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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

I used to think p.m.s was a load of codswallop. I’d never experienced and being an arrogant teenager I felt it was just an excuse for bad behaviour (because if *I* didn’t experience it, it *couldn’t* be real, right?).

Then after I gave birth to my son I had periodic startling periods of feeling so low and flat – just out of the blue – that I thought perhaps I had some kind of depression issue. Eventually I realised (after several years of this happening monthly) that this coincided with my periods. I had a low ‘stretch’ of time, a short reprieve, my periods, two days of sickness then back to ‘normal’.

I’ve found that it has varied over different stages of my life – on certain types of pill it changed and I felt aggressively angry just before my period, on other pills I found it somewhat stabilised though I had severe headaches for two days before my period. Sometimes when I get my period it is sheer heady relief, other times I’m quite ill, other times I feel unexpectedly sad for a day or so. Sometimes it’s a minor intrusion on my routines, others it’s massive and takes some serious management.

Without the pill, with the accumulated knowledge of how it can affect me, and keeping an eye on the timing of my cycle, when things are running smoothly I can ‘note’ a certain sadness, connect it to the fact that it’s about a week before my period, and nothing more eventful than that comes to pass. Other times, if I am overwhelmed, stressed, sick or exhausted I find it an intensely emotional period of time: I have to ‘coach’ myself to keep going as I feel flat, low, tired, uninspired, ready to cry, like a failure, small things hit me hard, and it can seem certain that an ‘ambiguous’ comment was intended as a put-down, or I see ‘always’ and ‘never’ examples in regular behaviour ‘You never…you always…I’m always…’ when generally speaking I steer clear of ‘always/never’ stuff.

A friend has said that essentially that pms stretch of time is just one where you’re lower on resources, things that you ordinarily manage to cope with though they are legitimately hard just become that much more irritating or exhausting. That it’s actually all very understandable: women are juggling a shitload of tasks/roles and sometimes, when you add extra physical factors in you’re lower on patience: you’re just *over* it.

This month’s frankly is an arse. I’m tired – I’ve worked hard to get my son ready for high school and it’s not ‘feet up and relax’ time, the work is constant. He’s turned thirteen and while I feel happy for that I think it, in combination with starting high school is raising certain issues: I’m *tired* of being a single mum and having to be two people with only one person’s resources. I’m angry at his father for being a flacky fuckwit and not supporting miniFP in *any* way. I’m angry at having to do it all alone, I’m angry at the fucked up choices I have to keep making. I’m nervous about how it’ll turn out. I still feel wonky from a bout of food poisoning two or three weeks ago (after a six week bout of bad asthma) – my stomach sporadically feels ‘off’ and sore. I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m anxious about going back to uni and how it fits in. I’m anxious about long term plans and whether I can acheive career goals in the time I want to. I’m anxious that I’ll make a wrong decision somewhere and it’ll *cost* me. I want to be able to make certain plans but circumstances mean I can’t do that for a long time, and the decisions that affect whether I *can* are out of my hands. I wish I could simply take this time to mother/mother and work the hours I’m working and use my spare days to ensure the house and family run smoothly, or to study one subject rather than add two fourth year law subjects to the mix, but that’ll cost me. I’m anxious about the short term and the long term and it’s very hard to keep an even perspective on the issues I’m trying to think through given that the ‘low’ phase has started. It’s like you’re standing on fairly even ground usually – it’s difficult, you’re having to juggle, you’re tired, but you’re managing…then when pms is added to *bad* months/stretches of time, it’s like you’re still trying to juggle but while you have to keep your eyes up on what you’re juggling, someone’s shifting the ground around underneath you and you’re certain you’re about to fall/it’s all about to come crashing down, and that sense of uncertainty makes you continually jumpy so someone says something and you’re like ‘WHAT???What does THAT mean? Do NOT be giving me shit!’ when if you could just feel the solid ground again, catch your breath and get back to your usual juggling routine you’d be more sure of yourself so wouldn’t necessarily hear things as being negatively loaded.

It’s exhausting and feverish and it means constantly having to talk yourself down/talk yourself through. So basically I just WANT MY FUCKING PERIOD TO START. Because of course I always get to this point and go ‘Hey…sick, hormonal, anxious, tired…FUCK!!! What if I’m pregnant??’

Anyway, off to do some housework. If I can’t restore order to my mood then I’ll restore some to my room.


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