuser will degrade you with words, through physical/sexual assault or rape, and humiliate you in front of their friends or your coworkers at any time. Your humiliation degrades your sense of self-worth to a level lower than scum on the bathtub you clean. You become “nothing” in your mind. You fight to prove your worth to your abuser in whatever fashion they dictate because, by this time, your abuser and your relationship with them is your only reality.

Your brain is washed clean of the healthy thinking and positive relationships you once held dear. I feel drained by simply writing this post and recalling the ways my ex brainwashed me. But, like me and a million other survivors, you can reverse the effects of abuse and brainwashing in less time than it took the abuser to gain control over you.

Next: How to Heal From Brainwashing and Regain Control of Your Mind

Source

1 The basis of this article comes from the coercion techniques outlined by sociologist Albert Biderman in 1957. Later, Amnesty International adopted the brainwashing techniques in their Report of Torture. See Coercive Techniques – TheNeurotypical.com

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Comments

  1. Martha rowan says:

    Absolutely love this,God bless you always

    • Thank you, Martha. It’s amazing what we don’t know, isn’t it? Then when something makes sense it feels like we should have known it all along. But don’t fall into that trap <3 How can we know what is happening to us when by our nature we would never "need to know" that information that hurts others?

  2. Thank you so much this is exactly how i feel today. i left my ex a few months back but some how he’s still in my head after every encounter. I was starting to think maybe he’s right and I am nothing but after reading this I am reminded it’s ok to feel like this. it’s his technique that’s worked for 12 years but won’t work this time.

    • Im so lost all my family and friends keep telling me im brainwashed by my partner and sometimes i think they are right i know that the things i once thought id nevet accept in a relationship i now believe i deserve i so confused what is wrong and right and he tells me they brainwash me hel me

      • Tommy Chappell says:

        seek a therapist, be strong!!! tell them that you feel this way… you have right to movement and freedom of speech… they will listen to you, whatever concerns you have. it can be weekly thing..

  3. Anonymous says:

    I spent 8 years of brainwashing and its most worst is when he involved me in vulgar sexual antics.. It seemed forever for it to end and when it did I felt degraded and shamed.. Ran away 4 years ago and still dealing with it and seeing a councilor.

  4. Marilyn says:

    36 years of narc abuse..everything you could think of ..he done to me.I realised Feb 2012 and worked to find out as much as I could.What I had done in the past was tell him that I was going for divorce whilst arguing.he just laughed and I never had the courage or the emotional ability to go ahead…I was drained!!!
    So i decided i wouldn’t tell anyone one what i was going to do,he got my son’s …all adults who had seen the abuse to stop talking to me,Ignore me completely.I was lonely ,isolated and still am.I went to a lawyer only to be told oh’this divorce will only take three months really..Sept 2013 ! I got my divorce march 5 2015.
    i have been to hell and still living in the same house,no one would help.. me,emotionally,financially,or physically and still wont .i have been in hospital lots of times for panic attack and severe anxiety,where my body completely shut down several times.No one helped me, in fact my narc stepped over me to go to work,when the ambulance arrived.
    This no contact that everyone talks about ,im sure works,but I have yet to have anyone in my position,where I couldn’t leave,but done the NO CONTACT emotionally.
    I stopped talking to him June 4 2013 and have not said one word to him.We live in separate part of the house until it is sold.My lawyer was crap and still is.All the court orders he had from the court,don’t mean anything to him,and they are not worth the paper they are written on unless actions are taken by the courts.Its has been a long road and still is but i have seen a little boy arise from a 60 year man.What I realised… even in this hell,I’m a normal,albeit not so healthy individual,emotionally stable but still attached to the life I had in the house.I am definatley suffering from Stockhome Syndrome and the therapist agrees.This is my last attachment to the life and home rather than him..if anyone can understand that.I am hoping I can get out of the home before the moving date as I will not be able to cope emotionally,its been over half my life I have been abused.
    One thing i will say..if you stop speaking to the narc ..make sure you are emotioanaly ready,because… you think its bad now,there is no comparison.BUT the pleasure I felt inside knowing he didn’t know what I was ,doing ,thinking or talking to.He was like a deer in headlights.Panic became his character. That’s when you know you are strong…BE STRONG my friends !!!
    I

    • Shannon Elam says:

      Thank you for sharing ! I pray that you are out of that house by now. I spent many years also in severe abuse and understand. I just wanted to let you know your story touched me. If you ever need encouragement I am a survivor.
      Sincerely,
      Shannon

    • Thank you.for sharing..how can i help you today marliyn…im so sorry…i know your pain
      Sincerely Rose

    • Marilyn,
      I am just beginning much the same route as you. It is still so hard to believe this is where I am in my life’s journey. He is refusing to sell the house, although our finances really demand it. Anyhow, besides the brainwashing and many, many instances of absolutely destructive abuse, I have come to the painful realization he will not change and I must in order to live with some healthy years ahead. Also been 35 years. I am 53. It is embarrassing how I still cow tow to his rants. How do you live in the house with him? I have suggested that, but he becomes incensed when I don’t lay with him–okay without sex–but he wants me there. Or my dog and I are only allowed in my room. He has told me he will destroy me should I divorce him, but like you, he actually laughed at me for my last threat to do so: Since I never have before. . .Anyhow, thanks for your post. I hope you come back and visit.

