Posted by: Judy | January 28, 2015

Meme debunking…

“No one can use you without your permission.”

I really hate this one.

Darlene Ouiment shared this on FB:

“When a child is taught that their only purpose in life is to be what someone else wants it isn’t that they LET people use them, manipulate them, and or take advantage of them when they grow up, it’s that they were never taught about their own value in the first place.”


It has taken me years to not only learn keeping NM happy wasn’t my responsibility but to learn I couldn’t make NM happy. I still can’t. Blessedly, I’ve given up the attempt. NM still isn’t happy, but I’m no longer beating my head against the wall.

The thing about being used is that sometimes it isn’t obvious. A person who is naturally giving is often a target of users. Healthy boundaries help with this, but practicing protection of those boundaries is also a must. Protecting boundaries doesn’t simply happen by magic, even if it looks like it sometimes.

I also fear falling into being a user. I have done it. I’m not proud of it. It’s part of learning healthy boundaries and respect, for myself and others. Since respect wasn’t taught at home, I’m working on cultivate the trait now. It was another one of those things I had to first learn what it was and then incorporate it into my life.

I do like to use this quote as a gauge. If I’m feeling used, then I re-evaluate and decide if I want to continue. Is it a one-time thing where the person is feeling stressed? Or is this a perpetual problem? Sometimes patience is needed and sometimes cutting line is needed. The quote is a good gut check, so to speak.



  1. Just now realized how memes like that don’t feel inspiring at all, they feel accusatory. Great post. Juxtaposing those 2 things together send it home.

    • Yes! Accusatory is what it feels like. Thanks for finding the right word. 🙂

  2. I grew up as a pawn of my narcissist mother. It took my husband pointing it out to me for me to realize that she was using me. It took me even longer to do something about it. When you grow up with that role it’s hard to drop it.

    • It truly is difficult. You have to learn a whole new way of interacting with people that doesn’t include adapting to the N’s behavior. But it is doable. 🙂

      • It’s true. You have to move from a totally dysfunctional way of living and try to figure out how to live a better way by yourself. There is a huge learning curve. I feel like I am getting better at it. At least I hope that I am 😉

        • Awareness is a great first step.

  3. This one is a particularly odious one for ACoNs.

    • Yes, it is, but it took me a long time to figure out why it was so hurtful.

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