Sadly, this is how I feel when I reflect upon my childhood. As I read your story, I thought about mental illness the entire time. That’s the diagnosis of both of my parents. Your stories of abuse and neglect, estrangement, not protecting you, the feelings of hurt and anger about your childhood, and how well she treated her grandkids compared to the neglect you and your brother experienced.
Reading the ending of the story brought it all home. Your parents’ mental illness brought them together and kept them together. You are a victim, and you are a casualty.
Thank you for saying this for all us growing up in households with mentally ill parents. It ain’t a cake walk. The scars are deep, the trauma is devastating and the memories are everlasting.