I had never noticed anything special or different in my mothers’ behavior throughout month. She never said or expressed anything about those days. So, when I had my first period, I thought, somehow, I got injured and asked for medical help.
My periods started when I was 13 years old. I clearly remember it was without any pain, initially. I had normal school life. I studied like any other day and I didn’t remember of any mood swings, though I felt less hungry during those days. My mother got worried about my health and with the intention of getting some multivitamin health drink or appetite stimulant syrup, she took me to a doctor. She chose a lady doctor, so that I would be comfortable in discussing my periods with her. The lady doctor asked many questions: Is it painful? Do you feel anxious? I said ‘No’. She said ‘you don’t have to hide. It’s NORMAL if you feel these things.’ And she gave a health syrup.
This meeting changed something in me. I brooded over the word ‘NORMAL’ used by the lady doctor. Does this mean I am not normal? Does my mother suffer these things and hides? Is every other girl in my class is hiding it? Is it something to be kept hidden? Why the doctor was putting so much effort to make me say ‘yes’?
And strangely my next periods were painful. I cannot say that was natural or that was induced by my overthinking and trying to be ‘NORMAL’. I don’t know. But after that every period was a messy time in terms of pain and emotional stability. I became accustomed to TOM (time of the month). I ate less those days and mostly kept quiet. I was in hostel for my Post graduation course and I saw horrible things there. Girls cried out loud, some puked, some had stomach disorder and they had hot water bottles and some pain relieving pills. They turned edgy those days. This was what my lady doctor told me was ‘NORMAL’. I talked to other girls and they too accepted such things happening to them, but with low intensity. I again started thinking: what is wrong with me? Why am I not normal? And again, next time, I got little closer to be ‘NORMAL’ as I developed stomach disorder during periods. It was a down way journey, but I was satisfied and felt I am improving. Literally, I felt like improving.
I joined office and during those days I had more cups of tea and yet I had strong emotional stamina. None would predict that I was dating TOM those days. After delivering a baby girl, I chose to quit on my job and enjoyed life. I got time for myself and my lost friends. I created Orkut account and reconnected with many of my school and college buddies. Once, I was chatting with my friend and she said she is suffering ‘PMS’. I asked what that is. And she explained me very well with much details. I was overwhelmed. Oh! Now I have a decent scientific terminology for messy days and behavior. All of a sudden, I felt a large community out there suffering with me, though to a greater degree. I felt good about myself. After few months, I had verbal disagreement with one of my friends and I thought she was irrational and aggressive for no valid reason. After two weeks that friend came back to me and said “you know ‘PMS’, I was helpless”. I marveled how PMS can make you feel validated in whatever you do! It’s a great opportunity to go insane and still be validated. I won’t lie I was tempted to use test this. And who better than my dear hubby?
Next time, when I got angry at something I didn’t try to control myself and shouted, for the first time. After some time, I told him that I am sorry but I was helpless and you know its ‘PMS’. 😉
My hubby searched on internet about PMS and after that he tried to be rational and calmer during my PMS days. He became more tolerant to my weird mood swings and he took extra care of me during those days. So, connecting to a community and knowing terms helped me to be validated for all the strange behaviors I was adopting. Seriously, I was getting more and more into this trap. Earlier it was only periods and now I have a week for PMS as well. So, I was supposed to be cool, calm, rational and responsible for 15 days in a month. Rest 15 days are for the balancing act like: acting weird and living without self-control.
I enjoyed it for more than 4 year and I am honest that my periods went more painful and I started suffering with many of PMS symptoms. I observed my behavior and gave it a thought. What is that I am doing? Am I really getting benefit? Having more painful periods and being irrational, edgy for a week, is this how I want to continue? Or I really want to get back to my normal periods and days without or with minimal PMS. I have enjoyed this a lot and suffered this a lot.
I was trapped in and it was really difficult to bounce back. I suffer with many of PMS things, but I was determined to get back to my normal being. I started workout as soon as first symptom of PMS appeared. I listened to my favorite music, whenever I felt edgy or low. One evening, I got wonderful remark from my hubby. He said ‘You are looking so fresh and energetic’. It was a great comment as earlier these were my gloomy PMS days. I am so happy to break the vicious cycle of PMS. And I had less painful periods this time. It is the recovery taking place.
I do accept that there are ladies, who genuinely have very painful periods and PMS. Ladies, please accept my sympathies, but I am not a genuine case and I want to go back. I wish that genuine ladies would find their ways to fight with this reality and non-genuine cases like me would find courage to say ‘NO’ to inviting this reality in their lives.
I am a mother of a sweet girl, but during PMS I would convert from a lenient mom to strict mom. She is 5 years now, but maybe she is noticing this changed behavior on monthly basis. I want my daughter to not to be haunted by TOM and PMS. I want to give her a comfortable feeling of TOM as a natural thing happening to girls. I want her to see me going strong during these days. I need to change and get back to what I used to be. I need to restore myself and, in a way, I want to be as easy as my mom was during those days. I love you mom and my daughter and thank you both for showing me the other way to feel and deal any reality that exists. Every day is equally participant in contest for conscious parenting including PMS and TOM days and I will give them a fair chance to validate this.
See you again. 🙂