Co-dependent

I never thought I’d want to be dependent on another person. When my marriage was ending I was adamant I wanted to be independent and to live alone if that was required. I like my own space and at the time I had a well paid job and was exploring what being single could mean. I was 16 when I started going out with my ex, so I’ve never been single. That’s still true in a way. But this relationship is different from that one.

Master first asked me to live with him at the end of a very boozy evening in Amsterdam. It was 2014 and he had just finished with his other slave. Our hotel had an honesty bar and we sat alone there drinking dutch gin, well I did. When he asked if I’d live with him, I laughed and said no. He had to agree it was a mad idea.

But actually it wasn’t such a stupid plan, it just took a while to happen. Our dependence on each other took a while and changes were subtle. Giving up control of orgasms and my body were nothing in comparison to depending on each other emotionally. And, this isn’t a one way road. He has emotional needs that I try to satisfy, to listen to his concerns.

I also bear the brunt of his rants about the ineffectiveness of the bank of England, industry in general, government, the EU. I’m also a sounding board for his knowledge on music, film and literature. If I wasn’t there he’d just be living in his head, so it’s a worthy thing. Plus I learn stuff without having to do the hard work. I also cook and am better at it than him, though he has an amazing palate and advises on flavour He makes a mean salad dressing and is king of what herb or spice goes with what.

Since giving up work and moving in with Master the dependency ratio has swung a little. This is his property, though our home. I have an income from my work pension, but it isn’t enough to support myself completely. He is managing my savings and making a good job of it. Right now, I could walk away with a reasonable sum of money, but I’d probably need to go back to work soon after. I have no plans to do so, but I do recognise my dependence on him financially. Or maybe it is that we are co-dependent because we live cheaper as two than we did living separately.

For him, my being dependent on him feeds into his desire for power and control. I have no problem with this and have willingly given him elements of me and my body to own. There is no abuse here so I am perfectly prepared to let him have the control he so desires.

It’s easy to see how power exchange could result in an unhealthy co-dependency. That’s why consent is so important – safe, sane consensual. Plus the importance of communication, checking in with each other.

As I said at the beginning, I never expected this life. But I am happy to have it. To be with the man I love. Yes, I’m dependent on him, but he is on me. This Master / slave thing is no one way street. We co-exist and are co-dependent. Hopefully we can grow old together this way.

Romance

Flowers - mainly pink and violet
Flowers I received on my birthday one year. Not romantic but beautiful.

I wouldn’t say I am unromantic, in fact I love a little romance, but I’m not a big fan of St Valentines day. Partly that is because it is over commercialised, in a similar way to Christmas and Halloween. Flowers cost twice as much, restaurants are overbooked and over priced. Plus, in the main the gifts on offer are stupid. Who needs a teddy carrying a heart shaped cushion? Apologies if you do.

But, actually my main problem with St Valentines is something a bit more basic. I challenge anyone to view 14th February in quite the same way when they once spent it in labour. My son was born 3 weeks early, so it wasn’t expected. But in the afternoon of the great day everything started. The bundle of joy arrived at around 1.30am and what happened in between was much less romantic than the conception. As you might imagine.

After that, we were either busy with birthday parties and / or (mostly both) had no money. However, a lack of romance on the day of hearts and roses has offered me the opportunity to reflect on what romance is to me and how to approach it.

Romance isn’t just one day a year

It’s the little things that find their way into my heart. That unexpected piece of sexy clothing or a sex toy. Dinner out when you have hardly felt less like cooking. A massage when you ache. Champagne in the bath. Things that could happen any time and don’t need an advert to remind them.

I love flowers but I don’t believe Master has ever bought me any. That would be a romantic gesture, so long as it wasn’t attached to some other motive. That is part of the history of my marriage, so I’m happy to over look the lack of flowers in my vase. Indeed I can buy my own and I do. I’d buy them for him but he says they give him hay fever.

