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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 July 2003
If you had bullying or controlling or abusive parents this is a MUST!!! It will help you understand the root of every issue or problem or personality trait which has eluded you. YOU MUST BE PREPARED to get angry, cry out loud. Try to give yourself time to read and come to terms with what you learn. I read it on holiday! It will force you to address issues with your parents in order to move on and be a real whole person. Reading this book has been the best and most life changing thing I have ever done-also the most painful.(therapy with someone familiar with the text is to be recommended post read!!!!) All I can say is thankyou Susan !!!!!
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on 16 January 2011
A marvellous straight talking book - some people may think that it's a little cold but I found that it was exactly what I needed, providing clear and sound reasoning of why I feel the way I do without any hint of pity, being patronised or the requirement to take the moral high ground by forgiving and forgetting the behaviour of my truly toxic parents. I have never spoken about my family life because I always thought I had made up the events of my childhood, that it was me that was sick, it was all my fault anyway and it really wasn't that bad! I bought this book to shame myself out of the feelings of having had a bad childhood. This book made me realise that I really did have a terrible childhood and my feelings towards my past and my parents were perfectly normal (although, far from healthy). This book provides strategies for dealing with controlling, demanding, manipulative parents that doesn't necessarily involve confrontation. It also deals with parents that deny all wrong doings, transfer blame, or are now absent. I cant recommend this book enough to anyone who thinks they might have had a bad time as a kid, or think that it wasn't that bad, or that their parents only do/did their best and they acted out of love for their kids..... etc
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on 31 July 2003
Susan takes you through the process of accepting and trusting what you feel and remember about your childhood to be real, accepting the incredible impact your parents still have on your actions and decision making capabilities, and also urges you to let go of the fantasy that your parents will change and make you all better again. Instead, she shows you specific ways of gaining control of your life and choosing how far your parents will remain the dictating influence in your thought process. I read it cover to cover in 48 hours - just to make sure there were no 'traps' or things I am too afraid to do. There aren't. You are in control, you set the pace, and you don't need to move on to the next stage until you are ready. A must for anyone who feels like they don't know how to be themselves, or even just "be". I'm about to go through it again and sort my life out. No more burying my head, now I'm in control!
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on 24 August 1999
Mine was not a tale of incest or alcoholism, but just about every other "toxic" thing parents could do happened in my family. This book has already made a difference to me by clearly affirming what I feel is true about the "toxic" behavior (and that's very reassuring when denial is a big factor.) I realize what I have been seeking all these years is the parental approval and love I missed but that I should stop looking for what will never be there. The book offers great suggestions on how to disengage from a destructive parental relationship by NOT REACTING to the "toxic" behavior. I'm writing this review in the hope that others may find this book helpful, too.
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on 17 June 2008
I ordered this book when i reached breaking point. Unlike other self-help books it wasn't too Americanized and gave plenty of examples of men and women who couldn't cope due to family disputes and manipulation.
This book gave me the courage to face up to my difficult mother and deal with other painful memories. I also saw a therapist so the two things meant i could move on and start living MY life. Hurrah. A great book.
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on 26 August 2004
This is just a superb book, which is separated in to two parts. Every chapter is brilliantly written, dealing with a range of issues (physical, emotional and sexual abuse) and the wealth of emotions - and questions - that accompany them. The second part of the book is about reclaiming your life; the chapter on 'forgiveness' is one not to be missed. Susan Forward asks why SHOULD someone forgive parents that have abused, who fail to acknowledge that abuse and even continue to abuse; she argues that self-healing starts by working through the feelings of anger and grief and placing the responsibility for those feelings at the Toxic Parents' door. She also tackles the subject of confronting Toxic Parents, how to do this and what to expect as an outcome. As well as a book for those who feel they have Toxic Parents, this book is ideal for someone thinking about a career in Counselling/Psychotherapy - in this book, Susan Forward outlines scenarios where abuse has been prevalent, giving an idea of the thought processes clients may have.
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on 18 May 2009
If the title says it to you - then you know why you should read it.
This book hits the nail on the head. Sometimes it feels too plain, and like a heavy hammer - but that is exactly what it is, it hits right home. We spend so much time trying to find answers, struggling emotionally, blaming ourselves and still hoping that our parents will change. We feel if we could just get things just right, just the way they want them, they'll become that loving parent our inner child longs for. But they won't. And we're not children anymore. We need to raise ourselves up, so we can live our lives and not crumble - in fact, do what they failed to do as parents, and then move on. And here is how.
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on 21 May 2006
This book is just incredible. For the first time I felt valued and acknowledged. I have read this book twice now and the impact was greater the second time because I finally got really honest about things that had happened. What is great is the hope it offers, the continual reminder that you can unmesh yourself from the hurt of your childhood and your parents and claim a life of your own. Susan Forward uses real life examples to back up her professional advice. Some of the things you are led to think of are painful but it is very accessible and you are taken on your journey step by step. Be brave and rediscover the the real you. I thoroughly recommend it. This is not just another self-help book..
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on 28 December 2009
I bought this book four months ago and have just re-read it. If anything, it hit home all the more this time around. I agree wholeheartedly with many of the positive comments made in other reviews, and I have to say that I did not find this book at all cold or dead in tone. In fact, I found that Susan Forward's voice spoke in a warm and supportive way to me, both kind and objective at once. This sounds odd because she is telling you some cold, hard facts about your relationship with your parents, but I simply felt a huge sense of relief that someone understood my situation and could offer an explanation for my feelings. The book also devotes a considerable section to practical excercises; not on how to change your parents, because Susan Forward makes you realise that you cannot do this, but rather how to change the way you deal with them and thereby how to transform your own life. I appreciate that this sounds dramatic, but this book completely changed the way I viewed my relationship with my parents, one of whom is an alcoholic and a controller, and the other of whom enables this behaviour. Susan Forward helped me to understand the feelings of guilt and anger that I have, and to begin to work on how to address them. Given what I know now, I would pay ten times the cost of this book. If you have abusive or controling parents, please give it a try. It could change your life! It certainly changed mine. (At the same time as reading 'Toxic Parents' I began attending Al-Anon meetings, which support the friends and relatives of alcoholics. I definitely believe these two sources of support and information in conjunction were especially effective.)
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on 21 January 2002
I found this book very easy to read - no technical jargon to wade through, very helpful and informative. A number of case studies of those who have been suffering because of the way their parents treated them. Also practical help on how to deal with feelings of anger, resentment and bitterness resulting from ill treatment of a variety of natures, if and when to confront and how best to do it. A must for anyone in the counselling business or anyone just needing guidance in this area.
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