"I'm sure that my mom did not understand my behavior any more than I did. She was embarrassed of me, and probably figured I might have been gay - or some other kind of 'pervert.' Then there was the fact that she had to raise me alone, after my father died when I was eight-years-old. She must have felt as though she was a failure as a parent, and then, maybe, placed some of the blame on no male influence in the house. I'll never know all of this for sure, as we never discussed it - the proverbial elephant in the room."
I think too, women (Mother and/or spouse) do take it personally when we transition. Feeling somehow it was their fault. Unfortunately, many never come to the realization we (the trans person) never had a choice. In many cases, the choice was to transition or to die.
I have always felt my spouse in particular who didn't mind me being a cross dresser but drew the line at any kind of transgender ideas was (rightfully so) more concerned about what friends and family would think than what she thought. Since she is deceased, I can't ask her. As far as Mother's are concerned, they are more concerned if they did something wrong.
My final point is, never underestimate the influence of a cis woman's ego.As with everything else in the gender spectrum, the feminine ego is as strong as a man's, just in a different direction. Inheriting a transgender person later in life can't be easy. It is about as far removed as possible from the fairy tale romance a girl may have dreamed of in their youth.
It is just so sad any of us have to negotiate such a traumatic experience in our life. Either transgender women/men or their Mother's and spouses. The elephant is hard to move.