I should have seen the warning signs over the past 2 days. I should have known the symptoms.
The insomnia, the extreme fatigue, the irritability, the over indulging, the lack of patience, the feelings of being unable to cope, the anxiety attacks in the middle of the night, the paranoia and insecurity.
However, once again, my dear old friend PMDD, got the better of me.
And this time, he got me good.
I wasn’t expecting him for a few days so have completely overlooked all the signals. Even yesterday when a minor disagreement with hubby got out of hand and resulted in a full blown shouting match, albeit predominantly me shouting, I still did not switch on.
It was not until I did the unthinkable, that I took a step back and with deep sadness realised… ‘this is not me’ and ‘this has got to stop’.
And as ashamed and disgusted with myself as I am to admit to what I did, I feel it is important to be honest, if I am to raise awareness and help people understand that this is a serious disorder with utterly debilitating consequences. So, as hard as it has been for me to write this, here goes…
I lashed out at my husband. Yes *hangs head in shame* – I lashed out to hit him. Or should I say… PMDD lashed out to hit him. Because it is not me. I wouldn’t hurt a fly. I am a big advocate of communication over physical force when it comes to conflict management. I hate violence. Its just not me.
But PMDD loves it. And when he has his claw like talons in me, he can make me do things that on the other 27 days of the month, I wouldn’t even dream of.
Thank goodness my children weren’t present, is all I can say. But what if they had been? What would they have thought of their calm and loving mummy? Even worse, what if PMDD had lashed out at them?
I couldn’t allow this to happen. PMDD can torture me all it likes, but I love my family too much for them to be hurt by him. So I barricaded myself away for the rest of day, for my family’s happiness and welfare, and cried until the early hours when PMDD got bored and finally allowed me to sleep.
This morning, after just a few hours sleep, I dragged myself to the doctors, sat in the chair and let it all come out. Lets just say, we got through just a few man size tissues! The first doctor praised me for being honest and brave enough to speak out and was really empathetic to the torment that PMDD put me through.
I was there for nearly 4 hours, seeing various doctors. I even begged with them to give me a hysterectomy to stop this all once and for all. They argued that I was still young and may want further children. I argued that I have two beautiful children and I would sacrifice not having more, to ensure their safety and happiness, as well as my husband’s and mine. Apparently this is a last resort and not something that could be considered just yet. The end result from the last doctor I saw was to “stick it out”, as the pills I am on at present ‘may’ kick in by next month. My question was: “What if they don’t kick in next month? What if my PMDD escalates again?”
I was told that I am in control and am completely capable of stopping myself from acting out my darkest thoughts during those few days. It was at this point I actually lost a little respect for the doctor speaking with me, because she clearly has NEVER experienced PMDD. Aside from ‘those’ few days a month, I am positive and energetic, not to mention, in complete control of my feelings and emotions. She clearly has no understanding of how suffocating and overwhelming PMDD can make its sufferers feel in those few days a month. PMDD has driven women who are otherwise well balanced and content, to suicide during their pre menstrual phase.
PMDD is not just Pre Menstrual Stress or Tension. It is abhorrent. Psychotic. Crippling. Debilitating. Life Stopping.
I am not being melodramatic. I have had to take time off work now as I am not sleeping and in no fit state to function effectively. I will have to steer clear from my husband and sons for the next few days, which breaks my heart in two as I love them all dearly. I will have to cancel planned social functions and avoid contact with people. And when Mother Nature comes and the monster in me leaves, I will spend the next few weeks repairing and rectifying the devastation and hurt he caused, until he arrives again.
I am so grateful to have such a loving supporting family and am blessed to have friends who know me for the happy, bubbly person I really am.
I never wanted to be one of those women with “women’s problems”, especially working in a male dominated environment, which is why I always kept this under my hat and hidden away like a dirty little secret.
However, I think its time we lifted the silence on PMDD and expose it for the demon it really is.
I pray that no woman has to experience PMDD, but I hope that if you do, in reading this you may feel comforted to know that you are not alone… :)
Proud Muma Signing Off… x