I have a very tense relationship with my parents. They were both quite young and unprepared when I was born but I always thought they did their best. They broke up when I was 13 and started telling me a lot of intimate details about their marriage which I wasn't really ready to cope with. It made me suddenly see my parents as people with flaws, a lot of flaws.
Dad ended up moving far away and starting his life again. He has a whole new family with his new partner. They have a house together. He acts like a Dad to her children but often doesn't to me. I guess it is because when I needed him most to be a father he let me down. He decided when I was eighteen to try and be a father but he'd turned into this emotionally abusive person who was incapable of sympathy. He changed so much that I didn't want him. It took me years to get over this pain and accept that he is not the father I want or need in my life. I only speak to him if I feel like it.
Both my parents are rather selfish people now. Originally it was just my mum, she was always very selfish and despite all her talk of putting us (my sister and I) first she never did. When she broke up from my dad she blew her settlement money on the gym and other crazy stuff. She quit her job and to this day has never resumed part time or full time work. She basically lived off child support and centrelink which was hard as we went without power and food a lot. I managed to survive by demanding my youth allowance at 16 and getting a part time job. Mum was never a real parent to me but I have only just begun to see this because of Paul's parents. His parents are so wonderful and to see them with him and his younger brother makes me realise how fucked up my family is/was.
Its going to take a while to accept my mum isn't the person I want or need her to be. It took so long to do with my dad. I always thought it was me but the more I observe real families the more I realise I was right - my parents weren't doing their job properly and I called them out on it.
Neither parent really accepts their responsibility of their flaws - it is my fault or someone elses fault. Never their own. They lack the ability to reflect on themselves and I have to accept I will never get an apology from either of them for screwing me over so badly that I grew into a very depressed and troubled person.
Ideally I'd cut them out of my life completely but it is something very very difficult to do emotionally and I don't have the support to be able to do it. I need some major counselling to help me overcome that hurdle. I'd be forever guilty if I tried it now.