Monday, 7 May 2012

Menopause and breasts

Menopause can bring substantial and startling changes in the breasts – so let me tell you a little of the story of me and my breasts. I tell it in the hope you can leverage the knowledge for your good or that of someone close to you.

When they first appeared I found them inconvenient – they split my nicest dresses at the arms, bounced and were painful. Sheesssh! Bras were uncomfortable and chaffed to the point of torture – why do people think seams rubbing on one of the most delicate areas of the body is a good idea????

Note: Some people, both men and women, have very sensitive breasts and nipples and some do not. Forcing someone to wear a rough material (or indeed a silky, sensual material) can be torture or at least elicit inappropriate sensations.

ANYWAY – for roughly the next 30 years I did not think much about my breasts except to ensure modesty and to make sure they did not hurt. I appreciated them for being small and pert as I did not need to wear a bra and generally they kept out of the way. It did not really occur to me that breasts could be attractive to men. Yes REALLY!

Then came incipient menopause. First my breasts lost some density. I was shocked, but tried to think positively. They were still pert, I could still wear my tailored blouses and actually as they gained a little swing, they looked bigger! BONUS! By now I realised men were REALLY attracted to breasts!

Then as my hormones finally stopped, my breasts suddenly slumped and slipped down my chest – since the change was so sudden it was more shocking. I am sure my nipples are 5 cm lower than they were. I can no longer wear many of my tops without a bra. I was DEVASTATED! Cue real grieving!

Note: It is truly alarming and there is real grieving when a part of your body changes/deteriorates so much. It is natural to grieve and feel desperate and sad and willing to do anything to get back what you have lost. Rather than do something irreversible in desperation - like with anything – it’s best to wait a while and work through your feelings.

So now I have a choice – wear very camouflaging top garments to hide my sagging breasts or wear a bra! Goodness – the struggle continues to find bras that will not chaff and which are comfortable. Added to the usual complaints, my less dense breast tissue does not hold the bra down so well, so inevitably the band slips up over a little of my lower breast tissue and as well crushes some of the tissue on the side of my breasts. This can be UNBEARABLE! <sigh>

…time has passed ….

Even though I may be uncomfortable when I choose to wear a bra, I’ve developed a much more positive attitude to my breasts as they are now. They are still soft and nice to touch and they still look great with the right undergarments. They even seem to be a little larger … and … best of all, Awesome still likes them just as much. Really, I’ve got nothing to complain about!

Note: Lovers and partners are really important in maintaining one’s self esteem and self-perception of attractiveness. Be patient and listen and also know when to short-circuit obsessive concern with body changes that are natural and, well, not so important in the big picture. Above all, if you find us attractive, we’ll be more likely to believe we are attractive! 

Two orchids of suprising beauty!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

In praise of friends with (social) benefits (again)

 The Love of My Life is not in town - apologies sent and accepted graciously – but still I am alone on a long weekend. Billy like the gallant soul-twin-knight he is came to my rescue to escort me to an iconic festival. He’s dating currently, so I was happy he had time for me!

Really – I am so thankful for Billy and need to mention again the importance of platonic friends.

So many older people are alone and particularly older men may have no-one to hug them and look after them. There is so much value in questioning and rejecting social norms that insist on alienation and social isolation.

Billy and I are maintaining a framework of social connection and support that should continue right into our golden years and which will not depend on being lucky enough to be in a happy marriage with a living partner (who also happens to be in town). 

Peace and happiness to all ...