I like to look at this as a mother/daughter scenario. I am a mother of daughters myself and so I know that relationship from both sides. It is the stuff of film, drama and literature. I was born last of my mother's 4 children. My brother is the oldest and I have 2 sisters. They both concur with me that if we had been boys, things might have been different. Mum is now in her 90's and our brother has never even once been crossed. The girls are variously "naughty","bad","uncaring", "selfish" - oh, I could go on and on! We're not, by the way. We have all had happy successful lives. This leads me to think that mum gets something out of being like this. Attention? Protection? not abandoned? cleaners?... The first time I did something for myself (out of her control) was as a not very wild teenager. I ran away from home after a boyfriend. (He seemed more normal at the time!) I was back within days, and have spent all the time since apologising to mum - she has never let it go. I learnt after years of this that I should not ever tell her about anything she might object to, or something else might be added to the long list of "non-forgiveness". My sisters have also racked up impressive lists of misgivings. My brother, as far as I am aware is a saint. I know that this relationship is in the pivotal 1/3 childhood tensions that Sarno talks about. I grew to learn that I should for ever be a child, and speak when i was spoken to. As my sister says: "she (mum) had a very VICTORIAN upbringing", and she just passed it all on to her own children. I learned to be very quiet - not at all assertive. Until I hit school! Oh, boy - that was fun! I found out I'm an extrovert, and being very quiet is not my bag at all, unless I try really really hard - for a bet! What I wanted to be did not fit with her picture of marrying me off to a passing vicar. So now, I play the dutiful daughter, I visit and call regularly, but i don't let out any of the anxious or angry emotions - really, its safer that way. What is preventing me from telling mum what I feel is the fear of being blamed, labelled, and judged. Of opening up the sores one more time. My childhood was similar to that of Jess in "Oranges are not the only fruit".I know I'm OK in the real world - people get on with me fine, or they don't - and that's fine too. I figure its good to know this about myself, and to be compassionate to my inner child. Beyond that I think there is no other solution.