  5. jevon james says:

    i was brainwashed using some autism whisper technique how do you reverse it

    • I’ve never heard of an autism whisper technique. Whatever technique your abuser uses, once you know you’ve been brainwashed, you start noticing the “thoughts” that are not yours. Your goal is to recognize those thoughts and change them.

      • Kathleen Hoffman says:

        My situation is younger sibling whosee purpose in life is to ruin mine. She has come between my older son and I. My 16 year old son lives with me, but I believe he is under her control. People are afraid of her as she has no conscience, and believes she has the right to interfere. She is desperate, and will stop at nothing to get a result she wants. She justifies all the evil she causes. My son does and says things that sound like things she would say. She has trashed me out to my best friends, who believe her, even though they have known me for years. Everyone I meet someone new, they like me at first, and a couple months later, they treat me with hostility. I have lost 3 jobs, just like that. We just moved, and I thought I had made 2 friends. My son tells them things to turn them against me, and now they have nothing to do with me. I think he does that under my sister’s direction. I have always taught him respect, and he does others, but not me. Every time we go to a store or restaurant, he will be giving the cashier or server looks to warn them or something. Then they treat me weird. If I am communicating with someone, like trying to get a mentor for me while getting my life insurance license. The guy who recruited me won’t even call me. Someone somehow gets to them, and I think my son gives info to my sister. Needless to say, so far, my life has been ruined to the point of no car, gas is turned off…every time I feel like I have moved forward, all of a sudden, a person’s attitude towards me changes overnight. My son also dumps out my skincare products. He breaks furniture in small ways, enough to ruin them, but very subtle. I just went to put on my favorite pair of shorts, which were in perfect condition, and they have been cut down the seam of the butt…all the way down. He is so secretive with his phone. ..I just know he is in contact with her. Where else would he learn this stuff? I love him and it hurts me so badly. He acts as if he is above me, and that is another characteristic of my sister.
        PLEASE, PLEASE, HELP ME! I have prayed for a higher power to reveal the truth and stop the evil…but it continues.

      • It sounds crazy, but of course, that is the purpose of crazy-making and gaslighting. I suggest you have a heart-to-heart with your son. Don’t reveal any more of your personal life to him, but ask him about the shorts, the friends, the phone and all. There comes a time when a young person acts on his/her own, without influence. Is it really your sister behind everything?

        Remember, you’re the mom. You son doesn’t have to have a phone. He doesn’t have to have an Internet connection at home. If you’re having trouble paying the bills, then get rid of those things – it’s within your power. Lock up your important stuff where he can’t get to it (believe me, I know how expensive skin-care products can be!). Put a lock on your bedroom door if necessary. It’s time to protect yourself.

        I don’t know how your son could be turning people away from you. Have you talked to those people? Have you asked them why they’ve turned away? They are the only people who know why they’ve done so. You need to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

        Your higher power HAS revealed the truth. She just revealed it to YOU. Now you have to take action steps to protect yourself so your higher power can do more for you.

  6. What if your body from head to toe has been broken, beat, or nearly torn or twisted off. Then you do decide to leave knowing the judge will award you half of everything but the investigator on the case told you he has seen this time and time again and knows u will die if u stay or go?! What then? No hope inside or out either. So would u simply let him roll u over every morning to “get his blood pumping” and wipe his mess just like every morning off of ur back? If your going to die irregardless then should u continue to keep dying inside while all types of abuse occur only on you while al of your family, friends, and the random people that continuously beat you down while you are already so far down?!?What would true abused for real really truly do???. 5+YEARS? Of torture?!

    • Shannon Elam says:

      I am a survivor of all kinds of abuse, plus the sick man my Ma married when I was 18months old started immediately. I was sold into prostitution by [12] yrs and pimped out; I would never begin to count the raped times. Please do one thing and I know for a fact that not only will you survive; you will have more in life then expected. Cry out to God Almighty for help ! He will be your refuge. I promise! By his Holy Spirit you will know exactly what to do when ! This sicko will not determine when your life is over !

      • Shannon Elam says:

        You can get a hold of me !!! [edited] shannonelam@yahoo.com anytime

        *Editor’s Note: Can’t publish the phone number – you could have all kinds of Internet crazies ringing you up.

      • Shannon Elam that was the Best response I’ve seen on here. God Almighty is the only One you can depend on and find refuge in, ALL THE TIME…. Please do reach out to Him, all of you who feel lost abused and alone. You are never alone….He will always be there to save you…. Guaranteed!!! In Jesus’ Name….Amen!!! ❤️

    • When you get sick and tired of being sick and tired! many women have been through abuse and time and time an dtime again we leave and go back nonstop! Until something happens that allows us to grab up our boot straps and go! Whether we have to stay in a shelter or with someone else! Things will change for the better! Just pray do what you can do and allow God to do what we cant do! This is therapy for me! Although I have a bachelors in psychology and will be obtaining my masters shortly I have been through it to!

  7. I have a so called “friend”. She did everything you listed up there, that’s how I can see how evil she is now. I am so afraid of her, could you please teach me what I can do to not to offend her and cut her off from my life?
    She keep persuading me to do stuff and later I got in debt with her. Things got worse after she met my boyfriend. She keep forcing me to break up with my boyfriend(now husband) because he won’t listen to her or obey her as her other “friends/cultist” does. Now she keep reminding me that I promised her I am going to divorce my husband in 2 years(She threaten me to make a promise like that).
    She keep trying to use material stuff to make me think she cares about me, and pretend she cares about me which I know that’s not the case. I can’t even unfriend her because I am so scare that she is going to spread rumors about me in the church(even people in the church thinks she is the evil one, but I am afraid of rumors).
    Every time when she calls me on Facebook I need to hide, or lie that I don’t have a phone(which I do) or my internet is very weak. I don’t want to live under fear anymore. Please help me. Please…

    • Shannon Elam says:

      The best way to take your power back from her is go confide in the Pastor of the Church about her; and He will tell you that the control and fear is not of God. Pray her right out of your Church and life. Be strong with the help of God !!