I’m happy for others to be romantic

I love to see others buying gifts for their loved ones for St Valentines, though I prefer not to see them ripped off. A meal out can be romantic, especially if it isn’t something you do often. As I said before, we went out for our anniversary, for no other reason than it was a special day. That felt romantic, even though it was just at our local curry house.

The most romantic thing I’ve done

Last year I booked us into a really lovely hotel for Master’s birthday. It was expensive, but so worth it. It’s where this was taken. I wanted to treat him because of all of the support he had given me over the previous few months and longer. Great memories were created that weekend that will live with both of us.

I’m sure there will be lots more romance to come in our lives. We’ll be out this weekend (on Sunday) to celebrate my son’s 29th birthday. But we’ll be steering clear of any over hyped pseudo romance on Friday.

Motivation

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

This was the last of my navel gazing, reflective posts (well for now). Onwards we march into January 2020. For once in my life I still feel motivated and it’s already the second week of the year! But joking aside, what gets and keeps me motivated?

Blogging motivation

I’m definitely being helped along by my new planner. I’m still learning to use it, but this afternoon I’m going to spend some time on the project planning pages. I have plans for this blog and also the continuing development of Food, Fitness and Health. There are some great features too, space on the back of each diary page. A beautiful folder and because it’s loose leaf I can move stuff around. So far so good. But of course, my motivation will only last as long as I produce results. I’ve not really been feeling sexy or kinky lately, which has hit my ability to write anything erotic. But I’m hoping that will change, and prompts do help that. The Food for Thought prompt this week is intimacy, so……..

Sex, kink and submission

These elements of my and our life ebb and flow. Busy times such as Christmas mean that we are focused outwards and not inwards. Plus, we are both pretty sure that the lack of day and sunlight affects us. This winter is so far not cold, but it has been wet and more often than not overcast. Plus we don’t have a week in the sun to look forward to this year.

But we have plans coming up. This weekend we are off to a new (to us) club and so there will be play. The release of endorphins will, I think help us both. Master also has plans for March – something special after Eroticon (more news later) and his birthday celebration. He has plans for us to go away, but won’t tell me where we are going. I managed to squeeze an average temperature from him and it definitely isn’t the Caribbean. However, I know that wherever we go we will be sure to focus on our dynamic plus hopefully have some good sex.

Work

I’ve recently taken on some voluntary work with a charity which will take up a bit of my time going forward. I was thrilled to have been asked to join the board and hope that I will get the chance to learn as well as share my expertise. There’s also some paid work in the offing. I was a bit worried I’d need to go to an agency but it looks like that might not be necessary. There’s nothing like being wanted to make you feel motivated. I need to replenish my savings a bit in this half of the year and that is motivation enough to look for work.

Community

People (including me) have had a bit more time on their hands lately and this had led to a higher level of engagement. Or so it seems. I’m trying to read and comment on more blog posts and to engage on twitter. February photofest is a great blogging community event and will be coming up all too soon. We’ve started to take some extra photos and edit old ones so I have enough material to join in. Then there’s the run up to Eroticon (66 days and counting), always a motivating event and time.

Health and fitness

I start most years with plans to lose weight, get fitter etc and then lose motivation when it proves too hard. I struggle with changing habits for longer than a week or two. So, given I have a good reason to keep going this year I am trying to take it day by day. But to focus each day on doing the best I can and if I slip to carry on the next day. Maybe that is a message for any goals – tomorrow is always another day.

Mindfulness

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

I was first introduced to the concept of mindfulness during a work away day over 5 years ago. Our boss brought someone in to run a session on the topic and after going through the principles spent a bit of time getting the group to try them out. At the time my dad was seriously ill, my marriage break up was weighing heavily and my job was very stressful. I was struggling to let know of the worries of each day and was sleeping poorly.

However, that one session sticks in my mind. Because it showed me that I could let go of the thoughts crowding in. Even for a short period of time. At my next 1:1 I told my manager about my experience of that session – one of a sudden weightlessness and almost sleepiness. As I concentrated on where my hands, feet, bottom etc were and let the stress leave my body. She suggested I look for a course and do some reading, which I did. But for some reason I never followed through.

