Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

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All parents fall short from time to time. But Susan Forward pulls no punches when it comes to those whose deficiencies cripple their children emotionally. Her brisk, unreserved guide to overcoming the stultifying agony of parental manipulation--from power trips to guilt trips and all other killers of self worth--will help deal with the pain of childhood and move beyond the frustrating relationship patterns learned at home.

Are you the child of toxic parents?

When you were a child...

• Did your parents tell you you were bad or worthless?
• Did your parents use physical pain to discipline you?
• Did you have to take care of your parents because of their problems?
• Were you often frightened of your parents?
• Did your parents do anything to you that had to be kept secret?

Now that you’re an adult...

• Do your parents still treat you as if you were a child?
• Do you have intense emotional or physical reactions after spending time with your parents?
• Do your parents control you with threats or guilt? Do they manipulate you with money?
• Do you feel that no matter what you do, it’s never good enough for your parents?

In this remarkable self-help guide, Dr. Susan Forward draws on case histories and the real-life voices of adult children of toxic parents to help you free yourself from the frustrating patterns of your relationship with your parents — and discover a new world of self-confidence, inner strength, and emotional independence.

Customer Reviews:

  • Overly Simplistic but Good Tips
    As someone who has a toxic mother, you know how everyday feels like an eternity when you feel so much pain inside. Half of the book is about other people's experiences with her in therapy and the other half is about how we can change our situation ourselves. I gave her 1 star because of this very important point that she misses: If you have a truly toxic parent, confrontation is not the answer (as she says). I agree with the other reviewer who gave one star because it doesn't seem like she has truly been in this kind of a situation. The REALITY of LIVING WITH TOXIC PARENTS is that THEY DO NOT CHANGE. I am a grounded and fair minded person, but I think her advice is baloney. And she spent chapters on bits of advice that you could outline on one page. I felt so bad after reading it. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with all of you. ...more info
  • Toxic Parents
    This is one of the best books I have ever read. I could relate to many of the stories indicated inside the book. This is a book you want to read a little, put down, and then reflect before moving on. I could not believe after all of these years the Author gave an explanation to many of my feelings that I did not understand. This book helps you to make peace not only with yourself, but your Toxic Parents....more info
  • Very Informative Book
    I think this book has useful information for anyone who has parents....more info
  • eye opener
    This book along with a couple of others on the subject have helped me to have peace with my hurtful childhood. I had pretty much adopted the attitude that I received the hand that I was dealt in life. Now I'm beginning to see that things could have been much better had I had parents who bothered to take an interest in me other than what I could do for them. The good news is I feel empowered to break the cycle and provide loving feedback for my children at all times....more info
  • Be Prepared to Face the Truth about Your Life
    Probably 80% of people should read this book. We often don't realize how much instances of poor parenting affect our adult life. This book helped me to see, not only the affects of toxic parenting on me, but also I could see the affects of toxic parenting on my own parents by their parents. This book cannot be read quickly, there is a lot here to ponder about. Also the second half of the book is extremely good, offering tools for recovery....more info
  • great book, poor title
    I hate the title, it's a label, and I don't believe in labeling people. Some parents have a lot of toxic traits, but they are not toxic. Still a good read....more info
  • The Best
    This book is the bible on the topic of bad parenting, the harm it does, and recovering from it. Susan Forward apparently has a vast amount of experience and is highly intelligent. I found this book VERY helpful. I thought I already knew a lot, but I learned plenty of new things here, like why my parents acted the way they did. This books is FAR better than the several therapists I talked to. They were totally useless and incredibly lame. They only recognized my depression and social anxiety (which are merely symptoms) and failed to get down to my core issues. For one thing, I told them about my lousy parents, and they were clueless on what to do about that. All they could do was keep asking pointless questions just to keep me talking. I really hate therapists now because most of them are so incompetent and they try to hide their ignorance by not allowing you to ask them questions and not giving you any solutions. And the kicker is they tell you that patients are supposed to solve their own problems. Yeah right! Not in a million years! So if you do go into therapy, know that there are a lot of bad therapists and only a few good ones. That's why you're better off reading books like this one. Books like this give you the answers and solutions that you're seeking to solve your problems.
    ...more info
  • Toxic Parents
    This book was a wake up call for me and helped me see how disfuctional my family really was and how I needed to set boundaries.
    Linda...more info
  • Self-help
    Good book for doing self-analyis of one's childhood. Good start to moving foward and getting over the past....more info
  • Groundbreaking and Not to be MIssed!
    Toxic Parents is a great resource for anyone who is suffering abuse at the hands of a parent. Susan Forward is an internationally recognized therapist and writer, who has also hosted her own ABC talk radio program.
    As the director of Luke 17: 3 Ministries, a ministry for Adult Daughters of Abusive or Controlling Birth-Families, I must say that, next to the Bible itself, I have found Toxic Parents to be an invaluable resource for dealing with relatives who will destroy you if you allow it. When you love a family member, and treat them with love, it is hard to understand, or believe, that they would return your love with abuse and maliciousness. But unfortunately, that is reality for many of us, and this book helps us to come to terms with that, and protect ourselves from our family's destructiveness.
    Do your parents still treat you like a child? Do they control you with threats or guilt or manipulate you with money? Does it seem that no matter what you do, it's never good enough? As a child, did you have to take care of your parents because of their problems? Do you still?
    Toxic Parents explains the dynamics of a dysfunctional family in a very easy-to-read format. Types of toxic parents are discussed in detail, such as inadequate parents, controllers, alcoholics, verbal, physical, and sexual abusers, as well as the family system and why parents behave this way.
    Some topics covered are: Spoken and Unspoken Rules, Obedience No Matter What, I Don't Know Where You End and I Begin, No One in This Family is an Alcoholic, The Family Balancing Act, and Fear of Anger. We are shown the rigid mechanisms by which toxic parents cope, such as Denial, Projection (accusing or blaming the child), Sabotage, Triangling (confiding in or enlisting the child against someone else), and Keeping Secrets.
    The reader is given steps to reclaim her life and instruction on assertiveness, how to state what you are or are not willing to do, and how to confront your parent, including old, ill, or deceased parents. The chapters on confrontation are especially valuable, teaching what to expect and how to handle your parents' reactions( 'It never happened', 'It was your fault','I said I was sorry', 'We did the best we could','Look what we did for you', etc.), as well as your siblings' reactions and reactions from other assorted relatives.
    Toxic Parents teaches you that you are not responsible for your parents' behavior, teasing, neglect, abuse, or unhappiness, their problems, or their choice to do nothing to solve their problems. Your parents are responsible for their own lives and their own actions.
    This book will help you decide what kind of a relationship, if any, you can have with your parents. It helped me recognize much of what was going on in my own dysfunctional birth-family, and is a very valuable tool for anyone who needs help in understanding and freeing herself from a situation that is poisoning her life. It will open your eyes- and I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with "parent" issues in their adult lives.

