Yes. First I want to say Bravo to you!!! I totally get it. I too grew up with two mentally I’ll parents and yes, I know that the scars run DEEP.
I was just having a conversation with my sister today about how our baby brother, has reasons for his intense anger directed at outlet father, who, sort of just randomly for the pettiest of reasons just decided to intensely dislike my brother. Reasons having to do with my mother, and her asserting herself contrary to my father’s wishes and naming my brother “Jordan” after her father, instead of “Marduke” a Babylonian God, that my crazy father was obsessed with at the time.
What a nut!
Anyway…it was a wild ride. And I, just like you, was terrified of parenting. I’m fifty, so it’s over. My kids are grown, but like you pointed out it was such a difficult journey, wanting to raise them normally and yet having no fricking idea what that was.
I’m so excited for you that you managed to find your way. It took years of therapy and writing a memoir to get me through to the other side, but I did get there.
I’m typically happy these days. But, at the same time, the wounds do run deep, the damage, whereby you never can fully embrace your true authentic easy self, just seems to go on and on and on. The dysfunction runs through the generations and sometimes all I can do is sigh.
But, if you’re lucky ( and it sounds like you and your sister are) you battle the demons, you slay the dragons and you go onto help others do the same!
Now how cool is that? That’s what my journey has been like and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.