Try the custom AI to help you find products that Reddit loves.
Let me just add to this that I know a lot of people have had shitty upbringings and deal with toxic parents. If therapy isn’t an option right now, or even if you are in therapy I recommend reading this book.
So sorry to hear about your mental health struggles—it sounds like our situations aren’t too different. But without knowing many specifics, I can only recommend what resonated with me most when I was recovering:
Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
Also, if you’ve been struggling with suicidal thoughts or impulses for years, you may need more than self-help books to change your mental health. It took a combination of literature, social support, therapy, medication, and meditation to get me on the road to mental health recovery. If you find things to be too hard, reach out to whatever resources are available to you. The US has the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Please do whatever it takes to feel better—you’re worth that!
Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
by Susan Forward
I don't have any advice -- I just wanted to offer support and encouragement. I find myself suggesting this book more often lately, but "Toxic Parents" really helped me work through a lot of issues with my own parent. It's not specifically about narc parents but rather toxic and abusive behaviors in general and how we can learn to set healthier boundaries to protect ourselves.
May I suggest something? Splurge on something nice and pampering for the person who's been mothering the neglected, abused child inside you: you.
Get your mom a card or some flowers if you want, also, but do something nice for yourself. Mothering ourselves after a lifetime of hurt is one of the toughest, but also most rewarding, jobs.
Also a book suggestion, if you're interested: Toxic Parents, by Dr. Susan Forward.
Please try to get him to go to therapy and get him a copy of Toxic Parents She's being deliberately abusive and is saying things she knows will hurt him. It's no different from being hit, or locked in his room/closet. She's toxic and he needs help to break the hold she has on him.
It sounds like you want this "come to Jesus" moment to be THE LAST attempt for... something. The thing is, your parents have had decades to fix things. The "fixer" isn't on you, the adult child. The thing is, your parents have CHOSEN time and time again to place the blame on you, play victim/martyr, belittle, insult, undermine, invalidate, minimize, and diminish you. Verbally abuse and emotionally abuse you. It is a CHOICE they have made again and again and again.
You are right - they will NEVER admit to the abuse. Why set yourself up for reopening old wounds?
The ball is in THEIR court, not yours. It is not up to you to bear that emotional burden. Set yourself free. They've dug their grave, to be blunt.
If you do truly decide to confront them, I suggest reading this book, the chapter called "confrontation" and memorize your rehearsed scripts for the inevitable gaslighting. Because it will happen.
I cannot recommend this book enough: Toxic Parents by Susan Forward. My gosh - it totally opened my eyes to how my parents learned manipulation from their families. It gives you some very valuable perspective and strategies.
OP, if you read "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward, you will understand that you essentially have two options here:
>He told me that I needed to pick up a fucking book and read up on how to raise kids.
>He left his kids in a different state with their mother, refused to provide any type of financial support and even quit a job when child support started being garnished from his checks
I wonder if this book is the one he's talking about. I'm sure it's already been suggested for his kids.
Unfortunately, I don't think there are any quick or easy solutions. There are books about dealing with parents like this because, well.... it's a thing. For example: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/0553381407/ The point is that your mom's got issues and dealing with them is going to be a substantial process.
If your husband's on reddit, may I formally welcome you to r/raisedbynarcissits (not a mod, just a member).
Also, I'd HIGHLY recommend reading Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life.
You, your husband and your daughter have every right to decide what you do with your time. Your in-laws can't send the cops after you (despite how much they may want to) to force you to attend Sunday 'dinner's. Time to put and enforce some healthy(er) boundaries in place.
Okay, glad it's not just me. Even before knowing your ages, I was thinking 'why in tf is he talking to op like a two year old? and in the third person?!'
I'm sorry that they went out with your father on your birthday and that you purposely weren't included/invited to go. That's really messed up.
Something that might help you is reading Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Dr. Susan Forward.
They are in denial and abusive apparently. Mine were too. Besides seeking help and trying to escape from them i do not see what you could do.