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is all true but how do you help the one being abused to get out and become whole again

  9. this is all what i have experienced im trying to help my sister but worse of all the abuser (my brother in law) is brain washing my nephew against my sister im desperatly trying to stop it and dont know what to say to her to help!!!!!!

  10. I have a question. My husband was removed from my home on a 12 month injunction. I recently let him back in. I feel now that I have made a terrible mistake. Already, he has stopped counseling after 2 months. He started questioning me about names in my phone. I really had hope that things would be better. I am now scared that we are going down the same road as before. He tells me he loves me and feeds my ego. Deep inside somewhere I do not believe he really means it. I told him that he had to leave because he stopped counseling and that was part of the deal. He argued with me for a few hours and finally agreed but said I needed counseling as well, I agreed. Now that he is back in my home I fear that I will not be able to get him back out. That is, unless he physically hurts me again. Since I aloud him back in the home, can I make him leave or am I in contempt of court because I didn’t follow the injunction? I know that these are all legal questions and if you cannot answer I will understand.

  11. I had my husband removed form my home through an injunction. I recently let him back into the home and broke the injunction. I have not told the court that he is back home. I am worried through signs and his actions that he is not changing. He quit counseling and now says I must go to counseling as well or he will not go. I agreed. He has been through my phone and asked me who people are. I am scared that if I ask him to leave that he will not HAVE to leave because I let him back in. Obviously, I cant lie, my children know he is there. There are text messages, phone calls, etc. I am scared that the abuse will start again. He threw a toy at our oldest sons leg and the Dept of Children and Families came to our house. This is all after the injunction and removal of him from my house. It has only taken him 2 1/2 months to start the cycle again. He is golden right now. Telling me he loves me and feeding my ego. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I am going crazy. I am having panic attacks and it is really hard to concentrate. How do I get out of this craziness. I keep letting him back into my life and I don’t know why.

  12. I know someone who is brainwashed & every single technique is used to completely obedient slave to his narcissistic mom & ‘flying monkey’ sister who hav total control of his existence! He lacks empathy , lethargic, angry, exhausted, unable to think logically nor make decision yet complains how much he hates it!
    He lays on sofa without food & will only work when his mom say he may for $18 after 100 hours of work!
    It’s very sad but there is no help for him & he is also angry & begs for money to get drunk by whatever means caus it’s all a secret! His sister is in charge of his life & he obliged by giving her every penny leaving him without food!
    Sad

  13. Thank you so much for this. I’m currently going through a court case for my ex and I must say, all of the things you said in this was spot on for me. I only thought that this happened to people in their 20’s, but it does in fact happen through teenager years too. Thank you for sharing this, this has made me open my eyes a whole lot more

  14. Anonymous says:

    My son is being brainwashed by his new wife for 4 years she has done many of these things. How can I help him? He doesn’t see it!

  15. The most accurate expression of what it feels like.

  16. I was keep on asking my self am i the one who is the abuser? But i know that i am not , he use to hit me some times so bad that i could not live my bed room for days .Then i started standing up for my self .It took a long time to get there ,but i did but then he started acting like he did not know what i was talking about or even why i was acting the way i was. To the point that i would get so mad and anger at him . It took even longer to get past that part of my life . My mind still not let go . But i know i just am having a hard time , i feel sad guilt,shame all those bad emotions that come with living with a guy like this. .I am trying so hard not to go back there or letting him control me , he still makes me feel like i will never be able to live with out him . I am tring to figure out where i can go to start my live and to heal so i can have my life back . If you know a place that can help me please let me know . thank you

  17. Chetna sharma says:

    Hey! I need help.my sister is suffering from the exact things and we don’t know how to make her out of these things.She is unaware of everything that she is suffering from.is there any cure?

  18. My friend have been brainwashed, many times, we normally live together, but when she go back to her parents, she become somebody who hates me, she say that i am useless + her parents doesn’t allow her to talk with me, i could get her back once, but ATM she completely forgot everything about our past etc… she is a clomplete other person, and the most amazing things that make me mad, is that her parents, are telling her that i am useless, i am small and it’s not great, i am not the same nationnality as her.

    This time i can’t get her back, i tired again and again, but still nothing

  19. Holy Moly, I’ve been thoroughly brainwashed and am currently in the “occasional indulgences” part of the cycle. Knowing that is very helpful, actually. It was terribly confusing. After two days of vindictive and cruel behavior, all of the sudden he’s giving chocolate to all of us in the household and acting kind and like “what do you mean I would do something rude?”

