So said my therapist – You were set up for this. Aha! So now I understand. My childhood, the way I and my siblings were (not) parented, my place in the family, my parents’ childhood, their birthplace, my schooling etc. – all these came together to set me up to become the kind of person that I was at that time.
The therapist was trying to explain to me which factors were responsible for my becoming someone like me: overwhelmed parent, haggard housewife, socially awkward, seeing the negative, married to a verbally abusive spouse, stuck in a stupid job, space cadet, easily fatigued etc. etc.
Therefore, I shall not blame myself or carry guilt. I need only learn the difference between functional and dysfunctional living, setting boundaries, recognize what children need and reparent myself so I can give myself what I had been missing.
To take this idea further, I would say that I was set up for this by my Higher Power. In order to stand up to the challenges that would define my eternity, I needed to be in this exact situation.
It may hurt, be bitter and uncomfortable but it was not a mistake. Nothing comes from nothing.
I can choose to live differently now. And I do.