I was a raging lunatic this morning. Why? My daughter wouldn't get dressed by herself; she wanted help. What an unreasonable request! I literally threw a fit. The more she whined, the more pissed I got. She cried. I wanted to cry, but not until half an hour later when I realized what a horrible mother I had been.
“Surely, it wasn't that bad,” you might say. Yes, it was. If I had been in a mother-of-the-day contest with crack whores who give their kids Mountain Dew and Fruit Loops for breakfast (no offense to crack whore moms who may be reading this and who feed their children nutritious breakfasts), I would have lost. That is how ridiculously awful it was.
What freaks me out is that these random temper tantrums are becoming more frequent, and they are reminiscent of my adolescence when I would fly into rage with little provocation. And just as it was then, I feel uncontrollable. Because during one of these fits, I don't want to calm down. In fact, trying to calm “The Rage,” as I'm now calling her, is about as smart as poking a mother Grizzly bear while trying to steal her young cub.
A few months ago, I mentioned to a slightly older coworker that I was often irritable and had ongoing urges to lock myself in my room just to be alone. She kindly said that she had felt the same when she started perimenopause at the age of 39! Gulp. She suggested I read Christiane Northrup's “The Wisdom of Menopause,” which had helped her a great deal.
Desperate as I was, I promptly walked to the library over my lunch break and checked it out. It felt premature, but hey, I might as well get prepared for what's to come. I learned that the age at which when you go into perimenopause may be linked to when your mother did. My mother believes she was in her mid-30s (she isn't certain since she also had an undiagnosed thyroid disease that was messing with her); her mother had an abrupt hysterectomy at 42 (never discussed because you didn't talk about those things back then). Double gulp.
Could the reemergence of The Rage be hormonal? And if so, what do I do? As a teenager I simply learned to repress my strong emotions—all of them. Eventually my hormones leveled out while my repression became a habit. This go round, I can deal with the physical changes to come, but I'm not willing to repress all emotion now that I've finally allowed myself to feel again. I'm also not willing to spend the next five to 10 years being a raging bitch. Anybody have advice? Or should I check myself into the loony bin now?