    ...more info
  • Really good book
    This book is really good, is not the best I've read about this but is very interesting.
    I am always saying a lot of "couples" are into a stressfull relationship because of one or both partner's past.
    Is a great book to understand your own experience or a loved one's.
    ...more info
  • Toxic Parents
    This is a wonderful book for anyone who is on a journey to discover self. ...more info
  • This is a must read for all people
    No family is perfect, and this book offers insight to dysfunction. Easy read with clear examples of parental behavior and how to overcome the damage. This book gives the first step to understanding frustrations that are underlying in family hierarchy. Toxic parents help me understand my relationships with others and my role as a child of alcoholism. ...more info
  • Love, Love, Love this Book!
    I have picked this book up time and again to read the same words and still depict new and insightful meaning from them. The reading is swift, easy, and a direct hit to the mind. Many of the concepts I read in this book have put my actual feelings into words and gave my agitation true focus, pinpointing it...finally! What relief!
    Though I have been out of therapy for many moons, I've been missing those single hours of air and breath and honesty. This book helps me find those moments again, within myself. A most cherished gift to mankind indeed. I do not think you will be disappointed. ...more info
  • Saving my life
    My Christain counselor recommended this book. My husband devoured it from the day it came in the mail. I, the victim, had to sit it down at times so I could sleep. It is very thorough and eye opening. The Lord knew the suffering in my heart and gave me just what I needed. My counseling continues and my enormous load gets lighter each day. As far as gifts from God, I rank it second only to my salvation. If you're the victim, take this life preserver and free yourself from the undeserving guilt you've been living with. Get a Christain counselor and start this book....more info
  • Excellent book to finally help recover from parent issues
    I've read many books on dealing with parent issues and this is one of the best, mainly because the author explains why we do not have to "forgive" our parents. Sometimes it's impossible. There are good examples of toxic parent/child relationships that deal with emotional and verbal abuse, not just the more egregious sexual abuse. Reading about the lives of other people and their parents will help many people realize they are not alone and that they too can overcome any difficulties with their parents - either by developing a more mature and healthy relationship or just learning to let them go. ...more info
  • A good general introduction
    For me this book is an introduction to various family phenomena, and once your specific situation is focused on, another book must be bought, but still it is necessary to read it to get a frame for family interactions and better understand your own....more info
  • How a book can change your life
    I am a professional who never realized that the family chaos I endured was not an isolated incident. I thought I was alone, and the only one who suffered at the hands of my parents. After all, there were no physical scars to show for it. This book changed my life, and saved it. It changed my husband, and has influenced my siblings and helped me prevent sending the same damaging messages to my children. I am a true skeptic that any armchair psychologist could know anything about someone they have never seen or examined. This book was like reading about myself! Frightening, but eventually very emancipating. This has never happened to me. If you feel you suffered as a child, read this book!...more info
  • "And you were wondering why..."
    It is rare that any of us grow up in "perfectly-parented" households; after all we're imperfect humans. Some of us have had really difficult, complex upbringings. Yet, we can move on and make the best of our lives with the help of information offered in this book. It opened a new vista for me, and parents should find it thought-provoking for their own relationships, especially in regard to both their parents and their children.

