Making Peace With Our Elderly Parents
So what are older parents looking for in relationships with their adult children? In a study, two professors from the State University of New. If you have ever dealt with a difficult aging parent this is for you. Demanding parents, those who don't want to share their personal information. Why this powerful relationship can wreak havoc on us whatever our age. The needs of an aging parent set out a new phase of the powerful.
My mother, in contrast, is a timid person who accepted his control in order to have her life managed for her. The family narrative was always that she had to be protected from everything.
So she was little, if any, support to me during adolescence because she would simply burst into tears whenever a problem arose, and I learned to keep them from her.
My father I evaded whenever we weren't in direct confrontation. Their marriage, hard to believe though it is for me, does seem to have been genuinely happy in its own way — it's just me who doesn't fit into the family.
5 Strategies for Dealing With Difficult Parents | WeHaveKids
Within weeks of my 18th birthday, I left home and never went back except for rare visits, averaging less than once a year. Partly because of all those years of not upsetting my mother, and well aware of the emotional firestorm it would cause, I never cut off contact with them.
I have never discussed my problems with them. I built my own network of friends and am in a happy and stable long-term relationship. In effect, I built my own family. However, as my father's health fails, my mother has begun to turn to me for emotional support.
Problem solved | Life and style | The Guardian
Now that he has been taken into hospital again, she has asked me to visit her to "keep her company". I'm going, because I have absolutely no idea how to be so heartless as to say no. I am well aware that I have more than residual anger towards both of them — to my father for simply being such an unpleasant person with whom I had no choice but to live for 18 years, and with my mother for being so "fragile" that she wasn't there for me when I needed her in my teenage years. My dilemma is whether to continue to offer support of the kind I've been doing recently, but which makes me angry and upset, or whether I finally tell my mother how limited that support can be.
Bearing in mind the pressures she's under, worrying about my father's health, I cannot imagine doing this, but would it be better, just for once, to be honest? S, email It was obvious from your longer letter what a strain you're under being in contact with your parents.
And can I say you sound far from heartless. Any stresses between a child and its parents that haven't come out before often come to a head when one or both parents reaches old age.
At first, Dina reported that Lilly did not want to talk about her past, that it was too painful and I should stick to discussions of the present. However, I gently prodded Lilly, as I saw that she was resilient enough to face her past.
It was possible to actually do psychotherapy with this sharp year-old, rather than just supportive counseling. In reviewing Lilly's difficult past with her, I began to draw a parallel to Dina's emotional deprivation.
It was this growing understanding that motivated Lilly to have the courage to risk her daughter's impatience and anger and forthrightly approach her about their long-standing rift.
5 Strategies for Dealing With Difficult Parents
During and after the period in which we had improved Lilly's homecare situation, Dina and I had exchanged e-mails. I could see that her extreme anger towards her mother for the years of abuse had blocked any understanding of the underlying cause of her mother's nagging about home attendants and other routine matters.
Lilly's complaints and various requests reinforced Dina's impatience with her. Anger at mom - particularly at taking her stepfather's side when it came to Dina's choices of careers and friends - prevented her from clearly seeing Lilly's own fears of her strict Austrian-born husband leaving her if she took her daughter's side.
In further understanding her mom's horrendous childhood, failed marriages and disappointments, Dina gradually began to look at their relationship differently. She came to understand how Lilly's own emotional deprivation as a child and her yearning for greater closeness with Dina led to her pattern of constant complaining.
After Lilly's initial expression of remorse to her daughter, Dina felt relieved but that it was still "sixty years too late". She sent me an email about this and when I responded I helped Dina understand the immense pain that her mother felt. Dina then was able to see Lilly's apology as "extraordinary".
She wrote, "If she was brave enough to face herself and give me what she owed me, I felt I could take the plunge too". She told her mother that "the past was in the past" and described a long embrace with her. When mother and daughter both realized the similarities of the emotional betrayals that they had each suffered, they saw each other more clearly and both were willing and able to give each other the gift of a new beginning. It was a great achievement for these two very strong-willed women.