Toxic Parents, Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
Probably something I should have read when I was 15. I wish it was in print back then and I knew it was around. It's sad to still be working on these issues in my 50's. What a waste of time.
Anyway, I've barely scratched the surface, but near the beginning of the book is the following quiz:
I. Your Relationship with Your Parents When You Were a Child
- Did your parents tell you you were bad or worthless? Did they call you insulting names? Did they constantly criticize you?
- Did your parents use physical pain to discipline you? Did they beat you with belts, brushes, for other objects?
- Did your parents get drunk or use drugs? Did you feel confused, uncomfortable, frightened, hurt, or ashamed by this?
- Were your parents severely depressed or unavailable because of emotional difficulties or mental or physical illness?
- Did you have to take care of your parents because of their problems?
- Did your parents do anything to you that had to be kept secret? Were you sexually molested in any way?
- Were you frightened of your parents a great deal of the time?
- Were you afraid to express anger at your parents?
II. Your Adult Life
- Do you find yourself in destructive or abusive relationships?
- Do you believe that if you get too close to someone, they will hurt and/or abandon you?
- Do you expect the worst from people? From life in general?
- Do you have a hard time knowing who you are, what you feel, and what you want?
- Are you afraid that if people knew the really you, the wouldn't like you?
- Do you fell anxious when you're successful and frightened that someone will find out you're a fraud?
- Do you get angry or sad for no apparent reason?
- Are you a perfectionist?
- Is it difficult for you to relax or have a good time?
- Despite your best intentions, do you find yourself behaving "just like your parents"?
III. Your Relationship with Your Parents as an Adult
- Do your parents still treat you as if you were a child?
- Are many of your major life decisions based upon whether your parents will approve?
- Do you have intense emotional or physical relations after you spend or anticipate spending time with your parents?
- Are you afraid to disagree with your parents?
- Do your parents manipulate you with money?
- Do your parents manipulate you with threats or guilt?
- Do you feel responsible for how your parents feel? If they're unhappy, do you feel it's your fault? Is it your job to make it better for them?
- Do you believe that no matter what you do, it's never good enough for your parents?
- Do you believe that someday, somehow, your parents are going to change for the better?
So it's a used book, and the person who owned it before me circled nearly every item. I feel you, man. My quiz gets a lot of circles, too.
The author states, "If you answered yes to even one-third of these questions, there is a great deal in this book that can help you".
Well, I am reading on...slowly. Honestly, it is not the first thing I want to pick up when I am getting home from work, but I am hopeful there really is something in the book that will help me -- and my daughter.
Here's the deets:
Toxic Parents - Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
by Susan Forward, PhD with Craig Buck
I found it used on Amazon for just a few bucks. The cover says it was a New York Times bestseller.