When I tell people that, like my mother before me, I’m going through menopause in my mid thirties, I’m met with disbelief and often pity. I’m going to tell you right now that this is absolutely no friggin’ joke. We think of menopause and a picture of a woman in her 60s comes to mind, and that woman never turns into the mentally unstable, head spinning, pea-soup-spitting she-bitch that is me at my worst these days. To be fair, I do remember my own mother acting like a crazy person who was at best unpredictable and at worst… Well, see above.
I knew this burden would likely be mine as well; genetics are relentless that way. I thought that since I was armed with the knowledge of my youth and the conversations of later years with my mom that I’d be able to see and prevent such insanity from ever sinking its teeth into me. Boy was I wrong.
Take today, for example.
I woke up pretty happy, drank my coffee, was still okay, and when hubby called to tell me there had been a SNAFU at the military pharmacy regarding my meds, I lost my mind. I morphed into the equivalent of a mindless rage monster who couldn’t be appeased. Did I know I was being ridiculous? Yes. Was it THAT vital that it couldn’t be worked out? No. Could I stifle the all consuming rage that had blocked out the sun? Nope. That’s the bitch of it all… I saw myself all sweaty and screeching and I think that even pissed me off more.
It escalated very quickly and everyone bore the brunt of it. My kids were just being their typical kid-selves and they got it directed their way for a short time. The woman at the mini mart narrowly escaped a full-on ass chewing because she called me sweetheart, and my husband (who had gone out of his way to pick up my medication) also suffered at the hands of evil me. I’m so glad I am now barricaded behind a locked bedroom door where no one can get to me.
That woman who takes over is mad, I tell you. MAD!! And she’s me.
I don’t know what to do at those times when I feel such anger bubbling up. It’s a horrible, helpless feeling, and I can’t even imagine what the people around me, my loved ones as a whole, feel when it happens. My parting words to my daughter as I exited the living room for the relative safety of my bedroom were, “I know I’m being an asshole and I’m sorry. I’m going to my room and hopefully I’ll get my head right.” She was thankful, I think. I know I would’ve been.
I can deal with most of the crap that menopause has brought my way. The hot flashes and night sweats that make you feel that you’re boiling from the inside and are surely going to die are no picnic. When you’re suddenly POURING sweat in a place that would be inappropriate and/or illegal to get naked sucks.
Then there are the little gems like weight gain, the messed up periods and accompanying cramps and pain, the change in libido, the hair loss, the sag in your still-young skin, the knowledge that having another child would be foolish… These things all suck and they’re hard to learn to live with, but they are nothing compared to the hormonal monster that rides a woman mercilessly.
So now I reach into my head and carefully probe around to see if shit is still all Linda Blair. I’m still unreasonably angry about things I shouldn’t even take personally, and that tells me I’m not fit for the general populace. The circle continues… And that makes me angry once again.
See? It’s no joke. Menopause wasn’t meant for young women to endure. We aren’t mellow enough yet. Or maybe I’m not strong enough. Either way, it sure feels like I’ve locked us all up in the lion’s cage and thrown away the key. It’s going to get better, I know, but it sure feels like a life sentence. I’ll hang in there, keep trying to convince the docs that I’m not nuts, and hope the exorcist moments don’t come more often.
I could probably use a hug, but I’m sweating my ass off and don’t need the extra body heat. Plus, I may bite at any time, so how about a wave and the knowledge that we all go through it and will fare so much better if we stick together.