    It was a great help to recognize the psychological types in my parents. For a couple of years in my adulthood my mother and I even "divorced" each other. Although we were not able to resolve all our issues before her death, we were finally able to function on relatively friendly terms in the last years of her life.

    Although individual situations often warrant consulting a professional counselor, this book is an invaluable tool for identifying and recognizing the problematic traits, reasons for the behaviors, and ways to move beyond the differences, so you don't wallow in the blame-game. Depending on one's spiritual inclination, blame cannot be laid entirely on the parent. There may be karmic dynamics that call for healing.

    E. A. Davis, author, Waiting for Wings: Accompanying a Parent to the Edge of Life...more info
  • Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
    Perfect Item & Fast Shipping....more info
  • Hit Home
    I haven't read the whole thing but what I have has made me cry - I was able to relate to quite a few was a relief to know that my patterns and behavior have reasons (not excuses, but reasons.)
    Glad I bought it....more info
  • A book I will NEVER throw away
    If sometimes you find yourself feeling depressed or angry for no apparent reason- there may be a reason.
    When this happened to me I did everything from self-help books, to meditation techniques, to partying, to listening to music, to rolling up into a ball and laying there- all to no avail. Then one day during one of these moods I decided to try reading something yet again to get my mind off the out of the blue sadness- after reading only the first couple of chapters, something finally clicked in me, and I really knew for the first time what these episodes were about. For the first time ever I actually felt the healing process begin within me and could start taking charge of how I felt. I can't say enough about the excersises in this book! The last few chapters are especially helpful. When you feel up to it, you may want to take out your highlighter because there are some real gems in this text that you'll want to read and re-read for years to come....more info
  • This book is a MUST READ
    This book, quite simply, changed my life. If you have unreconciled and unresolved issues with your parents ... especially if they are no longer living ... this book will help you through them. Do not hesitate to buy it. It really will help you. I've also given it as a gift to people I know well enough (it's a pretty intimate gift...) and have been thanked profusely. ...more info
  • A Slightly Different Approach
    What we experience in childhood shapes us as adults. Our parents play a major role in that. No surprises there. And plenty has been written on the topic. Susan Forward establishes her niche by encouraging readers to go ahead and get angry about... and grieve for... the various things that didn't go as we'd have hoped in childhood. She advocates confronting "toxic parents" as a way to get beyond the damage done and "reclaim your life," i.e. start living in the present, without the emotional baggage of the past. Susan also encourages readers to forgive themselves if they can't - for whatever reason - maintain a close, loving relationship with one or more parents. Most importantly, she encourages readers to put the blame where it belongs and not keep accepting the child's conclusion that "anything done to me is my fault."