  20. The daughter I love more than life itself, our only child, has been co-opted by my ex- of more than a decade ago! “He’s still at it” after all this time. I existed in an abusive marriage for about two decades until our daughter could go to college. I thought, as an intelligent (very) human being, she saw what was taking place in the household. Now he has made my son-in-law and only child treat me like dirt. But for me, and the awful names I was called nearly every day, she would have gone to the local school (not great) and in many other ways (activities) had an entirely different –and lesser– life. All that has benefited her in her adult life for which I am so glad. But how is it that she doesn’t remember who was there for her? He has made himself into a latter day hero to her (and son-in-law) which couldn’t be further from the truth. Im searching for meaning to my life — why am I so apparently hated by her(‘recently’) and have gone to the ‘it took a lot but i finally did it’ measure of contacting a few important people in her early life. With a simple question — without other background info — I asked one of these individuals what do you think went on with our D and her Dad — and this rather important person in her life said, very first thing,”Well,he was never supportive of her”. That’s right. Not only not supportive of her but condeminng of me for everything I did– or attempted to do– for her. How could he have now persuaded her and her husband that I was terrible to her –and him. I’m missing out on being with my only child and grandchildren — school plays, etc– due to his lies and presumed brainwashing. She is so smart–why can’t she remember the truth? And she and her family are missing out on the truth and fun times and the truth. Can you imagine thinking a mother (who doted on your every whim) hated you and wanted bad things for you. I gather that’s how she feels about me–from a few momentary outbursts–that’s all the info I get –along with now spending important family events ALONE. This is so evil. Is there any hope to show her a more balanced view of things. I’ll miss out on so much with she and the amazing grandchildren and, I believe, when she is older –50’s or 60’s– her pain/realization may be nearly unbearable and I’ll be gone and unable to help anyone.

  21. Anonymous says:

    My daughter has been brainwashed by a man that is older than her and she won’t talk to me at all OR the people that love her so much

  22. Thanks for eye opening. I have been victim for four years. God bless You

  23. My brother has been in a relationship for about 18 years with a woman who I believe has NPD. She has taken him over completely. My bro & I were so very close all our lives. We are only 17 months apart in age and were always the best of friends. Long story short she has spent all her time trying to remove me from his life and 4 years ago I gave up. He ended up telling me to get out of his life, This was because she told him I attacked her verbally, which of course wasn’t true. He has no thoughts of his own and although I really can’t be bothered trying anymore I still feel for him and wish there was something I could do to make him see sense. 4 years ago he told my parents they were no longer allowed to see his children and completely cut off all contact with them. Then 1 year ago he says to them it’s not fair you don’t see your own grandchildren they miss having you in their lives. Most of my family gave up having a relationship with him. We were sick of hearing how wonderful she was and how he was so lucky to have her, yet we could see he is so lost and confused. Finally he must have either had the guts to stand up to her or she just decided he had been a good boy and has allowed him to come to family functions again, but he is only allowed to come if she is present. My parents are just happy to have him around again but I cannot play the game. I am sad for him and to a degree I wish that we could reunite but I know if I try she will make his life a living hell. Many people have asked him why we are no longer friends and his only answer is because I don’t like his wife, but he cannot give any reason as to why he needs to not have me around. I have spent about 6 years researching NPD and wish that I could come up with a way of getting him out of her traps, but as she won’t let him out of her sight I know I am fighting a losing battle. I also came to the conclusion that my life is important too and I must let go if I want to keep my sanity. I go through scenario’s wishing she would be removed from life somehow but then I realise how I am being her and how I wouldn’t wish that on their children. Their eldest son is 16 years old and has many social issues. I feel for the kids so much, but as I am out of their lives I know that I cannot help in anyway. I go through tortured emotions constantly about this and always come back to the same thing……there’s nothing I can do & it’s out of my hands. I go through hating him, then her, then feeling sorry for him then wishing she would just fall off the face of the earth. I wish so much that I could just remove myself all together, but it’s hard to remove someone from your life that you once loved so much and still love underneath it all.

    • Hi, Linda, I’ve been through the same with a friend of mine, whom I felt became really close to me & was probably ready to walk away from his abuse when his girlfriend found out & not only lied on & made me look like a monster, but connected to someone else just like herself who joined forces with her to make sure I was out of his life. he did the same-told me to ‘get lost’ pretty much. Although I know he didn’t mean it & was saying it due to pressure, it still hurt because she was set out to make me look ‘as bad as her’ so he wouldn’t move on. Abusive people often turn their abusers into abusers & I pray for my friend all the time that he doesn’t become an abuser . The best thing to do is to walk away-trust me I fought for a long time trying to hold on to what I thought was a friendship which turned out to be a security blanket more than anything-I was the ‘go to’ when things got rough between them. I do believe he cares for me, but he cares for the abuser more & it’s something we have to accept and pray to God (or whomever your higher power is) that they eventually see the light before they either harm the other person or themselves. The last thing you want to do is continue to push, which I’m glad you didn’t-I can’t say the same for myself-I tried and tried and then the person eventually turned on me. There’s nothing you can do expect pray that they wake up.

  24. tejaspreet says:

    I identify with everything above but the abuser in this case seems to be my mother I’m just 17 and I feel depressed all the time lately please advise

  25. Where to start?!!!!!!

    been there, had it done to me n the scars seem to ruin everything.
    after years of being told I was being paranoid n to grow up n stop overreacting, I find myself now in a mental institution being treated for various conditions-mostly unrelated to this site.

    Inclusive of the aforementioned signs of the heart and soul destroying nature of the sickos n what they do, i find myself in tears with recollections of waking in the night to her speaking to me whilst I slept…and the often visual cues and props purposely placed during the next however many days.
    Her meth habit soon explains well enough how she’d be able to be awake whilst most folk slept.

    Id been warned she’d bent blokes up beyond repair before….WHY DIDNT I HEAD THE WARNINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????