That book helped me a bit:
It's a lot easier to belong to a family where you find love and support. You have that, he does not. Inside all of us is the child longing for the support and approval of our family of origin and we can often fall into difficult and destructive cycles where we try to get it. It's not unreasonable that he wants your loving and supportive presence while he is dealing with his difficult family. This book helped me tremendously but the journey to understanding that I needed to read it was a long one. (It sat on my nightstand for years). I'd suggest that your role is to just love and support him on his journey to understand that his family isn't the healthy, normal one he thought it was as he grew up. This isn't tit for tat (he doesn't need to visit my family so I don't need to visit his) but each of you offering the other what they need.
I was bullied too and had abusive parents. So I can relate (i wrote a post about how i dealt with it).
As a kid i was helped by my cat, my dog, books and then pen and paper RPG.
I turned my back on my parents and began to work menial jobs at 18. You should walk away from your family, find a job where you do not need to mask too much, find a place where you can live as much in peace as it is possible.
Do find a hobby, passion, walk (it's very important), exercise. And try something creative.
Hope it helped.
A book i suggest: https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407
Seek help from an association, therapist, counsellor to get your independence and get away.
Denial in face of alcoholism and rape/abuse is pretty banal, you might want to read:
Please let me introduce you to (Toxic Parents)[https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407], by Susan Forward.
And NTA -- Your father is deliberately provoking -- or baiting -- you. He knows what he is doing, he knows how his choices affect you, and he is doing it on purpose to get exactly the reaction he got. That doesn't mean you cannot control that reaction -- but read the book. Learn what you're dealing with, and then focus on healing.
>No, my points has continuously pointed out that this is over barely two week span for a emotionally charged teenager. So yeah, no. I don't really expect her to magically become more stable in 2 weeks. That's laughable.
In reality? Sure. In an anime? Not the same thing. This is a fictional story where the entire point is to have us connect with the character. The only connection I'm getting is that she's a textbook example of this.
Firstly. I’m really sorry for what you’re going through. Think of it this way - you’re already being accused of doing things you’re not doing. Your sisters and mom already think you’re talking to guys, etc. and still harassing you. They don’t seem like people you can please to be honest.
The best thing you can do is take charge of your life. Move out, establish boundaries with your family and get on an app or start attending local match making events. It’s never too late to make a change. May Allah make it easy for you.
Also this book has been highly recommended by others I know in similar situations.
Hi alexalexalex, I am sorry to hear you are going through this. It sounds really challenging and like there are years of ongoing pain and dysfunction in the relationship with your mom and also step dad. It is valid that you feel this way. I strongly recommend reading the book called Toxic Parents (Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life https://www.amazon.ca/dp/0553381407/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_R0DG7BF4GZZ9V48CXV7N). This book helped me to feel validated in struggles I experienced, and in the second half of the book, it also offers clarity in how you can move forward and regain some of your power and remove yourself emotionally (and reduce your resentment).
I've had bad luck with parents. Twice, adopted into a narcissistic shitshow where I was essentially collateral damage. But, that is someone being intentionally traumatic.
I read this in my 20s before I started seeing a therapist.
You can for sure find a PDF online if you look.
My parents were also emotionally abusive and neglectful. My dad is extremely emotionally immature and around 20 it helped me so much to realize that he was just stuck. I began to pity him and be proud of myself for being more self aware than he was capable of. My mom has undiagnosed severe ADHD and generational trauma and was navigating a divorce with an abusive narcissist (my dad.) She genuinely didn’t have the capacity to do better. There were weeks as a child that we completely cared for ourselves while my mother lay in bed in a deep depression. There is a peace that comes with admitting they really did do the best they could even though that best was incredibly damaging. It allows me to love them and accept I will never get the kind of support I deserve. It allows me to see how much love and intention to do well really was there from them. And it allows me to distance myself emotionally from behavior that is toxic and unhelpful. My older sister, who is a 45 year old therapist, never got to this level of peace and acceptance and is still very resentful. My younger sister is getting to where I am but she also has undiagnosed ADHD and I think she has to work through how her nervous system gets stuck on emotions. So I’m very aware this perspective is NOT an easy one to come to.
