Putting my own mask on before I can help Alun.

My family used to fly a lot when I was younger. I think we went on at least 1 overseas holiday a year. Mom and Dad loved them. I’m a homebody and would much prefer to be at home than on holiday but when you’re younger, you have to go with your parents whether you like it or not.


Whenever we boarded a plane, they’d do the ‘safety demonstration’ where they point up and down the aisles and blow delicately on whistles attached to life jackets. I was always dubious of being able to be that delicate and ladylike during the middle of a crisis with a plane going down, but whatever.

What I’ve always found strange was their warning that if the oxygen masks came down, we were to ‘affix the mask firmly to your face before helping others’. I thought that was downright selfish and would balk at that part whenever it was mentioned.

Pfft. Stupid.

Luckily for me, I’ve aged and have since figured out that if you DON’T put your own oxygen mask on FIRST, you RUN OUT OF AIR and you pass out…and probably die.

Right now – marriage wise – Alun and I are in a plane with its wings on fire, the engines blown and we’re crashing. We’re plummeting to the ground. We’re both terrified.

I desperately want to look after Alun but if I don’t put my mask on, then I’ll be no good to either of us.

In this metaphor, Alun is struggling with me and my mask. He’s REFUSING to put his own on and is stopping me putting mine over my face. What this looks like in real life is that Alun is having 3 weeks off next week with his parents. They’re going on holiday around WA. I’ll be working 45 hours a week every week that Al’s away on holiday. I asked Alun if it would be okay to have 3 DAYS off this week from work as I’m really, really struggling and ALUN SAID NO.

It’s fine for him to rest and recover, but Alun said I have to keep going into work.

This has broken my heart and the more I think about it, MAKES ME FURIOUS. It’s making me mad because it isn’t fair. How is Alun allowed 3 WEEKS off and I can’t have 3 days??? Why is he placing himself front and center when I’m suffering, too?

So I have to fight for air, right now.

I have to ignore Alun and I have to put my own mask on, give it time to clear my head and then I can assess and figure out how to help Alun.

I’m struggling with how to help when I’m really angry with him, but that’s something I’ll deal with later.

My issue has to be my own mask.

What this looks like in real life is taking tomorrow off.

I’m going to the beach with a book. I’m going to rest. I’m going to journal. I’ll probably blog. I’M NOT GOING TO ASK ALUN’S PERMISSION TO HEAL, I’M JUST GOING TO DO IT.

I know what works best for me and that’s rest. Complete rest. I need a day away from work, away from the house, away from responsibilities and away from Alun, too.

Wish me luck.

7 responses to “Putting my own mask on before I can help Alun.”

  1. I read your post from yesterday and then today. I don’t know if the moon is in a phase, as I also have been going through a very tough time – and I’m not sure why.
    I have found a bit of help though, whereas my counselor’s advice has been rather unhelpful, I have turned to God. I made a playlist on Spotify that speaks to the pain and stress that I feel so often and I think so many people feel.
    I really hope you have Spotify and can give it a listen and soak in the words of hope that I found in the music.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. P.S. You are loved πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This is wonderful, OA, thank you so much. Turning to God is always going to bring peace and often a new perspective on pain which we couldn’t have come up with ourselves. Sending you big hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe this isn’t the right thing to say. Maybe I’m approaching this in a bad way. If I am, I’m sorry.
    Having put up with all the abuse that I’ve had in my life I wouldn’t tolerate that attitude from anyone. To me, that’s just plain selfish for someone to tell me they’re going to take 3 weeks off, but I’m not allowed to take 3 days off.
    I’m sorry, Janet. This just really triggered me. Don’t get me wrong. You’re not to blame. I mean people like that really trigger me.
    I probably didn’t help you at all, plus you’re not looking for advice. You just need to vent. I understand that. Lord knows I’ve done enough venting in my life. Sorry I couldn’t be more supportive of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are supportive and I’m so thankful that you listened to me ranting and took my side in this one, Catwoman. Very petty of me, I know…but you’ve made me feel seen and heard. I can’t thank you enough for that.

      I’m really sorry this triggered you, though πŸ˜” you’ve been through hell and have been badly hurt so I can understand why this would upset you. I hope you’re ok now xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, you didn’t trigger me in the sense that I couldn’t get my equilibrium back. I never lost it in the first place.
        I’m perfectly fine, my friend. Never apologize for needing to speak out when you see an injustice has been done to you. What you have to say is just as valid as anyone.
        Lord knows, I’ve done my share of having my say. This is your blog and you have every right to post what you want.
        You are a very brave and strong person and should be commended for saying it like it is. πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, Janet, I’m so sorry things are really so tough for you right now. It must be an awful situation to be in. I wish I could be there to hold your hand, but I’m not, so I’m leaving a message instead.

    I think you are right about putting your own mask on first. Without that, you will be unable to help anyone, not even yourself. Have you got your mask firmly strapped on now? I do hope so. Having been through dreadful mental health problems, I really feel for you. I think you have more courage than you give yourself credit for.

    I hope I’m not speaking out of turn here (and I apologise If I am), but who the hell gave Alun permission to tell you what to do and in such mean words? He’s going away for three weeks’ holiday, but you ‘have’ to go to work however bad you’re feeling. Is he giving you a reason why you can’t have three days off? From what you write, I don’t think he is. I might be wrong, of course (and again, if I am, I’m sorry). Could you wait until he leaves and then schedule those days off from work with your boss, as she sounds very understanding? I appreciate you might not want to go behind Alun’s back, but you have to put you first if you are to be any help to yourself or Alun.

    I won’t write anymore because I know you do need to get this off of your chest and rant, as your other reader has said. I hope ranting has given you some relief. We all need to do this at times, and, as they say, it’s better out than in, so please don’t feel you have to take note of what I’ve said if it is of no help. I will understand. In the meantime, I’m sending you lots of love and healing and comforting hugs. Xxx πŸ’™πŸ’œπŸ’šπŸ’œπŸ’™

    Liked by 1 person

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