I have been working for a company for four years. Over that four years, I've taken about 8 days off - mostly sick days, a short two day break, and one small emergency.
I've also worked a lot of overtime - around 400 hours of overtime in the past 15 months.
At this point, I'm pretty tired. I went up to my boss, who is the owner of the (small company), and told her I needed some time off.
She agreed with me that I definitely needed a break and said that we would figure that out eventually, and she even brought it up a few times. As far as I can tell, she seems like she really likes the idea.
The only problem is... she doesn't appear able to deliver it. It's been about 4 months now since we initially had the discussion, and I'm getting more and more burnt out - especially because we had to push a major project out recently and I ended up working a bunch of additional hours on it - probably about 40 hours or so total overtime.
She recently seemed excited that I was going to get a day off for Christmas, and acted as if that would be enough to raise my spirits and energize me, but if she thinks that's enough to do it, she's off by about an order of magnitude.
How do I adequately express to my boss that I am absolutely exhausted, and that if this issue persists, I'll likely look for greener pastures elsewhere? This is a major problem affecting my productivity and I'm starting to feel it is affecting my health, and I don't feel it is being given the seriousness it deserves.
Is this a malicious (sees me as someone to be used) thing, or just an incompetence/lack of awareness thing?
For background of the company, I am the only employee and do most of the directly billable work (my boss can do it but typically does other stuff)
Per request, here's some information:
1) Located in the United States
2) Number of days of vacation allotted in my contract are 15
3) This was all unpaid overtime