The book Toxic Parents helped me a bunch. I never got to the second half about “reclaiming your life” because ADHD but the first half was very validating and empowering.
I'd encourage my wife to see a therapist. It can take a lifetime for emotionally abused children to admit to themselves that their parents are abusers and that they don't deserve the cruelty. This book was enormously helpful for me.
I have very similar concerns. Just ordered “Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life”
By Susan Forward
This book has been highly recommended by a number of people on this particular forum whose parents were typically abusuve authoritarian TBM parents.
I’m hoping it helps me achieve additional clarity.
Hey, I don't have this specific experience but I also grew up with parental abuse and trying to figure out how to deal with that for myself/dealing with the world when no one sees the abuse or neglect. My parents and I still talk, but with many, many self-imposed boundaries. It gives me a lot of comfort that while families are important, they aren't always your birth families, and they can be chosen.
My opinion, particularly about the cycle of abuse, is that you can't be responsible for your mother. You might not be able to understand how she's able to be endowed, but that's her relationship with God. We have to take trying as change, even if we don't know if it's true. It's between that person and God. And in not speaking to her, you don't know what she's told others about her change, what she's tries to do... I know that's hard and might not make sense in the realm of right/wrong, especially to someone who has gone through that abuse.
If you feel comfortable talking to your bishop, you should. He has a lot on his plate because he was called to the position! But sometimes abusers can lie convincingly well, especially to people outside their family; I'm almost sure you know this.
If you haven't been to therapy or talked to someone professional, I really recommend you do. It takes a long time to deal with, especially as you deal with trying to escape the cycle of abuse in your future. If you don't mind a book recommendation, this was a life-changing one for me.
Dealing with an abusive family in a family-centered place is always, always hard. I hope that you find some peace and the answers you need.
I learned a lot from "Toxic Parents". It talks about the patterns of abuse and how children (including adult children) cope and respond. Gives templates for different approaches to modify behaviors.
If I might make a suggestion, I strongly recommend the book <em>Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life</em>, by Susan Forward.
Excellent book, clearly written and easy to read, with numerous examples and useful practical advice. It's basically an instruction manual for adults who are coping with the aftermath of growing up with toxic parents. I found it super useful.
People are quick to recommend therapy on Reddit- probably because it can be so helpful- but it's also difficult to access for most people. You could start with something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407.
Susan Forward is great.
> and she just told me to follow Jehovah and not imperfect men.
She's just parroting what she's been told.
Look, I tried something similar with my own parents, about their spending habits, about their behaviors, about things that weren't directly JW-related. I was trying to help them function properly as adults, even when I was 9 years old.
They basically sneered at me and declared that since I was "a child", I couldn't possibly know more than they did (even tho their lives were a flaming mess).
It IS frustrating when a parent that one relies upon acts like an ostrich, sticking their heads in the sand. Especially when such a person (who clearly does NOT have her own act together) is holding you back & keeping you from fulfilling your own potential.
I would strongly advise you to take several emotional steps back and separate your present happiness and your future potential for happiness from your mother's actions, mental & emotional states, and whether or not she ever 'wakes up'.
Protect yourself, and let her go her own way. Or, as one family therapist quoted in the book "Toxic Parents - Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life" put it:
>"If I could give my clients just one gift, it would be the ability to leave their families to their fates."
[edit to include link to book preview] http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407
You understand that statement, right? You cannot continue being emotionally co-dependent with your mother. That gives her power over you, which she clearly will ALWAYS use to manipulate you towards becoming a Watchtower Society drone/slave.
Break free mentally & emotionally - learn to take several emotional steps backwards, & leave her to her cult membership. She has chosen that over you, so you really don't owe her prime loyalty in your life, either.
I would recommend checking out the book Toxic Parents. It helped me deal with a father who saw me as his last chance to have a successful child, I have four siblings, and was outraged that I didn't want to live the life that he had laid out for me. He undermined, demoralized and belittled me the rest of his life.
