Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

Author: Susan Forward, Craig Buck
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by not-moses   2018-02-16

> sometimes I am perfectly content and very happy with the way our relationship is and then sometimes I️m very very critical and am very reluctant to let any little thing slide because I don’t want to be taken advantage of/ controlled again, but on the other hand I️ know I can be a people pleaser...

Coming from an abusive childhood, it's no problem for me to identify with every word there. Here's what I have had to do thus far (from a longer list):

1) The Patterns & Characteristics of Codependence on the Codependents Anonymous website;

3) "Understand the Drama Triangle. Understand BPD." at pairadocks.blogspot.com;

4) Codependents Anonymous and Emotions Anonymous meetings (you can find meeting locators on their websites);

5) "Romantic Love, Being with What Is, and The 10 StEPs" at pairadocks.blogspot.com;

6) Jiddu Krishnamurti's On Relationships;

8) Practicing some thought questioner & mindfulness inducer like the "10 StEPs of Emotion Processing" at pairadocks.blogspot.com, so that I am able to continue to sense what is going on and know what to do about it;

9) Reading the lyrics while listening to Alanis Morrissette's "Not the Doctor" on Jagged Little Pill and "Precious Illusions" on Under Rug Swept, as well as "Death of Cinderella," which one will have to find on YouTube;

10) Pia Mellody's Facing Codependence;

11) Anne Wilson Schaef's Co-Dependence: Misunderstood, Mistreated;

12) Barry & Janae Weinhold's Breaking Free of the Codependency Trap;

13) Melody Beattie's The Language of Letting Go;

14) Pia Mellody's Facing Love Addiction, especially with respect to the flip flop from addiction to avoidance;

15) Anne Wilson Schaef's Escape from Intimacy on the same topic;

16) Barry & Janae Weinhold's Flight from Intimacy on co- and counter-dependence;

17) Susan Forward's Emotional Blackmail on manipulative relationships;

18) Patricia Evans's Controlling People on the same topic;

19) Patrick Carnes's The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships;

20) DBT's "FAST" interpersonal-boundary-setting skills set (at DBTSelfHelp.com).

21) The following great books:

Nina Brown's Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents

Eleanor Payson's The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family

Lindsay Gibson's Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

Elan Golomb's Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in the Struggle for Self

Susan Forward's Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (a bit long in tooth now, but still useful) and Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Kimberlee Roth & Frieda Friedman's Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds & Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem

by not-moses   2018-02-16

> I want to forgive my parents for emotional abuse...

Understanding the following is almost always helpful in deals like this:

1) Anxious and ambivalent attachment,

2) learned helplessness,

3) family systems theory, and the

4) Karpman Drama Triangle.

Once you have those down, reading books like these with a journal close by to make notes and process in as one comes to tease out the truth from the family fantasies and secrets usually works wonders.

Nina Brown's Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents

Eleanor Payson's The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family

Lindsay Gibson's Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

Elan Golomb's Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in the Struggle for Self

Susan Forward's Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (a bit long in tooth now, but still useful) and Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Kimberlee Roth & Frieda Friedman's Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds & Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem

Also likely to be helpful: From Bipolar to Borderline to Complex PTSD: The Long Way Around the Recovery Barn.

by not-moses   2018-02-16

What in the world is normal? (Because normal does not mean "healthy" or "functional.") Okay... Let's move on to some suggested reading and other activity, shall we?

