Read Dr. Laura’s book Bad Childhood, Good Life for starters. Haven’t been able to do so yet myself, but it’s on my list of things I need to read. I have seen many letters and heard many comments from people who say it helped them a great deal to heal and move on from their past. And how to deal with destructive parents who are still around being destructive.
You are still trying to get your parents to be your parents. What you have to accept is that they can’t be, probably never were, and you can’t start over now. We get two chances to have a good parent-child relationship. Even if the first one fails or is destructive, we have that second chance with our own children.
My own mother and I have nearly no relationship. I call her at least once a month to see how things are going with her and to make sure she is OK. Sometimes I can’t get her and she won’t call me back. So it takes me a couple weeks to catch her near the phone. (She only has one at home.) She NEVER calls me. I tested it once and it went like 3 months and she never contacted me. So I realized I have to be the one to do that. It’s painful, but not so much since I learned to accept what is instead of pining away after what cannot be. My mother is a very selfish and emotionally damaged person. She is just not capable of normal relationships. Anything that infringes on her personal prerogative is anathema to her. When she thinks of relationships (and I mean any, not just dating), the only thing she thinks of is how they impinge her freedom. She sees no benefit to herself from them, only demands upon her. She is happiest when she is alone. So I have an extremely disjointed and shallow relationship with my mother, and that’s just how it is. And frankly, it’s better this way. She has such a capacity, almost a drive, to be destructive and intrusive and inappropriate, that I think my family is better off in that she wants little to do with us.
You need to allow yourself to stop seeking the approval of people who will never give it. You need to allow yourself to stop reaching out to hold hands only to get slapped. It’s OK to protect yourself from people who are destructive to you and your family. And if they are harming you this much, they are harming your family, because I am sure the pain damages your ability to be the wife and mother you want to be sometimes, like when you have had a really bad run-in with them.
You can honor your parents by making sure their needs are fulfilled. They need to have appropriate food, shelter, and medical care. It is your responsibility to make sure they have those things, and beyond that…well, the Bible also says that parents are supposed to live lives worthy of honor so their children will not scorn them. Have they lived up to that?