Speaking about menopause is no longer a taboo. Why should it be? After all, nothing is censored anymore, literally none in this tech era of sitting by the edge of social media. You too have the liberty. Go ahead, feel free, “Speak All Evil, Say All Evil and Hear All Evil”. Who knows, you may propel to stardom limelight sooner or later in the virtual world. Who cares anyway whether for the right or wrong reasons, simultaneously do encourage kids to say as they please in the name of brilliantness and then quickly upload the video to garner millions of likes. Oh-good-god! What is happening people? Do we have a real-deal life or we prefer to immerse in social media life? I am not sure. Don’t ask me please. I really don’t know where we are heading, but one thing is absolutely certain. Pride and prejudice has been trashed down the drain. Sadly. Unfortunately. Unlike my growing up years when one wrong word, one mischief or one intolerable rudeness will lead to mum ringing my ears, these days even a five year old kid is freely using the “F” word. Why blame the kids, how about parents who curse and swear rampantly on social media, on text messages and when conversing with others? Beats me!
Now, before I speak about my blood story, I like to draw you back to when I first attained puberty. Mummy dearest gave me a box of sanitary pads. Not the ones with wings beneath, the ones with string loops to loop into a string and then tie around your waist to dangle into those big white shorts type panties. Mess! The other thing I still can clearly remember is mum telling me I shouldn’t pray during this period and each time each month when I menstruate. That’s it. No “pep-talk” whatsoever about the birds and bees, not even the gist to the physical changes that potentially will occur slowly or rapidly. Can I blame mummy, mom, mother, or amma? Of course not. It’s the social cultural Indian upbringing. But for all the orthodox mentality, I find it really weird when they doll and flash you in front of relatives for blessings after the first month of menstruation. Call it the customary ritual which I think is akin openly telling everyone your daughter is ripe for plucking, without even realizing that sexual predators sometimes are within the blood ties. Anything you would like to comment? Go ahead please.
Having said that, when I permanently stopped donating blood on sanitary pads, mum did make an attempt to explain the "do’s” and “don'ts". But only so much of her known theories were informative because I was massively crushed. Hocus, pocus and ruckus, like a hurricane blow. I thought I am doing to die, the worst torture was struggling to sleep which by the way is still is till this day. Eventually, after two years down the road, I learned to cope with my menopause symptoms. Strange, I thought I knew it all, I suppose unless we encounter, we will never know the pain. Therefore, I am sincerely hoping that what I have said so far and what I am going share from this point in time will be of knowledge for everyone regardless of age, religion, colour and gender.
I was always under the impression that my pendulum most probably will halt after my 50’s. Shockingly, pendulum stopped ticking at 45 prior to three years of perimenopause symptoms. Can’t sleep, hot flushes and menstruating three months once obviously were the indicators, consequently, sweating profusely even under the air-cond and heart beating faster. Honestly, there were days I actually thought I am going to have a stroke or I am going to kick my bucket.
ClueI learned that age presumably is not the yard stick for calculating menopause anymore. Assumingly, it can happen after puberty. I’ve heard of women whose biological clock stopped ticking in their late thirties to early forties. Albeit I can’t exactly nail the reasons, I guess it has to do with stressful lifestyle. Thus, we should regularly pay attention to what about body is signalling, medical check up at least once a year is advisable, be mindful of keeping tab on your menstruation, do not ignore tiredness and body ache, and obviously there is such a thing as trusting your gut feeling.
My emotions were not badly spooked up. I didn’t scream my lungs out, neither did I break the mirrors, or threw things or socked my other half-half’s jaw. But I cried a lot for no apparent reason, for the tiniest hurtful words, basically my emojis were over sensitive. Regardless I didn’t openly cry in front of others, my tear duct was always filled, waiting to be triggered immediately. Actually, come to think of it, I felt helpless as if I am losing myself.
Cry all you want please. It’s good to empty your emotional bag. Perhaps menopause is another given reason for getting rid of the years of bottling up our feelings, secrets and unhappiness. For a fact, I doubt crying is an embarrassment, just control yourself from screaming and shouting in the public if you can, don’t go around whacking anyone who appear in front, don’t show your middle finger if you can't have your way while driving and please, your maid is not the victim. But you know what? How far we allow our emotions to play sparks also depends on our personal characteristics. If you are naturally hot tempered, impatient is your middle name and you are stubborn as a mule, menopause will severely deal with you.
As I have said earlier, my parents didn't know or couldn't bring themselves together to pacify me. Confiding in my brothers would have driven mum to madness and since my parents didn't make another daughter, family support was out of the question.
I reckon family support is utmost important. These days parents are well educated and open minded, despite I don't wish to comment on Indians parents who seem more liberal than the Westerners on social media. If they actually are, you should lean on them. Pretty much the logical thing, otherwise, speak to aunties or to "The Man From Uncle".
To be continued. Stay tune for Part 2.