The main reason was that by actually recognising how stressed I had become, I began to look at ways to let it go. I began to speak about how overwhelmed I was and to seek support from other. In particular Master. We were in the first few months of our relationship back then. He was probably the first person who had ever picked up when things were not right. Also, but telling my manager about my dad and some of the problems at home I lightened my own load. So that when my dad was dying I was able to take time off work and go and care for him.

Even though I’ve been stressed since then, I have often used the principles of mindfulness I learned then. Taking some exercise is often a good way of relieving tensions, just going for a walk can be sufficient. This was something I used to do after work in the summer times. Rather than make me more tired it invigorated me and meant I could function. These days I don’t have the stress of work to worry about. But other worries sometimes flood my mind.

Concerns about my mother and how I can support her without it taking over my life. Thoughts about my health and how to make sure it is maintained and improved. Worries over aspects of our sex life and M/s dynamic. This is partly because I know we are both ageing and our bodies changing. Lately my orgasms have changed, as has my relationship with my remaining breast. Talking these worries through is so important and the fact we can is reassuring. We have sex in the mornings because that suits Master’s body better and I have grown more used to this than I used to be.

Events at Christmas threw me out of kilter. Since then I’ve had some odd conversations with my mum and we have tried to analyse what it all means. My brother and I are concerned for her welfare and inability to articulate what is wrong. That she lashes out at me so much is troubling. Master and I, my brother and I and my son and I have spent much too long recently discussing these issues.

I have been most troubled that despite saying that I was never going to allow others to dictate our life again that’s what I’ve been doing. That once again I tried to be the person who takes all of the stress on themselves so that others are free of it (namely my two brothers). But the events leading up to Christmas, the awful day we had with her on Christmas Day and the calls since tell me that must change. Of course I will be there when she needs me. She is 80 now and I know that need will be there. But I can control how I deal with her and I can also make sure others pull their weight.

That I have been able to recognise when things are going wrong definitely dates back to that one event in 2014. I’m grateful that work put on the event and that I went along to it. Going forward I am going to take a look at this resource suggested by Brigit and put together my own personal vision statement. I’ll report back when it’s done. This is all part of my attempt to be more mindful of how I use my time. That I want to be productive and to achieve the goals I’ve set myself.

2019 In Review

Over the past few years, at the end of December, I’ve looked back over my blog and created a review. The year has, on the whole been a good one, we’ve travelled to new places and done some fabulous things. This is my 235th post this year, up considerably on last year. I’ve discovered that writing about something is better than writing nothing. So it was only when I was away for the whole of July that I didn’t write at least twice a week. I’ll write more about stats when I post about my plans for 2020. But now, this is my year – 2019 in review.

January

The year didn’t start especially well for me, a hangover as it were from 2018. The unfinished business was radiotherapy for my breast cancer. The treatment itself wasn’t bad, but the cumulative effects – physical and emotional were. This post sums up the month. I haven’t written for the Sex Bloggers for Mental Health meme often and this is something I plan to rectify in 2020.

On 10th January I wrote this Friday Flash post and although I haven’t written much fiction in 2019 I managed two in January. My goal in 2020 will be at least one piece of fiction per month.

Being mainly confined to home, I wrote 27 posts in January, which set me up pretty well for February photofest.

February

My 7th highest post / category of all time is my February Photofest one for 2019. I posted 36 times, so it obviously wasn’t all about the images. I began to show bits of my body, and especially noticeable are the radiotherapy burns visible on any photo showing my chest.

Tell me about, which is co-run by Missy and Sweetgirl, have led to some reflective and thought provoking posts in 2019. This one, about showing my own vulnerability, is no exception.

Love Lock, is a fiction piece about genital piercings used to provide female chastity. I’ve now linked it to my most popular post ever – Chastity, does a girl need to be locked in? Something I did following a talk by Girl on the Net at Eroticon (more of that event below).

