The school of menopause

My mother went through menopause when I was going through puberty. The only reason I know this was that she gave me some kind of sanitary product (I don’t remember if it was pads or tampons) saying “you can have these I don’t need them anymore” and that may have been our only conversation about her menopause. I can’t talk to her about it now that I want to because she died a few years ago. I can sort of remember what she was like at the time but it’s through eyes of a teenager who had no understanding so no sympathy. I remember her being emotional and overwhelmed, but she was working and doing the cooking and cleaning perhaps I just thought the drudgery (that I vowed never to have happen to me!)  had got to her. I didn’t show her kindness, I didn’t respect her much then. I was under the control of my own hormonal turmoil and my self centered teenage brain development. Mum would cry with frustration at us, she must have been so very tired, she seemed so illogical and I found that so hard. I’m not a crier (when I was a baby my mother took me to the doctor worried my tear ducts didn’t work) however, right now with this malaise of menopause I am usually only a thought away from welling up with tears. It’s not the same as depression (which I had in my mid 30s) as it’s always fleeting. I feel a lack of control over my emotions, I get angry easily about dumb stuff, I am so tired, my body hurts – my head, sciatica and joints, I wake up in the night sometimes with panic attacks. I forget stuff, I am not as rational but aside from climate change I don’t feel that depression feeling of hopelessness. This is all normal apparently. I could medicate (HRT) except for the whole breast cancer thing…. then there are painkillers I do take and antidepressants I could take. Helena is scared of me taking pills as it equates with me being sick and she is so very afraid of me being sick and hurt. Helena is totally affected by me being menopausal. We are together just about every second of the day so she gets the brunt of me feeling overwhelmed by the mess she makes daily doing what I see as her valuable work which always ends with me ranting like a crazy lady. This is a critical period in Helena’s development, this is her time, and she lives with a ball of anger who is too tired for fun. What will she remember of this period? Is the person that I am now the mother she will remember?  What am I modelling? This makes me sad. How will we cope when she is in puberty? Will our whole life and homeschooling career be lurching from one hormonal crisis to another with the odd sprinkling of grief? I am not at my best and it’s hard work providing the educational environment I’d like to. I miss my mum

Me and my Mum

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