Determining priorities

I’ve written a bit about the pressures I felt were on me in the run up to Christmas. I have loved family Christmas’ in the past and mourn their passing. Well, I thought I did. Because this festive period taught me that I need to be clearer about what is important and necessary and what would be nice. I also realised in my end of year reflections the extent to which I have started to revert to type. That is, trying to organise everyone and then being upset when everyone doesn’t welcome my efforts.

Master and I have spent far too much time over the past two weeks discussing what happened and what was wrong with it. For him, the priority is to be as stress free as possible. He says he hates Christmas, I don’t actually think he does. What he really dislikes is conforming to expectations, spending too much money, watching crap TV and over eating. All of which are symptoms of this time of year. He has no objection to spending time with others (i.e. my family members), but he wants to be in control of who, for how long and when.

These events now make me think of the rest of the year. How do we determine where our priorities lie and how do we ensure that we do what we want. We plan to focus much of this year around the knowledge I should have reconstruction surgery in the second part of the year. So we are thinking about what events we will attend, trips and holidays we will take and who else we need to consider in those plans. But those plans will only be for the first half of the year, until around July.

We’ve been fortunate since I gave up work, that we can be flexible with dates. Also that we are able to do so many things we want to do. We don’t have other dependents, though our priorities need to include others. Master, quite rightly wants to see his daughter more often than of late. Likewise I want to spend time with my son and daughter in law. Perhaps in past years we have prioritised ourselves. Plus of course in 2018 I was preparing to move, working my notice and getting diagnosed with breast cancer.

What I’ve come to realise is that getting my priorities wrong leads to anxiety and stress not only in me but in Master. By choice our life together is busy and because of that we need to build in down time and plenty of it. Time when we may be doing things together, but equally where we have our own priorities. We both like to spend time alone even if we are in the same house, or sometimes even the same room.

This needs to be factored in when we go and visit others. We spent two nights at my mum’s followed by one in a hotel. The two nights with mum were in hindsight a mistake. We struggled to escape from her misery, the TV and her smoking. The night in the hotel was bliss. But it wasn’t alone time, far from it. Instead we lunched with my son and daughter in law and spent the evening with her family.

Although I’ve used Christmas as the example here, this is about a much bigger issue. It’s about balancing my and our needs with those of others. And it is about planning how we better manage times that could prove stressful. I guess you could say that a plan is forming to make sure that happens.

Christmas stresses

The run up to Christmas has been a little fraught. It shouldn’t have been, but a series of events at the weekend seem to have sent me off kilter. So much so that I am really not looking forward to the journey to my mum’s later today. I truly wish we were staying at home. However we must go and spend two nights with her, even though she won’t be at all grateful. What’s more she will probably spend most her waking hours watching TV. Something she never did in the past. So, back to the series of events.

Friday

We went into London and saw a film. It was a Danish film, Ordet (The Word), made in 1955. It is very well made and obviously subtitled. But it was really quite harrowing and very moving. A woman dies following childbirth and is subsequently resurrected by her brother in law who believes himself to be Jesus Christ. At the time I wondered if this was a suitable and fitting film so close to Christmas, but on reflection it probably was. Since it is about the small mindedness of people and the way in which we disregard people we believe to be mad. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Saturday

We arrived home late on Friday night, but I slept well. I was up early on Saturday morning and set off to my mum’s at about 10. She has been completely disinterested in Christmas this year. I’ve found her irritating, though I know she is down because of a fall she had a few weeks ago. This resulted in a leg ulcer which the nurse at the GP surgery has been dressing. Thankfully it is healing, but she has been very miserable about it. Worried I would be late, I didn’t stop off to pick up the parcel I needed to collect from the post office. Instead I headed straight onto the motorway.

Traffic was quite heavy, the road was wet though it was a sunny morning. It had obviously rained a lot over night. People were driving erratically, speeding up and slowing down and changing lane – a lot!. Only 20 minutes into my journey the cars ahead of me slowed and then the one in front stopped. I was in the outside lane of a busy motorway, driving at about 50 mph. But I stopped and didn’t hit the car in front. Unfortunately the car behind me hit me and then behind us was absolute carnage. Thankfully no one hit the car that hit me, but behind people crashed into each other at an alarming rate. I looked back with horror that I had caused it all. Though of course I hadn’t. Thankfully no one was badly hurt or killed, we all had an amazingly lucky escape.

My mum was very understanding that I needed to turn round and go home. I felt nervous just driving those few miles. The car is drivable but damaged quite badly at the back. So of course there was the insurance company to call etc. Later I called mum and said Master and I would travel there for the day on Sunday, get the shopping and take her out for some dinner. She didn’t sound happy, but accepted it.

In the evening we went to our local pub. They had an older couple running a disco, of old favourites. We got up to dance and had a fabulous time. Unfortunately someone dropped some of their drink on the floor and next thing I was on my backside. I had bashed my knee and almost did the splits. Still, no massive damage I thought and we walked home.

