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Reviews of what you should be reading next.

Category: Self Help (page 2 of 2)

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay Gibson, PsyD

 

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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 The rejecting parent is withdrawn, dismissive, and derogatory.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].

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

 

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 An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works—based on groundbreaking research and brain science—that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy. Researchers have spent the last decade trying to develop a “pink pill” for women to function like Viagra does for men. So where is it? Well, for reasons this book makes crystal clear, that pill will never exist—but as a result of the research that’s gone into it, scientists in the last few year have learned more about how women’s sexuality works than we ever thought possible, and Come as You Are explains it all.

 

I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway! Thanks to Emily Nagoski and Simon & Schuster for contributing the book in exchange for an honest review.

There are many books out there claiming to be the best source of knowledge about the female body; but this one is pretty much on the money. Nagoski talks honestly about what women experience, and why. Her tenet is: we are all alike, but different,  we are all normal.

Women may get their knowledge  from social media,  and therefore have an unrealistic image to live up to. Women may feel “broken” because their bodies don’t react the way they think they should. This feeling is insidious and permeates the brain and hinders sexual pleasure.

Nagoski explains that women have a “brake” and an  “accelerator” and that they need to be aware of what hits them, in essence. She talks about “spectatoring” (thinking about yourself in a denigrating way during sex, effectively hitting your brake) and discusses how to love your body.

COME AS YOU ARE is an uplifting, celebrating, and positive book that all women should read.  The ideas she puts forth are simple, and she includes worksheets and questions in the book that the reader can use to help them along their journey to better self awareness.

The author includes a chapter on anatomy, which is very thorough and should educate even the most sexually aware person! She also debunks the myths that women’s pleasure is secondary to men’s, or that the purpose of a female is just to procreate. Her message gives women power on every page.

Intertwined with Nagoski’s wisdom are 4 fictional women, each experiencing a different problem. As the book progresses, each woman’s relationship progresses, concurrent with what the author is saying. This way the reader can see how the principles are applied in real life.

What makes this book different from other self help books is that the solutions are put forth for both the mind and the body. It won’t matter if your sex drive is low or high,  as the tenets will make many women feel better, both about themselves and about what they feel. Education goes a long way, and this is the author’s aim: to let women know they are normal, while teaching them why this is so. There can be no better message, especially in these times where the average female has a lot of negativity surrounding her. Every woman should read this book, then give it to their partner. There would be more happiness in the world if that occurred.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”B00LD1ORBI” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].

Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD? by Gina Pera

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”yes” align=”center” asin=”0981548709″ cloaking=”default” height=”500″ localization=”yes” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BILx0GlFL.jpg” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″ width=”333″]

 

After I read The ADHD Effect on Marriage, I searched for similar books. This one kept popping up and seemed to be highly regarded, so I gave it the highest compliment I could: I purchased a copy.

This book is put together very well, and operates under the premise that ADD is not “so much of a disorder of attention as it is a disorder of self-regulation”, according to psychologist Russell Barkley, who wrote the foreword.  The theme of the book is the ‘roller coaster’ that both ADD’ers and non experience on a daily basis, and so the chapter headings are related to our favorite amusement park rides.  There are three parts; first, what is ADHD and how it affects you/your partner, second, what happens when you hit rock bottom and either decide to get treatment (or not), and three, how to succeed in building your relationship back with different strategies.

As you read, you get the sense that you are part of a support group, as you read other’s stories and get to know what lessons they have learned along the way. The difference between this book and the one I mentioned above, is that this goes into much more detail, with explanations as to WHY these things happen, and HOW to fix them. I found myself highlighting sections, seeing how there are common threads among ADD’ers and their significant others, and even learning more about brain function.  Each chapter contains a few ADHD Partner Snapshot graphs, which show the results of surveys taken from 162 responders.

There are chapters devoted to denial, medications, finances, therapy, co-existing disorders, sex, coping skills, and more. Understanding the spectrum of ADHD takes patience, time, and teamwork, and that is the author’s intent. Where The ADD Effect On Marriage told me about the emotions that ADD’ers experience, this book goes deeper. I learned in real people’s words how they dealt with frustration and despair, and how most (but not all) took steps to regain the love and trust they once felt.

I highly recommend this book, as it gives you strategies and sources for help, without being preachy or too glib. The book concentrates on getting help for both the ADD and non ADD partner, without being too touchy feely. Solutions for issues are discussed from all sides, and are eminently able to accomplish.

Interested? [easyazon_link asin=”0981548709″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″ add_to_cart=”yes” cloaking=”default” localization=”yes” popups=”yes”]You can pick up a copy here.[/easyazon_link]

The ADHD Effect On Marriage by Melissa Orlov

ADHD Effect on Marriage

Subtitled “Understand and rebuild your relationship in six steps”, this book is mainly geared towards those who are experiencing trouble with their ADD/ADHD mate. Both people in the relationship will see themselves portrayed authentically, with explanations of WHY they are feeling those emotions. The first few chapters explain ADHD–what it is, how the brain is affected, how it is diagnosed, and the insidious ways it can creep into your relationship/marriage and cause trouble. Orlov quotes from, and suggests reading, The Dance of Anger by Harriet G Lerner as a supplement to this book. She also sprinkles the pages with lots of stories and examples from real life men and women working to save their relationship. It’s easy to sense the frustration these people have with ADHD serving as the third wheel in their marriage, and some of the stories are quite depressing.

The second part of the book is the rebuilding part, as Orlov outlines her six steps for fixing what has gone awry. She goes out of her way to explain that it’s not the ADHD causing the person to be “broken”, but a lack of understanding how it affects the brain and how ADHD’ers see the world differently.

The six steps are: cultivating empathy, addressing obstacle emotions, getting treatment for BOTH parties (as the non ADHD’er may experience depression, anger or frustration and become resentful and/or ill), improving communication, setting boundaries, and finally, reigniting romance and having fun. As someone who truly believed that ADHD was just a convenient diagnosis for little boys with ants in their pants, I can say I was literally blown away by this book. My whole way of thinking (these people just needed to focus more, be more organized, stop daydreaming, get discipline) could not have been more wrong. ADHD’ers have heard since they were young that they were “not good enough”, they were “underachieving”, they could be “so much more if you just focused better”, and they feel unloved, abandoned, and frustrated.

I am a very organized person by nature, and dealing with a man with ADHD would be a challenge, for sure. The first step is understanding that MY way is not always the RIGHT way, and ADHD’ers need to do what works best for them. Medication is a great help, but so is communication and coping strategies. Knowing your enemy is the first step to defeating him.

Included with the book are worksheets, tools and resources that can be further utilized. Both people will come away knowing their spouse better, and themselves a little better as well.

This was the first book I read about adult ADD/ADHD, and I learned a great deal. On Goodreads, this book got mixed reviews, and most reviewers suggested reading Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD? by Gina Pera as a better source of information and assistance. I’ll be reviewing that in a future post, as I’m currently working through that now. The ADD Effect On Marriage is a good, if simple, book to read to gain understanding of adult ADHD. The advice is pretty sound, and if nothing else, you will see yourself in the anecdotes of those who have experienced a rocky road in their relationship. You will know that you are not alone in this.

[easyazon_link asin=”1886941971″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”yes” popups=”yes”]Know someone with adult ADD? Interested in learning more, even if there is no ADD in your life? Click here to get a copy.[/easyazon_link]

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