Books That Have Helped Me Cope With Being Disowned

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 has also been very helpful.

Please do let me know if there are books you too have found helpful.



Living with Being Disowned

When I think of someone who has been disowned, I picture a drug addict, a murderer, or a prostitute.  Someone who has been disowned must have done something awful to deserve to be cut off by their family. I do not picture a successful career woman, with an MBA, happily married, and a loving mother. Yet behind the smile of my present life, there is the pain of loss of my father, my sister, my brother.

I have likened being disowned to being caught in a rip tide. The ocean waves sparkle with energy in the sunshine. My children and I love to jump the waves together. I only get pulled under when someone asks me about my father.  The pain pulls me to a darkness where I assume the world would be better off without me. It’s logical, right?  if my birth family is better off with me, then my children and husband would be too?

And yet, there is that ocean floor, so solid, my child hood. I used to scoop the baby clams, tiny dots of orange and purple and would wonder at God’s palette. My family had its golden years, a time when we were close. How, then, could my father do this to me?