Tigger, I understand totally.
When I was 35, I finally had to cut the ties with my parents. As much as I loved them, they were emotional vampires, leaning on me for everything, not giving me any room for my own life. Also, the guilt trips they would try to put on me worked my whole life, and got to a point where I developed a panic disorder. That is when I said STOP.
I had given them numerous signs and discussions about how I was married, with things to do, and I could not be there emotionally for them 24/7. The did not want to hear me, and therefore this led up to my breakdown, and the severing of ties.
I am now (as I understand through my cousin) the most ungrateful, selfish, awful child ever!
I still love my parents very much, but in the last 3 years, (I'm 38 now), I have HEALED a great deal. My husband says I am a different person, more confidence, panic attacks much better, and I am not on edge about pleasing my parents all the time, just so I won't hurt their feelings. It is clear they did not care about my feelings.
Anyway.....I babble. Tigger, you need to do what is right for YOU.
It is a difficult and devastating decision how to deal with one's parents when these things come up. But my opinion is you cannot let your parents run your life emotionally. You will suffer greatly, and it will only get worse.
I went in to therapy, and that helped a great deal. Made me see that I was not a bad person, and that I had to take care of myself, and how irrational my parents were being. Perhaps therapy could help you? Or just talking about it like you are doing here, feeling the support and advice of all these wonderful people, that what you are going through is VERY common, and there is nothing wrong with YOU taking care of YOU.
I am not saying you must sever ties. I am simply saying that different situations call for different ways of handling. Perhaps there is a way you can work out with your parents an understanding that you have a life, and things need to change between all of you. But if this situation is causing you distress, you must try to find a solution, and not feel guilty. (although I know that is so hard to do).
I send you love and compassion.
If you would like to talk, either e-mail me, VJoyArt@aol.com
, post a private message, or a phone number, and I will talk to you anytime, if I can help.