Toxic relationships include relationships with toxic parents. Typically, they do not treat their children with respect as individuals. They won’t compromise, take responsibility for their behavior, or apologize. Often, these parents have a mental disorder or have a serious addiction. We all live with the consequences of poor parenting. However, if our childhoods were traumatic, we carry wounds from abusive or dysfunctional parenting. When they haven’t healed, toxic parents can reinjure us in ways that make growth and recovery difficult. When we grow up with dysfunctional parenting, we may not recognize it as such. It feels familiar and normal. We may be in denial and not realize that we’ve been abused emotionally, particularly if our material needs were met.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your parents’ behavior. If this conduct is chronic and persistent, it can be toxic to your self-esteem.
- Do they overreact, create a scene?