My mother doesn’t understand why I get upset when she refers to me as “the man,” as in “I think it’s the man’s fault his pants are ripped.”
But I do get upset.
Even if she then wants to tell me that she doesn’t like “the man’s” reaction.
Expressing distress to someone who is upset and can’t engage her own emotions is just abuse, though. And that one nurse who had to ask my mother the secret question, the one I couldn’t know — “Are you being abused by your caretakers?” — well, always fun to be suspected of being an abuser.
Even if that abuse is taken on oneself in order not to abuse others.