Other Let's talk about indoctrination and brainwashing.

We don't tell people who were raped that they should've been better able to spot the rapist, been able to set better boundaries or that they wouldn't have been the rapist's target if they'd had better self-esteem.
This is unhelpful.

First, because it’s not true. I’m not sure where you live, but victim-blaming is still very much a thing where I live. On every level. From the court system to the playground. Laws that are specifically directed at preventing victim-blaming have had almost zero impact in the judicial system here, and victim blaming at a community level is alive and well.

Second? Because comparing rape (a discrete episode of interpersonal sexual violence) is not the same thing as victim of a domestic violence relationship.

Apples and oranges.
There are elements of the psychological abuse that feel basically like brainwashing to me - my brain no longer responds to things in a way that makes sense to me.
Similarly, only in the broadest sense of the word. Like putting ‘brainwashing’ and ‘learning’ in the same basket. ‘Basically brainwashing’ - basically taught, basically programmed, basically…

I think broad strokes like that can be helpful, vaguely, in understanding what has happened to us. But, it can also be very unhelpful. Convincing ourselves “the thing I suffered was exactly like that”, when actually it wasn’t that, at all, seems more like avoidance to me. Of what you actually went through.

Rape and a relationship with a narcissist are not the same.
A pedophile grooming a child and love-bombing from a narcissist are not the same.
Progressively losing your sense of self and self esteem from a narcissist and brainwashing are not the same.

Indoctrination and brainwashing is typically organisational, or institutional. It involves an agenda, or philosophy, that (typically a group or institution) are intentionally indoctrinating members of their group with.

ETA Not meaning to invalidate your experience. Different, is neither better nor worse, just different. I’m not expressing myself well atm.
 
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