    This book is a nice counterpoint to others on the subject. I also highly recommend David Richo's compassionate East-meets-West book, "How to Be an Adult in Relationships - The Five Keys to Conscious Loving" for more insights on how to move beyond the past and reclaim your life....more info
  • Wow. Couldn't put it down...
    Wow. I devoured this book. I found it riveting, fascinating, absorbing - I couldn't put it down. I am intrigued by books that help me understand how people work. Why does my friend have these emotional issues? How has a troubled relationship with her father affected the rest of her life? This book does an amazing job of explaining the psychology of those questions. Plus, it was an enjoyable read. Usually books like this have a tendency to go over the head of the average person. But this was written in an easy writing style. I laughed and cried with the people who were featured as cases....more info
  • Relational
    Sometimes the better part of the cure is diagnosis: there is a lot of healing in finding out the simple truth that it wasn't your fault--that they--whoever they may be--were truly dysfunctional and abusive. How do you find that out when the abusive dysfunctionality is all you've ever known?

    That's where I found this book helpful. It helped me clarify the patterns of behavior in my own family and gave me cause to re-evaluate my relationship with them, and how I viewed my own childhood.

    I would recommend reading this book in conjunction with live therapy though, since a book can not gauge where you are with your family. It can, however, give you courage to tackle the process of healing and allow you to evaluate where you are at in your recovery from abuse.

    Although I underlined about half the passages in this book, I did disagree with the author on one point, though... forgiveness is essential to moving on. I believe this topic was best covered in Jerry Sittser's A Grace Disguised, about how he had to forgive the drunk driver who killed his wife, mother and four year old daughter and how he continues to have to forgive and goes on to clarify the damaging effects of an unforgiving heart.

    I do sympathize with those reviewers who used this book and believe it did harm to their psyche. But in my own experience (and I had a doozy of a childhood, trust you me) I do not believe that Dr. Forward's book is harmful in any way if used as a tool of recovery and not the source of recovery itself. Remember, a book can't see you cry during a particular part of retelling your story, but a therapist can. Remember that their ability to gauge your reactions is invaluable part of the process when it comes to addressing painful issues in your past.

    So get this book for validation, not as a substitute for guidance. It won't be the cure, but in its clarification of painful parenting practices, it's certainly a wonderful salve. ...more info
  • Another psychologist's perspective
    As a counseling psychologist, I read this book hoping to better understand the nature of this issue. I think Dr. Forward has a greal deal of experience and knowledge about the subject, and there are some helpful sections in her book. I feel, however, that the tone and way in which she delivers her information comes across as self-promoting, at best, and is presumptious and harmful, at worst. Through the vignettes and therapeutic dialogues, Dr. Forward paints herself as an expert who knows what people should think, react, and behave regarding this matter. I am concerned for the general public because Dr. Forward is so absolute and dogmatic about how people should approach this situation and "heal." At no point in her book does she qualify her statements or advice, which I feel should have been addressed. While the advice in the book may help many people, I would like readers to know that she does not take into account cultural, ethnic/racial, social, economic, or other personal differences that could influence how you perceive, respond, and relate to "toxic parents." ...more info
  • A Great Help!!
    Toxic Parents was extremely useful in helping me to understand my dysfunctional parents. Not all of the chapters pertained to me but they were very helpful in understanding others. I found a certain peace just after reading it, not even having to do the exercises mentioned. It will serve as a great reference book! ...more info
  • A fair place to start
    My life's work has become the involuntary surveying of train wrecks, otherwise known as the 'perfect family'. I read this book cover to cover, and while I found much of it interesting, the prose seemed to only skim the surface about the 'monsters' that lurk among us. Granted, each part of this topic could span several volumes in their own right, but I think what bothered me the most about this book is its publication date - c1989. I was in the depths of undergraduate study when this book was first published, and I have since come to learn that the best resources for people to use are usually the most recent. It's a shame there isn't an updated edition to this book, or that more books have been written about this and other timely mental health issues. It seems that many other forms of investigation and techniques have enjoyed new discoveries. Why not this? 17 years is a long time to wait for new findings.

