Toxic elderly parents suck the life out of their children who, even as adults, are constantly drawn back into their poisonous web of abuse, lies and denial. Find out how you can break free.
Toxic Parents, and how to handle them, are the most frequent topics discussed in our online Support Group. Indeed, taking care of elderly parents who didn’t take care of you is the “worst case scenario” of aging.
In her remarkable book, Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life [affiliate link], Dr. Susan Forward helps you understand:
- Why toxic parents are so very different from normal parents;
- How their toxicity scars their children so badly that they grow into adulthood feeling inadequate, unloved and worthless;
- What you can do about it now; and
- How to build your self-confidence, inner strength and emotional independence.
When you were a child …
- Did your parent(s) tell you that you were bad or worthless.
- Did they call you insulting names or intentionally embarrass you in public? Perhaps in front of your friends, or in front of your friends’ parents?
- Did they constantly criticize you, or tell you that you would never amount to anything?
- Did they seem to enjoy making you cry?
- Did your parents frequently use physical pain to discipline you?
- Did you have to take care of your parents because they frequently got drunk or used drugs?
- Were you frightened of your parents?
- Did your parents do anything to you that had to be kept secret?
Now that you are an adult …
- Do your parents still treat you like 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 trips?
- Do you feel like no matter what you do, it’s never good enough for your parents?
- Do they blame you for their problems?
Dr. Forward describes the different types of toxic parents:
The Inadequate Parents: Constantly focusing on their own problems, they turn their children into “mini-adults” who take care of them.
The Controllers: They use guilt, manipulation, and even overhelpfulness to direct their children’s lives.
The Alcoholics and Drug Addicts: Mired in denial and chaotic mood swings, their addiction leaves little time or energy for the demands of parenthood.
The Verbal Abusers: Whether overtly abusive or subtly sarcastic, they demoralize, humiliate and threaten their children with constant put-downs and rob them of their self-confidence. In the extreme, these are the Narcissists who often demonstrate joyful cruelty and sadism.
The Physical Abusers: Incapable of controlling their own deep-seated rage, they often blame their children for their own ungovernable behavior.
The Sexual Abusers: Whether flagrantly sexual or covertly seductive, they are the ultimate betrayers, destroying the very heart of childhood – its innocence.
This section includes a series of articles and useful tips to help free you from the emotional chains of your relationship with your parents … and build an exciting new world of self-confidence, inner strength, and emotional independence.
Remember: You are not to blame for what happened to you as a child! Your toxic parent(s) are!
- Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life [affiliate link], by Dr. Susan Forward
- Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You [affiliate link], by Dr. Susan Forward
- Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers [affiliate link], by Dr. Karyl McBride