Agreed, Dougal Lorne.
This is how I deal with my mother, whom I see as a fellow human in pain (she is lonely and also a chronic depressive whose health is now rapidly declining with myriad issues linked to old age) rather than the woman who made my childhood and adolescence, ahem, difficult and painful.
I had always taken the compassionate approach but part of me was still hung up on our old power dynamics, which meant every visit used to destroy me. Once I let go of the past, everything changed. And because my behavior is different — gently assertive rather than submissive, the behavior of an adult rather than a child in an adult body — she responds to it so we get on far better than we ever used to.
We’re now building a mutually respectful relationship and will be building it for the rest of our lives but it feels right.
And I feel so much lighter…
Love is always the answer.