What we're about

We welcome you to Adult Children of Narcissists and hope you will find here the hope, camaraderie and recovery that we have been privileged to experience.

We are a spiritual, self-help group of women and men, 18 years or older, who are guided by a set of 12 Suggested Steps and 12 Traditions as borrowed from Adult Children of Alcoholics or ACA, along with the Serenity Prayer. The only requirement for membership is that you are a victim of childhood narcissistic abuse from your caregiver or parent(s), and you want to recover. There are no dues or fees.

We define narcissistic childhood abuse as growing up in a dysfunctional home where you have experienced emotional abuse, verbal abuse, neglect (or smothering), or sometimes physical or sexual abuse from your emotionally manipulative parent/caregiver. The parent could have degrees of narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, or antisocial traits.

Everything that is said here, in the group meeting or member to member, must be held in strict confidence.

We do not have any professional therapist working in our group. ACN is not a replacement for therapy or any other professional service when needed.

In dealing with this pain, it feels as if we are pulling the scab off a wound that never healed properly, AND IT HURTS. However, it is easier to cry when we have friends who are not afraid of our tears. We CAN be comforted - that is why we are here.

It is important to remember that no one can tell us what to do. In ACN, we do not give unsolicited advice. Each of us will find the path meant for us in recovery. Take what you like and leave the rest, but let there be no judgment or criticism of one another.

We want to remind those who have recently joined ACN that you are creative, courageous and caring survivors. It's a miracle that you are here. We know your pain. Each day we accept and deal with the consequences of our childhood abusive experience, we become stronger, and we can recognize and identify ourselves as proud survivors.

We want you to know you are not to blame, and most importantly, you are not alone.

Upcoming events (5+)

The Guilt Trip

Arlington Public Library, Central Branch

This is not a vacation we want to take. Being around a guilt tripping parent can erode our self-esteem, constantly feeling indebted, and deterring us from taking risks that help us grow into our true and authentic selves. We will share what happened of how our parents used guilt to manipulate us and how we deal with guilt on our lives today.

Managing the Abandonment Depression

Arlington Public Library, Central Branch

Cptsd burdens us with hair-trigger susceptibility to painful emotional flashbacks. Flashbacks are layers of defensive reactions to the abandonment depression. We will share strategies that reduce harmful reactions that are no longer necessary. This strategy involves self-compassionately soothing ourselves when we are trapped in fear and/or depression.

Parental Abandonment Creates Self-Abandonment

Arlington Public Library, Central Branch

We can gradually deconstruct the self-abandoning habit of reaction to depression with fear and shame, inner critic catastrophizing, and 4F acting out. We will share how we stay self-supportingly present to the feelings of the abandonment depression.

Self Validation

Arlington Public Library, Central Branch

We will share how we were taught as children to seek external validation. We will also share how we recognize and affirm our emotions and opinions as worthy today.

Past events (247)


Arlington Public Library, Central Branch

Photos (178)