    And now im researching how to undo/erase the self hatred and loathsome qualities about myself she successfully installed.

    I doubt i’ll ever sleep in the same bed with anyone again.

  26. I don’t think it’s my husband the bad one I think im with the one with issues.

  27. That’s the mother of my kids. Thanks for proving me correct. Shona Munro!

  28. She was honest and helpful.

  29. My bf did all of these things, so I decided to be a bitch right back. He doesn’t like that the tides have turned.

  30. Do you have any referrals for NC/SC border area? Religious cult related, 3 years later and still in a tailspin of sorts. Well really still physically sick over mental brainwash.

  31. Boy..what an incredible eye opener…well all I can say is lesson learned..and beware of these body and mind deceivers…p.s.. trust your gut..

  32. I had gone through a lot of pathological abuse when I was 24 years old and choose the way wrong guy to go out with. I was forced into isolation which has made part of my memories clostophobic. I was blocked from anything I had to say think or feel. This had ruined my whole marriage to my ex husband because I began hearing really bad voices and could not stop my migraine headaches and l had severe dizzy spells. I can definitely relate to this article.

  33. My daughter is brainwashed by a man who is 3 times older than her. He has got her to cut all ties from her family .He was quick , very swift .
    He has got her to change her phone number an moved her away .
    I did manage however to find out where .
    I just don’t know what to do now .
    He used my past an got her upset by it and she is angry towards even after we had talked about it and she had forgave me
    He doesn’t want me anywhere near her .
    She has a baby girl about 2 now
    I had her living with me for some time
    We was only to be in his home for a short time and had a place to move to until her got her to refuse to move to the place and they both kicked me out of his home
    He has got her in deep
    Oh Please Please help me
    I want my daughter back an grandaughter

    They both lived with me for about 2 years until this evil man took her over
    My name is Kathi
    I pray I will hear from you soon
    Thank you for taking your time to read this

  34. I wrote the above . I am so concerned because my daughter has a small child . I believe this man to be dangerous . Is there anyone out there who can help me asap !

  35. My sister has been stuck in a relationship exactly like this for the past two years and refuses to leave, they have a 2 year old together and my heart just breaks whenever I see the baby. He doesn’t abuse the baby, or not that I know of but my sister’s face is blue and bruised most of the year and that’s just what I can see, I don’t even want to imagine what she looks like under her clothes. My sister and me been one soul for 30 years, then she met him and after 2 month I somehow was the “jealous enemy”. She ran twice from him but always regretted it in the first week and went back in the second. We used to live together, she lived with me, my husband and daughter. Now I get to see her maybe 3 times a year although she lives only 20 minutes from me. Sometimes she texts or calls me when it gets to much and speaks about leaving him but a day or two later she does a 360 and seems to be just mad at me. I am so sad, confused, helpless and desperate at what to do? Obviously I can’t drag my 31 year old sister through the front door and take her home. My sister is not stupid, she is smart, very smart just not when it comes to this man.
    What, or better, how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be helped??
    I check FB and WhatsApp every day to see her last “online” time to see if she’s been online that day, if not, I sometimes feel panic and imagine the worst has finally happened.
    And then I feel guilty because it seems as if we just stand and watch while she goes to the most brutal time of her life, alone with no one but this sick psycho by her side.
    For a while I tried to get along with him for my sister sake, so we can have contact and see each other but being a “family” only ever lasts for the couple days he needs something from us like money, my husband to fix the car, a place to stay and after that we are back to being the worst hating people on the planet.
    I have now decided not to try to get along anymore, I can not take it anymore. He is beating my sister green and blue and I am supposed to lovingly hug him when I see him, laugh about jokes and so on. I can not bare the thought that some time in the future my sister will look back and wonder how everyone just went along with it, housed and smiled at this monster as if nothing he is doing is wrong. Me not wanting to be nice or “fake” as he calles it, has caused some stir of course, I can’t see her anymore now unless they need a ride or anything else.
    I know she knows I am still here, I know she knows all she has to do is pick up the phone and say “get me”, still I can not find peace with the situation, the thought of my sister might not surviving this kills me.
    Fortunately, I have never been on the receiving end of abuse but unfortunately that leaves me just helpless, please someone tell me how to help someone that does not want help but needs it!!??

  36. This is actually happening to a family member right now. Good to know!

    • I don’t know if this is brainwashing or not, but there was this girl that I had never talked to. She was the one who first made contact with me and over time, we became more than just friends. She became my girlfriend and life was very nice because she was the sweetest girl that had interests in me. Over time, I learned of her past of how she slept with guys and was emotionally and physically abused by her ex-boyfriend. Life was very simple then, and I always wanted to make her feel good about herself. She started off very sweet, saying nice things to me, taking care of me when I got sick, and allowing me to hangout with friends. Over time, that changed, and she became more and more controlling, often saying I wasn’t allowed to hangout with my best friend who I had been friends with for seven years. She became more and more angry every time I had wanted to hangout with my friends, often saying, “Why do you always ditch me?” She would talk badly about me to her friends calling me an awful person for not being there when she needed me. I often drifted towards my controlling girlfriend clinging on to the hope that she would realize that she needed to respect my wishes and needs as I did for her every time. We often got in fights when I was in high school with her, but we always had that hope that we could fix things. We fought over the stupidest stuff, and I feel bad though I probably shouldn’t because there were things that I did wrong like making sure I was well kempt and not getting angry with her. Until after she broke up with me did I understand part of the person she was. She was a very hurt girl who would often get in these weird moods. Over time, these episodes started to annoy me because to me, her life was good since she had me buying and bringing her anything she wanted while having a very loving family. I feel bad for getting angry with her but I did the things I did because I felt hurt. I had no freedom and when I tried to grab a sliver of time to my friends, the anger would return to her. She eventually broke up with me ri

