Am I a failure?
More and more I am feeling that I am. I am judging myself by the standards I set for myself but are those standards valid? What do I base those standards on?
I base my standards on what I see other people achieve and what I hear them say they do. The next question is, how much of what I see and hear is fact and how much is distorted by other factors? Without any intention to deceive, people always put themselves in the best light they can when talking to others. That is natural and a subconscious drive. When I see what other people achieve in one aspect of their lives, I do not see if any other aspect is being neglected. I do not see the full picture, so in effect I am drawing conclusions from limited data. My scientific bent sucks in a deep breath of horror at the thought. My guilt complex says ‘Yes, true. They could be doing even more than you see. You might be failing more badly than you think’. My mind falls again into introspective wrangling and sound judgement takes a holiday.
So here is the situation.
My mother is eighty-three years old and has a heart condition. A fortnight ago she collapsed and is now slowly regaining her ability do things. She still suffers from vertigo and gets tired quickly.
While she was very ill, all the housework fell to me to do, along with caring for Mum, bullying her into eating ad drinking (she was sent home from hospital despite being able to do neither), holding down a full-time job and coping with my own mental and physical ill-health. I struggled.
I work shifts so a stable routine is something I am aware is a good idea but am completely incapable of maintaining.
I have a limited amount of energy. One it has gone, it has gone. If I push beyond those limits I end up suicidal. That is a fact I have to live with. That is my failure point.
How can I justify it? My mother needs my care, the housework needs to be done, I have to keep my job or we lose our home and everything that makes life possible. How can I, at 46 years old, be so weak that I can not cope with being tired? My sister is five years older than me and yet has twice the energy and stamina. My brother is seventeen years older than me and yet he too can do more than I.
Then there is the time. Where do I find it? I spend 9 hours a day at work or travelling. I have the shopping to do. I need to take Mum out daily as she gets depressed if she just sits in the house and her friends have melted away now she is a wheelchair user. I need 8 hours sleep or depression sets in. Where do I fit it all in? Has anyone got any spare time I can have? A couple of extra hours a day would be great.
Instead, I am failing.
Oh well. Stuff to do.