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We often have this idea that parents will always love and support their children unconditionally. Unfortunately, though, in the case of toxic parents, the reality doesn’t always match our expectations.

When we are born, we are born with the instinctual need to seek love and security, and since our parents are supposed to be our caretakers, we seek these needs from them. Sadly, not all parents are up to the task and have toxic tendencies and personalities that leave us longing for more. Because it is all that we know, we don’t always notice that our parents are toxic.

But, upon reaching adulthood, we notice that the experience we had doesn’t match up to what should have been. If you are beginning to sense that something isn’t right in your relationship with your parents, now and in the past, it may be helpful for you to look at the following list. Below are signs that you are a child of a toxic parent.

1. There is a clear lack of boundaries in the relationship you have with your parents.

There are no boundaries in the relationship you have with your parents. They have no respect for your privacy or space and never have. Any time you have tried to assert a boundary with them, they have continuously stepped over the line.

2. Your parents try to control every aspect of your life.

Rather than acknowledging that you are an autonomous individual with your own needs and desires and goals, your parents believe they always know what is best for you. Even when you have tried to take back the reigns, they try to find a way around it. For whatever reason, it feels like your parents want you to be forever beneath their wing, even when that means you have to sacrifice what you want for yourself.

3. Your parent is always tearing you down and belittling you.

Your parents are always making toxic jokes at your expense, or tearing you down, rather than building you up. No matter what you do, it’s never enough. Nothing you ever do seems enough, and it’s beginning to wear on you.

4. Your parents disciplined you from a place of anger or fear.

When you were a child, your parents ruled over you with fear. When you were disciplined, you weren’t disciplined to teach you anything. Instead, your parents would react from an emotional place, making their attacks scary and volatile.

5. Your parents have tried to live out their unfulfilled dreams through you.

Throughout your life, you’ve never been given a chance or a voice to say what you want for yourself. Your parents missed out on things they wanted to do, so they have tried to insert their unfulfilled dreams into your life.

6. Everything is all about them.

Your parents make everything about them. They always have to be the center of attention, and it’s never about what is best for you, but instead, what is best for them. When you make a bad decision in your life, they aren’t upset because of how it impacts you, they were more upset because of how it made them look.

7. Your parents are highly manipulative.

Your parents are extremely manipulative. They are always trying to find deceptive ways to get you to bend to their will. They use guilt-tripping, gaslighting, and other manipulation techniques to try to manipulate you into doing things you don’t want to do.