It’s been a week

A week since my last post and almost a week since I laid eyes on Master, even on Skype. We have chatted on the phone and there have been texts, but it isn’t the same.

I have been away in France; I took my mum who needed a break from the monotony of home and some company. As Master reminded me when she was stressing me out, I was doing something that was a good thing. She and I have never had an easy relationship, partly because of the way she wants to control everything that those around her do. I always struggled that, because, I thought I wanted to be the one in control. I am no longer sure that is really the case, I just resented the way she wanted to control me.

In general it has been a calm and relaxing time. We have managed to catch some rays of sun, which were lacking here in the UK before we left. But, her lack of mobility since her hip fracture is a real worry, and what is worse, is that she really seems to have no desire to regain it. She seems happy to have people  me and my brothers running around after her.

The trouble is we are not always around and then she seems to get bitter about the lack of help. The other problem is that there are very few other people who are involved regularly in her life, us, the grandchildren and one neighbour. She has alienated people over recent years, and somehow seems to expect more from them than she has given back. If I didn’t have the life I have with Master I fear I would give in and spend half of my life running around after her, getting ever more bitter about how my life was. Then, who knows I would wake up one day and find I had become her!

The absence from Master has been challenging. I have had enough to fill my time, and it isn’t that I have been pining or anything, it is just that I have missed him and the contact we usually have. He was a great help when I was really stressed on Thursday. I was tired, mum was tired and the weekend seemed to stretch ahead of me. Just a few texts was enough to get me back into the right frame of mind. But texts and a phone call while walking through a french village is not the same. I need to see his face now, I need to listen to his voice now. I need to touch him.

It is at times like this that I begin to doubt myself and him. Has he missed me, does he need to see, hear and touch me? Is he busy in his own world and so has little for me right now? Stupid and irrational thoughts, but sometimes it is just too easy to let your mind work over time. It isn’t the physical side of life I need him for. I am well able to care for myself (and my mum if necessary),  but I do need the emotional support.

Last night, after returning home, I had hoped we would chat. I tried calling on Skype, though I had an idea he was offline (he always shows as away). I didn’t feel the urge to beg for a chat, so just went to bed. This morning though I know I could have done with that contact. Hopefully later this evening.

My relationship with my mum

It is 4 weeks today since my dad passed away. In many ways it has been too busy to allow the grieving process to progress in perhaps the way it should. Other than on the day of the funeral, I have not cried. I am not sure that this in itself is a problem. But, I know I am definitely feeling a bit more vulnerable and my moods swing a little more than usual. We all feel the loss of my dad keenly, and no one more so than my mum. But I find myself irritated by her and by her inability to see anyone else’s suffering.

We have always had a difficult relationship. She always put it down to the fact that our birthdays fall within a day of each other and that they are August (Leo) birthdays at that. I have always wondered however if she has just borne a grudge for the fact that she spent her 23rd birthday in labour! There have been times when she and I have struggled to communicate, to even be pleasant with each other. We have never had that close, almost sisters bond others seem to have. My grandmother, her mother, told me she was a selfish woman. Perhaps she is.

There were times during my dad’s illness when she seemed angry that he was the one who was ill. perhaps she always believed she would be first to go. In the weeks before his death she almost seemed to avoid him, my brothers and I discussed and wondered at this. At the end though, she was there every step and it was her who was holding his hand as he passed away.

So this weekend we have had the kind break that in the past she would have loved – just the two of us. A few years ago we would have been found drinking in the local bars, perhaps flirting a little. But we never had that kind of relationship. Now, sadly, not only is she newly bereaved but she is also a shadow of the fun loving person she once was. She struggles to get around (a legacy of a couple of strokes and years of smoking), and she seems unable to enjoy the simplest thing. I don’t think that the latter is as much to do with her bereavement as perhaps a sadness as to who and what she has become.

The trouble is that it is not just me who sees this side to her. I worry that once the rawness of grief subsides people will see her as a miserable (not all that old) woman. That she will be lonely because she struggles to relate to people and snaps. I worry that I will be one of those daughters who visits out of duty, rather than because I want to.

For the most part, this weekend has been fine. She has wanted to do little and mainly this has suited me. I thought she would have talked about dad more, wanted to laugh more about good times. But that hasn’t been the case.

However, yesterday when we were out for a drive in the french countryside she told me about some of the adventures she and dad had when they were ‘lost in France’ and how, often they had found themselves on narrow tracks and once a farmers field. Perhaps dad was with us, because shortly afterwards, following a diversion sign we ended up on a small, bumpy, potholed track which might have led to a farmers field, but luckily ended up back on the main road.

 

A different weekend

A post, revisiting some of the 30 days of submission, by little at willing slut had me thinking. In this post she reviews her need for structure and rules against what she wrote in 2012. I have already revisited this question in the context of my current relationship and like her things have changed. I have a need for the rules within which I have agreed to live – I have a contract now and for me that means something.

We don’t live together 24/7 and are unlikely to do so in the future, for a number of reasons all of which relate to our own needs; that we both need or own space. He has lived alone for a long time and I need to learn to do so soon. But we do spend quite a bit of time together, usually at the weekend. We also have contact during the week, often by Skype. This weekend is different.

This weekend He is spending time with His daughter and I am spending my time with my mum. I have brought us both to France. We have been through a difficult few months and we both need some time away. It is sunnier and warmer here than at home. Plus I have some things to do at the apartment, preparation for the winter and for next year too. Being away with a person who at the moment needs assistance, guidance and care is challenging. Being the one who needs to take charge is kind of weird. Add to that the need at times for me to remind her that she can do things and that I am not going to just let her sit indoors doing nothing. Since my son is grown up, I don’t regularly need to do this kind of thing any more and doing it feels out of my comfort zone.

Generally I feel His control all of the time. When we are together of course – He makes the decisions, though offers me choices. I don’t even always choose my own food when we eat out, let alone where we go. When I am on my own, I consider what He might think of my choices around the time I make them. Sometimes I consult with Him and He ‘advises’. Here though, I don’t feel it so easily.

Yesterday was tiring and stressful. I managed 2 carry on bags and a mother hanging on my arm through an airport, onto a plane, off a plane, at the car hire and into the apartment here (up 2 flights of stairs). I tried to be mindful of her needs at all time, and not to snap. Her needs were paramount and that was at times hard (I am balancing what she thinks she wants and what she probably needs). I need to be more assertive and controlling with her. It gives little time for my needs and for wondering if I am doing things in the way He would want. Or does it? Maybe, He would have been pleased with the way I did things. Maybe this whole thing is on a more subconscious level these days?

Our only conversation yesterday was by text. Today will likely be the same, but that feels fine. He has  things to do and so do I. There will be plenty of time to be together in the future and actually I have His control despite us being apart.