Like her mother before her, my mother has dementia - every time I forget something I wonder if I'm next. My father has only recently agreed to have any 'outsider' involved ("cos mum'd never forgive him"), but since we found mum had herself requested an assessment a year ago. Problem is, I really don't like my parents, neither does my sister. They have emotionally abused us, particularly me, all our lives. All my life I recall coming between them to separate violent rows which I thought I had caused, I felt guilty & responsible. They divorced about 10-12 years ago and we had one each for a number of awful years. I had Dad and he lost me my job, and put an immense strain on my wonderful marriage. Mum caused my sister to lose her business and go bankrupt and tried to destroy her marriage, cos she hates men, particularly sons-in law. Then, quite inexplicably they got back tog 6 years ago. I am currently off work being treated for stress caused by work, so when mum kept ringing me cos she thought dad was a stranger I just couldn't handle it and had to be sent away to a friend for a stay. I cannot at the moment go to see them on my own, and am scared of being at home on my own in case they come round. I have a caller display phone and can't answer a call from them. I'm terrified Dad will try the emotional blackmail he's so good at and try to make me promise to take them in and care for them or he'll threaten suicide. He actually tried it a number of times in front of me as a kid when I upset him. But he excels at denial. He has no idea how they have hurt us. The scars are inside, not visible. My husband, friends and family are telling me I do not have to care for my parents, and I know it'd destroy me to do so. They say I have a responsibilty first to myself, my marriage and our children (19 & 22). I have such dreadful memories of having my grandparents in our home, my mother nursing her father through lung cancer and her mother through Alzheimers; I at about 12 was attacked a number of times with a poker by her for being her husband's fancy woman, but still outside services were shunned. I was taught you don't tell anyone your problems. School didn;t know, I just had to deal on my own with punishments for hwk not done, then with Dad's wrath for poor exam results. I was supposed to just cope. My teenage years were a dark nightmare that I still have immense problems with. I do not cope with stress and conflict at all well. My younger sister fared better, she went to boarding school where she had normal adult role models in her life. How do I cope with the guilt? I have grown up feeling guilty in general thanks to my parents. Whenever anything goes wrong, I assume it's my fault and want to punish myself publically so people know I am sorry about it. I feel I should do that now over this and put all emotions aside, and be super-woman and nurse my parents like society expects daughters to. But I finally have come to something I just cannot do, the cost is too high. I just want to run away and hide. My husband's being wonderful, and wants to protect me, but I think I'm being an awful trial. Should I go bigtime for the 'happy pills' and invite my parents to move in even if it threatens my marriage and sanity? Finally, for the first time in my life I am asking myself do I really deserve that punishment? I think I'd be in the psych ward or graveyard first.