Sunday

I woke realising that I probably should have put an ice pack on my knee before going to bed. It was really painful and swollen. However I can walk on it and I don’t think it’s anything serious. It still hurts but is getting better each day now.

We set off for Mum’s in good time to get to the shops etc (Master drove). But for some reason I didn’t realise that they would all close at 4pm (usual Sunday trading times). We got to her in good time, but she was watching an old film. I tried a couple of times to get her to go out before the end of the film, she was recording it on her sky box anyway. At one point during that hour, she stated that she has little interest in Christmas this year!.

Anyway by the time we got out of the house and to the supermarket it was closing in 5 minutes. So we went and had dinner early. Then we went back to her place, I wrapped up some of the presents I had bought for her to give to other people. Then we left. I don’t begrudge seeking her, but neither of us were happy that we had travelled 4 hours (there and back) for a rather substandard meal out and everything still to do on Monday.

We did have a lovely bath together after we went home which was great for my sore knee.

Monday

We went out in the morning to buy presents for my 5 nephews and nieces on my mums behalf. We then bought all the food to take to her place. Unable to find some of the items I wanted in our local supermarket we then walked back down into town. Probably not the best thing for my knee, but it felt par for the course.

Tuesday (Christmas Eve)

I feel better for writing this quite whiny post. I’ve collected my brother’s present from the post office (see Saturday). The car in booked in to be repaired on Monday next week and I’ll have a hire car.

Sitting here writing this I feel grateful that I am going to be able to see my mum and other family. I have a day with my son and daughter in law to look forward to on Thursday and of course Master and I will be together. The events on Saturday could so easily have changed everything.

But I do hope my mum cheers up today (she has some grandchildren visiting this afternoon). Because I really want to be happy and not miserable myself.

Next year, I would like to go away. Let’s see what happens.

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

Being apart

I arrived home last night, after a week away with my mum. There was so much I missed about being apart from Master. This felt worse because being away with mum made me recognise the changes I have made and why I would never go back.

For so many years I was forced to take the lead in decision making.

My husband struggled to make the most simple decisions. His libra birth sign (the scales) may be relavent, but whatever the reason it was most irritating.

We also led our lives within the constraints of family. My mother especially was dominant and my dad liked us to go along with her wishes. This caused conflict in our own relationship as well as mine with them. But more often than not we did as they wanted.

The last 10 years has seen a lot of change. My husband and I separated, my son and his cousins grew up and moved away, my dad got cancer and died. But more profound from my point of view, I discovered my submission and found myself a new partner who happens to be my Master. I still make decisions but not all decisions and I don’t feel I need to please anyone outside of our relationship.

My mum is a difficult woman to like. She has a sharp tongue, one embittered by perceived wrongs. None of her children do quite enough and decisions we made together are viewed with contempt. She says she is grateful for the things I do, but I know she talks about me to others.

In this context I left the safe environment of my home and took my mum away to Cyprus for a week.

The hotel, weather and food were all good. But always there is an undercurrent of displeasure. She complained about many things and when I made suggestions about how to make things better she would sit with a pained expression. Decisions were for me to make, but when I did they weren’t right either.

Then there was the fact we shared a room. I’ve come home sleep deprived because of the amount she moves around. Plus the sounds she makes in her sleep. I’ve tried to be calm and cheerful. But I have missed Master a lot. Not just because I’d rather sleep with him than my mum. Or because I like that I don’t have to decide on restaurants, or wine. His presence is calming but unfortunately it wouldn’t be if he had been with me. They don’t really get on. My mum never liked any of her children’s partners, though this is denied. So her not liking Master was no real surprise.

I also missed the fun things Master and I tend to do together, the places we go and things we see. That isn’t so much fun alone. My mum is happy to travel for 5 hours on a plane and do nothing when she gets there. On the positive side, I’ve caught up on sleep and rest on a sun bed, read an entire book and enjoyed the pool and sea.

But sadly every minute with my mum reminds me of my life before and to be frank I don’t want it back. She is elderly now, just turned 80. I am doing my best to make her life pleasant and help her do things she wants. But I won’t compromise my own happiness any more. I am glad to be back.

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

Thoughts of distress

Do you now find, or have you ever found, anything distressing or uncomfortable about your sexual thoughts, fantasies, desires, or actions? Is there anything that you want or need that you have trouble asking for or are reticent to admit because it makes you blush? Have you had any experiences that have caused you embarrassment?

For an apparently liberated woman, my mother was oddly repressed. Especially when it came to discussing sex and relationships with us children. She was keen that I didn’t sleep with my boyfriend, mainly because that way I wouldn’t get pregnant. She used to tell me and my brothers not to touch ourselves, I don’t know why. What I am sure about it that they ignored her, but I did as she said, at least for a while. The thought of upsetting her caused me more distress than not doing what I wanted.