Abusers are so good at this. Whatever you do, I hope it works out and you can be happy. And if you ever need no-contact support I am happy to lend an ear/help however I can.
I also highly recommend this book. Used copies start at $0.37 on Amazon
Another book I have hear is good at explaining the situation you are in is TOXIC PARENTS. If you and your wife read it it may help you to see the situation more clearly.
There are dozens of websites as well giving suggestions for toxic parent syndrome.
My sympathies on your situation. Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life is a book you should read, I hope it helps you. (Available for $10 or free from your local library.)
First of all, you need to really believe that your mother's complaints are not valid. Secondly, you should not apologize for your actions. And thirdly, if you are in debt, you shouldn't be spending more than a token amount to let your sister know you thought of her. As to your mother, I think a lump of coal would be just the thing!
Speaking of 'toxic', I very highly recommend reading Toxic Parents (don't worry, no referral link there, and I'm not associated with the book in any way). My partner picked it up to read because she felt that my parents were toxic, and I couldn't believe how much I agreed with the author of the book on many points, and it's definitely helped me realize that the things I was telling myself were really things that I had internalized from the way my parents treated me. It's taken me a while to realize that my absurdly low self-esteem, massive amounts of self-doubt and self-hatred, and consistent anxiety were hugely influenced by the way that my parents treated me growing up - the book helped immensely. Therapy is the #1 help for me, but reading that book helped me bring up specific things with my therapist that I would not have thought to bring up otherwise.
There's a companion book, 'Toxic In-laws', that helps people like my partner deal with people like my parents. It offers information and advice on how to change the relationship from parent-child or abuser-abused to one of equality and understanding.
There are several directions that you can go with this situation.
You can allow your parents/mom to control your life now, and quite possibly well into the future.
You can also realize the full import of being of LEGAL age, and begin making an exit plan (with backups) to gradually put into effect over the next 2 - 4 years.
You can lead a double life for a while, but that's not a good idea unless you're building your exit route by living a double life.
You can do research into destructive parental behaviors, because it sounds like your mom is over-controlling and is trying to infantilize you to keep you dependent on her/your parents.
Personally I'd build an exit plan while researching your mother's behaviors. I would suggest that you read at least two books on the subject of toxic parents.
Here are two of my favorites:
Therapy is always a good idea but it's not possible for everyone. I can vouch that these books/workbooks contain accurate, helpful info. & tips. DM me for help finding digital copies.
Self Esteem (3rd Edition)
The CBT Workbook for Depression (2nd Ed)
The Mindful Way Workbook for Depression
*Other good books:*
The Dance of Anger
In my process of learning what was done to me (being beaten into the JWs by two horrible scapegoating parents), I read this book:
Somewhere within that book, I think within the first few chapters, the author quotes a therapist friend and confidant who said:
>If I could give my clients one gift, it would be the ability to leave their [dysfunctional, destructive] families to their fates.
Those words hit me right between the eyes. Being able to totally drop any emotional connection to dysfunctional and judgmental parents (or those with other issues) was the greatest freedom a person could wish for.
"Okay? Now, about this new listing..." stop engaging with him. Be a grey rock. Also, I suggest your husband read this. Therapy may also help your partner to deal with this abuse. Honestly, though, is the business worth all of this heartache? Wouldn't cutting this toxic man out of your life yield more profit?
ia d-aici, fa cumva si citeste asta si o sa fie clare lucrurile dupa, mai bun decat orice sfat sau post, gasesti rezolvarea in cartea asta. daca nu ti-o permiti o gasesti si aici de downloadat pt kindle chiar si in format .pdf de citit pe pc/telefon etc.
pe scurt, va trebui sa te muti ca sa scapi de ei si sa rescrii regulile relatiei tale cu ei, gasesti toate detaliile si informatiile pe larg in carte. happy reading!