    This book best serves as a guide to understanding the basics of family-related issues, and I agree completely with the author and other reviewers here about seeking professional help in sifting the debris of an unhappy past. When I find the book(s) that complement the material here, I'll be back.

    Good Hunting!...more info
  • truly helpful
    This was recommended by my therapist and was really helpful for me. I lent it to a friend and she found it helpful as well. In order for it to work, you have to be willing to follow its suggestions. Good recommendation and good book....more info
  • straight talk that can change your life
    I personally found this book to be life changing. It was first mentioned to me by a therapist four years ago and I found it to be one of the few books out there that is informative without being "cheesy". If you are looking for a book that is straight talk about different types of abuse--the author even paraphrases from clients which I found helped with personal identification--this is one worth your money. You will be amazed by how many times you will find yourself thinking "that is so true!" and the author does a tremendous job of weaving the reader through the healing process in a very subtle way (you won't find loads of psychological analysis talk here!)....more info
  • Detoxify yourself
    I highly recommend this book to anyone who had or has a dysfunctional family. This book has helped me stand up for myself and become a much stronger person. This book was recommended to me by my Naturapath....more info
  • Excellent advice for abuse victims
    This wonderful book validates the very real abuse scars left on abuse victims without laying the additional burden of "you HAVE to forgive" or "Just get over it" or "simply stop being a victim/feeling sorry for yourself" or even worse, "why dwell on it? That was years ago" that so many abuse victims get from well-meaning friends and relatives. If you haven't been abused, you just don't get it and never will. Also exposes the many too-simplistic forms of "therapy" that survivors are often confronted with: religion as a cure-all, forgiveness.... Her advice for true healing is practical and a welcome effort to those so scarred by their childhoods. It ain't always "the best years of your life."...more info
  • Buy this book!
    If you are searching for this book you must be dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. This is by far the best self help book I have ever read dealing with issues stemming from toxic childhoods.

    If you have been verbally abused, physically abused, sexually abused, were neglected, or forced to take on the role of the parent when you were just a child this is a great book to read. It will help you connect what happened in your childhood to what is going on with you now. And how to overcome your current problems.

    The only thing that could make this book better is if it actually included sessions with Susan Forward....more info
    I thought that I was the only person in the world who had suffered this kind of abuse, indignity, pain & humiliation; all at the hands of my parents. And of course later at the hands of many, many, many, many different persons. I kept trying to figure out why everyone was so mean to me--why that world was filled with so many horrible people and then this book helped me to realize that I was choosing the types of people that I had been surrounding myself with. I was attracted to the same types of people that possesed my parents qualities!

    This book opened my eyes and showed me that I am not alone. It is truly a God-Send for me.

    Toxic Parents helped me to recognize the destructive patterns that I had exhibited for years and years and offered tangible, hands-on solutions that helped me to re-program my thinking and way of life. What I love most about this book is that it does not blame and shame abused persons rather, it offers ways to empower ourselves by letting us know that whatever we need to do to become healthy and happy (short of physically hurting ourselves or others) is okay.

    This book helped to give me a voice and the courage to take an honest look and my life and change it for the better. I no longer have to spend my life running away from what happened to me instead, I am empowered with tools and the courage to look at it square in that face and move forward.

    I originally purched this book a few years ago via a recommendation from a friend and am now in the process of re-reading it. I'm going to purchase a copy of it for someone I love today and hope that it helps her the way that it has helped me.

    I recommend this book to anyone who is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Even if you don't consider yourself "abused" I belive that reading this book would be beneficial. ...more info
  • Lived the imperfect life
    Leanna Jackson, going to be a survivor,
    This is an excellent book and speaks as though it is talking about my own past. It has helped me to understand and learn to deal with the wrongs that i endured, and to learn how to make it right within myself.