March

There were 19 posts in March, and two of my favourites are photos posted for Sinful Sunday. This one, Double Exposure was for the prompt week at the beginning of the month and Birthday Breakfast at the very end on Master’s birthday. Both were taken in hotel bedrooms and I am thankful that we have the opportunity to travel both here and abroad and to stay in some fabulous places. In these relaxed environments I have begun to feel able to share photos of my body again.

The other notable event was Eroticon, which I wrote about here. As the conference rolls around again soon, I am really excited to catch up with old friends and to meet new people.

April

Once again I joined in with the Blogging A-Z, this time using my blog history to examine how my journey has progressed. I found it a useful reflective tool which showed me how I have changed (or not) along the way. I posted 29 times, often combing other memes with the Blogging A-Z one. While I said afterwards that I wouldn’t participate again, I have an idea so I just might!

Favourite posts from this month were this one, of Master in the Swing of Relaxation and this one entitled Kinky. Both include images taken at STOXX which is sadly no longer available to rent.

May

Of the 22 blog posts for May, several are especially memorable. On 1st I wrote my Confessions of an unruly slave for The Erotic Journal Challenge. Brigit’s prompts are thought provoking and now they are monthly I’m better able to join in with them all. I think that particular post sums me up. I want to be the perfect slave, but often fall short.

Unmentionable has turned out to be particularly popular in terms of traffic. This is in no small way due to being placed in the top 3 posts for Elust #119. I would highly recommend submitting to Elust to help broaden your readership.

At the end of May we toured around Holland and Belgium for a week, during which time we were lucky enough to meet up with Marie Rebel and Master T. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon / evening together which I write about here. I’m looking forward to seeing both at Eroticon in March.

The following day we travelled to Amsterdam where we stayed in the Kinky Suite. My review is here.

June

Once again I joined Every Damn Day in June on Hy’s blog, and while I didn’t manage to post every day I did manage 29 posts. I participated in my first Lingerie is for everyone meme with this post. There’s new lingerie for 2020, so, I will be participating again soon.

I discovered a friend had passed away in April, but didn’t know until mid June. I wrote about him here.

July

We left for France at the beginning of July. Somehow I had run out of steam and was a bit out of love with writing and posting. So, there wee only 4 posts, one of which was Elust. Lazy days and hot nights sums up the month.

August

We were away for the majority of August too. But despite being on a boat with no Wifi for a week I still managed to write 12 blog posts. My favourite photo, posted for Sinful Sunday was this one – Topless. At last I was getting my mojo back!

On 29th I wrote about some issues I’ve been having with elusive orgasms. I’m pleased to say that the strategies we have been taking since seem to be helping.

September

This month we returned to CMnf after a break of a year and my mastectomy. I wrote here, about the wonderful reception I received. Sun kissed skin was a favourite photo, posted for Wicked Wednesday. How I love the feeling of the sun on my skin. Something to think about in the middle of winter!

The Smutathon took place at the end of September and while I wasn’t a participant, I wrote this post about abortion to link in with something that I consider a very important cause.

October

My Kissing Vignettes post for Food For Thought was in hindsight a way of edging myself back towards writing fiction. The post is based on some happy memories, but with a little artistic licence thrown in. The other of my 15 posts during October that I want to highlight is this one.

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last year during awareness month. My Breast Care Nurse warned me at the time to steer clear of the internet and I can understand why. This year, May More contacted me to ask if I was happy for her to write something to raise awareness, which of course I was. She inspired me to write the post above.

November

My Sinful Sunday post for November didn’t conform to the set prompt. But having the image available to use, I just had to post it. Molly and many others retweeted my post and then it and then it was chosen as one of the top Sinful Sunday posts that week, despite not being related to the prompt. I still feel proud and positive about this image. It has gone on to be the 6th most viewed post of all time (not just this year). And was partly responsible for my best ever blog stats that month.

My post – Submissive Training is it necessary for Tell Me About has proved immensely popular, and is currently number 8 on the all time list. The other of my 19 posts for November to highlight is this one. Bedroom Talk is another post based on reality, but which lends itself to a kind of faction (when you kind of remember stuff but have to elaborate). I posted this on Masturbation Monday.

