Here are some books that have helped me understand why I was disowned, why it was not my fault, how to cope, and specific strategies for healing and reconciling:
Healing >From a Family Rift by Mark Sichel. He’s a therapist who was disowned. It was in this book that I first learned the word narcissist as a more specific parenting problem.
The Narcisistic Family by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman. Your parent doesn’t have to have narcissistic personality disorder for this book to apply. Instead, it’s more about families who put the parents’ needs ahead of the children’s. Reading this book gave me a lot of aha moments – why I push people away, something the authors call plastic walls and why children who have grown up in such families have symptoms similar to those of children of alcoholics.
Children of the Self-Absorbed by Nina Brown. Full of self diagnostic check lists and patterns of how children react to these parent types. Some rebel and some do everything to please. I fall into the pleasing camp.
I did recently order I Thought We’d Never Speak Again by Laura Davis but haven’t read it yet. Will update this post when I do.
I didn’t find anything in my local library but I think some can be borrowed through inter library exchange.
And then because my faith has given me strength throughout my life, a friend gave me Jesus Calling which are daily reflections. When God Winks at You is a good read on the meaning of coincidences (there were a lot around the time of my father’s death!) as well as Unfinished Business. If you believe in Karma or the after life, this last book is full of stories that will make you determined to reconcile in this lifetime. And if you have tried and reconciliation is beyond hope, then it’s really for the people who have disowned you to resolve and make up for their failings.
The online group and non profit http://www.EstrangedStories.com has also been very helpful.
Please do let me know if there are books you too have found helpful.
2 thoughts on “Books That Have Helped Me Cope With Being Disowned”
I am writing to you to see if you would be willing to tell your readers about my book titled “Grieving for the Living: Effects of Disownment in Adulthood”, the book will include my story (disowned because I am an ex-Jehovah’s Witness), my co-author’s (she chose not to marry the rich man her mother preferred) and approximately 20 others. We’ve approached disownment from several angles including religious conversion, gender identity, interracial partnerships and sexual orientation just to name a few.
In addition, to demonstrate the need for such a book, we are conducting a large scale survey meant to assess the impact disownment has on mood and mental health. We will be assisted by individuals that have PhD’s in psychology and social work along with medical doctors and counselors.
We are confident that by conducting research about this population and publishing this work, people who are experiencing this alienation like ourselves will be able to find comfort in the knowledge that they are not alone. Further, the results we find with our research will aid in bringing attention to this issue, which is more prevalent than one might think.
We are hoping that, because of your work with a population that likely contains many individuals that have been disowned, you would be interested in our work. I was recently interviewed by a Fox News affiliate and by Jamila Bey, formerly of NPR. So, my co-author and I would love for you to write about the book or plug it on Facebook and Twitter.
Although we have a publisher that is interested, we haven’t yet signed a contract and we’re raising money to self-publish here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1433423258/grieving-for-the-living.
We’ve also set up a website where individuals can learn more about the book and take the survey: http://www.grievingfortheliving.com.
Thank you for your consideration!
Bridget R. Gaudette, MPA
Great article is there any chance I can take it and copy it onto my own blog