Thursday, 30 July 2009

About not being Menopausal AT ALL

Hormonal? Who ME? Who said? What on EARTH are you talking about? I am NOT hormonal. I am behaving PERFECTLY normally. I am not IN THE SLIGHTEST irrational and I have NO IDEA what you’re talking about.

I’m glad I’ve got that bit out of the way – because those words form part of the many repetitions of my daily mantra whilst I’m behaving in a very hormonal, incredibly abnormal and almost maniacally irrational way. And if any woman of 45-55 something years repeats similar words to those in my first paragraph then I would like to stand up right here, right now and tell you that she is (a) lying and that she is (b) very, very frightened that the person who she knows she really is, is someone almost completely unknown to her and for a goodly part of the time, not even liked by her.

So why do I persist in repeating my mantra when I know – yes, I really do know, that I am behaving like a woman possessed for a good 23 hours out of each day? What would actually be so, SO terrible in saying “Oh, look – I’m behaving like a complete loon; you need to ignore me. I have no idea why I’m doing it and if I did have an idea then I’d truly try to stop it”. Oh – and there’s another word I don’t say ... the really hard one: “Sorry”.

Is it JUST me? Am I alone in my deep, dark secret that I have no idea who I am any more, even less idea why I do the things I do or say the things I say and I’m SO full of self-doubt that my ONLY defence is attack? Or is this the malaise of the majority of ladies of a matronly age? (Did I just WRITE that?)

A matronly age? Oh, heavens – is that how I think of myself? Surely not? Or maybe I do? Maybe I do identify with the “Grumpy Old Women”. I know I have a son who I think spends far too much time telling me to calm down. That’s not right, is it? And what are the things I get so grumpy about? Oh, you name it. I can be grumpy because it’s too sunny, too dull or too rainy. I can get grumpy about being on my own so much but that’s quite often surpassed at the grumpiness I feel because I don’t have enough time on my own. I can get quite grumpy at seeming – even to myself – to have a life of complete dichotomy. I don’t KNOW why I get grumpy and I get grumpy about that, too.

I’ve said it before – in my blog and probably on Twitter, too: “Only women bleed? I DON’T THINK SO”. It’s no secret that my marriage was not made in heaven but even I have to admit that I wouldn’t want to live with me! Not right now, anyway.

If you happen to come across me, please bear with me ... I’m not doing it on purpose!


  1. I've always prided myself on not being irrational and moody due to PMT etc, and fully expected to be similarly unaffected by the menopause. I maintain that any stroppiness from me is justified by the unreasonableness of others.
    And yet....
    ....there have been times when I have taken a side-step outside myself when in mid-rant, and stood there watching myself thinking "You're being SUCH a bitch right now. Seems you're not hormone-proof after all."


    At 44, I am now at the stage when I wonder what the first signs of that mid-life change will be, and when to expect them. Everything's still fucntioning like it ever did but I guess that will change some time in the next 5 years or so.... but no-one seems to have anything helpful to say, except to blather on about "hot flushes" and "weight gain". I feel like I'm floundering about in the dark, interpeting every oddity, ache and pain as a sign of impending old-biddiness and matronhood.
    Already, a late period prompts thoughts of "OK, is this the beginning of the end?" instead of the old standard "Oh god, might I be up the duff?" (Hah! Chance's be a fine thing!). Oh joy.

    I guess we and those around us just have to accept that we are prisoners to hormonal rushes and will be officially 100& 'orrible at times (and sometimes we are 'orrible simply because the rest of the world is too). Question is, what's the men's excuse?

  2. I don't know what the men's excuse is - other than the fact that they may have been reared by menopausal mothers who have passed on strange behaviour patterns to them that they've never really grown out of?? Thanks - as always - for your comment. xxx

  3. Your grumpiness is endearing. Don't lose it.

  4. Oh feck! I am actually you. Except I don't have the excuse of age/menopause. I'm just a grumpy bitch.

    Ah well.

    L xxx

  5. I wonder how many of the problems I have in my marriage are due to the fact my wife went through menopause in her very early 40s. She refused to consider HRT and has had problems ever since. Although I don't think they can all be attributed to "the change" - some are definitely husband induced.

  6. funny that... apparently no one wants to live with me either! ALmost fifty one and counting down the menopausal heart palpitations, misery, sweaty,night terrors not on hrt, pyscotic woman

  7. I hit 40 this year and wonder what's in store for the next decade!! I think we just have to be who we are, as we like to tell others, if you don't like it then it's tough, perhaps we should tell that to ourselves.

    Enjoyed this post.
    CJ xx

  8. Good post, ma'am. Course, I'm of a generation, and a mindset, that has been self-analysing since childhood, so finding oneself mid-rant and realising that one is a dick is nothing new - and almost every mood can be both justified and maligned in equal measure, depending on the observer's particular point of view and the circumstances...

    And not every bizarre behaviour can be attributed to hormones (or I guess every behaviour can be, but I mean...), menopause or PMT... sometimes people just make the decision to be bitchy because they think they're in the right... I'm thinking mainly of your comment about men being brought up by menopausal women when I say this. A parent can behave pretty bizarrely, just by dint of having the responsibility, and therefore the perceived rightness of intent, of raising a child in the first place.

  9. Amazing honesty! You have scared the bee-Jesus out of me as someone approaching 40. And how nice of nature to time it so your kids are likely to be in their hormone drenched teens at the same time. Good luck. Keep taking the pills.

  10. Hi Karen.

    The male menopause is, if anything, more terrifying than the change experienced by women. You feel this sudden, overwhelming urge to grow your hair longer; you look at cardigans in M & S and think, 'Hm...quite stylish'; and you decide that it would be a pretty good idea to buy a Harley Davidson. Please, give me the mood swings and hot flushes!