December

That Bedroom Talk post inspired me to actually write some fiction. I’m really proud of An Advent Diary and am thinking of making it into a rolling story through the year. Perhaps the next instalment will be around Valentines……

At the beginning of December I was happy and proud to find that I was once again recognised in the Top 100 Sex Blogger List. This year I am at 32. My aim is for a top 10 spot, which will need some work both in terms of content and blog structure. I’m up for a challenge,

F4Thought

Personal reflections on 2019

As usual I will be posting a few reflective posts in the coming couple of weeks. About my own blogging milestones, as well as shouting out about my fellow sex bloggers and writers. I plan to articulate my goals for 2020 too. But this post reflects on 2019 for me personally. The ways in which I have struggled, but also where I feel I have grown as a person.

The end of 2018 was pretty shitty. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in September and had a mastectomy in October. The very end of the year was somewhat brighter with my son’s wedding on 29th December. But I didn’t exactly feel good about myself. I’m not keen on the photos taken of me on the day partly because my dress definitely didn’t flatter. But also my makeup was wrong my mum caused me a lot of stress. It was a lovely day and I was a proud mum of the groom, but it was that day that set up how 2019 needed to be different.

I have always been someone who puts others first. I worry about what other people need and then consider myself. But in January I was waiting for my radiotherapy treatment to start, so prepared others that I would need to put that first. From 10th January, for 15 days we travelled to the cancer centre for treatment. But the effects; fatigue, soreness and general malaise lasted well into February. The emotional recovery though has taken much longer. It’s only now I can say that I am over the psychological effects of the cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment.

The impact of having one breast

Before I’d had breast cancer, I didn’t understand just how important a complete body is. I’ve been overweight for the past 10 years or more, but can usually find a way to feel good in my body despite it. I’d never had surgery, so other than a few stretch marks, no blemishes. My tits were pretty good for a woman of my age. Losing one of them has at times felt like a tragedy. It has led to me feeling less happy with the remaining breast and in me losing interest in it being touched. Weird I used to be able to orgasm through nipple play. I’m sure this is a psychological, not physical thing. But it does relate to the knowledge that the right breast is missing and that what remains is numb. A physical reality and not a psychological one.

Overcoming my fears

Being a sex blogger who posts photos of herself has been useful in my recovery. It’s true I could have shut myself away and not spoken of it to anyone. But that isn’t me. First and foremost I blogged about my recovery for me. I wanted to show others what it looked like and to demonstrate that while a mastectomy is a horrible thing to have to go through, there is life afterwards. At my son’s wedding I felt incomplete even though no one could tell. I bought a dress with a higher neckline than suits me because I didn’t want to show cleavage. I guess it was just too soon.

Eroticon helped my recovery journey immensely. I got the opportunity to take part in a group photo and went topless for it. That was the first time I had shown anyone other than health professionals and Master my new body. That occasion and the response to it helped drive me on. And since then I’ve been back to CMnf, taken my clothes off in a hot tub with others present and been naked at a couple of play events. I have also begun to post photos on my blog that show me breast, scars and all. I feel self conscious when naked in front of people, but am able to forget and be myself.

Weirdly though, while on holiday with my mum, I was very careful not to show her my body. I’m not sure why. But maybe it has more to do with our relationship than the fact I have only one tit. After all it isn’t as if she doesn’t know. I also find I prefer wearing a bra rather than going lop sided. Even though I doubt most people would even notice. This made my holidays this summer hot and uncomfortable at times.

The future isn’t plain sailing

I’m on the waiting list for a DIEP reconstruction. This will mean surgery to my abdomen to taken fat and skin for reconstruction as a breast. A huge operation which will give me more scars and a new breast that looks different from the other. But in clothes I will be able to look ‘normal’ again.

At least this surgery is planned. There will be time to talk to others who have had surgery. Time also to lose weight. My tummy will be flatter afterwards which has to be a great side effect. But this won’t give me my body back and make me look as I did before. I’ll need to have a nipple created later and this will include a tattoo.

