You’re welcome. I know there are no quick or easy solutions. Just know that you aren’t the only one who has faced these issues. If others can get through it, so can you.

None of this stuff is short term. I was 23 when I was finally able to tell my dad how much he hurt me. I didn’t learn to forgive him until I was 38.

If you want to get healthier, it’s going to take a lot of work and suffering.

The first thing is to express how much your parent hurt you (which is so much different from telling them how mad you are at them).

If you tell them directly, it’s unlikely they will apologize or ask your forgiveness. Parents almost never change. But it’s a big step toward taking responsibility for your own life and symbolically standing up to them.

If you still have a relationship with them, setting new boundaries and asserting your rights when they push your buttons is important practice. It will help you push back in real time against other injustices in your life that may happen, instead of holding it in and then exploding later.

One last thing. If you can afford it, you might want to change your environment. There are a lifetime of trigger points brought on by friends, family and even locations. I didn’t start growing up until I left home and went on the road for months at a time. For you, it could be taking a new job in another city, or getting a job on a cruise ship, or joining the Peace Corps, or just going away on a long vacation. Sometimes making a break in your life can help loosen deeply embedded patterns.

Good luck!

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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