As caregivers, we have to make peace with the reality that our parent is going to die.
Despite our efforts, death is inevitable.
All we can offer is comfort and support. However, we have to make peace with the fact that some of us have parents who will not accept our comfort and support—or will not acknowledge it.
A difficult parent may have always been difficult and as she gets older those problems do not disappear. On the contrary, the illnesses and losses of later life can make a dependent personality more dependent. A controlling parent who feels out of control becomes even more controlling. A self-centered mother usually becomes even more focused on her own needs.
On the other hand, your elderly parent’s personality may have become difficult as a result of the death of a spouse or sibling, or a chronic illness. The latter case is easier because there is hope that your parent can change with the help of medication, counseling or mourning. In the former case, however, when your parent has had these personality problems your whole life, you are most likely entangled in an interaction with him/her that makes it hard for you to set limits and keeps you in a rut.
You are not able to make peace with yourself. I can help you.
You can listen to my interview with Diane Rehm about caregiving by Clicking Here.
My book on caring for your parents, Doing the Right Thing: Taking Care of Your Elderly Parents Even if They Didn’t Take Care of You, is available on Amazon by Clicking Here.