A long time ago, coming out of a little nervous breakdown, and leaving my husband, I asked a counsellor why my father had 'disciplined' us so severely in our childhoods. We were nice little kids.
The answer came immediately; "Because he thought he was supposed to."
That made perfect sense as he, himself, had been severely disciplined to conform to the then accepted religious beliefs; by a mother (my grandmother), an orphan raised by do-gooder strangers, in a foreign country.
My mother had been raised in rural poverty, without a father, who had died when she was an infant. My mother's mother didn't know how to show affection either, and raised her four, alone, with switches.
Both of my parents had 'sweet' ways of presenting themselves, barely covering iron wills and mean streaks a mile wide.
I've spent sixty years trying to figure myself out.
It was tricky to figure out my father and resolve that side of my childhood, but I've had a time working out what has gone on between my mother (remarried) and myself.
Very, very sticky sweet, her self-righteous mean streak is never far from the surface.
I just accepted that, finally, this morning.
So, here it is Mothers' Day.
By writing this, I suppose I just want to say that we can grow up, or older, expecting that we must always be put down, secondary, in the wrong.
Not always; not forever.
We MAY feel that way forever; but we don't HAVE TO.
Don't know how I'll let her know that it's over, but I will. As gently and kindly as I can.