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Question
Posted by: seal | 2004/11/06

bringing up old issues with aged mother

My mother is in her 80s and in frail health and lives on the other side of the country so I see her oncce in two years or so. We write to each other regularly. Some fasmily members to whom I am close say that I should have it out with her that she brought me up to be a yes-person and to be so humble that I had no self-respect at all and never told the truth about what I wanted etc, even to the extent of marrying someone I didn't really want to marry and never had the courage to get out of the marriage, to the extent that i am still a bit dysfunctional in my 50s although I have learned to be honest with myself and others in the last 10 years- but not with my mom. I tried to do it a bit, but she is very old-school and pride and dignity means more to her than honesty.
I think it's too late and will do nothing but upset her and that I am old enough now to sort myself out and stop blaming her.( Well I haven't sorted myself out prperly but that's my problem).What do you think?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

seal, think you are absolutely right, and anyone who suggests that you should bring misery to a woman in her 80's by raising grievances from decades ago, is being cruel to no purpose. She can't change who she is now, and she can't change whatever happened decades ago. You don't need ANY change on her part in order to continue to make progress yourslf--- your own progress and happiness is not in her gift. Anyone who suggests otherwise is a fool or a quack or both. In some quack therapists, there is a deeply cruel and vengeful streak, that seems to assume ( oh, so wrongly ) that there's benefit for you in making your parents and others unhappy.
You are, as you say, way more than old enough to sort out your life for yourself, and I'm sure you can be successful in that effort. Let her be.

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Our users say:
Posted by: No_Man | 2004/11/07

Your mother is definitely too old to be dealing with this. I don't think it's fair at all to blame all our problems on the parents that reared us. My sister and I were brought up the same way yet she also blames my mother for her screwed up life. So why don't I just do the same thing everytime something goes wrong? Your mother probably does not have long to live, so please, can't you just try to remember the good and take care of her as she did you. Bringing up this stuff now will genuinely cause a heart attack. Is that what you want?

Reply to No_Man
Posted by: Carol | 2004/11/06


I think honestly your mom is now too old to deal with it .

However that doesnt stop u frm dealing with yr problem now, as u yourself said.

I dont think that we can always blame our behaviour on our parents .. after we are adults with brains and we need to deal with our own issues.

Reply to Carol

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