It is a kind of bereavement when you finally realise that you all had were male/female parental entities, rather than parents. So many people don't understand the need to grieve for what you never had, even though those genetic individuals are still alive.
alcibiades - I hate to say it, but sometimes I do think it would have been better for me if my parents had actually died (I don't wish them dead, god forbid!) But I do grieve for them, in a sense - but now maybe just to have parents, not for the people they are -
As I get older, and think about the stuff said and done, I actually feel a bit sorry for them - I'd never, ever do that to my children, my boys are my whole world, whatever happens, and they know that - maybe I do overcompensate and cuddle a bit too much (but, hey, whoever complained about being 'overloved'!)
Oh yeah, my ex, who actually tried to use the 'you think to much about your children' in an argument the other day - er, I actually took that as a complement, so blah to his put down - he also uses 'your blue-eyed boys' etc -
I have two boys, my youngest is 4, (and his) so confident, so clever, sings and dances, can do sums, reads a little, just brilliant -
My eldest is 10, a little quieter in confidence, but very clever in history and maths - he has mates knocking for him daily and out on his bike, growing in confidence daily -
My pride and joy, and I can't help but think of my parents every day I grow prouder of them, and they didn't of me -
From the age of 5, if I did anything wrong, my dad used to make me stand infront of him and 'hold my hand out' - for two minutes i'd cry until I was slapped so hard I'd scream....
I have been through the care system briefly, from 14 - 16, that's another story though, thrown out, I have alot to say about fostering, alot of them don't deserve to foster, although I'm 34 now, I'm hoping times have changed....
Just read this thread. I agree totally that you should be very proud of yourself. You have made, with precious little help from elsewhere, a loving, nurturing family. Of course you think about your parents everyday - I think about mine (though they're not around any more) - and I think you're incredibly generous to look back at your dad's cruelty and feel sorry for him.
If you wrote to your parents, setting out your thoughts, your regrets, your hopes, would that help you to draw a bit of a line under things until such time as they, for the first time ever perhaps, respond with something approaching regret and a willingness to make some kind of reparation?