Do you ever feel like someone is always asking you for something?
You are standing in a room and octopus arms are coming at you from all sides?
This is how I feel right now. EVERY DAY. Almost all day long.
It is exhausting.
My hard drive is full - I cannot contain any more useful or useless information. I am tapped. I don't have anything else to give.
Yet, my parents want me to weigh in on every single decision they need to make. AND to reserve the right to reject absolutely everything I say in response to their demand.
The dog drops the toy on my toes whether I am cooking or talking on the phone or trying to do something else. If I ignore her, she taps my foot, my leg, anything exposed, with her wet nose and then looks up at me.
Every once in a while, I can hide in the bathroom, but it only works sometimes.
I try to get a long walk in every day. It's generally the only truly alone time I have, but it is also not unfettered. The cars rev their engines at me as I cross the street even though I definitely get across the street faster than they could walking. The dogs rush me if they are allowed to be in their front yards. I greet people as I walk because it is polite, but it is another invasion of my private time.
I am exhausted.
I have nothing more to give.
We hear about the emotional vampires. But does anyone ever tells us not to give in to the marauding octopi?
I started the day out relentlessly cheerful.
It's been a hard week ... starting with getting back to work after 8 days off. So, you know, a pile of email, and any number of "crises" that are really just the consequence of people not handling their business, literally, because work is business.
Beyond the work re-entry, home re-entry was just as bumpy.
I returned home to find both octogenarians not feeling well.
Part of me felt that they were just trying to make me feel guilty for taking a few days for myself.
But, the biggest part was just worried.
My dad's health worsened over the next few days ... all seemingly inexplicable symptoms. His head hurt, and then his left side below his eye was swollen, his ear hurt, and then his whole eye was swollen.
My mom remembered him saying something about feeling he had been bitten by a bug. He could neither remember being bitten or having said anything about it.
So, in case anyone was wondering, memory issues of octogenarians make them very unreliable narrators of most things except their childhood memories (which of course are also unreliable but in a different way). My dad is especially unreliable because he hates doctors and hates demonstrating any weakness... so it is very difficult to get him to say how he actually feels. So much so that I have to rely on his blood pressure spiking to know he is in pain.
Monday night we ended up in the ER. Even though during the day he felt fine because, of course, I asked him how he felt, several times.
You don't know me, so you will just have to trust me that I spend most of my waking hours trying to keep my parents healthy. And I have done a good job, if I do say so myself.
But this time, the roadblocks we have faced trying to get him care and figuring out what exactly is going on have made me feel like a failure.
Worse - I feel like the universe is telling me that I am not good at caring for him. It is not an emotion based on reality. I get that. But I am exhausted. And I am my only cheerleader, so when I lose hope, it is a big deal.
I spent the bulk of the day at the edge of tears with breaks to speak sternly with many people standing between me and actual health care professionals. Let's just say they know at this point that I have zero fucks to give.
I feel like I am ending the day defeated.
This is distressing on so many levels.
I have tried to bring my vacation vibes back into my "real" life. I have held my head high through several days of really challenging issues (I didn't even enumerate the work woes here).
But now I feel defeated.
I feel like I need to just say, I give in. I give up.
Why does the universe feel the need to beat me up and put me in my place all the time? That's what I need to know. It feels like there is no need to keep trying to hold my head up when I just get whacked back into submission.