Our expert says:
I'm in a similar situation myself, so I can really appreciate the difficulties. But you're lucky that she is capable and fully marbled, as otherqwise the burden is enormously higher. As one gets older, long-term memories tend to take precedence over recent memories, and one's child is somehow always a child. And people like your mom tend to fall back on old habits, like criticizing your appearance or hairstyle. And remember, in a way, it may help her to feel less helpless and dependent, more as if she might be contributing something useful, even if her comments are actually embarrassing or annoying to you.
Now, you are not brought down by whatever ANYONE else might say, unless you allow yourself to move down. When a neighbour's dog barks at you, however rude the comment might be if you spoke fluent Dog, you brish it off and don't even imagine taking it to heart as a serious criticism --- and you could, in a similar way, disregard your mom's comments, not agreeing to take them as serious criticism, not accepting them as offensive. Recognize it as a coping ploy by her ( not a very good one, but her repertoire is diminished ). Just as an old carf may run fine but with some more groans and squeaks, so it can be with people --- we don't have to accept the invitation to be offended. Remember when Ronald Reagan one magnificantly defused an offensive criticism from an opponent in a TV debate, saying : "Gosh, there you go again!" ? See the hearing and disregarding of such critical content as part of the caring that you can become especially good at --- don't take it seriously. I know that's not easy to do, but it's possible to do, and becomes easier with practice.
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