Jen, I understand exactly how you feel. Your story is VERY similar to mine. My parents were together ten years; my "father" was abusive towards my mom in every possible way (and he was not a drunk, so he can't even use that as an "excuse"). I don't remember any fights of any kind between them--my mom says it's because I don't want to remember, so I guess I must have witnessed some of it. She left my brother (four years younger than I and with Down syndrome) and me with my "father". I only found out years later that he had threatened to kill her if she took us away. She believed we would be safe with him. Unfortunately he started to verbally abuse me after my mom would no longer have any kind of contact with him (at first she did; she'd come over every Sunday to visit with us). I was forced to become a surrogate mother to my brother (one good thing that came from that is that we were very close after). I never knew how to articulate what I was feeling and what I was going through to anyone so no one was able to help me (although there was one social worker at school who asked how she could help me and I told her "Get me out of that house! Get me away from my dad!" She just kept asking me how she could help
). By the time I learned that it was verbal abuse my mom had already started the proceedings to finalize their divorce and get custody of me and my brother (she didn't get custody of my brother and that's my fault, though not deliberate on my part).
The way I got through it was to write down what I was feeling...I know all about that nasty bottle. I've always been better at expressing myself in writing because I can take the time I need to think about what I want to say and how I want to say it. Have you tried keeping a journal? It may help you learn how to express yourself verbally. I was four months from my sixteenth birthday when I went to live with my mom; I am now five months past my thirty-fourth birthday. I have no feelings whatsoever for my "father"; I do not hate him, I do not love him, I do not like him nor dislike him. I feel nothing at all. I taught myself to become completely indifferent towards him. I tried over the years to have a relationship with him and every time I got the emotional equivalent of a kick in the head so I gave up. I have had no contact with him for five years and I hope to never have any contact with him ever again (although I suppose I will have to when my grandfather passes; but I can be polite enough and then just ignore him).
Another thing you can try is to write letters to your parents--letters that will never be sent, but that will say all the things you want to say to them. I've found that works also (and some of my letters to my "father" did
get sent because he honestly believes he did not do anything wrong. he believes everything was done to him). You may be able to forgive in time (and if you don't that's okay. I haven't forgiven and I never will), but you will never forget. You'll just teach yourself to feel differently about what you went through as a child.
You are a worth-while person and we here at this board will never abandon you. Stay strong!
We'll help as much as we can.