      • She eventually broke up with me around my birthday but before that she really hurt me. For my birthday, she got me gifts but also wanted to go on a hayride with me. She asked me the night of if I wanted to go on a hayride with me for my birthday, and I instantly felt bad because I had plans to have dinner with my family for my birthday. I politely said, “Remember I told you I was going to eat with my family and stuff? Can we go another weekend?” She replied to me angrily and wouldn’t talk to me, refusing to not have the hayride at all. I felt bad because I wanted to go on a hayride with her but she just pushed me away, yelling at me. After she broke up with me, she said,”I’m sorry, you just didn’t show me enough love.” This hurt me a lot, and I believed it. I often thought of all my mistakes and I tried to get her back for the next one and a half months. She kept pushing me away and eventually fell “in love” with another guy. I knew that love was false but it still hurt me so much because she just pushed me aside like I was some piece of property that held no meaning to her. I became very depressed and hated myself but I gained understanding that I did love her very much and showe it despite her constant control over me. My mom saved my life, and I decided to not talk to my ex-girlfriend anymore. A month later, my ex-girlfriend messaged me saying it would be nice if we talked to catch up on things. I agreed and read a book that made me understand her way of thinking but not fully. Later on continually messaging her, I became very depressed again because I learned from her that she was hooking up with other guys knowing that they wouldn’t mean anything to her in years to come. I continued to message her asking her questions about she felt about me because it has been three and a half months, and I still haven’t gotten over her. She told me she didn’t have any feelings for me anymore and hadn’t for a while, despite her saying that she loved me very much in the relationship. I really hope that this abuse or whatever you call it doesn’t hurt me too much, and I hope that I can one day give the love that I gave while receiving it back. The whole situation is all heartbreaking because I know she made a mistake, since she probably will bring herself back to the little girl she used to be. I know she made a mistake but I could use another outlook on whether I experienced abuse or not? Also, how could she lose that love with a blink of an eye?
        Thank you and I hope this helps anyone if they can relate.

  37. Hi there. I have been the victim of abuse for 12 years now I do not want to drag anyone into my world of pain but I need to share the word “Gaslighting” everyone suffering this kind of paun meeds to learn as uch as they can about narcissits and “Gaslighting” it will help you immensly……..all the best XxOo

    • “Gas-lamping” is a cover-up behavior. If someone is gas-lamping you, they have done something immoral and they don’t want you to know. Something bad too. Maybe even bad enough to land them in jail….
      If you’re being gas-lamped by a spouse, they’re likely cheating on you or engaging in a secret, sexual fetish. Closet homosexual sex while married and child molestation are the most common fetishes, but it could be anything really. I know it’s hard to see someone you think you know in such a strange light, but if you are being gas-lamped you should assume there’s something immoral going on behind your back, and YOU should be proactive in figuring out what. You might find clues in their “jokes”, innuendo and Freudian slips, but don’t expect them to tell you about the precarious situation you’re in.
      A hidden, recorder in the gas lamper’s car works very well for gaining insight into what exactly this person is hiding from you. If you suspect you’re involved with a narcissist, you might want to hide a recorder in your child’s room, just to make sure nothing is going on behind your back there. This is for your own safety and the safety of your children. If you do discover any frightening abnormalities, you should strongly consider involving the police if appropriate, or hiring a private detective to go through the gas-lamper’s computer use with a fine tooth comb. This may really help in gaining the evidence you’ll need to defend yourself from this person in court, because you already know they’re going to claim you’re “crazy.”
      Being brainwashed by a gas-lamper is a nightmare for an unsuspecting victim or child. Of course, in the morally bankrupt narcissist’s mind you deserve this treatment for being clueless about their double-life.

      • Hi, my name is Janet and I work here at Verbal Abuse Journals. Thank you for your comment. I wanted to just say that when someone Gas Lights another person it does not necessarily mean they are leading a double life. The term Gas Lighting came from the movie of the same name. It was about a husband and wife and he was abusing her by slowly driving her crazy. He would flicker the lights, she would ask if he noticed that and he would ask her what she meant (is one example). Over time she began to question her reality and this is commonly used by abusers as a tactic to maintain control over their victim and make their victim weak. Also, if the victim speaks out to others about the abuse, it is easier for the abuser to deflect what is really happening and claim that the victim is crazy and a liar. It is a horrible form of abuse. Anyways I just wanted to add that to what you said.

        Take care, Janet

  38. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know it was and is hard to recall, moments and memories. But you are helping so many people work through the insanity of the moment. As I read your writing . The bits n bites of the trama I went through, you brought light to the darkness. I am healing but it is a process.. the triggers still come. But fewer. Still hard though. Please continue to share, the tears you have shed, the anger that raged, the peace that filled and the confidence that was born. Is helping others to walk through the darkness. And show them there is hope. Bless you

  39. Anonymous says:

    Everything mentioned was done to me.. ! It’s terrible..I feel I’m not worthy of anything..I was isolated from my family and my friends..!