Looking back I was feeling pretty fragile this time last year. Even though I’d been told I was cured, the uncertainties around the diagnosis lingered around me. Treatment was physically tiring and emotionally draining. But I was focused on getting through and in coming to terms with what had happened. I might not be wild about how I look right now, but I am in a much better place to cope with whatever the future throws my way and that is a massive achievement.

Thank you to all of my fellow bloggers that have helped me along the way, particularly May More, Molly Moore and Posy Churchgate, all of whom have been there for me along the way.

My Breast Cancer Posts are here

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

I am thankful

In the UK we don’t have a Thanksgiving celebration. But that’s not to say I don’t think it is important to express thanks for the people and things in my life. So, I am thankful to have the opportunity to join in with the Erotic Journal Challenge prompt for November.

Health

I saw the oncologist yesterday and am now on six monthly appointments between surgeon and oncologist. My first annual mammogram was clear and I am fit and well. I just need to get as fit as possible for the planned surgery some time next year. I take a daily tablet, which gives some irritating side effects. But nothing that I can’t manage. I am grateful for everything the health professionals have done over the past year and am very happy to be able to look forward fewer appointments.

Family

As Christmas approaches I am thankful for my family. I am looking forward in particular to spending time with my son and daughter in law. They celebrate a year of marriage at the end of the year – where has that time gone? We are going to spend a day at my son’s in laws, which will be something new.

My mum continues to cause me stress and irritation, but she is in reasonable health and I am grateful for that. One of my brothers causes untold anxiety and quite a bit of pain. But the other is a great support and we have become closer over the years. I am also looking forward to seeing some (if not all) of my nephews and nieces.

Master

I can’t describe how thankful I am that we found each other when we did and that we have the relationship we have. My life is good (as I write often) and I have few complaints. We have fun, visit new places and explore our kink sides as much as we can. But also we have settled into a life together and for that I am really grateful. Without him, I don’t think I’d have got through the cancer thing as well as I did. I know he is anxious about my operation next year, but is committed to helping me through as best he can.

Friends

I am so pleased we are able to attend Eroticon next spring. For a while I wasn’t sure we would. The most exciting thing is that many of the people I call friends from blog / twitter and previous Eroticons will be there. Not only that, but lots of them are speaking, which will make the choice of which sessions to attend even more difficult.

Before Christmas we are travelling to Amsterdam to see our friend their, I’m really looking forward to that few days away. We have an airbnb booked this time and I think it will be lots of fun.

Blog

This blog brings me so much pleasure. I’m so thankful I started it all that time ago, it really has given me a special place to call my own. Without the blog I doubt I would have met and become involved with such a wonderful community. This month I have had my largest ever number of visitors and views. In no small thanks to this photo, Molly and Sinful Sunday.

Blogging has become my passion this year so much more than it was. Partly as an outlet when I was feeling tired and fed up. But also as the means to exciting new opportunities. I’m planning something – an offshoot of this blog if you will – in the very near future. Once I’ve sorted the technical stuff I will say more. Plus I plan to make changes to this blog, in terms of it’s look and feel.

Finally I am in planning mode. As I said in my last post, I have realised I need to set goals and be more organised in my planning. So I won’t just say I’m going to do something, or more of another thing (like writing fiction or submitting posts), but I am going to actually set objectives for doing them. So watch this space for some of that too. The best thing I did in recent months is to join the Smutlancer community – I am really grateful to Kayla, Molly and all the other smutlancers for the encouragement and support.

Thank you too to Brigit Delaney for the Erotic Journal Challenge and this prompt.

Fear

The Erotic Journal Challenge for October is Fear. I love that Brigit has gone for a month long theme and hope it is something she will continue. I love to join in with memes but struggle with my originality and often feel I am repeating myself. For this one though I may well post a couple (or more) essays on my thoughts about my fears. Brigit has helpfully posed a few questions and this is the first one:

What are your sexual fears / insecurities?

