Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Pause

This post may make it WAY into the realm of TMI for more than a few. But it is what is is. It's what is going on in my life and it is what I want to write about. So any skittish or cowardly readers who don't want to think about or discuss THE PAUSE may exit now.

For the last 4 months or so, I have been more than mildly worried that I have been losing my mind. Seriously. No, really - seriously. While on vacation in Colorado with my family this summer, I burst into tears many times, successfully (or not?) hiding my daytime crying spells and crying myself to sleep more nights than not. I had to soak my face in cold water every morning to try to diminish the puffy eyelids I get when I cry at night so my parents and siblings and nieces and nephews wouldn't think I had been transformed into a monster. This fall, I have found myself driving down Rt. 199 here in the Burg, sobbing - SOBBING - SOBBING over the fact that my kids were growing up (duh! It's what happens! They grow up!). I'm talking, not able to breathe, gasping, horrific earth-shaking sobbing. I have yelled at friends (well, I didn't realize I was yelling at the time, but she interpreted it that way, given the raised voice and all) and have found myself wandering the halls of the high school with tears streaming down my face. I have had knock down drag out emotional nosedives with both of my children. In all of these cases, there was a part of me there that was barely cognizant of what was going on, was horrified at my out-of-control behavior, and was completely unable U.N.A.B.L.E. to stop it. I have felt like a possessed woman and have been terrified that I am losing my mind. Seriously. At times other than these horrific emotional upheavals, I have felt completely out of sorts, unnatural, different, unsettled, and unhappy in general. I have been attributing this feeling to the stress of balancing raising my kids with my job and with being band booster president and with keeping the lives of so many people just moving in the right direction in general, but it didn't seem right. I've been stressed before and I haven't fallen apart like this. I have been struggling to simply keep it together, to simply make it from day to day. I have been on the phone with my parents so many times lately, having called them in a near panic, and found myself with tears streaming down my face and unable to articulate what was wrong, so I would pretend I had just called to say hi.

I have finally figured it out. Each of my enormous emotional upheavals have been accompanied the next day by, ahem, Auntie Flo. I have not had PMS like this since I was a teenager going through puberty (and maybe not even then). I've not felt such emotions since my hormones were undergoing the enormous fluctuations of puberty - the enormous fluctuations like those that also occur in..... (ahem) perimenopause.

Excuse me a moment, but....


Well that certainly explains it. Coincidentally, as my daughter's body is entering a new phase, as it is undergoing enormous changes and hormonal fluctuations, so am I. As she begins, so I end.

It was huge relief to realize that 1) I've not been making this up - I really have been going through something different and major the last 4 months, and 2) there is an explanation for it. It is also profoundly sad for me. It seems like it hasn't been that long since the whole female adventure started. How can it be that I am at the end already? It's not like I wanted more children. I already have the two most perfect children anyone could want or need. It's just.... so final.

At least I know what's happening now, and can talk to my doctor about something that might help. How horrible and terrifying for women long ago who might not have had information available. It's not been a good several months. I truly thought I was losing my mind. I can only hope that now that I understand, things will be better and I won't be as confused and worried about my sanity. Maybe I'll figure out a way to stop crying and maybe my kids will stop being afraid of being in the same room with me.

I don't believe in god. But if there were one, I'd have a few choice words for him. I say "him" with careful certainty because no god with female characteristics would pull this kind of nasty joke on women in their middle age, after they successfully made it through the emotional upheaval of puberty and bearing children. No. A female deity would not do this.

And so it goes. Time passes, and people age. Things are still good, and I'll still find the happiness out there...especially when this hormonal crap is over. Until then, keep the wine coming and send lots of happy vibes and wishes of patience to my sweet husband.

Ride the Pause. Wheeeeee!!!!


Holly Jahangiri said...

While it's hard to imagine you "out of control," it's very easy to relate to what you're going through. It does get better.

Why do we always assume that a "deity" would be benign and good according to OUR definition of the word, though?

Counterentropy said...

Jen, one year ago this was me. I did a number of things, and now I'm some better. I will send you email about what I did (way too private for a blog :-).

Can I just say, my daughter cusses nature on my behalf when I Aunt Flo visits. She thinks it's just unfair, when it's clear to the world that I'm DONE with this phase.

More in email, BB. I hear you!

Dr. Eviatar said...

No advice (given my family, I could easily go on for another five years, groan) but lots of hugs and love coming from here.

Polli said...

Oh honey! I'm glad you are figuring it out and that you are lighting the way for my eventual breakdown... at which point you will kindly remind me of all this. :-)

Kanga Jen said...

Thank you, all... xoxoxoxoxo!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, take care of yourself. You must before you can take care of your precious family. Wish I could help.

Lynne Thompson said...

Yikes, this sounds so hard. I know you are smart and methodical too, so you will figure it out.
Love and hugs LT