How do I stop being so emotionally exhausted?
I am tired, even when I'm when wide awake. It's the kind of tired that seeps into your bones. I am not in physical pain but I feel like everywhere I turn, I am disappointing someone. My mother lives with me and is somewhat independent but not very. I feel like her personality is changing and she doesn't see it. She is in a lot of physical pain, diabetic, arthritic, and early stage dementia. I feel like she is extremely critical and constantly focusing on things I 'do wrong' or could do better but doesn't see any of her own issues. If I bring them up, she says blames her physical problems. I get that she is in pain and it's hard to know that you may be losing your control of your mind. I do not think she gets the responsibility she places on my shoulders every single day.
She can walk extremely short distances and occasionally does dishes, a light cooking of a meal, or folds laundry, everything else I do. I schedule her doctor appts and make she sure gets to them, I drop her off at the door of the clinic and push her in a wheelchair all the hospital, I do the majority of the talking to her doctors, I park her at the door of the clinic and go get the car. I carry her purse when she walks in and out of the house to the car, I back into the driveway so that she can get out on her side. I go to the store and get all the food, I make sure she takes her insulin, I pull her pants up after she goes bathroom because she can't reach behind her. I do all the laundry, I carry everything, I make sure her meds are filled and picked up. I make numerous phone calls on her behalf every week. I do all the shopping. I make sure all the bills are paid.
I listen to her cry when she is in pain. I listen to the same stories over and over and over til I can repeat them by heart. When she is searching for a word to say, I help her figure out what it is. I answer the same questions over and over. I remind her where she is, who is with her and what is actually going on. I calm her down if she has a bad dream. I make sure she wears her seatbelt in the car and I make sure the doors are locked because she occasionally tries to open the door when driving, I watch where she puts her hands in the car because she will occasionally grab the gear shift and yank it, I make sure she turns the car light off when she gets out because she always turns it on and forgets to shut off and it will wear down the battery.
I try to be sensitive to her feelings and not make her feel guilty or that she is limited or that I don't trust her. I try not to burden her and handle things myself. I listen to her talk for hours when I just want some silence. I am sitting here crying silently because she is asleep on the couch and I don't want her to wake and ask why I'm crying. I feel like i am watching someone I love die slowly and I feel guilty because I just want some peace.
I feel like all I do is listen to her talk about her feelings and I have to stuff mine in. If I ever complain about her she will say something like 'well maybe I'll be dead soon and you won't have to deal with it anymore'. I told her I thought she needed a friend or some other than me to talk to occasionally, one of her sisters or someone who is also old and in pain or dealing with the same health problems. Someone to complain about me to or just share with, I feel like she is lonely and putting all of her needs on me. Even all her conversation needs!
There is a tone of implied criticism in many things she says, maybe she doesn't mean it to come out that way but it does. Like yesterday, I was worried about something and it was like she was angry that I'd be worried and she wished I knew 'my rights' and didn't get upset. It was like she was implying it was a failing on my part to be worried, even though I have been through similar things before. Then there is the outright criticism of all the things I don't do or how I don't understand what her life is like. I know almost every facet of this person's life, I can almost tell you what she is going to say before she says it.
I do zone out when she's talking, I completely admit that. I do put off some things or not fill her in all my plans. I do this because she won't remember them or get them mixed anyways. It's a complete waste of time to give her more than small bits of information or to inform her of more than the next day's activities. I don't do everything she asks the minute she asks for it, because I have my own sh!t to do too.
She's so negative, and seems to look for the 'bad' thing to always happen or all bad possible consequences. It's frustrating and exhausting to listen too. I don't think I can express frustration because it's 'not fair' that she is the way she is. I just have to accept and work around it because there is no other option. Right?