I’ve been feeling exhausted lately. I feel drained of all energy yet really struggle to sleep at night. Last night Alice asked me if I could phone the dentist for her today and my internal reaction to her request was really negative. I felt as though it was yet another thing to add to my massive list of things I have to do and people I have to please. I went to bed and just as I was dozing off Alice came in and woke me to ask me for a spare quilt for her friend who was staying over. There wasn’t one so I had to get up, give her Annie’s quilt, get Annie out of her bed, carry her downstairs and put her in my bed.

This morning, I was fast asleep when Josh woke me up to ask if he could borrow some of my socks. I realised that from the second I wake up to the second I go to sleep (and while I sleep) someone is always asking something of me. The demands on me have become extreme over the last few months and I really don’t think I’m coping too well. If it’s not the kids asking for something or needing something (food, clean clothes, etc) then it’s in my mind that the Guinea pigs need feeding or cleaning out or that Jasper needs a walk, or feeding or playing with. I’ve lost my only responsibility-free time twice a month because now I have to be responsible for Jasper. I feel as though I literally am being demanded of something every second of the day and I’m drained in every way. When I get to bed, no matter how tired I am, I can’t sleep because the more I relax, the more my brain kicks in with things I’ve forgotten to do, or worse still, it’s started kicking in with really angry thoughts about Danny and Greg because of the complete lack of support I get from them. I feel so angry that they’re having a nice easy life while I single-handedly raise their children and anytime I have said anything to them, it’s been met with opposition and an attack on me. Never have I been acknowledged for the hard work I do.

There’s no wonder I end things with Phil every two minutes. I feel as though if one more person in this world asks one more thing of me, I’m going to break. When he asks me for my time, it feels as though he’s asking me for my whole world and my fight or flight instinct kicks in. I feel as though if I don’t defend my position, my need for no more demands, I will crumble. I can’t even begin to describe how stressed I am at the moment which is why I can’t have a relationship with Phil and I can’t have anyone else in my life with expectations of my time and how to use it. It’s why I need to have this free rein, so to speak, to be able to call Phil up to see if he’s free, as and when it suits me. Despite what I said last weekend, I’m not calling him up for sex. I’m calling him because I want to see him and because I feel able to do so. I know none of this is fair on him but I know he understands, however, that doesn’t make it right. I don’t really know how to improve this situation either so I do think it’s going to be a very long-term thing.

The trouble with that is that if I continue to feel this drained and stressed, I’m going to want to spend all my child-free time in bed sleeping. Alone! Which leaves no time for Phil but I’m trying not to even think of that because it instantly makes me feel stressed and even more pressured.

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