May 4, 2010 (Confronting a parent)

May 4, 2010


  • You must feel strong enough to handle your parents’ rejection, denial, blame, anger, or any other negative consequences of confrontation.
  • You must have a sufficient support system to help you through the anticipation, the confrontation itself, and the aftermath.
  • You must have written a letter or rehearsed what you want to say, and you must have practiced non-defensive responses.
  • You must no longer feel responsible for the bad things that happened to you as a child.

The anticipation of confrontation is always worse than the confrontation itself.

  1. This is what you did to me.
  2. This is how I felt about it at the time.
  3. This is how it affected my life.
  4. This is what I want from you now.

Book: Toxic Parents, page 238.


“Dear Dad,

I’m going to say some things to you that I’ve never said before. First of all, I want to tell you why I haven’t spent much time with you and mother over the last several months. This may surprise and disturb you, but I haven’t wanted to see you because I’m afraid of you. I’m afraid of feeling helpless and being verbally attacked by you. And I’m afraid of relying on you and then being emotionally abandoned by you again. Let me explain. …”


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