We can sometimes recreate in our marriages the same toxic attributes we grew up with. Please, look at this and consider your marriage. If you determine that it's otherwise healthy then tell your wife that you understand her resentment toward your parents and that you are working to transition to a healthier dynamic with them (this book may help you with that) and that you'd appreciate her support by treating you with respect during the process. Her immature and hurtful response is a legitimate thing to be upset about.
I advise you to focus on becoming independent of your parents. Once you no longer depend on them, you can firmly draw boundaries and restrict their access to you if necessary. In the meantime, recognizing that his treatment of you is emotionally abusive and that those nasty things he says are not true. It can take years to shake off the effects of a toxic parent. I found this book immensely helpful.
Your parents sound awful. I highly recommend this book https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407. It helped me extremely, and i think you can even find a pdf version for free on google somewhere. If you can't dm me i can send it to you.
It's not your fault. Please don't blame yourself for something you can't control. You are doing amazing. Don't doubt yourself.
this book can help https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407
Hi, I'm sorry for everything you've gone through, including losing your dad at such a young age.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a virgin at 38 or at any age. I find that the people in this sub are quite compassionate and understanding, so it's unlikely that you'd get any flack for it.
There's nothing wrong with going low contact or no contact if it's right for you.
I understand how in some cultures, if a woman gets pregnant then she's expected/forced to marry the guy. However since your mom already had a child and you weren't the first to come along, it doesn't make sense that she blames you for 'having' to marry your dad, especially after he passed away.
It's rough being pitted against your sibling, being blamed and punished for things that both of you did. And for your mom not alternating between events. I experienced something similar growing up, however for us it was Christmas. One kid (out of four) would get a big Christmas (practically everything on their list) and the rest of the kids would get a couple of small items. It was impossible to figure out who would get the big Christmas each year (usually one of my two sisters and very occasionally my brother) because there was no rhyme or reason to it. In my fifteen years (I'm older than that now) I had one big Christmas (I had a really bad year and I like to think/hope that they were making up for it). Decades later, I can still tell you everything I got that year, it was so meaningful to me.
Congrats on buying a house! Regardless of where you live and how well off you are, you're under no obligation to have children or to 'give her grandchildren'. I could go on for pages and pages about how unhealthy it is to have relationship with a toxic parent/grandparent. However, I suspect that you already see that with how your mother is treating your sister's children. After I went nc with my nparents, my nsiblings tried to convince me that I was obligated for my child (the only grandchild) to have a relationship with our nparents. I would tell them if they wanted our nparents to have a grandchild so much, than any one of them were free to have a child...somehow, none of them have...
Something that helped me to heal and to make a decision was reading the book Toxic Parents: Overcoming their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life. It may help you as well.
Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy & Reclaiming Your Life
Just buy this
There are 2 words that caught my attention in your post: obligation and guilt. Because of this I think you would benefit a lot from reading a book called "toxic parents":
Now to answer you questions:
1- No, you don't have any obligation. I do keep going mostly because I love my wife and I like to take care of her and she takes care of me. But also because after years of therapy I have many good days without depression now.
2- You are not guilty for having depression. A good part of it was acquired from learning non-helpful mental habits from your parents and society. Sure there are also some genetic components, food components and other diseases that contribute to the problem. However, the mental habits and the food components can be changed with therapy, I'm living proof of that.
You might find what you're looking for in the book Toxic Parents.
Toxic Parents is an oldie but goodie starting point:
This book did wonders for me. Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/0553381407/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_WJYKHCN7E8T8QX0Y7E7S?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Excellent book, highly recommend: https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407
I would warn though, it could be difficult to get through - I couldn't finish it because the experiences just hit too close to home
Give her this book, https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407 , it helped me
We're too young for this. Where do I begin fixing it?
Start at the beginning! There's lots to unpack here, but you both seem to be playing your parts in the codependency dance of love addict with love avoidant (aka pursue-withdraw). Under those conditions it's normal and adapted to lose desire so try not to beat yourself up or blame yourself too much. If you really do feel the bed to assign blame, at least pass the buck and blame both sets of parents, and commit to not being Toxic Parents (aka. authoritarian or permissive rather than authoritative and emotionally coaching parents).