Body image

I guess most of my sexual fears relate to my body and insecurities about it. I currently weight the most I have pretty much ever. I want to lose weight and am trying. But so far this year I have failed spectacularly in doing so. This massively affects my self image and I struggle to see why I might be attractive to another person. I also know that I am less fit than I could be so not very agile.

Finally of course there is the small matter of only having one tit. This is most evident (unsurprisingly) when I am naked. A by product of having had cancer are the hormone inhibiting tablets I take, which have side effects of weight gain and joint pain. The latter for me is more of a stiffness, which makes getting up from the floor for example a challenge.

Performance

We have had our fair share of sexual performance issues over the years. I am always fearful that another is around the corner. I am not so young and agile, I am overweight and taking hormone inhibiters. What if my vaginal juices dry up, what if I can’t get into a particular position, what if I can’t orgasm? From time to time all of the above have happened, though each has been a passing phase. There was also a period of time when my body seemed to go into spasm when he pushed his cock into me, causing pain. This lasted a little longer, but also passed. However I am always worried the problem will return.

I worry that Master will no longer fancy me, that my body will not satisfy his needs. Or that I will begin to push him away as I did my husband. So far this has only happened if I am tired or emotional, but the fear is always there. What’s more, he says he fancies me more than ever, that he wants and needs me.

Getting over our fears

I haven’t arrived at the age of 57 without learning to be realistic. That my body, that both of our bodies are ageing. We have learned to pace ourselves and know when sex is best for us. He is also good at listening to my troubles and woes and mostly dealing with them effectively. Unsurprisingly he is usually right. There is really no reason to believe we will go off of each other. More likely we are going to grow old disgracefully together. But that doesn’t completely stop the fears from emerging nor does it prevent me from getting carried away with my negative thoughts.

But I will plough on with trying to improve my image of myself – try to lose some weight, try to get fitter. These will be especially important as I prepare for my reconstruction surgery. Then hopefully I can look in the mirror and like myself just that little bit more and feel like the sexually attractive woman he says I am. Then maybe those fears will go.

Getting back to the core of who I am

During normal, every day life it is easy to lose sight of what is really important. To imagine the small irritations of decision making, the routine of work and household activities are everything. It is easy to lose sight of your core, what makes you tick. The things that brought you together. Sometimes it takes a complete change in those routines to help you focus on what is really important.

Two of this week’s meme prompts lend themselves well to this topic – The Wicked Wednesday prompt is Core and Erotic Journal Challenge one is Retreat. The past few weeks for us have been in the form of a retreat. We left home on 8th July and only returned on 24th August. During that time we have travelled the length of France, from Calais in the north to a small seaside village in Aude in the south. Along the way we visited several towns, taking time to enjoy the culture and explore the countryside. After a couple of weeks chilling out we moved onto a boat and spent a week travelling at almost walking pace. After a long weekend celebrating my mum’s 80th birthday in England we returned to France. A week later we began the return journey through northern Spain before returning home.

During much of that time our engagement with others was limited. For days on end we heard no English voices. We had no need to be anywhere dictated by anyone else. We took time to be together and to explore our relationship in a way that hasn’t been possible before.

The craziness

As regular readers will know the past year has been something of a rollercoaster and whirlwind combined. Last year I moved in with Master in July. Having packed up a three bedroom house and leaving little behind I brought a lot with me. In August I finished work. We had plans to spend the autumn and winter sorting the house so that my stuff fitted along with Master’s. But our lives were thrown into turmoil in September when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was not until February that the treatment was finished and we were able to get into any kind of proper routine.

Our relationship is strong, but we struggled to sort our what our roles and responsibilities to each other were. To understand what we wanted from our M/s, our sex lives and how much we wanted the outside world to inform and define us.

The retreat

It was the knowledge that I’ve been paying the (not insignificant) bills on a property in France I have barely had time to visit that spurred us. Plus neither of us are working (permanently) and caring responsibilities (for me) are limited right now. No one we spoke to seemed to think it would be a problem if we disappeared off for 6 weeks or so.