    • Dear Anonymous, I am so sorry that you have had to go through this. Let me tell you that you are worthy, very worthy of a good life and you did not deserve anything that was done to you. Janet – Verbal Abuse Journals

  40. I agree with all but you never mentioned abuser using religion and his “perfect ” relationship with God as a tool to coerce further a woman to come away from her family and give up her life as she once knew it. Also an abuser who prides himself on his high level of physical fitness, at times with obsessive disapline but allowing his partner or possibly encouraging his once beautiful patter to indulge in obsessive eating so that she doesn’t resemble anything of her former self .

  41. Anonymous says:

    Thank you…..

  42. Lena Perales says:

    My son is being brain washed by his babies mother what can we do to help him he can’t even talk to us anymore his whole family he being deprived of food now all he has is th r clothes on his back she’s done torn everything. He works with his father and brother they said he’s done shout down looks like a walking zombie please what can I do

  43. I need some help and don’t know where to turn

  44. Notwhathesays says:

    Everything ticks the box …. I was strangled twice.. Beaten.. Slightly stabbed on the weekend…and much more…he is now living in our garage… My emotions are changing every hour..when i feel good i try and achieve something. ..even to eat is a challenge at this time. He has stripped me of everything you write. But I am reaching out to ladies i hardly know and these beautiful souls are helping me.

  45. Anonymous says:

    OMG…everything above…I’m just realizing with my heart what my mind already knows…the worst thing is when the person that hurts you is the person that you and everyone shuld trust like for example a police officer like in my case… 🙁

  46. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been trying to work out what really happened to me for the past year reading countless articles stories and introspecting. This is by far the most concise article I have read. Thank you for posting.

  47. Great article

  48. I was actually reading this for a research project, but now i realize that my mother has been verbally abusing me all my life. A little late to realize this because im moving out next week. They’re going to try everything to prevent that from happening though. Wish me luck.

  49. Wow just read the complete description of my husband…..it’s everything I was afraid of. Thank you I at least know what he is

  50. Isabella says:

    My mother has been brainwashed into selling for a new 2017 medicine product under some made up business “VASAYO”, it makes me sick to my stomach thinking what they do to those by literally, taking big chunks of others income.

    Recently she tried to ask my spouse to pay for a membership guess for how much?… $150,000 CRAZY!

    On social media none of her friends want to attend her Vasayo meetings, nothing but excuses to prevent from being taken advantage of financially.

    I need your help to get my own Mother back within months not years. Yes I’ve done plenty of research on Vasayo and cults. ⚠️ VASAYO IS A EVIL SCAM BRAINWASHING ITS MEMBERS LOW INCOME, KEEPS ITS VICTIMS LIKE SLAVES, AND EITHER SNAPPING OUT OF SOON OR DEATH.

    HELP!

  51. Vicki farough says:

    How do you rescue a family member

  52. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this article. Comforting that someone understands. How do I reverse damage done to my son and importantly his health, as he’s pretty much alienated from me. It will pass to the next generation unless sanity is found. Best wishes to those recovering from this abuse.

    • Hi

      My name is Janet and I work here at Verbal Abuse Journals. Undoing brainwashing takes time, patience and willingness from the person who has been brainwashed and perseverance on your part. First of all, be you. The person who has brainwashed him will have painted a very different picture of you so continue being you, your actions will be noticed overtime. Counselling with him can also help. A counsellor can help undo the brainwashing as a 3Rd party and can back you up. Another thing you could try is writing him a letter about your thoughts. He may not be receptive, it’s important to remember that he probably has a lot of pressure from the brainwasher not to believe you, but it is worth a try. Counselling yourself can also help you learn coping skills around this.

  53. Does the binaural mp3’s on youtube brainwash you? I started having seizures a year and half ago. Im so sure its because the binaurals. Im going to just come out and say it the binaurals were for sexual. Supposed orgasm, but only really really arouse. Their “technique” is usually referred to as entrainment. Training your brain I suppose. I still have problems with being addicted to them. Me wanting to do it. Anyways I take keppra now. I want to say the seizures arent from epilepsy (grand mal seizures) but from whatever the binaurals did. I listened to the binaurals in bed before I went to bed. My seizures are mainly in my sleep in the morning before I wake up. Once every 2 weeks is the average. Anyways besides the seizures now when I wake up I have a period in the morning that anything I read, or anything anyone says always translates in my head turns into a phrase that I can understand but never grasp or hold onto to remember to write the phrase down. The phrase is barely there in my mind. It seems to be telling me for my body to listen headphones or for my body to orgasm or something like that. I read Pepperidge Farm on the bread package and it translates into the same phrase anything else would but I can not really tell you what the phrase is. I would love for help, and to hear your input. Please please please feel free to contact me on facebook. Send me a request if you do so I can see your messages. The email I put for this message is my facebook acount email. This period when anything in my mind where it translates things I cant talk or barely talk. This also happened a few months ago, but was not when I woke up. Didnt seem as strong, and went away for a few months until now. Also this started happening a few days ago when I was supposed to have my 2 week average seizure, but did not. I had an aura, but no seizure.

    age whelgieforce mind
    ^^^^ also that is the phrase I tried to type it out just now that was in my mind…the phrase is always the same, and now I cant rèmember it to fix it. However again just now I could understand it looking at that, but again it went away.

    • Nathan, your experience with the binaurals is truly beyond the scope of my understanding. Your experience could be related to your seizures or some other physical or mental condition. I recommend you speak to your doctor about all of this because truly, I cannot begin to advise.