Overall, I think it's awesome that you're looking for answers to this. As the LL, you have full control over the frequency of sex which makes this issue far easier to fix from your side of the relationship. Good luck as you move through this. Your marriage and your child will thank you! A healthy couple is far less likely to engage in conditional parenting or emotional incest and pass on the DB to the next generation. Way to go for digging into this!
"Forsake all others" isn't just about not having sex with other people, it also means that you forsake your family of origin and everyone else in lieu of your spouse. When you committed to and married your husband, he became your immediate family. Remember, YOU chose HIM. It's perfectly reasonable for him to want to just have a Christmas with just you. And if you insist on seeing your parents then you would be the JNSO. You need to put your husband first. And you need to stand up to your father too. I get being scared of your dad, but if your husband has your back (and I suspect he does) you need to stand up to your dad and tell him he needs to apologize to your husband or you're not going over. It's not just you alone, but your husband will be there right beside you to stand up to your father.
Remember, you and your husband are a team. You two are one. And if you leave your husband to spend Christmas with your family, your husband will know you don't put him first but instead put an abusive family above him. That will change your relationship and the dynamics of your relationship with your husband.
I wouldn't risk it. In fact, over a decade ago when my mother decided that she was going to horn in and start abusing my husband (then boyfriend) and our relationship I put an immediate stop to that and went NC. In the end, it's my husband who is by my side, NOT my family of origin. It's my HUSBAND who has my back and is on #TeamUs, not my family of origin.
I like the other comment here, read "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward and consider therapy so you can get on the same page as your husband. As your husband he has a right to demand an apology, and he deserves one. And since it is your father, it's your responsibility to stand up to your JNParents for your husband. It's not wrong to want to spend Christmas with your family of origin (although, if they're abusive I don't understand wanting to be in that abuse, but that's me), but remember, your immediate family is now your husband.
I read Susan Forward's "Mothers Who Can't Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters" and it was like she was in the room listening to my mother and taking notes!
Her "Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life" (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553381407/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0) and or "Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You" (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060928972/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2) might interest your DH and help him out. I've included the links on Amazon to make it very easy for you to look at the summary and see if it's something he might use. Your public libraries might have those books.
There's a book for that:
Take a look at this book - it might help. Toxic Parents
I'll be honest, I did not read the whole post. I apologize for that. Seriously, the first few were enough for me.
There is a book called Toxic Parents - by Dr. Susan Forward & Craig Buck that I think you and your boyfriend should read. I think it'll help for you to make a decision to cut contact with his mother.
My mother was incredibly toxic. She had her own ways of abuse but the major points you make of your BF's mother are the same things my mother did: brag in public, but abuse in private. My mother was a hoarder and lived in squalor (odd as this may sound, that is a sign of OCD.) Your BF's mother sounds like she may be suffering from this.
I went no contact for years with my mother. I had to physically move to another city and cut all contact and ties with her for a few years to get myself together and through university. I'd have very long apart periodic check in. In an effort to make peace, I invited her to my university graduation. When she started in on her abuse, I uninvited her. More years went by. I tried contact again but it was strained. There was always an incredibly short "honeymoon" period and then she'd start in on her abuse.
I met a wonderful man. We were together for a few years, my relationship with my mother was strained, fairly non-existent, and we'd go MONTHS with no contact. I remember my last phone call with her and she started in on me. The. Absolute. Instant she attacked my boyfriend (to me on the phone - and TBH I don't remember the exact words she said but it was a definite attack) and on my relationship with him I had a moment of clarity. By this time I had read that book "Toxic Parents" I recommended above and it all made sense to me. I told her I was absolutely done with her. And she knew it.
I said I was done and she was to never call me again. I said it in such a way that it finally got through to her. She died alone 2 weeks later and wasn't found for another 2 weeks after that. When I heard she had died I had an intense feeling of relief that it was finally over. I barely think about her anymore - only times like these such as me writing this post.
