In order to view our parent with compassion we need to:
Remember that we carry our early learning throughout life even when we “think” we’ve gotten past events and teachings from our childhood. We are the sum total of our life experience, so nothing is completely forgotten.
Most of our mothers were a mixture of nearly all human emotions. They were human beings who were raised by human beings, meaning that they had some flaws.
Look at your grandparents or whoever raised your mother. Think of them as your mother’s parents. That should give you one clue to why your mother is how she is.
Ask your mother to tell you stories of her childhood. If she paints a rosy picture but her actions raising you tell a different story, try to understand that she may still, perhaps subconsciously, be running from her past.
If her stories tell of emotional, verbal and/or physical abuse, ask how she learned to cope with the after effects of this abuse.
Does your mother have mental issues? Many people in the AgingCare.com community write about mothers with very difficult personalities having nothing to do with age or dementia. Many of these issues are caused by mental disorders. I’m not suggesting that anyone take abuse from a person who has personality issues caused by a mental disorder, but understanding your mother’s illness may help your relationship survive.
Most readers are caregivers of their aging parents, at least to some extent. Understanding your mother’s past will help you better understand the role you are able to play in caring for your aging mother.
Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting. We learn from mistakes – ours and those of other people.
Realize that your mother’s issues were not caused by you – even if she says they were. You were a child. Perhaps an “easy” child. Perhaps a “difficult” child. But you were a child. You could not cause your parent to be a bad parent.