Often the targets in the toxic family are not even aware of what is going on. After all, the toxicity may not be normal, it is their normal.

Okay, I made that sound a little whimsical, but there is nothing fun or lighthearted about growing up in a toxic family! Often the targets in the toxic family are not even aware of what is going on. After all, the toxicity may not be normal, it is their normal.

As a child with toxic parents, your frame of reference is toxicity. That is why it often takes a long time to realize that the relationships within the family are not healthy. If that realization even happens at all.

So, if you are here: be proud! You are looking for answers. You are investigating, learning and healing. Even if it took you some time to get here, don’t be upset it took you this long, be happy you got here at all!

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Toxic Families

When you grow up with toxic or emotionally abusive parents, it can be very difficult to understand what is going on. The indoctrination begin from the moment you are born, and your frame of reference is entirely controlled by your family of origins. These articles can also be helpful when you are dealing with abuse in other settings.

5 Signs My Family Was Toxic

7 Signs It’s Time to Cut (Toxic) Family Ties

Are We Born Broken or Parented to Break?

10 Signs You Have Toxic Family Members And 3 Things You Can Do About It

Confusion of Living with an Emotionally Unavailable Parent 

10 Things to Remember About Toxic Family Members

Different Roles in a Toxic Family (podcast)

Signs You Grew Up with a Toxic Parent

Realizing My Mother Doesn’t Love Me

For Lack of a Mother’s Love

Leaving the Nest

Many Faces of My Mother

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Coming to Terms with a Toxic Upbringing

Here are some articles about the impact of a toxic childhood. The articles may still be interesting to other survivors too, as it deals with long term effects and the behaviors we learn from abusers.

10 Lessons I Learned From My Toxic Parents (the Hard Way)

12 Ways to Deal With A Toxic Family/Family Member

Picture Perfect

What To Do When It’s Time to Break Up With A Family Member

It Was Your Normal, But It Was Not Normal

6 Ways to Handle Problems With Toxic Family Members

Spreading My Wings

Emotionally Neglected Children May Feel Like They Are Ghosts

The Adult Does What the Child Was Taught

8 Common Effects of Narcissistic Parenting

What My Emotionally Unavailable Mother Never Meant to Teach Me

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Parenting After Abuse

Whether you are parenting your kids after leaving a toxic partner, or after experiencing childhood abuse yourself… these circumstances come with some extra challenges. Here are a few resources to help you on your way. Look for more on parenting with a toxic ex specifically, we have gathered those resources here.

Kid Detox: 3 Ways to Break the Abuse Cycle

Brain Scans Show the Real Impact Love Has on a Child’s Brain

Parenting As An Abuse Survivor

Effect of early trauma on parenting skills

Parenting and Triggers: Wounds of the Past

Parenting After Your Own Childhood Trauma Isn’t Easy – But These 3 Tips Might Help


Did I miss your favorite resource? Leave me a link in the comments!



Having gained experience while working for a variety of European non-profits, I am proud to now work with SwanWaters. My connection with the website is not only professional. I am glad to tap into my personal experiences to help those who are living in toxic relationships whether with parents, partners or in their professional life. We need to make the world more aware of the devastating effects of emotional abuse and help more people on their way to heal and thrive.

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