Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

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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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (January 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780553381405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553381405
  • ASIN: 0553381407
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

Customer Reviews

Peace of Mind

62 people found this helpful.
 on September 9, 2016
By Daniel
I once heard this quote: Our neuroses cause the most psychic distress when those who inculcated them die and move beyond argument and mercy. This book brought me a lot of peace of mind before and after my father died. It enabled me to share with my father how the past had caused me great pain, but I nonetheless wanted to move beyond that in a more helpful and loving way. He could not hear what I had to say, but being able to articulate it, after reading this book, gave me great peace of mind for many years afterwards. So, when he passed away, I had no regrets about not having tried to heal the relationship. I had done all I could responsibly do; I resolved I was not responsible for the riff that had lasted for two decades. I was free.

Let me let go of the facade of the perfect father who was "just teasing" when he said verbally abusive things.

65 people found this helpful.
 on July 9, 2015
By Danielle
This book is by far the most helpful and insightful book I’ve ever read. I was always indirectly verbally abused by whole life by my father and grandmother in terms of teasing about my physical appearance and calling me sensitive or saying that I know they are just teasing when I would get upset. I would have sever anxiety anytime I had to visit them since I never knew what they were going to pick on me about. The past year I have finally started to talk back and not take the verbal abuse. Because I’ve stopped taking it and changed the family dynamic, my Father turned to physical abuse a couple days ago. This book is a lifesaver to help me coupe with what happened, how I can move past this incident, and not repeat the cycle of verbal/physical abuse with my future children. My parents divorced when i was around age 8 and after the incident this weekend, my mother is finally telling me all the things he use to do to her when they were married. I’ve finally realized that being verbally abused by family isn’t normal and it should be a safe place where you are accepted. My mother is going to read this book also since her father was also extremely verbally abusive. I’m doing the exercises the book outlines and i’m amazed at how much sadness and anger i have inside. I’ve finally let go of the facade of having the perfect father. This book will make you cry so I suggest reading it alone to fully soak in a reflect.

Great book! Buy if you are struggling to deal with a toxic relationship in your life

 on October 30, 2017
By LittleV
This book really opened up my eyes to relationships in my life that are toxic, one I never considered to be. I have a complicated relationship with my dad so I bought this to deal with that, but I ended up realizing my mom was just as terrible. It made me feel like a changed person after reading, a positive person in a genuine way. It altered my perspective on a lot of different topics, made me ask myself difficult, and yes very emotional questions, but left me with a sense of peace in the end. I now understand more about myself and my personality than ever. I feel more in control of my life than ever. I feel freed.

A very positive and professional approach in dealing with childhood/ …

2 people found this helpful.
 on February 23, 2017
By M
A very positive and professional approach in dealing with childhood/ parent issues, definitley took off alot of the weight in my chest and mind.

This was a perfect book to learn of toxic parents and their form …

 on November 8, 2017
By Aissa2
This was a perfect book to learn of toxic parents and their form of parenting and being toxic towards their children. Enjoyed. Very helpful and informative.

I bought this book to help my husband cope with …

 on November 10, 2017
By Alice Hansen
I bought this book to help my husband cope with his toxic mother. He said it has been a life changer for him. He doesn’t feel alone now with his very confusing feelings towards his mother. It’s helped him feel less guilty about not liking her and it’s helped him feel some sympathy for why she’s unable to connect with him.

Hard to get through but monumental for me dealing with …

 on June 19, 2017
By Rippedgeek
Hard to get through but monumental for me dealing with toxic parents. I definitely don’t feel alone on this issue anymore

Five Stars

 on October 5, 2017
By Iryna
good book. gets a reader very emotional. I like how the author described various sensitive situations

Good read. Very comforting to know I’m not the only one with parents like this

One person found this helpful.
 on March 7, 2015
By A
At first, I ignored my therapist’s suggestion to read this–I hate reading self help books. Many years later, a different therapist suggested reading it. I still ignored the recommendation.

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