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Thanks to Band Back Together posts, I’ve found many links about other adult children of narcissistic parents (ACONs). I’m learning a lot about who I am and what I need to do heal from the emotional abuse I lived through.

I now understand that through emotional abuse as a child, a person develops many challenges in his or her adult relationships. ACONs are unable to judge people (especially when it comes to protecting oneself), lack understanding what is bad and wrong, instead believing everyone is good. This is what emotional abuse does – it makes us magnets for abusers in our adult relationships.

Lacking the ability to act assertively and set healthy emotional boundaries is big deal of for ACONs. Since I’ve been to the clinic, I read about narcissistic personality disorder. I now understand that I need to put myself first, to respect myself, and set emotional boundaries. This is new for me: I couldn’t tell when it was too much until was too late. I still struggle but I believe that a part of me is learning to respect myself.

I made a huge step: a friend of mine was celebrating her birthday and was pushing me to go to a disco to party with her. It was far too much for me. I have panic disorder,depression, and struggle interacting in social situations.

I explained to her how I felt, but she continued insisting – she told me she wouldn’t come to my birthday party if I didn’t go to hers. I was about to go. I’d picked out an outfit when it hit me: I knew I’d feel distressed and exhausted. I decided to call her and tell her I wasn’t coming. This was incredibly difficult for me but I did it.

For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel guilty or fear punishment – I felt I needed to respect myself. If she is my friend, she needs to respect my feelings. She doesn’t need to understand them, but she needs to respect them. I’m so proud of myself.

I’m starting to understand what being emotionally abused by a very manipulative malignant narcissistic mother has done to me. I’ve had to learn that it’s okay to say no when one feels like it. I can do that without feeling guilty. This is self-respect, not failing with someone else’s expectations. I’m not hurting anyone by saying I’m sorry, I can’t – I don’t want to do that.

I know it’s a long road I’m facing to learn to say, “No! Don’t touch me!” To put a really angry face when I feel disrespected, and to develop positive aggression to protect myself from abuse. For that, I need to be able to understand my emotional boundaries.

Still can’t. But I’m learning every day.

I now feel comfortable about cutting ties with my ex-boyfriend. I can see that he’s a crazy narcissistic abuser and that the best thing to do was to cut him off. I’d been feeling very insecure about dealing with him as he keeps sending me kind messages. I ignored them, but I was very insecure that cutting him off. Now I know that’s the right thing to do.

I’m loving this new found freedom. I can easily cut out all the abusers in my life. It’s been tough, though. I now see how many narcissistic people I’ve had around me my whole life. How I’ve been abused by friends and that all my ex-boyfriends – without exception – are narcissists. How I let them abuse me without realizing it. I’d get hurt and try to tell them, but they would never hear, I couldn’t see why they’d hurt me. I’d used to think it was because they didn’t realize it. I struggled, trying to make sense of their abuse. So naïve.

Of course they knew it! They just didn’t care.

I’ve got to protect myself.