PMS has never been a thing for me. Oh, I get it certainly. Certainly. But it’s never been something I talk about. Or really think about. I don’t whine about it or gear up for its arrival. And that might be because I never know when it’s coming. For me, having an IUD means that I never know when my period’s gonna show up. And I don't calendar. So I never anticipate my own premenstrual syndrome. And somehow I never make the connection that, though it doesn’t happen every month, after a few days of a really bad mood my period arrives. I never make that connection.
My friends have made it though. I know my friends can tell when I’m about to deal with red womanhood. But I’ve never made the connection for myself.
Until today. Sort of.
Nothing is neutral. I hate everything. Seriously. I hate it all. Not just dislike. Hate. I hate things people write on Facebook. I hate that people think they know anything. I hate my house. I hate that they don’t know I am quite a lot smarter than they are. I hate photos of plates of food on Instagram. I hate that the man in the truck is smoking. I hate that nurse who looks like a pig. I hate stuff that doesn’t matter. I hate stuff that isn’t real. I hate stuff that doesn’t have to do with me. I hate stuff that I usually find mildly annoying or just affected.
When every single thing is pissing me off, my posture gets straighter and I get this hard look on my face that says, You do not matter. And it does one hell of a job warding people off. Even though I’m a little person, I’ve been told that I can be intimidating. And it occurs to me that the times I’m intimidating are very probably the PMS times. The times when I can’t make my voice pleasant even if I want to. (Which I don't.) The times when I seem taller than I am. The times when a little glare is my constant expression.
My PMS doesn’t looks like spontaneous weeping or screaming at people. No, instead my PMS is just mean. I’m abrupt in speech. I don’t beat around the bush with confrontation; I abandon the restraint I've worked to harness. I go right for the jugular, and I don’t care who I hurt. As ever, I can justify my bad behavior. I think what other people say is utterly worthless, and I talk over them, calling it an act of public service. Who wants to hear stupid drivel?
During these horrible mood spells I don’t think, Gosh, why the hell do I hate everyone? Instead I think, Why can’t people get their effing shit together? Why is everything going wrong? Why does my luck suck so bad?
But, while standing at a gas pump today, it occurred to me that this isn’t a bad week. Stupid things have happened, sure—the food delivery guy didn’t bring plates, he was a little late, yoga class sucked, I couldn’t find the right size mailing tube, I’m out of yellow tomatoes—but those things happen all the time. They’re not tragic. They’re not out of the ordinary. What is out of the ordinary is how I’m handling things.
Generally I’m really pretty good at taking the day-to-day screw-ups in stride, and when the times come that I stop taking things well, I’ve spent years not realizing that the problem isn’t a drastic confluence of shitty stuff—the problem is me. Or rather, its my hormones.
And I’m not passing the buck when I say that.
Yeah, I’m an acerbic little snot. I am a pessimist. But the way I feel now isn’t the way I feel always. The hormones tip the scales, and I start see murder as a viable option to solve small problems.
I’m not sure figuring out that this is what’s going on can make any kind of a difference, but if I was letting the confusion about how I was feeling derail me in any way, maybe a new understanding can mean that the regular derailment isn’t as severe.