As I write, the pain flows through me. I can’t begin to describe the overwhelming feelings of depression, frustration, anger…. I just know I’m so sick of being ok one moment then being a weepy mess. And I’m running out of cheap crockery to throw.
This is what menopause is like. No one tells you about this part of the process. You’ll always hear about the periods you’ll never miss, or the hot-flashes. It’s been nearly three years since I’ve had a cycle. That much is true – I don’t miss that mess. Hot-flashes? Yeah, they’re inconvenient, but easily dealt with. It’s this last stop on the Menopause Express I could do without.
I can’t speak for all families. I came from a highly dysfunctional family. Mom was never comfortable with her age, much less, herself. I remember her being “29” on her birthday for so many years, until I innocently asked her one year why she stayed the same age but I kept getting older. She dodged the answer, but the next year, she was “30”. Mom never talked about “the change” when it hit. She never told my sister or me what to expect, other than, “Oh, my God! It’s hot in here!” And her moods were never stable. But then again, her moods were never stable, so that was hardly noticeable.
My sister is six years older than me. I was always grateful, growing up, to have her around. When puberty hit I knew what to expect because I saw her go through the process. My sister and I were close (and still are); I could ask her questions. She taught me how to shave my legs, and all the other girly-things one needs to know when puberty strikes. But menopause has been different. The change struck both of us at the same time. We have each other to talk to, but no one to learn from.
That got me wondering, “how many women are in this same situation?” By the time they hit that point in their lives, are their mothers still around? If they’re lucky enough to have mom around, what if mom was the type that never talked about these things? If you come from that family, chances are, you aren’t going to go asking mom about what’s happening to your body by the time you’re in your 40’s or 50’s. Are you one to talk about what’s happening to your body?
That was when I decided to start writing.