    Also recommending: Nightmares Echo-because I was a child of sexual/child abuse and it spoke to me plainly. Lost Boy-Because I understood what he went through...more info

  • This book is a gift those of us whose childhoods were not fairy tale perfect. Lacking the funding to see a therapist, and having a husband who had the good fortune to have had 2 wonderful parents, I picked up this book, since I knew not who else to turn to. I am thrilled that I did. I read every chapter, even the examples that in no way pertained to me... and they helped. Susan Forward's style is so warm, I wish sessions with her were a possibility for me. The exercises and ideas to break the cycle are already benefitting myself and my son. Thank you Susan for your gift. ...more info
  • Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy & Reclaiming Your Life
    This book, for me, was very hard to put down. Reading other peoples' experiences and the results in their lives was heartrending and helped me feel less alone. The letters to parents helped me start to formulate letters to mine. This book was recommended by my therapist, and it has given me the strength to move forward.

    I HIGHLY recommend it. Thank you!...more info
  • boy does this book explain a lot
    As a child of emotional abuse and toxic parents, I found this book to be an invaluable tool.
    Up until my early 30s I thought my family was perfect... and everyone else's was messed up!
    I sought therapy to deal with my realizations that my family was the one messed up, and I wanted to make sure I didn't repeat the same destructive patterns while raising my own child.
    This book, coupled with therapy, has helped me address repressed emotions from my child and adulthood that were results of toxic parenting.
    This book explains that toxic parents don't just become that way overnight. They were most likely raised by one or more toxic parents and so on and so on. It's an ugly cycle. You can break the cycle if you take the first step to acknowledge it, then deal with it, and finally... move forward.
    I can't tell you how much this book opened my eyes as to WHY things happened to me. I always was uneasy with WHY my parents did things they did. Now I see. I also see what happened to me until I was an adult was my parent's responsibility, and I can stop blaming myself for not being a good enough child etc... and thinking I deserved what I got.
    I have placed my anger where it belongs now, and have felt a huge weight lifted from my spirit.
    I realize how strong I really am, and am thankful I've turned out as normal as I am considering.
    I was verbally abused, forced to be a parental child, emotionally abused, controlled, guilted and manipulated, and my parents did things that today would land them in jail.
    I just can't say enough about how helpful and insightful this book is.
    ...more info
  • Excellent.
    I finally understand that it's not me. No matter what I do my mother will NEVER be pleased and will continue to attempt to manipulate me in order to satisfy her personal agenda. I am now learning how to set boundaries so that I am no longer thrust into a spiral of guilt and self loathing every time that my mother expresses her displeasure with my actions or lack there of....more info
  • Toxic Parents became a reality
    It's hard to see the words on the page that describe your life. When I was reading the book, I'd tell my sister how I hated my parents because I saw them in the book. I've learned how to apply my new found freedom and still have a polite relationship with them. My sister used to tell me to put down the book, not to hate my parents. She then went through stuff with my parents and I gave her the book, her words to me were: "now I understand why you said you hated them", so do I. We really don't, we feel sorry for them and for us (when we were little girls). I accept the fact that I cannot change my parents, but I am a very good wife and mother and alot had to do with reading and applying the principal of the book. It is not brain-washing, it is facts. I didn't have everything happen to me that was written, my parents were not alcoholics or incest abusers, they were just very dysfunctional and still are even in their late 60's, early 70's. I keep them within the boundaries I've set up. I can never make them see or admit anything that they've done, but I can live with it, because it was them and not me or my sister.

    It is definately worth reading over and over. Use it like a bible or reference book....more info

