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          If You Were Abused

          September 02, 2002

          The emotional wounds caused by parental abuse can last long beyond childhood. If you want to rebuild a relationship with your parent now that you are both adults, Dr. Phil has some advice.

          Be heard
          You won’t be able to repair the relationship until your parent fully understands how the abuse has affected you. He or she may feel guilty, but you’re the one who needs to be helped.

          Redefine the relationship
          It’s up to you to express yourself. Tell your parent what you need now that you’re not getting. Be honest and clear; this is your chance to say exactly what you need emotionally.

          Nothing can change the past, but you can create a new history with your parent. Treat each other as the people you are now.

          Do what is best for you
          Consider the possibility that it may not be healthy to have any sort of relationship with your parent. It’s a difficult pill to swallow, and it should be used as the last option. However, it may be the option that helps you the most.

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