Toxic Parents By Dr. Susan Forward Essay, Research Paper
My report is on the book Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward. I found this book very intrusting and scary in the same breath. I could not understand some of the hurt and pain parents inflict on their children. I do come from a home that was destroyed by divorce, alcohol and drug use. I can relate to some of the stories and it brought up my own struggles and made me question my own parents. I don?t know what normal parents are but this book made it clear what is not healthy for children and even adults to deal with from there parents.
I don?t know where to go with this but I guess I will start off my opinions with the content of the book. I was really shocked by reading other peoples struggles with there family?s and was not fully aware of how much toxic *censored* fills our lives. The one that I found bizarre, but true, is the direct control thing, through guilt. The story I am speaking about was the grown man from California, who was going to go to Boston to be with his folks for their wedding anniversary. His wife got sick and he tried to cancel his mother said she would die. He compromised and showed up for one day. His mother was devastated when he left early; she carried on like it was the end of the world. Its like the parents would let this man (Mike) live his own life and felt threatened by his happiness. This I see through out my circle of friends and it is an almost accepted form of abuse. People, including myself had or have no idea (until I read this case) that that was a problem.
From this I will go in the false beliefs that we all live with in some sense or another. I was aware of the term behavior and what kinds of processes go into producing certain types of behavior but I was unaware of the relationship between your beliefs and your feelings had any thing to do with self-defeating behavior. To understand this relationship would help correct that kind of negative behavior. I was the type of person to bury my feelings when it came to the strong emotional reactions I had towards my parents. I was always the person that nothing was going to affect me and it seemed like it did not until you looked into my behavior and my feelings. I avoided confrontation with my folks and never won any arguments. I pretty much answered yes to all the questions on the checklist (page 199) and I have just started to regain my feelings as a person in the last year.
I will now go into the dinosaur in the living, part of this book or the alcoholic parent?s part of the book. This I can totally relate to and I live with these burdens and emotions, and abuses daily. My father was an addict from pot, cocaine, to alcohol. As a child we had no idea anything like this was going on in our home. My mother?s father was an alcoholic, so my mother was an expert at denying the problems that excised within their marriage. As we (bother and sister) got older and recognized the signs our self?s problems became overwhelming. My dad started staying away from his family for weeks on end and his disappearing acts became a more and more common assurance. My mother would fight with him the minute he walked in the door but nothing seemed to get resolved. As their kids we were not allowed to talk about his problems or question his behavior. This upset me I could not stay quite forever, I finally began fighting and battling with both my folks. Things got really bad and so did my behavior, alcohol and drugs were tried and not overly enjoyed on my part. Over whelming guilt had crept into my life and trust for anyone became few and far between.
I watched my family fall apart and could do nothing to save it. I have struggled in all my intimate relationships since then and have a hard time giving my true feelings up. I n this book it was made clear that therapy was essential for working through these problems and I definitely agree with that. I am lucky, in a sense my father is recovering and has been somewhat clean for 7 years. His lies still haunt me, along with the destruction I witnessed all this is still a major part of my life. This book made clear examples of what I have suffered from and have watched my family suffer from. I don?t know if it helped or just stirred up some of that mess inside of me.
My father has never made complete amends for his behavior and I feel as though it will never happen. I have done the best I can, with working through what I have been dealt and I still have miles to go before I feel truly happy. I am the only one in my family that even puts any energy into healing and finding answers for the questions that surround confusion. Its true there is no fairy tail ending and pain is real and it might never get resolved in the real world.
The part of this book I found most apauling is the sexual abuse that goes on. That really made me upset and I felt extremely bad for anyone of those cases. The one case that sticks in my head is the man Paul who?s mother abused him sexually. He was having a tremendous amount of problems sexually. I couldn?t believe what was said about how he felt like he was cheating on his mother* I never really thought mothers abused their children sexually, and I guess I wished that were the case obviously that were not the case. We live in a strange world and it kills me to think something as beautiful as sexuality can be used as weapon of destruction.
The fear these people must have went through had to be paralyzing and the act it?s self is just a scary thought to begin with. She spoke of the guilt that these victims suffer is unique and I can see why. I wish I could rescue all children of abuse and give my helping hand in every home. I wish there was a button that could erase these memories for people so the could never battle those feelings and thoughts again.
All in all this book changed me and opened my eyes to some pretty horrible things that adult children have to deal with including myself. I am glad to have gain the insight that I did and will recommend this book to my entire family