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Old September 6th, 2010, 03:19 PM
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Re: Need help: My relationship with my parents

I am a mother. I am also a daughter and a sister. My own DM was raised in a strict immigrant Italian Catholic neighborhood in the North East. She experienced her parent's shame and disappointment. Even when she remarried at 38, she was not really independent of her parent's criticism. She would do things behind their back, but never ever would she stand up to them to her face. They were driven by the "What would the neighbor's think" mentality and came down hard with every mistake (in their opinion) my DM made. In turn, my DM has done much the same to us, though never to the extent her parents did it to her. As they aged, they lost that critical spirit and became more accepting of their adult children's choices. This is often referred to as "mellowing." I think it happens when we realize that our opinions are destructive to relationships and learn to hold our tongues, or even have a true change of heart.

It's extremely difficult to break free from that cycle of shame and resentment. Definitely continue to work with the therapist and be patient for that day when your DPs mellow.
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