Uplifting vs downtrodding

I’ve come to find that certain types of books meant to be helpful and useful to improving your life somehow rarely are.

At least to me.

The biggest two of these for me always seem to be the ones on the topic of “lost child” / “ghost child” / “invisible child” family roles in a dysfunctional families, and those for dealing with parenting difficult children.

These books always seem to make me feel worse after reading it than I did before.

I’d be the first to admit I’ve got my issues… but the books about lost child role always leave me feeling like i’m one step from the psych ward…. and like there’s soo soo much different from being anything passable for a productive member of society.

I may not be someone who will ever pass for being normal, but under general conditions I like to feel like at least some progress has been made.. some things have been worked out… there’s some hope for at least being somewhere in the middle of the spectrum rather than a hopeless case forever doomed by defense mechanisms learned in a different environment that are overreactive and no longer appropriate for the situation.

Whether or not it’s true, even if maybe I’m just under delusion most of the time when not reading this stuff.. I fail to see how making me feel that way is productive. Even if they are right, and the work to aim towards dealing more and more with the past issues as time goes on isn’t going to fix things ever… at the very least it’s not making strides in the other direction. Feeling like a hopeless cause on the other hand could head that direction pretty fast.

And the books on parenting difficult children either make me feel like I want to lock them in a room with my kid for a few hours and let them learn what a difficult child really is… or make me feel like I’m raising the next ax murder. I get enough of both feelings from dealing with people in everyday life, I don’t need any more of either, thanks.

What exactly is the point of a self-help or life improvement book if it’s not going to be aimed at the purpose of being uplifting and hopeful? I mean, you’ve got to believe there is hope at the very least to have anything else the book might say matter at all.


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