What does it mean to have a difficult mother? All mothers go through difficult periods due to fatigue, stress and the demands of adult life and parenting. However a truly difficult mother is difficult all the time and presents a child with an unresolvable dilemma: you can either sacrifice yourself and have a relationship with me or be your true self and I will ridicule, disapprove of or reject you. The child’s dependency on the mother is then exploited and he/she will have difficulty trusting others and developing close relationships in adulthood. Some of the characterisitics of a difficult mother include erratic and intense outbursts of anger, rigid and inflelxible expectations of her child or chronic neediness and unhappiness. The child grows up to be the caretaker or the parent of the mother and even in adulthood can have great difficulty resisting a mother’s manipulations and control. Often a grown child will beg mom to please “accept me as I am and stop needing, controlling or being angry with me.” Truly learning that your mother is no longer in charge of you can be hard , even when you know in your head that it is true. Learning that others will not treat you as she did is also hard. Challenge the voices in you that predict everyone will treat you similarly and you will always have to placate others. Be sure that you are not drawn to relationships that feel like a repeat of your childhoood as there are other ways to be with people than the ways of your original family. If you have difficulty with these issues, ask for help if you need it.