First and foremost make sure your boyfriend, and you, are absolutely safe. I know there is a younger brother involved here, but in order to help him your bf will need to help himself first. Get on solid ground, and then when it's possible help his brother. That may not be for a few years. (It's the airplane analogy, help yourself first so you can be ok to help others.) I have no siblings so this wasn't an issue for me.
Consider getting that book and see how it fits in with BF's life. If he can live with his father, or with you and your family, getting him out so he can be safe is #1 priority. She'll have a major blow out so prepare a plan for the inevitability. The r/JUSTNOMIL sub has resources on how to go no contact and what to do with abusive stalking parents.
Good luck. I wish you and your BF the best. I really do. He's being abused and going no contact is a beginning to stop the abuse.
You might like some Susan Forward’s books:
Someone needs to gift him a few books about toxic parents:
Well if you're looking for books i know of this one:
Toxic Parents by Susan Forward
Complex PTSD by Pete Walker
Trapped in the Mirror by Elan Golomb
How to deal with being surrounded by assholes:
TLDR: don't allow assholes to ruin YOUR life too.
Please excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but your first relationship really is with yourself.
You might gain a great deal by researching codependence. Often people who were born into & raised in less-than-stellar family systems (violence, fear, coldness, rejection) end up strongly codependent & reliant upon external validation instead of being able to comfort & strengthen themselves.
Codependence is (in my opinion) an unhealthy extension or exaggeration of the natural human need for connection. If you've been put through difficulties during your infancy & childhood, that will likely add some level of difficulty to your quest to establish a strong sense of self, because the natural human need for connection was flawed or denied when & where it counted most - when you were a helpless infant or small child.
But such a strong sense of self can be developed. There are many good books out there on the subject of overcoming difficult or neglected childhoods:
You can get a free preview here: https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=VKAVXZ806G14AQ7GYFFT
And you can purchase that book & the next one from used-book sites for a fairly cheap price:
I'm sorry. I hope your dad has an ironclad prenuptial agreement.
Here's a book that has helped me deal with my mother. I highly recommend it.
You might find some helpful advice within these pages:
Get a copy.
Wow. You have accomplished so much in your life already. I really admire your strength and courage to have done all of the things you have. Even though you are an amazing person with tons of strength and courage, you can only get so far on your own. I think that seeing a therapist is the next strong, brave, courageous step you should take in your life.
I never went through anything remotely like you have, but, therapy changed my life completely for the better. I bet there are counseling services through your school. Also looks up books on Amazon and read the reviews. There are probably therapy books for people who have escaped cults like you have. You could also check out Toxic Parents. Actually (after a quick google search), it looks like you can read a PDF of the book for free here.
Might want to check out this book, too:
First of you are doing great! Congrats and pat your self on the back you got this far and is on the journey of self-improvement instead of feeling sorry for your self.
I think you might've been using porn as coping mechanism for an underlying issue you may have.
"A coping mechanism is a method of dealing with stress and uncertainty in life. No matter who you are, you no doubt have worked through many stressful situations effectively. However, coping mechanisms can be healthy or unhealthy. Some unhealthy ways of coping may appear to resolve initial feelings of stress but can lead to problems down the road." (https://www.morningsiderecovery.com/mental-illness/coping-mechanisms/)
One example, I used to go poming whenever I didn't want to do something right way, especially work (working from home on the computer on my own time), it was an quick way to self satisfy and run away from the problem. It was clear to me because it became a clear pattern. In your case, it is not that clear what u may be using poming to cope with in your life that is not making your happy. There may be a much deeper inner issue to this and your feeling of guilty is the surface to that. I would suggest seeing a good counselor/psychologist or at at least getting some self-help books.
Have learned a great deal this year, mostly by living on the edge of work/relationships/family trying extreme things and having things explode on my face. But I am glad I am going through these experiences, they might leave some scars but they are also leaving some wisdom behind with them.