Plans were made, ferries, hotels and flights were booked and with a very full car we left for France.

Just putting the channel between us and our real lives was enough. We had suitcases of clothes, but packed a smaller bag for a few days at a time. An electric cool box meant we could picnic rather than eat in restaurants during the day. Stops were planned just 150-200km apart so we had time to see the sights, but also downtime. We didn’t always take breakfast. This meant that we could spend longer in bed, not necessarily sleeping.

Getting back to the core of who I am

This trip gave me the chance to get to the core of me as a person, my raison d’être if you will. Also for considering who and what we are. For Master it was about exploring my submission and reclaiming it in a way he hasn’t been able to for some time. We spent a lot of time talking about what my submission and his Dominance mean to us. Exploring our roles, sexually and literally.

The cancer diagnosis, mastectomy and treatment affected us more than we realised at the time. This time away gave us the chance to look back and articulate some of those issues. To get to the core of what breast cancer meant for me, a woman and him my partner. I articulated what he knew, that I struggle with my remaining breast. Worry about my lack of cleavage etc. The tablets I now take to dampen down my hormone levels seem to have affected my ability fo orgasm easily. All of these impact up on Master and the way he manages our sex life.

But also we were able to distance ourselves from the world. Not only family but the messed up politics, social media circus and yes my blog. Having said that, when my data package was used up while we had no wifi on the boat, I bought more. Plus, Master dropped his phone in the canal and was without for a few days. That made him positively on edge. So we have a way to go before we are ready to disappear completely even for a few days.

So, we are back. Recharged and ready to face existing and new challenges. Hopefully happier human beings and closer to each other than ever we were.

The photo below was taken from one of our hotel rooms and gives a flavour of our time in retreat.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Being grateful for my mistakes

I’ve made quite a few mistakes in my life, it would be difficult not to by my age. But I’m a little hard pressed to think of any that I really regret or that I’m not a little grateful for.

I was married at 21

I think that was probably a mistake. He was my first serious boyfriend and we did what everyone thought we should. My parents frowned on us living together first, and weren’t best pleased that we lived in our first house before the wedding. I remember telling a friend soon after the wedding that I had been in love with the wedding itself. That was probably a clear indicator.

I am thankful for being married to him though, because I have my son. He is now happily married himself and is his own person. He has some of his dads more cautious traits, which hopefully won’t hold him back. But I think he has the intelligence to work things out for himself.

I stayed in the marriage after being cheated on

That too was a mistake. I should have got out before I did and certainly after I found out what a lier he was. Indeed my ex often struggled to know what the truth was. Years later when he no longer needed to tell lies he still did so. It was bizarre.

But my life has been better for the fact that we did carry on together. More of our life was happy than not and I am grateful for those happy memories. In fact the bad times fade from memory now I have distance between us. Over the past year our relationship has improved and I don’t dislike him as I once did. I’m grateful he is someone else’s problem, but happy to be his kind of friend.

I’ve stayed in jobs too long

I probably could have progressed my career and climbed higher up the ladder. But actually I am grateful for the stability I have had in my life along with the work life balance. I was able to take my son to school, take time off for concerts and plays and be there when he needed me. Promotion might have given us more material things, but we were always reasonably comfortable. Plus I have never had to work all hours because it is expected of me (not since I left clinical practice anyway).

Sometimes I’ve put my trust in the wrong people

We probably all have. Like many people, I have told people deep and personal things only for them to ghost me. I have also had confidences broken. But from where I sit now, I have few regrets. Friends come and go in life and that has to be accepted. I am sad that some people have listened to the word of others over mine, but that is something we cannot control. Life is one long learning curve and I no longer bear a grudge.

I met Master at the right time

Master and I have spoken a lot about the what ifs. What if we had met sooner, perhaps had a child together. But the question is always whether we would have found each other and even then if we would have been attracted.

We are right together for this time in our life and I am grateful for that. There is no mistake in accepting that this is the life we have and I am grateful for mine.

#F4TFriday