The spectrum of emotions a woman feels when perimenopausing - all in a day!

Pause! I am perimenopausing

Kamala Aithal

Two months ago, my daughter’s friend turned 18.  His mother had posted a collage of pictures of his on FB, since his birth  - all happy, growing up pictures.  I have known this boy for the last two years and I am fond of him.  But crying looking at these pictures – blah?

Between wanting to bite off people’s head to being extremely vulnerable – my mood swings wildly, is putting it mildly! No marks for guessing that I am perimenopausal (PM). What a sneak attack in our youth obsessed culture!  Boo hoo!! People don’t talk about it, it's almost like the last taboo in a woman’s life. It is not just me saying it.

Turning 40 and feeling a wave of emotions? It's Perimenopause
Image: Wikimedia Commons

My gynec threw me out of her office (ever so gently) asking me to come back if I am bleeding to death or equivalent.  My mother never warned me and I never saw her hyperventilating in her 40s.  My husband exasperatedly tells me (well almost) that I am overdoing the PM bit.  My teenage daughter is busy dealing with her own design issues currently.  My younger female friends don’t want to talk about it (as if it is a disease that they would contract just by talking about it), my older friends and sisters think that I kick up a fuss (whoever said public memory is short, is a genius) and friends of my age tell me to go to hell, while they are dealing with their own miseries. I feel friendless and abandoned – there, you see!

On a more serious note, I tried explaining how wretched I feel some days, to a friend who has a doctorate in Psychology.  She seemed to believe that it is all in our heads.  She went on to add, if a woman felt depressed when she were 30, she couldn’t blame it on PM; deal with it the same way today. Duh! What appalled me even more is her opinion that PM doesn't touch a career woman. I don't understand why?

Approaching 40: Caution men! Treat your menopausing wives with care

PM is real and it drives me crazy.  I feel like doing nothing for days on and some days I want to turn the house upside down. I over share on social network and alternate between being too clingy or totally aloof.  I weep over little something and sulk for no reason.  I am on an eat-right drive for 3 days but kill that with a chocolate drive for the next three weeks! I go crazy if the kitchen is not in order, get crazier while the kitchen is being put in order - the clank of utensils and clanging of cutlery and crockery, that seems about enough to burst the blood vessels in my brain. Some days I am chasing business like my life depended on it and on others, I find phone calls and meetings tedious. Insomnic too and books are not as comforting any more. 

Menopause is not just a happy ending of menstruation cycle, stomach cramps, back aches, PMS and trips to chemist to buy sanitary pads and tampons.  Menopause is preceded by perimenopausal stage, which can be stressful and depressing for women. There is enough and more to read and know about it in the www world.  So I am not about to belabour. 

What would certainly help the situation is an understanding and sensitive partner. A partner married to / living with a perimenopausal woman, unfortunately is also on a roller-coaster of emotions whether he likes it or not.  While you are on a rough ride Mister, remember, there are no ready reckoners or life saving manuals.  I am giving away a few unsolicited pointers, which MAY work as effective shock absorbers ; but hey, nothing is being guaranteed here.  

Dos and Don'ts for men on how to treat their perimenopausing wives

  • Don’t pretend you understand PM distresses.  Go read and get some hormone enlightenment!
  • Don’t tell your PM wife / partner to calm down – she wishes she could, believe me, you!
  • You find her overreacting and heightened OCD traits. If you want to help, don’t put her in a situation. Don’t spill your drink or drop your glass or be too glued to your smart phone and START being attentive
  • Don’t crowd her, neglect her neither – Goldilocks treatment, if you know what I mean!
  • Do not intrude in her turf – now more than ever! She is vulnerable as hell; she would either suffer more self-esteem issues or kill you for interfering.  You don’t want to deal with either
  • While every woman suffers PM, at one level, your own insensitivities have come to bite your backside.  Learning the hard way? Pushed to a corner to learn to be sensitive and receptive to your lady? I agree I sound like a feminist; but you sure know there is truth in it! So, learn to pamper her for a few years, even if it is mildly exhausting.
  • You have no uterus, so your opinion isn't really from experience. Just trust her.

So long!

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