Emotional Rollercoasters

*Warning: readers who are squeamish about “girl stuff” should come back another day.

As an adult I’ve been pretty fortunate during that time of the month. As a teen, things weren’t quite as peachy, but as I’ve matured my cycle has pretty much settled into a few inconvenient days, nothing more. I don’t cramp, I don’t bloat, and I’m not a poster child for a Midol commercial. However, I am susceptible to premenstrual hyper-emotional outbursts.

The Douche, ever sensitive, began to attribute any strong emotion I had to PMS, regardless of the date. Of course this infuriated me; it was as good as outright saying that he thought my feelings were invalid. What men don’t seem to get is that monthly hormones don’t create an emotional state. Particularly in those of us who tend to keep our moods tightly reigned in, it’s the control that slips. I find myself expressing what normally I’d be capable of, and prone to, stifling. Sometimes loudly.

I’m aware that casual observers have called me aloof, distant, and even taciturn. I’m not good at sharing intimate self, even with those that are in the “inner circle.” It is part of the reason I use the anonymity of a nom de plume to write, hiding vulnerability in the (illusion of the) facelessness it lends.

They say that still waters run deep. Very often people who feel intensely create barricades to keep themselves from being overwhelmed. And when the barrier crumbles, it can be quite spectacular. In the way an erupting volcano is spectacular. PMS happens to wreak havoc with my emotional cordons, turning a previously stoic, picturesque mountain into Pompeian devastation. Hey, I may be the heroine of this story, but I can admit to being flawed.

Obviously this whole divorce thing has been a veritable landmine of deleterious sentiments. However, in the last four months I’ve done a reasonable job of stuffing those toxic feelings into the metaphoric box of repression where they belong.

Then along comes PMS and I find myself bursting into tears over a TV commercial for dish soap. (I think. Don’t get me started about the abstracts of modern advertisement.) The ad itself isn’t particularly moving, but some small detail reminds me of what I’ve lost. In that moment, hormones become the secret weapon, and thus tipping point, in my perpetual conflict between rational intellect and emotional manifestation. It drives me bonkers.

I wonder if I can apply for early-onset menopause?

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