I have a hard time disengaging from my mother because, for one thing, I don't think she's really abusive.

She can be hurtful, she has big entitlement issues and high expectations that she has no right to have, she can be critical, intrusive, etc -- most of the things that we hear about on this board.

I can't disengage because there are good parts of her, dang it. I do love her, and when I haven't talked to her for awhile, I do miss her. (But it only usually takes one conversation before I'm ready to not talk to her for awhile, LOL)

If she was totally evil, or even mostly evil - I could do it. My unique situation of having a handicapped sibling would make it difficult - but I could do it.

The 50% thing doesn't bother me. I know their are parts of me that are just like Mom -- good and bad parts. But the difference is, I try to "handle" my bad parts, I try not to be negative, I really try not to expect other people in my life to make me happy, I try to let the little things slide. My M is all about obsessing over the little things.

But maybe it isn't fair, because I've had her as an example of what not to be, and she didn't really have an example from her M, because she died before my M was a teenager. (Although she had a decent father, and three older siblings that helped her grow up)

But I do like it that you say you soul is yours and you don't have to be like your parents. I am lucky in that in a lot of ways, I think I am like my father. Then I think about people who have two nut jobs for parents, and I do feel bad for them. But as you say - you're not just reproductions of them, and your soul is your own.
They can be nut jobs - but you can work to be well-adjusted, and you can be successful. We have a lot of successful people on these boards, and people who are learning to be successful. That is so wonderful. Stop the dysfunction from heading through another generation, hopefully.