Perimenopause is a word I recently got to know better. The thing is I have fibromyalgia and some symptoms are the same as when a woman enters the perimenopause so you don’t really know where the fibromyalgia ends and where the perimenopause begins. What I experienced recently I described in a few scenes.
Scene number one – Hot flashes:
I’m taking my child to her dancing activity. It’s winter, zero Celsius degrees. Still, when I enter my car I’m already dripping with sweat. During my 10 minute drive, I start to undress and until the entrance of the dancing center I’ve already taken off my jacket and my sweater and I’m wearing a T-shirt now. Other parents and children are of course in winter jackets the fluffy, warm ones. However, I’m in my pink T-shirt. I didn’t even bother to put my jacket on while getting out of the car. I just took my child and marched right into the building half naked knowing that if I had a west on me the sweat would be breaking out of me like someone was squeezing the shit out of the freshly soaked mop. Still when I’m trying to unbutton my daughter and take off her shoes a little bead of sweat runs down my moistened forehead.
Scene number two – Sleeping Problems :
It’s 10.30 I’m ready to go to sleep. I feel very tired. Actually, I felt very tired the whole day. I close my eyes and the sleep is not coming. I read, relax, I count sheep and finally, I’m asleep. Next scene, I’m awake ready to get up. I seat in my bed, try to find my sleepers. Take off my sleeping mask and my earplugs. I look for the clock to see what time is it and it says 4.30. Is that right, I think. Maybe it stopped working? I turn on my iPad. It says 4.30!!! I lay down in bed again and looking at the sealing I think how sad I feel…
Scene number three – Sadness:
I’m sad. I’ve never felt this sad before. Anxious – yes, but sad-no, not like that. Not sad because I’m sick or someone else is sick or I just got fired. Sad without any reason. Sad, wondering when I smiled the last time. Why don’t I smile and feel happy anymore? When was the last time I felt joyful and alive, I ask myself. It was in my twenties! Yes, my smile was last seen in my twenties, I conclude. And for the first time ever I’m sad because my twenties are behind me. I don’t really think of the things I did in my twenties, because honestly I did nothing, but I remember the happy feeling. And the feeling is gone.
Scene number four – Social Anxiety:
There is a group of people, a gathering. Some of them I know well, some of them I don’t know. The woman is telling a joke and everyone is laughing. Everyone but me. I’m still trying to understand the last joke the woman told. And then, of course, my thoughts lead me to the woman telling the jokes and how brave she was telling jokes in front of the crowd while the lacking of general knowledge doesn’t bother her at all and making linguistic errors but not feeling embarrassed about it even when someone corrects her…
Then some guy says “Why aren’t you laughing?” And I turn toward the person asking with a pensive look on my face not really knowing what to say…Sorry I was just admiring this woman’s courage…Or… I was thinking of my many flaws…
And then the woman beside the guy says “Because she is a hypochondriac” and I know it is a reference to the joke but I feel deeply hurt because the last thing I am is hypochondriac. I have a few illnesses that I fight on a daily basis, but now I’m also in the f….g menopause and everything anyone says I experience potentiated. So when I get to be called hypochondriac I feel frustrated and it gets so intense that I could run to the toilet and cry like a schoolgirl or miss the next twenty jokes because I’m too upset about how unfair I was judged…
Scene number five – Blame it on the husband :
I just came home from one of my daughter’s activities. I’m taking off my shoes and making sure my young and spirited dog doesn’t take one to chew it up. Few feet further my daughter is yelling and crying because the same dog is jumping all over her and chewing her hat.
My husband is coming into the scene and doesn’t really say “Hi” but rather “Maya you’ve put the paper box in the wrong trash can. Why Maya, why? You know we have a place for paper”, and frankly I know but right that second I was juggling many things at the same time and I chose to postpone doing some of them… let’s just say I don’t have enough energy to do everything at once. Still, he is proceeding with his list “And why did you take a new towel for the dog, the old is still good” now he is following me to the kitchen and talking while I’m preparing a dinner for my daughter, “ And you left the clothes in a washing machine. Now they’ll be….”
I don’t listen anymore but I feel guilt growing in me for all the things I “did wrong” and my hormones are screaming inside me and I explode “Why don’t you shut up, just shut up and leave me alone. Why can’t you do it yourself if you think I did something wrong. I’m always doing something wrong, I can’t stand it anymore…” And the bottle is opened, the bubbles of words and tears are spilling all over the room. “ I don’t do anything right. You’re just the best, the best in everything, even in choosing the towel for the dog. Well then, choose the towel and take out the clothes and put the paper where it goes because it sure seems I can’t do anything right.” Demonstratively I leave the living room and my perplexed looking husband and go to my sleeping room to mourn the loss of my twenties.
And that my friends are the many beautiful side-effects of being in menopause…So if your wife suddenly wants to pack her things and leave you for a few days or your husband decides he needs a cabriolet or a motorbike don’t judge them they are probably experiencing the effects of menopause or andropause and they need you to put that twenty-something smile back on their faces.
Read more about me in my memoirs, Luna Tree and Pursuit of change or travel through Europe and have a laugh by reading one of my chicks lit novels, Girls with no plan and Zagreb, Milan, Nice, Barcelona ( The summer of heartache and fickleness ).