Attachment Theory

Toxic Childhood? How to Deal with People Who Minimize Your Experience

Not long ago, I got this message from someone on Facebook:
“I don’t see why you tear your mother down in this public way. It’s very clear that your mother must have done something right because you turned out fine, didn’t you? After all, not everyone gets to be a writer, you know? Grow up, move on, and stop blaming Mom. Your childhood was perfectly fine.”
I have heard comments like this so many times that if...


Unloving Mothers and the Many Faces of Body-Shaming

As I have often written, a mother’s face is the first mirror in which a daughter catches a glimpse of herself, and what is reflected there shapes her sense of self in myriad ways, many of them unarticulated and unconscious. Her mother’s smile tells her she is loved and appreciated, while her strokes and touch give her a sense of being cared for. Her mother’s encouragement teaches her that she is capable, and gives her...

Attachment Theory

Can a Narcissist Ever Change? Understanding What’s Involved

When I was collecting questions from readers for my book, The Daughter Detox Question & Answer Book: A GPS for Navigating Your Way Out of a Toxic Childhood, It’s not surprising that this question was submitted numerous times, referring to both romantic partners and parents; this post is adapted from the book. As it happens, the word “narcissist” has taken on a life of its own. Google the word and an astounding 55,000,000-plus references...