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The Daughter's Dilemma: A Survival Guide to Caring for an Aging, Abusive Parent | The Difference Press


Why am I taking care of her when she didn’t take care of me?

Your answer to this question is complicated—and you’re conflicted. You grew up with a mother who traumatized you and now you’re feeling duty-bound to take care of her in her final years. Instead of the labor of love that most daughters undertake when their parent ages, you’re feeling you’re walking onto another battlefield. How are you able to fulfill your obligation even as protecting yourself from further abuse and maintaining your sanity?

In The Daughter’s Dilemma, international bestselling writer and intergenerational trauma expert Emily Wanderer Cohen reveals the six keys to taking care of an aging, abusive parent. Based on her own experience as a caregiver to her Holocaust survivor mother, the steps outlined in this book provide a foundation for a smoother, saner, and safer caregiving journey for anyone who finds themselves taking care of an aging, abusive parent.

In this book, you’ll discover ways to:

  • Set healthy boundaries with your abusive parent so you’ll be able to protect yourself emotionally, stay calm when she pushes your buttons, and escape gracefully when it’s simply too much to bear.
  • Ask for help from family and friends or outsource to a third party—without shame or guilt.
  • Nourish your mind, body, and soul with activities that bring you joy—and stick to a plan that puts YOU first.
  • Communicate with your parent’s caregivers so you’ll be able to work together and advocate effectively for her.
  • Recognize your parent’s trauma triggers, consider their origins, and use some simple tools to minimize their emergence.
  • Gain closure with your parent on your terms from a point of confidence and resilience.

If you’re trying to reconcile your sense of duty to take care of your parent with the pain and resentment of years of abuse from them, this book is your ultimate survival guide.

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