The embarrassment of youthful sexual feelings and desire are long gone. But there is still something a little repressed about me. Even the me who is willing to strip naked for her lover before he applies restraints and then photographs her. I still find it difficult to ask for what I want and need. Half the time this is because I really don’t know and the other half because of some long held belief that it is wrong for girls to ask. Good and nice girls that is.

Back in the early days of marriage I was probably more forward with my desires. But later on after he had watched porn videos I struggled with the idea I should copy anything ‘those girls’ did. I do still have a problem with that. Master will sit watching porn on his phone and if it looks or sounds too false to me I find it a little embarrassing. Something deep inside me says, don’t look at that, it’s wrong. But of course it isn’t wrong and it is only as false as any acted film. The thing that I hate is the noises some of the participants make which seem incredibly fake. But who am I to judge whether they make those sounds when having sex with their boyfriends.

I am sure the subliminal and implicit messages from parents stay with us. My mum is and always was a strong influence in my life, not always in a good way. Even now, I often worry too much about what she thinks. Partly because she expresses her opinion so strongly. Even in my mid 50’s I find it difficult not to be affected by her. This is clearly stupid since my life is my own to live and anyway who cares what she would think. Mum has the habit of making me feel like I’m 15 again, with one short and cutting sentence. Thank goodness she has no idea I have a sex blog and take part in the activities I do. My history with mum meant that I found it difficult to talk about sex with anyone, including friends and my husband!

Thankfully now I have a relationship where discussing sex is required. To a great extent I have shaken my repression off. Writing this blog helps, because here I can write about an experience and then Master will use it as a source of discussion. I also have real life friends these days with whom I can speak. But strangely it is easier for me to discuss BDSM and kink than it is actual sex.

I guess it is difficult to shed the psychological influences of our teenage years. It certainly has been for me. Does this distress me? Not really, I am more frustrated. About the baggage I still carry and also the way I still allow my mum to control me. That isn’t all sex related but it is definitely part of the issue.

My body and me

I have always had difficult relationship with my body. I spent years believing I was fat and so hiding it away. Only to discover later, while looking back at old photos that I was slim. By then of course I’d put on a few stones. Before my pregnancy I had pretty small tits, but they grew and grew and thankfully stayed that way, even after I had breastfed.

Master says he likes my body, and that he wants something to grab hold of. I believe him and am comfortable in my own skin when I am around him. I love that he finds me sexy and arousing, even though I struggle to see it myself.

My mum has never held back from showing off her body. My son recently remarked that he found going holiday with nan a bit embarrassing, especially when she sunbathed topless. I never did so around him, partly after getting burnt in my youth, but mainly to avoid his blushes. Also, I thought I was fat, even when i wasn’t.

Hiding

Last Wednesday I arrived in Cyprus with my right breast covered in 2 large dressings. The day before, I attended a screening one stop clinic where I had 2 areas biopsied. A small area of calcium deposits was detected on the mammogram taken last month. The breast lump I had already found wasn’t seen on the xrays. I’m a nurse and I didn’t realise that would be the case. After much prodding, poking and an ultra sound scan, the area was biopsied. I still have a massive bruise to show for it.

The dressing was visible above my top, but if mum noticed it she said nothing. Sitting on the plane beside her, I wondered what I should say. As is often the case between she and I my decision was to say nothing. If the biopsies are negative she doesn’t need to know. However, since we are sharing a room this has presented a problem. And has led to me scurrying into the bathroom to dress, change and undress. It is a completely different situation to how things would be if I were home or indeed Master were here.

My reticence about speaking of my biopsy, of showing my body to others and in particular my mum exposes a deeper issue. She is not good with other people’s problems, she certainly managed to make my dad’s illness about her. But also we tolerate each other rather than enjoy each others company. Earlier in the week she actually described me as her carer, which I guess this week, I am.

But my inability to speak about the biopsy is also about me. It is about me coming to terms with changes in my own body. This summer I have developed a number of problems, including the lump. I am not healing as i did, bruises are taking longer to fade and disappear and there is something not right.

I don’t know if this is cancer or not, I will know on Thursday. But if it is, there will be no more hiding. If all is well, then maybe I need to take some lessons from this experience and value my body more. It’s the only one I have.

30th September

The outcome of the biopsy and next steps can be found here

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.

Just when you start to get complacent

Something happens.

The past few weeks, probably since Christmas have been great. I have settled into a routine which mainly involved working most of the week, spending my day off with my mum and weekends with Master.

This weekend coming though, I thought it would be nice to take mum to a town near where my brother lives and stay in a hotel – Sunday is mothers day here. I did that, forgetting that Master had booked us tickets for a concert. He was very understanding.

Sadly, the concert will win.

Mum is in hospital, having fractured her hip last evening. She is fine following surgery but her special weekend is off. I feel sad that the new outfit she bought on Monday and the hair cut she was due to have tomorrow will have to wait. But am happy she is doing ok post surgery.

The trouble is that having got her back on her feet and helping her to regain her confidence, after the last hospital stay, it all begins again.

I guess that is life!