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Toxic Parents by Susan Forward

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tryinginmi posted 12/17/2010 23:55 PM

This book may have been discussed before on here, by oh my I had to bring it up.

It's like reading a text book about my life, and my husband's life. I have the kindle version, and I swear I highlighted nearly half the text.

At first FWH and I picked this book as we are having major issues with his FOO. He is only now after the A realizing that his family is not perfect and everyone else is crazy. Something that I have been trying to convince him of for years.

When I started to read the book I thought it would just help me achieve some insight into his family, only to find out that I had not resolved all of my own FOO issues.

The difference here is my family has never been in denial that we are messed up, but his family thinks they are perfect and loving.

Wow, what an education I am getting. It was such an easy ready, and had so much great information that I would highly recommend it to anyone with FOO issues.

Just the few passages I read to FWH had him going OMG, yea, that's exactly what happened.....etc.

I just downloaded the "Toxic In-Laws" by the same author. I'm hoping to learn some better strategies.

I'd love to hear what others have thought.

Crossbow posted 12/18/2010 10:26 AM

I found this book in my mid-20s, thank God, and it was an enormous help. I finally could make sense of parts of my childhood.

My father was very into belittling, making up nicknames that I hated and calling me by them, I could never "win" in any situation with him, he never showed signs of approval, etc.

My mom said I should just ignore it, just let it go, it's in the past now, blah blah. And I felt bad that for some reason I couldn't just drop it and "get over it."

This book showed me that it really was a toxic and abusive situation, and helped me to resolve many of my FOO issues related to my verbally/emotionally abusive dad.

I'd recommend this book to anyone.

Skye posted 12/18/2010 10:54 AM

Speaking as a parent, not a child, I find this topic very challenging, to say the least.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a wonderful household. My husband, the cheater, grew up in a terrible one. Of course, the therapists say that is why he cheated. Whatever.

Now I look at my adult children who act irresponsibly or in a disappointing manner to me, and they probably blame me. I thoughtI was a great mom. I know husband had faults as a dad, but I thought I did a damn good job helping my chldren deal with his flaws.

How long do you blame your parents, who probably did the best they knew how, for your own failures. At what point do you own yourself?

I will be curious to find this book.

tryinginmi posted 12/18/2010 12:25 PM

They discuss that very thing in the book.

I have two boys of my own. After reading the book I found things that I was doing to my own children, and have already tried to break the cycle. Some of these things were the same things I hated my mother for allowing, and yet I was repeating the same mistakes. It opened up issues I had in my own upbringing that I did not recognize or thought that I was already "over". (remember I was reading this trying to understand my FWH's family)

I always blamed my mom for all the bad childhood memories, and was a daddy's girl. Dad very rarely lost his temper with me, but was emotionally abusive with my mother and physically and emotionally abusive to my sister. It was mild compared to most people's stories....but that does not make it hurt any less.

I realize now that I was mad at mom for "saying things or doing things" she knew would set dad off. And I was also mad at her for not protecting us more or herself. Yet I thought dad could do no wrong. Grrrrr Major contradiction in my thought process.

And I have relived the same thing in my marriage until the A. I am going to reread the second part of the book and work through some of the exercises and hopefully be able to start making adult decisions, instead of allowing my childhood to still have control over my life.

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 12/18/2010 15:16 PM

Off to find both books...thanks for sharing! We need something to help with both of our FOO issues.

Hope24 posted 12/22/2010 04:17 AM

I have too many FOO issues to count and my NPD mother continues to be a toxic force in my life.

Thanks for the recommendation. Perfect timing for me.

tryinginmi posted 12/23/2010 00:25 AM

Well I have read both Toxic Parents and Toxic In-Laws now. I swear that people that have A's are not the only ones that read a text book.

I can quote so many direct sentences from the books that I have heard my IL's say SOOOOO many times.

and they think I'm sick. OMG! It did really help to write the confrontation letter (though I will not send it per IC since I sent a very harsh one already). It helped me release a lot of the anger, and both give many good ideas for how to deal with different situations, communication skills, and how to get your spouse to see the problem if it's their parents.

VERY good books!

formerlyteflon posted 12/23/2010 00:39 AM

I read Toxic Parents a few weeks ago and wow, did they nail it. I feel like it is a must-read for anyone from a toxic FOO or is close to someone with a toxic FOO (which, sadly, I think covers almost everyone!).

Skye posted 12/23/2010 09:24 AM

Took it out of the library yesterday. I doubt I will find my parents were toxic--I had a wonderful childhood, but wonder if I'm a toxic parent now that I'm a BS. Am anxious to get started.

Skye posted 12/28/2010 09:33 AM

Well I'm not a toxic parent but muy husband, the cheater, sure had one. I always knew she was not a good mom, but didn't realize how bad it as for her children. What I found interesting was how things like depression or illness make you a toxic parent. I could understand what the book was saying, but wonder how ill moms feel when they are doing the best they can.

I was so fortunate that I didn't have children in the home after and since d-day. So many of my behaviours would have been considered toxic, but there wasn't a damn thing I could have done.

Skye posted 12/28/2010 09:33 AM

Oops, double post.

[This message edited by Skye at 9:33 AM, December 28th (Tuesday)]

Mrs.Confused posted 1/2/2011 21:01 PM

I'm interested in reading.

lostinlove4ever posted 3/23/2011 14:51 PM

This sounds like a good book. It is in my must buy list now.

One question though. What is FOO?

JustDone posted 3/23/2011 15:27 PM

Family Of Origin

m334455 posted 3/25/2011 10:19 AM

I liked this book. I read it well before I found out about my husband's A because we both just scream FOO and I've personally gone through YEARS of therapy to become a healthy person (as has my sister, and even my father started this after my sister and I were both adults...)

it's a great read.

Amerasia posted 3/25/2011 12:17 PM

It's like reading a text book about my life, and my husband's life. I have the kindle version, and I swear I highlighted nearly half the text.

I finished reading the Kindle version last week, and also highlighted several passages. The chapters/case studies of adults dealing with a parent's alcoholism were spot-on for me. Having responsibilities at the expense of my childhood, resentment at my mom's co-dependency, and repressed anger that my parents went along with the "status quo", and never took full responsibility for their behavior.

VERY insightful book that helped me address the fact that my FOO issues were tied into my A.

Hope24 posted 6/21/2011 06:20 AM

I'm reading this book now and can't recommend it enough.

It's amazing how she pinpoints the family roles. I can see both my sister and myself in the examples she gives.

I plan to discuss it with my IC this week.

Thanks for the recommendation.

carnelian posted 6/23/2011 14:29 PM

Thanks for the recommendations, just bought it.

inpiecesinnv posted 6/23/2011 17:58 PM

I am reading this book right now, and I can completely see my parents and my WH in it. I can see why they never got along - they all wanted to control me. I had major lightbulbs moments and still am. Although, it made me a little sad because I was reading this book while my mom was visiting and I was kind of standoffish to her and a little mean. She was still trying to guilt me (I hate that). I am find a lot of my parenting that I don't like is from my childhood. I am happy to find this book because I feel it will make me a better parent for my kids.

tryinginmi posted 8/24/2011 04:41 AM

I just read the book a second time. We have had so many interactions with IL's go so bad since Dday that we have finally greatly distanced ourselves.

I'm also interested in how depression an illness can affect the kids. I'm trying to use this information to be a better parent. I deal with depression anyways, and the A made that so much worse. For months all I did was hide in bed. Not good for my kids. I am happy to say that things are so much better now.

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