Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

02 Jan 2002

by Susan Forward

The connection between controlling abusive or alcoholic parents and adult problems with self-esteem, work, or intimacy is examined in a compelling guide to coming to terms with a troubled childhood. Reprint.

Pages: 320

Publisher: Bantam

Overall: 64% of the 142 mentions are positive, 35% are neutral and 1% are negative.

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142 mentions sorted by:
  • I think this book could help you sort your mind out: Note that author recommends a confrontation with your parents if possible - which is out of the question for you; thus you would need a therapist or some other medium to help you act out the confrontation and would play the role of your mother. Also; have you heard of Jordan Peterson? He is a Canadian clinical psychologist whose work revolves around dealing with suffering. I think he could be another helpful influence.
    2 points in /r/exmuslim by PineTron | 28 May 2017
  • Keep on grinding. Read; write; think. It is going to take you years before you reach a level where you won't be a single mistake away from hell. I highly recommend this book if you were a victim of domestic abuse:
    3 points in /r/JordanPeterson by PineTron | 25 May 2017
  • Maybe a book could help? Toxic Parents by Susan Forward
    1 points in /r/raisedbynarcissists by strawberry1248 | 18 May 2017
  • Please excuse me for pointing out the obvious; but your first relationship really is with yourself.

    You might gain a great deal by researching codependence. Often people who were born into & raised in less-than-stellar family systems (violence; fear; coldness; rejection) end up strongly codependent & reliant upon external validation instead of being able to comfort & strengthen themselves.

    Codependence is (in my opinion) an unhealthy extension or exaggeration of the natural human need for connection. If you've been put through difficulties during your infancy & childhood; that will likely add some level of difficulty to your quest to establish a strong sense of self; because the natural human need for connection was flawed or denied when & where it counted most - when you were a helpless infant or small child.

    But such a strong sense of self can be developed. There are many good books out there on the subject of overcoming difficult or neglected childhoods:

    You can get a free preview here:

    And you can purchase that book & the next one from used-book sites for a fairly cheap price:
    1 points in /r/CBT by ziddina | 28 Apr 2017

  • Here are some books that I have read and have found to be helpful. Check to see if your library has them.

    Toxic Parents

    Emotional Blackmail

    Running on Empty
    1 points in /r/DecidingToBeBetter by princess_robot11 | 23 Apr 2017

  • So many hugs! It really is hard.

    I would refund two things. First; this book. Second; look up the "Grey rock" technique on how to deal with them. This advice goes to both you and your husband.

    PM me if you ever want to talk!
    2 points in /r/beyondthebump by pippx | 31 Mar 2017

  • I can highly recommend the book Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life . I had already cut mine from my life but it helped me understand i had too and not to feel guilty. They are used ones for 1 cent :)
    3 points in /r/asktransgender by SillySillyGirl | 22 Feb 2017
  • You are very welcome. I feel like I get the best perspective and ideas from reading this sub.

    After I wrote that; I realized that I actually have a letter like this; though I didn't write it to myself. It was a letter to my Nmom that I started drafting while I was dealing with her extinction burst last summer. I don't know if you have read the book Toxic Parents; but there is a template in there for writing your parent a letter -- I believe it goes "This is what you did; this is how it made me feel; this is how it has affected my life; and this is what I need from you going forward." So I was following that format; and I went over every last thing she had done to me -- from the very small to the egregious. I got as far as the first 2 topics and started on the 3rd before I ran out of energy (and ultimately decided to send her a completely different letter to enforce my boundaries). But I stumbled across this letter a few weeks ago and holy crap did it really hit me how much she has done to me that is not okay. Like seriously not okay. And at the time I wrote it; I don't think I even fully grasped how not okay a lot of that stuff was.

    Anyway; my point is just that I can understand the emotional impact of going back and reading a letter that lays bare all of the abusive behavior that you've experienced. It really does make me say 'fuck you' to her all over again.

    Best wishes to you.
    9 points in /r/raisedbynarcissists by disbelief12 | 17 Jan 2017

  • Sure! Two books really helped me. One is Toxic Parents. It may not apply to your life though. My parents weren't alcoholics or physically abusive; but there was emotional abuse and emotional neglect. That book really helped me to be able to work through a lot of things from my childhood that I just couldn't let go of and would constantly think about.

    The Brain That Changes Itself is a book that isn't really a self-help type book. But for me; it really inspired me. It showed me that I do have the power to change. Even to change things that I thought were impossible.
    3 points in /r/simpleliving by iliikepie | 10 Dec 2016