It's because we respect Trapper so much :) It's hard for some of us to disagree with people we respect. I admit, I AM often hesitant to disagree with the folks on these forums whom I respect as the experts, because I DO value their input. I struggled with whether to say anything again, but decided it needed out. And saying something helped me see where I was fuzzy on some things.
I had to remind myself, Trapper DOES himself respect the input from others even if some if it doesn't 100% mesh with his own perspective. We LOVE you, Trapper! He's like the poppa or big, protective brother we WISH we had.
Re: your emotional pain toward the parents
I think you, probably like me, have more emotional pain TODAY toward the parents because we are now educated and can see where the harm was done. I'm not just talking the cigarette smoking, but exposure to things that we now as adults, after having done the research ourselves, see as bad for us, everything these forums are teaching us are unhealthy and have been a lifetime of health abuse (hey, we LEARNED the habits from somewhere). When we were younger, we didn't know, and of course had no control or say over the situations because we were the children.
You are feeling righteous anger toward your parents, because that was emotionally abusive. Both my parents were like that. You have to accept that's just the way they are; you love them anyway. Forgive yourself because you are probably feeling guilty at that anger. But you do need to allow yourself to feel it so that you can allow yourself to heal. Now that you recognize it, you can let it go. You can't fix them; you can fix yourself.
Once, back when I first started college, I went to a counselor at the university, to try to talk to them about my upset at my parents. They were very honest with me and told me they really weren't trained to help out with such issues, mainly just helping with career choices. The counselor said to me, "I don't think your parent is capable of ever being the nurturing parent you want. You have two choices, either accept that and build a relationship on who they are now, or back off and accept them as a 'sometimes' acquaintance." I decided he was right and just built on who they are now and now mostly have a great relationship with them. It allowed me to heal and move on. Another university with another counselor (who WAS trained in this area) confirmed for me that it was the right decision.
There is definitely guilt I've felt at being angry toward them, but I have to remind myself that they genuinely deserved that anger (I won't get into detail here for the world, but I can say that truly they were bad parents and no child should have been left in their care). I felt guilt because I love them, despite it all, and because I was led to believe that it was wrong to feel anger toward parents or to even think that their parenting was wrongly done. Dad wouldn't even "allow" me to feel any negative emotion that he didn't agree with.
And I'm sure we probably blamed ourselves, too, as I bet the parents never accepted the emotional or physical harm they'd done, and so, in how they spoke and treated us, made us think it was all due to something we had done or said.
That's where we have to forgive ourselves, because deep down we do blame ourselves for one thing or the other, things that either we had NO control over or that we are actually justified to feel. That's where the healing will begin, when you allow yourself to forgive yourself.
That's always been the hardest thing for me as a Christian. It's easy to forgive others, but the hardest thing in the world to forgive yourself. That's why we carry so much emotional baggage. You know God forgives you, and probably no one else even held you to blame. But allow yourself to forgive yourself, even when there actually is no true guilt, after a lifetime of taking all burdens and blame on yourself? That's HARD.
High on Water, if you need to chat, e-mail me. We've probably a lot in common, and it might be cathartic for you.