Nina Brown's Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents

Eleanor Payson's The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family

Lindsay Gibson's Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

Elan Golomb's Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in the Struggle for Self

Susan Forward's Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (a bit long in tooth now, but still useful) and Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Kimberlee Roth & Frieda Friedman's Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds & Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem The Patterns & Characteristics of Codependence on the Codependents Anonymous website;

"Understanding the Drama Triangle...;"

ACA, EA and CoDA meetings (you can find meeting locators on their websites);

Jiddu Krishnamurti's On Relationships;

Practicing some thought questioner & mindfulness inducer like the "10 StEPs of Emotion Processing" so that one is able to continue to sense what is going on and know what to do about it;

Pia Mellody's Facing Codependence;

Anne Wilson Schaef's Co-Dependence: Misunderstood, Mistreated;

Barry & Janae Weinhold's Breaking Free of the Codependency Trap;

Melody Beattie's The Language of Letting Go;

Susan Forward's Emotional Blackmail along with this brief article on dealing with manipulative relationships;

Patricia Evans's Controlling People on the same topic;

Patrick Carnes's The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships;

DBT's "FAST" interpersonal-boundary-setting skills set (at DBTSelfHelp.com).

by CaptianTwisty   2017-12-06

Cut her off and kick her out. She will never change.

Also buy this book and both you and your wife read it: http://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0553381407

2 Chor 12: 14 "for the children ought not to lay up for [their] parents, but the parents for [their] children. "

She's a parasite.

by serendipityjones14   2017-12-06

You sound like an amazing person, and your parents really failed you. If I may suggest, "Toxic Parents " is a great read when you're feeling a bit stronger, but in the meantime, please check out Lifeline's chat.

by not-moses   2017-08-19

Recommended:

Nina Brown's Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents

Eleanor Payson's The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family

Lindsay Gibson's Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

Elan Golomb's Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in the Struggle for Self

Susan Forward's Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (a bit long in tooth now, but still useful) and Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Plus getting on board the Treatment Train:

1) Medications, but only if really needed to get one stabilized enough to do the next six things on this list: Find a board certified psychopharmacologist in your area by using the clinician locator on the Psychology Today website. Getting psych meds from a GP or primary care doc can be useless or even risky. Psych diagnoses, meds and med interactions are just too complex now for most GPs and primary care docs.

2) Support Groups: AA, MA and/or NA if one is using intoxicants to try to cope with emotional pain; ACA, EA and CoDA... where you will find others in similar boats who have found explanations, answers and solutions.

3) Books and academic, professional websites including Mayo Clinic, WebMD, NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and even Wikipedia (when everything asserted is solidly documented with citations). Strongly recommended because they all understand the upshots of having been stressed for too long, including complex PTSD which sounds like at least a good possibility here: Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Patricia Ogden, Ronald Kurtz, Laurence Heller, Bruce McEwen, Sonya Lupien and Robert Sapolsky. Accurate information is power.

4) Psychotherapy: I currently use Ogden's SP4T as the interoceptive 9th of the 10 StEPs of Emotion Processing to manage any "time bombs" that turn up, but had good results over the years with several of the CBTs including REBT, collegiate critical thinking, schema therapy, and CPT, as well as DBT, MBCT, ACT, MBBT, MBSR, EMDR, HBCP, SEPt, and NARM.

DBT, MBCT, ACT, MBBT and MBSR are terrific for symptom management. EMDR, HBCT, SEPt, SP4T and NARM are first-rate for memory-reprocessing, sense-making and detachment from the conditioning, programming, etc.

To find the clinicians who know how to use these psychotherapies, look here, and here, and here, and (for DBT specialists in particular) here. If you dig a little on each page, you will be able to see which therapies they use. Then interview them as though they were applying for a job with your company. Most MD / psychiatrists, btw, are not therapists themselves (they are medication specialists), but can refer you to those who are, and are often -- though not always -- excellent sources of referral.

5) Mindfulness Meditation: Try the Vipassana-style? (For a lot of people with anxiety, this stuff handles anxiety chop chop. Not sure about depression. Many of the modern psychotherapies for anxiety are actually based on it now.)

6) Therapy Workbooks: I got a lot of lift-off by using inexpensive workbooks like these, and these, and these, and these.

7) Moderate exercise: Because it is the single healthiest of the distractions one can use to yank oneself out of the paradigm for a while... and it can help to "massage" the brain so that it responds more quickly to psychotherapy.