Brenet Brown says that it is impossible to feel compassion without boundaries. That is exactly true.
In Daring Greatly, chapter 7, she talks more about it: The most compassionate people that I’ve ever interviewed… happened to be the most boundaried. They happened to be the people who had very, very clear boundaries about what they were willing to do, what they were not willing to do, what they were willing to take on, and what they were not willing to take on.
Psychological boundaries, simply put, means that you know where the other person stops and you begin. This also means that when other people invade your boundaries, you know how to protect yourself.
Boundaries do not preclude relationships, in fact are required for healthy ones. Loose boundaries can manifest in several ways. People who stand too close are violating your boundaries. This is not the ‘hug’ which can be welcomed, but an uncomfortable feeling of danger. You may have felt this in your life from strangers or even family and friends. When someone takes everything you say personally, that person is invading boundaries. There are many ways to invade your boundaries, and families can be one of the places where this happens. People have a hard time recognizing it because it has often been going on for decades. One of the best ways to ward off someone with poor boundaries is to have healthy ones of your own. You can learn this.
In my book, under the “Let Go” section I discuss the importance of recognizing unconscious resentments in order to ‘let them go’ so that they don’t pop up and interfere with caretaking. Boundary problems are often the root of the resentments. When you recognize this it is the beginning of making strong, healthy boundaries.
In my practice today I work with parents and caretakers, where lack of boundaries creates so many unnecessary problems. One especially frustrating case is where a daughter does have team, as I teach, but still feels that she has to jump in circles to make her mother happy. She cooks when she doesn’t have to and is upset when Mom doesn’t like something. This is literally causing not just emotional distress but physical problems.
As we get to know each other better and work on things that are getting in the way of your happy home, we will talk a lot about boundaries. I want you to understand now that learning to build healthy boundaries with your parent is essential. Its essential to your well being and its essential to your being able to genuinely feel that compassion that your parent will need from you.
Stay tuned for more on boundaries.
Dave O’Brien, the “Sit With a Brit” guy who works for himself as a home care giver shared this article with me, I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the whole thing. Its very concise giving the 7 emotions that will make elder care more difficult than it has to be while sabotaging the best efforts.
In the first part of my book, You Can Keep Your Parents at Home (link) I talk about how to let go of these emotions and in my last 5 posts, I describe how to let go of resentment, specifically. My method would work very well for all of these elder care pitfalls in the article.
Spencer Scott writes that ‘guilt’, ‘resentment’, ‘anger’, ‘worry’, ‘loneliness’, ‘worry’ and ‘defensiveness’. I am sure that all of you have felt some or all of those emotions as you deal with the day to day of elder care. My previous 5 post deal specifically with resentment, but those points and the plan in the book can help you with the rest.
The author has a very practical set up. First she defines the general causes of the emotion, then why it matters, how it hurts you and finally, what you can do about it.
Guilt is one of the emotions to “Let Go” in order to do successful in elder care. Spencer Scott specifically talks about guilt of not being good enough and recommends “lowering your standards” and I agree. People often make the mistake of expecting perfection and allowing that to get in the way of good. In my book I paraphrased D.W. Winnecott by saying, “Good enough elder care is what your parents really need”.
I will teach you how to “lower your standards” in the best possible way that will make your experience with elder care the best possible for all. If I have your email I can notify you of upcoming events and calls to help you with this.
You can find the book, You Can Keep Your Parents At Home on Amazon
How To Let Go of Resentment Towards Parents: Part 5
Welcome to the final post in the 5-part series on how to let go of resentment towards parents during the aging in place process.
Now you get to reap the benefits. The first step is to take assessment of what any missing thing may have actually done for you. If you never felt that you were good enough to meet your mother’s or father’s expectation (regardless of why they couldn’t give approval to you) that may well have been the impetus for you to get to the level of success that you have. Perhaps your mother’s need for you to be girlie helped you learn a little more about how to care for your home than you might have otherwise anyway.
The point to remember here is that whatever your parents may have done for you or not done for you, all the things that happened to you is how you got where you are. Even if you are not exactly where you want to be, you have accomplished things.Most importantly, you now have time to get to know your parent better and in the process learn more about who you are.
Those are my 5 steps for how to let go of resentment towards parents. They can be knocked out pretty quickly and do not require years or even weeks of therapy. That does not mean that it might not be good to get some help. There are people in your area who can aid you, but be clear about what it is you want. And of course, you can contact me.Elder care and helping your parents age in place is an adventure and you have now obtained the most basic tools. It’s a trip and I will be there through this blog and in other ways to help you along the way.
To see all the previous “how to let go of resentment towards parents” posts, here are the links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. My book, You Can Keep Your Parents At Home is also available for purchase on Amazon.
Welcome back. We are almost through the entire process of how to let go of resentment towards parents. At the end of this series is a new appreciation for your parents, for yourself and a better relationship with a happy aging in place experience but first you must just forgive.However, saying that to your mother is unlikely to help much. That would probably make her very confused and in fact may cause other problems, but you can certainly say it to yourself. “Mom I forgive you for not understanding basketball and therefore my passion for it”. You may need to say it a lot. It may need to be a mantra for a little while, but you can learn to say it quietly to yourself.