This book helped me see my inner issue: http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451370868&sr=8-1&keywords=toxic+parents
This youtube video from Ross Jeffries helps me focus on my self-improvement journey,
Learn to take care of yourself. Get a copy of this book.
it is just my theory which I came up with after a few years of trying to figure out the whole narc/fleas (fucking hate fleas) thing.
I refer to a few books I believe to be absolutely fundamental;
Susan Forward on toxic parents
Eric Berne on TA
and the one titled The Family: Love it and Leave it
Get yourself a copy:
I really recommend this book on Toxic Parents: http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407
You can usually find it at the local library, too.
This book might be helpful to you
You both should read the book Toxic Parents: http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383750421&sr=8-1&keywords=toxic+parents
Your girl has trauma points on several levels that should be addressed. I'm going to hit you with a library of reference material. Self-help books are not a replacement for therapy! That said, knowledge is power, and these are excellent resources.
Family of origin issues: this is where shit begins. We learn our self-worth (or lack of it) here. Toxic Parents (Susan Forward) will give you, and her, the concepts and vocabulary to begin to understand and process the effects of a fucked up family and how to deal with it.
Self-esteem issues: Stemming from above. Almost certainly what's behind the 'long, abusive relationship' with some guy who ended up cheating on her. People who stay in abusive relationships (physical, emotional or a cocktail of both) do so as a direct result of issues with self-esteem. Ten Days to Self-Esteem (David Burns) and The Self-Esteem Workbook (Glenn Schiraldi) both give background and practical exercises to help understand the concepts and make progress toward repair. You should both work through this!
Post-Traumatic Stress Issues: Like I said above, you've both been through trauma here. CLEARLY, her trauma is on a completely different level from yours, but you're exhibiting signs of a variation of PTSD yourself. Many people (myself included up until a couple of weeks ago, actually) think PTSD is reserved for war veterans. Not so much. The bible of PTSD is The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook (also Glenn Schiraldi). Buy this book. You can buy a Kindle edition and read it on your computer with a Kindle app if you want it right now and can't find it in a bookstore locally.
Anxiety Issues: I'm betting she has them. Even if she by some miracle doesn't, you clearly do. For your back pocket -- Feeling Good and The Feeling Good Handbook (David Burns). Excellent Cognitive Behaviour Therapy manuals - you feel what you think, and CBT is brilliant for helping you understand and adjust faulty thought patterns.
You need to be able to talk with her about this. Your relationship depends on it. In order for that to happen, she needs to feel safe talking to you about it. You should be able to express to her that you are upset by what happened to her, but no upset with her. You need to be very, very clear in your mind that that is true before you can be expected to convince her that that is true. Help her to understand that terrible things have happened to her - not just the rape, but all that shit going back to her abusive family of origin - that those things are not OK (that may sound ridiculously obvious, but someone that has grown up in that kind of toxic environment needs to hear that loud, clear and often), that they are not her fault, and that you love her and are prepared to support her when she needs you.
She needs to talk to a professional. Do you have access to a women's counseling center or women's shelter where you are? If you PM me your location, I will be more than happy to help you look for resources. Given what you've explained about her background, chances are very, very good she's suppressing post-trauma reactions. Children of abusive situations learn that it's futile - maybe even counter-productive - to express physical or emotional pain. She needs to get with someone who is trained to hear below the surface and help her.
Wow - I'm verbose.
tl/dr: Giant, waiving red flags all over her background. Get her to a trained rape counselor, educate yourself on the probable issues, be there for her.
Toxic Parents is great! Also, many libraries that offer ebooks have this title available.
Don't invite toxic parents back into your life, especially if you feel you will fall back into the old, unhealthy dynamics. This book was invaluable to my healing. Please consider some therapy to help break some unhealthy patterns.
Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
NTA. But then I never turn my nose up at practical, thoughtful, useful gifts.
Next time how about a nice paperback? https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=Abusive+parents&qid=1596590013&s=books&sr=1-4