Radiotherapy took much more out of me than I expected. The journey to the hospital, waiting around and receiving the short treatment was fine. It has been the ensuing 3 weeks that has been difficult. I have been sore, very sore and I have been tired. Surprisingly too my mood has been low. You would imagine that reaching the end of treatment would be a high and it was. So why do I feel so low? Finally this week I admitted to Master, not only am I dead tired and weary but I feel depressed. Not seriously, just a little.
I have rarely in my life admitted these kind of feelings to another and I still feel slightly surprised that I can. Maybe not quite the astonished of the Wicked Wednesday prompt, but surprised all the same. Acknowledging my vulnerability to Master is something of an achievement. Admitting it to friends and family, now that would be something. But actually, I have.
There is strength in not admitting your vulnerability
That was what I believed for many years. I wanted to appear strong, not weak. But then was often surprised people did not see through it. People, including my husband used to tell me how strong I was. While all the time I would be crying inside, unsure which way to turn, what to do. There was always someone I needed to be strong for – my son who was a young child when my husband was cheating, my husband when he was made redundant, my parents when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. The list is almost endless.
The longer you keep that stiff upper lip going the tougher you and others think you are. But in the end something has to give and when I reached outside of my marriage for another man to love me I was searching for something else. It is no surprise that I found men who wanted to use my body, who wanted to restrain and beat me. Luckily I chose wisely and neither of those men turned out to be in any way abusive.
Over the past 5 years, Master has helped me reveal my vulnerable side. He has helped peel away the layers of armour with which I had surrounded myself. I always held secrets, things I didn’t want to tell others. Sometimes because I didn’t want to hurt another, or because I wanted to hold something back. Now though, there is nothing to hide. There is nothing I can’t tell. Secrets and lies multiply over time and then when they are told they have a greater effect. By admitting a vulnerability at the time takes away some of the weight of the problem.
It is amazing I didn’t recognise this in me before. When my son was small, around 6 or 7 he worried about so many things. We found a book in the library which, was all about a little boy like him, who learnt how to share worries so they didn’t become a huge burden. It seems a shame I didn’t make the link then, as I would have saved myself a huge amount of heart ache.
My doctors, nurses and others said that the period just after treatment would be difficult. That people often feel vulnerable and they were right. The soreness, even though I knew it might happen, surprised me. As did the extent of the exhaustion. But thank goodness I am with someone who had listened and read about the effects of diagnosis and treatment. Someone who understands and wants to care for me.
This illness has allowed me to be vulnerable and to allow my family to see a different side of me. Some have embraced it and reassured me while others have chosen to ignore it. But it has taught me about myself and my body and about what is important. I hope that in the future I will take the memories from this experience and choose not to try to rebuild that armour. I’m sure Master will have something to say if I try.
Maybe I am a little bit astonished so this piece fits nicely into the Wicked Wednesday prompt of ‘astonish’ as well as the Safeword D/s club prompt of vulnerability.