If you grew up with an emotionally immature, unavailable, or selfish parent, you may have lingering feelings of anger, loneliness, betrayal, or abandonment. You may recall your childhood as a time when your emotional needs were not met, when your feelings were dismissed, or when you took on adult levels of responsibility in an effort to compensate for your parent’s behavior. These wounds can be healed, and youcan move forward in your life.
In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect, and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhood. By freeing yourself from your parents’ emotional immaturity, you can recover your true nature, control how you react to them, and avoid disappointment. Finally, you’ll learn how to create positive, new relationships so you can build a better life.
Discover the four types of difficult parents:
The emotional parent instills feelings of instability and anxiety. The driven parent stays busy trying to perfect everything and everyone. The passive parent avoids dealing with anything upsetting. The rejecting parent is withdrawn, dismissive, and derogatory.
In Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents (Called ACoEIP hereafter), Lindsay Gibson, PsyD, has provided an exceptional resource for people who grew up lonely within the company of their families.
To preface my review of her book, I must mention that the issue coping with immature parents, resonates strongly with me. I was fortunate enough to know in advance of reading this book that I was a part of its target audience. However, Gibson wisely acknowledges that most of her target audience will believe that their childhood experiences are normal, and that whatever problems they might have had seeking attention growing up was, and still is, their own responsibility to bear.
I would have felt this way not too long ago, and you may feel the same. If a person’s upbringing is likely to seem normal to them even in the absence of a meaningful parent-child emotional connection, how would a potential reader know that a book like this would be for them?
Below is a selection of statements that Gibson includes early on in the book to determine if you are in her target audience. If you find yourself nodding your head while reading these, then ACoEIP may deserve a place on your reading list.
“I was trying harder to understand my parent than my parent was trying to understand me.”
“I always felt that my parent thought I was too emotional or sensitive.”
“My parent rarely apologized or tried to improve the situation when there was a problem between us.”
For most peoples’ childhoods, some of these statements were true some of the time. For some people, these kinds of statements describe the general tenor of life childhood life. That kind of childhood leaves a lot of emotional baggage.
For some, the fallout of such a childhood is that you internalize. Consider this example: You may get yourself into relationships with others where you forego your own wants and needs as the price of admission for respect from the other. You may find yourself filling the requests of others, never asking favors for yourself. Why? Well, if your parents generally reprised you when you expressed desires, then keeping your wants and needs to yourself would be an expected learned behavior. The danger here is that you’ll look at yourself one day, always giving of yourself to others and letting people walk all over you, and decide that you must be a fool, or that you’re just weak, or some other self-diminishing thing. You would be terribly wrong, and a book like this one finds its greatest value in showing its readers why.
The example above is just one of many. The pages of ACoEIP are stuffed to the margins with relatable stories that are never too long, nor too simplified. Gibson speaks with a knowledgeable tone, but without pretense. Her diverse personal background of reading, life experience, and administering therapy shows in her concise writing style. I would not fault her for including more examples that I might have expected from a book like this because none of the examples feel like padding. All of them add unique value to the segments in which they appear.
Even if you’re not sure that this book is for you, I recommend it. If, while reading it, you decide that it isn’t, you will still gain a window into the hearts of those in your life to whom this book does speak.
Want your own copy? Click [easyazon_link identifier=”1626251703″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].