hey lady... i just replied to the other thread... but will copy my response here as well...
wow!! jssj you have so much inner strength and courage. you have evidenced these qualities and more through writing your post and sharing the struggles you dealt with growing up. i admire your determination and endurance to succeed despite your painful history. you've got guts, lady.
i have a similar history in that i grew up thinking and believing my birth parents abandoned me physically while my adoptive parents abandoned me emotionally and mentally. i was not close to my adoptive parents either and never felt like what i did was ever good enough to please them. i finally stopped trying. similarly, i am not that close to my parents, and speak with them every few months and see them maybe twice a year, unlike my brothers (non-adopted bio children) who speak with them on a weekly basis. my parents and i used to go round and round in our fights, but make no mistake tho, i do love them inspite of everything.
it is definitely much more difficult to grow a healthy sense of ego if those who are to love you, care for you, and provide for your needs are those who fail to do exactly that. it's discouraging, disheartening, and depressing, but what that means for us is that if and when we are able to finally get to a point to do that for ourselves... we have learned to value ourselves and what we have accomplished so much more. the best we can do is live in a way that would make ourselves and our parents proud b/c in reality, the only expectations we need to live up to is our own.
hindsight is always 20/20... and regrets are killers and rob us of spirit and strength. it is so much easier said than done, but i hope one day you can forgive yourself and release the guilt that holds you captive. a mistake is a mistake is a mistake. if you take away your emotion/feeling from the experience and look at the experience in the context of your life at that time, i hope you can see that at that point in your life that relationship was what you needed. there is no right or wrong here. i hope in time you are able to see that and can heal.
so... you are not alone and have made a connection with someone who understands and who cares deeply about what happens to you. i wish you peace for your soul, love for your mind, hugs to embrace you, warmth to soothe you, smiles to encourage you and blessings for your spirit and much luck in your search. take care....