  • Their Fault.. Your Problem
    Having come from a dysfunctional family with a controlling mother and escapist father (I will spare the details)this book really hit home for me. Like many people, I didn't even realize our family had serious problems until I was in my late twenties. It has been and still is very painful. I confronted my parents by letter many years ago and got just the disappointing results this book warns of. I was considering doing it again and hoped this book would have helpful advice, but it proposed exactly what I had already tried. She says not to expect your parents to change, but that the process of confrontation will be liberating. Then goes through the pros and cons of confrontation and admits that it may not be worthwhile to actually confront your parents and that role playing with others may be more helpful. Okay... My thinking is that people that don't know they have problems aren't likely to be reading this. People that know, shouldn't expect to find their answers here......more info
  • about toxic parents book
    well written and insightful. i immediately thought of at least ten people who must read this....more info
  • Wonderful resource!! A MUST READ for the abused.
    This book proved to be such a help in working to overcome my abusive childhood and dealing with my adult relationship with my abusive parents. I wish the author would be available in my area for therapy! It is written in a very readable style; not at all like a textbook. I have recommended this book to so many people. I wish I could rate it higher, I think this should be one of the recommended books to all people dealing with abusive "Toxic" parents. ...more info
  • Wonderful to read this book, I felt a sense of relief
    Toxic Parents was one of the most helpful books I've read thus far in trying to unravel the mystery that is my relationship with my parents. I am a successful professional, yet why do I feel this sense of not accomplishing my goals? Why do relationships leave me empty? How do I explain the weird patterns that are my life? This book was truly enlightening and for me was the first step on a long road toward healing....more info
  • Good Information
    This is a good resource for freeing yourself of repetitive patterns that may have developed with your parents. If you had to take care of your parents, were physically abused, told you were useless or bad, it can cause you to feel worthless and never good enough as an adult. This book uses case histories of adult children of toxic parents. It can help you to release the patterns of your past and help you towards emotional independence and greater inner strength....more info
  • So far so good...
    I have not had the chance to read this book cover to cover yet, but so far this is a good book to use in your personal life or to debate in a psychology class. This is not a book for people who refuse to believe this could not possibly include them, simply because they will spend more time arguing with themselves and sink further into denial then learn or benefit even a little. I was shocked to see some similarities with my own parents and own family. I am definitely recommending this to other friends and thinkers....more info
  • Like opening a can of worms.... be prepared
    This is one of those books that's like opening the proverbial can of worms. Very potent stuff, that I'm sure if I had read several years ago when my world was still very grim, I would surely have felt worse.

    I have been fortunate enough to meet a partner who has counter-balanced my deficiencies caused by my toxic parents so I'm far more stable emotionally. I found myself remembering long-forgotten things and tearing a little as I flicked through the pages and it took quite a bit of effort to control my emotions as I was reading this in a cafe.

    I would recommend this for those who have a supportive parter or friends as it may have a strong emotional effect and if you have suppressed any memories or feelings, may rear its ugly head during this reading. Nonetheless this book has been quite therapeutical for me....

    Good read and highly recommended. May you be able to quell your inner and external demons...!...more info
  • Very Insightful!
    I read this book a while back and it really does have some useful techniques to cut those unhealthy apron strings. A must read for anyone who has a relationship with anyone. The descriptions and processes for learning to say no and distance yourself from an unhealthy relationship works with friends as well as family. A very powerful book!...more info
  • The turth hurts...
    I picked up this book in secrecy one day while browsing through a book store, afraid that someone might know that my family at home was a little messed up.

    My dad along with my stepmom it turns out, came from abusive families themselves and thus I grew up suffering their wrath. While growing up, I was afraid that I too would end up being far worse than them since they always seemed to unload everything from me. From their mind games, to their abusive words, to the way they put me down and never once admitted wrong.

    Of all of the worst, my father was the most demeaning. It was sort of a jekyll and hyde relationship. He put me down the most, made fun of me the most and seemed to take pride in shredding whatever self-esteem I had. On good days he would seem almost loving, by talking to me, watching basketball games with me and buying me the things I wanted and loved. Yet just as quickly, and without warning, he could tear that all away in an instant. Whenever he chose to. It was very hard to please him. Jumping through endless hoops just wasn't enough, it didn't matter if I succeeded the first 80 times, the 81st would be treated as if it was the end of the world. I was denied the privilidge of going out at nights and doing much of what I wanted until I went away.

    The point of all of this, is not to make you feel sorry for my ass but to understand that facing the truth really does hurt. My dad, never really knew what love was - and MORE IMPORTANTLY how to love ME. People need to realize that every individual is different and the way you express it, should never damage a person's self-respect or character.

    The truth hurts, all this time I dreamed that if I made it big, that if I proved myself to his liking, that he would love me and tell me I was special. But it never did work out that way. There would be fault in no matter what I do. And he never would change. Confronting him personally, turned out to be one of the biggest arguments I have ever had, but I am better off for it, because I can see the person he really is and move onto better things.

    In the end, I have to say I am better off from reading this book and seeing my parents as the cruel undeserving people they are. The truth hurts but face it squarely and it will set you free......more info


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