Don’t think that forgiving means that you have to never have any sorrow when you think of your mother not knowing about your shooting stats. With any loss there will always be poignancy, but you are also now clear that mom didn’t do this to hurt you and it cost her something too.Now, in this forgiveness process, don’t forget to forgive yourself. You need to forgive yourself for not being the daughter your mom wanted. Yes, there will be some of that.
One of the reasons you resented your mother for not appreciating your basketball skills is because it also made you feel that there was something lacking in you. You weren’t her ideal daughter. My, but people are complicated! Forgive yourself for not meeting living up to her standards and forgive yourself for holding any resentment from your youth. Forgive yourself for not being perfect.When that forgiveness is for both you and Mom you will be more able now to appreciate that you are two grown women who are living in the same house, who can help each other but who will sometimes annoy each other. Most importantly you will be more able to see you and your mom or dad as who they are and love what is there, not worry about what isn’t there.
Well, now you have done a lot and now its time to reap the benefits. In the next post we will talk about how to use this knowledge to make a positive relationship.If you missed my previous posts about how to let go of resentment towards parents during the aging in place process, here they are: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Find the book, You Can Keep Your Parents at Home on Amazon
How To Let Go of Resentment Towards Parents: Part 3
Welcome to part three of my series that talks about how to let go of resentment towards parents when helping them age in place. So far, in this important first step for aging in place, home care for your elderly parents, you have identified resentments that might get in the way of a happy home and you have grieved the fantasy parent you always secretly hoped you would have.
The next step in letting go of resentment is to have compassion for who your parents are and what their struggles cost them. This is a necessary step that completes the mourning process so necessary to letting go.
My case was different, but my mother lost out because she couldn’t connect with who I was. She didn’t understand who I was and therefore, just couldn’t have that mother/daughter relationship that she had always wanted.
I gave an example in my book, You Can Keep Your Parents At Home (link to purchase), of the night that it hit me how much pain my mother caused herself by not understanding who I was and what she needed to do. That was a huge relief for me and it enabled me to be free to deal with my mother during some difficult times and to be able to enjoy her more when times were good.
We are almost there. The next step in letting go of your resentment towards your parents is forgiveness. By this time that It will be easier than you think.
How To Let Go of Resentment Towards Parents Part 2Welcome to part two of my series of posts discussing how to let go of resentment towards parents. If you missed part 1, take the opportunity to go back and read the first post.
Some might still bring tears to your eyes or a feeling of anger. These are what we are going to work with today. OK, you had a mother who wanted you to be girlie, but you wanted one that would be proud of your hook shot. It is common for humans to keep hoping that things will change. However, by the time Mom comes to your home to age in place, its unlikely she is going to suddenly go shoot with you. Now that she is living in your house, its time to face that it isn’t going to happen, to let it go so that you can accept who she is and enjoy having her with you.
You will grieve that sports minded mom that you never had as if she died, because the hope that she will become that mom, is dying. Most likely just the acknowledgement is enough, but sometimes writing it down and actually burying it is necessary. But letting that fantasy mom die is important to make room for your real mom.
This step 2 of how to let go of resentment towards parents prevents that resentment about what you didn’t have from ambushing you at inopportune times. It frees you from bad feelings and it leaves room for you to enjoy the real mom.
Next time we will talk about the actual process of forgiveness and how it will help your process of elder care.
Find the entire system in my book You Can Keep Your Parents At Home
Letting Go of Resentment Towards Parents: Part 1Aging in Place can mean bringing your parents into your home, or keeping them in place in the community in their own home. This can be the least expensive and most rewarding method of home care. I did it for 10 years and wouldn’t have it any other way. Elder care is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. However, bringing adults into your home does mean that you have to prepare.
One of the most important steps, the “L” in my 4-point program “LOVE”, is to learn to “Let go”. Let’s explore how to let go of resentment towards parents in 5 steps.
When the time comes for parents to “age in place” at your home, you have had anywhere from 30 to 60 years of history with them. That means a lot of good times, and some rough ones.
One of the most important steps to successful home elder care is to let go of resentment from the past. That does not mean hours of individual or family therapy. I have an easy way to do this. In this and the next few posts, I will teach you the 5 steps.
The first step is to know what resentments you are carrying with you. This is not to be shared with your parents. There is no reason for that and it could cause harm with no benefits. You are the only person who needs to know. In fact, you may want to throw the paper away once you are finished.
The reason for doing this is that resentments can pop up and hit you in times of stress. You don’t want any internal surprises.
Write down everything, and let your mind wonder – no matter how silly something may sound write it down. Your mother mocked your new hairdo when you were 14 and embarrassed you in front of your friends. Your father didn’t take you fishing with your brothers. Don’t be embarrassed. All humans have these things, but you can’t control them unless you know what they are. Once you know what they are, you are in control of your own feelings. It’s the only thing that you can control, so take advantage of it.
My next post will tell you how to start to let those resentments go.
You can find the entire system in my book You Can Keep Your Parents At Home