      I did find information on Keppra that says this: Call your doctor at once if you have … confusion, hallucinations, … (among other things). I know you must feel confused, and I hope your doctor can help you sort this out.

  54. Nathan says:

    Was my message removed? Thanks.

  55. People posting on the page should know “Gas lamping” is a cover-up behavior, narcissistic personalities utilize to throw you off the truth-track. If you know someone exhibiting this behavior, you got bigger problems than you realize.

    Gas lamping/lighting is term borrowed from a 1940 movie titled “Gas Light.” It’s about a man who murders his aunt for an inheritance, ropes in an unsuspecting wife, and then proceeds to drive her “krazy,” using bizarre mind control tactics a lot of people on this page refer to as gas lamping/lighting. If someone you know is exhibiting gas lamping behavior, they are/were involved with something so immoral it will probably shock you terribly if you find out. It may be something bad enough to land them in jail…. Like the wife in this movie, you just don’t know about it (yet).

    If you’re being gas lamped by a spouse, it’s most likely because they’re engaging in a secret, sexual relationship of some kind. This is true for both men and women. It could be with a member of the opposite sex from the office, but you should be aware that same-sex affairs, children and prostitutes are common sexual fodder for risk loving narcissists. Don’t believe it? Visit the ally behind Venice Beach, CA. sometime, and observe the continuous line-up of Range Rovers, BMWs, and Mercedes picking up homeless, drug-addicted, teenage hustlers, who are mostly male. Almost every city has an area where your brazen spouse can hook-up with male and female prostitutes. Craig’s List and certain dating apps also provide your spouse with any kind of hook-up they secretly desire. The worst case scenario, is the neighborhood swinger’s house. This is more common than most women know. Lessor common things your gas lamping spouse could be hiding from you include embezzlement and other business crimes, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, etc., but it’s probably an inappropriate, sexual relationship.

    By the way, if your gas lamping husband is on the “down-low,” he will probably be extremely misogynistic too. If this is the case in your situation, Google “signs your husband is a closet homosexual,” and pull your head out of your behind, because this is an especially dangerous situation for you. See Dr. Robert Hare’s book titled “Without Conscience” and “Crime Watch Daily” for information about how narcissistic pedophiles operate. Watch out for them “grooming” your children with special privileges, candy, money etc., strangely doing laundry when they never do laundry, sleeping with your kids, or using your kids to gang-up on you.

    Being brainwashed by a gas lamper is a nightmare for an unsuspecting, adult victim, but it’s even worse for children who witness this behavior, after being sexually abused by the narcissist. This is basically how serial killers develop (reference the 1964 movie “Straight Jacket.”) If a covered-up molestation situation is not caught early in their life, children could develop a sort of Stockholm Syndrome (another form of brainwashing) with their molester, and mimic the molester’s behavior for the rest of their life.

    Note, if you’re dealing with a sexual predator spouse, you can also expect to see unwarranted hater behavior toward entire groups of people (racism/sexism). Strangely, people who are sexually victimized as children are notorious for hating their mothers, and sometimes their future children, for no real or good reason.

    Sadly, I know of no cure for any of this. Unless they’re treating incarcerated people, psychologists and councilors do not attempt to “cure” people who have class B personality disorders, nor do they infuse immoral behavior with morality. Psychologists and councilors tend to keep these kind of patients at status quo, so they can make money off them, for as long as possible. Many of them are even willing to cover-up for pedophiles, who seek “therapy.”

    I know it’s hard to see someone you think you know and trust in this light, but if you are being gas lamped by a close relation, this is a dire situation, and you should assume the worst. If this is a sexual relationship, that involves kids, don’t wait until your life, as you know it, come crashing down around you before you investigate. You should be proactive in figuring out what’s going on behind your back, because you have a lot to lose as a spouse.

    You might find clues in their rants about “you,” when they switch behavior with you, innuendo, Freudian slips, and their “jokes,” but don’t expect them to tell you the truth, even if you ask nicely. Nor should you expect a victimized child to tell you the truth.

    Quietly hide a recorder in your gas lamping spouse’s car, and get some insight into what this person is hiding from you. You should also hide a recorder in your children’s rooms, just to make sure the gas lamper isn’t molesting them in the middle of the night, while you’re sleeping. Document how often and when your spouse gas lamps you, and hide recorders before you expect it to happen again.

    Do not tell anyone if you do this, not even a trusted friend. Finding out the truth about your gas lamper is YOUR job and YOUR business. Don’t expect others to understand, unless they’ve experienced this unimaginable ordeal. If you get evidence of a molestation situation, quietly and without fanfare seek legal help and flee, using any means necessary.

    If you do discover disturbing abnormalities, you should involve the police if appropriate, or hire a private detective to go through your gas lamping spouse’s computer and Internet use with a fine tooth comb. This could help you get the evidence you need to come to the realization of who you’re really dealing with. It may also help you defend yourself from this person, because you already know they’re going to claim you’re “krazy” when you tell others about any foul behavior you discover. Of course, in the narcissistic, gas lamper’s mind you deserve this treatment for being clueless in the first place. No one deserves this hell!

  56. Anonymous says:

    HELP HELP HELP!!!!!!

    This site is absolute god send I agree to the above comment.

    I have recently lost my best friend of 12 years to a prostitute we met in a brothel. She does the EXACT same thing as the above described. He has since attempted to commit suicide 3 times and subsequently ended up in a mental ward and been returning there repeatedly. I’m on the brink of giving up and losing my friend completely.

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