Hello and Welcome!!

~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
If you're looking for information on a particular topic, type that word in the search box below. If I have written about that subject, a list of posts will appear. If no posts come up, I haven't written about it...yet. Emails, and questions in the comments section for possible posts, are welcome.
I have a "friend" who shows up once a month. She turns my world upside down, over and over again.
I am a good person, caring and sweet, but when she comes to visit, I could rip off your head.
She takes no prisoners, foul words she does spout, I try to keep the words in, she lets them come out.
People don't understand me, or what this is about, to have this creature inside my head.
I despise who I am, half of the time, I feel sorry for my daughter, family and friends.
There's no way to describe it, for those who don't know, it's a living nightmare, she really needs to go.
~Neysia Manor, Rest in Peace

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Other Side of PMDD, continued

Since I wrote that last post, and since I was PMDD-ing this week, I really paid attention to what was going on inside my head.   Thursday I was overwhelmed and angry.  Normally I love to feed people, take care of them, give them a hot meal and some home comforts.  But my partner, my son, and I had agreed it would be "fend for yourself" night on Thursday, due to different commitments.  I was therefore "supposed" to worry only about myself. 
But then they both showed up at dinnertime, hungry and neither one of them cooks.  So instead of just worrying about myself, I was suddenly in charge of a meal, and in no mood to graciously pull one together.  Instead I became like a drill sergeant...you, go set the table, you...chop those vegetables....you're in charge of the microwave....you, get us something to drink. 
Not my usual self at all, but I rose to the occasion and kept a lid on my resentments.
Even so, later on in the evening, after we'd come and gone to the Christmas show we were all trying to get to on time, I apologized to my partner for being so...well...bossy. 
He didn't mind.  He said, "You hardly ever get like that.  It's nice to see you're human."
Which got me to really thinking about PMDD and what's going on inside our heads when it happens.  Are we really screwing up, or is it our brain telling us we're screwing up when we are not, and that's what kicks off all the fights and relationship issues? 
Because you know when you're screwing up.  Everyone does.  We don't need people to tell us when we mess up.  Because we know it, inside, when we make a genuine mistake.  Pointing it out to us only makes things worse.  (And I am talking about humans here, not just PMDD women.)  We all get hurt and defensive and either go into withdrawal or denial--or come out fighting.
So here's my thought:  What if we're not really screwing up--we just think we are, and so we act accordingly...by coming out fighting?  The best defense is a good offense...that sort of thinking.
It's something to consider.  Because while I thought I was being overly bossy...he just thought I was trying to get everyone fed and out the door in time.
Fast forward to Saturday afternoon.  I am in a rage.  I know I am in a rage.  Thank goodness I am alone.  I think that is part of why I am in a rage.  I don't want to be alone.  I'm tired of working, and I want to take a break, do something fun.
But at the same time I know that if someone shows up...my partner or my son...that's not going to make me happy, either.  I know this, because in that moment, nothing can make me happy. 
So it was best that they each had something else to do for most of the day.
But meanwhile I stewed.  And anything and everything that didn't normally bother me, suddenly bothered me, big time.
By the time my partner arrived to go to church, I was angry and I. Just. Didn't. Care.
But I had spent the day "watching" myself, or practicing awareness, so I knew I was angry, and I knew there was no reason (aside from my hormones) for me to be angry, and I knew I was being irrational, and I knew I didn't want a fight.
So I asked him...Do you ever feel like you Just. Don't. Care?  You don't care whose feelings you hurt, or who you piss off, or what people think?  You've just had it, and you're just going to say and do what you want to say and do?
He said yes, he had felt like that.
I said, "Well, that's the way I feel right now."  Like I am going to say and do what I want to, and nobody better get in my way.
"I see," he said.
"I'm just warning you," I said.  "So that if I do or say something totally irrational, you don't sit there wondering 'What just happened?'"  I'm in that kind of mood."
Oh.  Okay.
And that was the extent of it.  There was no incident.  We had no argument.  We went to church, and then we rented a movie.  We had a perfectly pleasant evening. 
But I felt better letting him know what was going on inside of me, so that should I snap, he wasn't taken by surprise.
He appreciated knowing I was on the edge.  We settled into a quiet evening together.
"So you can control it?" he asked at one point.
Well...yes, and no.
I can control it up to a point.  But when the dam bursts, it bursts.  And at that point, I can't control it. 
My goal is to keep that dam from bursting.  To keep from snapping out on those closest to me. 
Because it is my goal, I am getting more and more successful at accomplishing it.
Try to imagine walking around with a totally irrational "Don't fuck with me" attitude going on inside your head.  Try to imagine this happening several days a month, like clockwork.  It switches on, it shuts off.  You have no control over when it does either.  All you can do is hang on and hope you (and your relationships) survive the ride.
For instance...take a totally normal exchange at the deli counter when you're in one of these moods. 
The clerk asks what I would like.  The clerk asks "sliced or shaved?".  This question totally pisses me off inside...I'm there every frigging week (not true) ordering the same damn thing (close, but also not true) so why can't they effing remember what I like?  (unreasonable expectation).    
Are you seeing how a PMDD mind works?
Meanwhile, I am smiling and politely answering, "sliced" like I do every time, and feeling like I want to punch the next person who crosses my path.
It's really not about you.  (Although it can be, so don't think you're completely off the hook).  It's about doing battle with thoughts that come out of nowhere and are sometimes voiced before you can stop them.  It's about hearing or seeing or doing something and placing the most negative context on it that you can possibly imagine.  It's about not knowing what you want or how to make it better. 
As I told my partner..."Don't even try to make me feel better right now because you literally can't.  You will not be able to win, no matter what you do."
But there are things we can do to keep it from getting worse.  Sit quietly together, watching a movie or maybe listening to music or napping or reading books.  Hug without talking.  Go for a walk.  Just be together in silence, or at least a peaceful atmosphere. 
For me, silence is best, so that I can concentrate on doing battle with the misperceptions going on inside my head.  So that I don't say something I will regret.
In short, when I am PMDD-ing, don't confuse me by asking questions, or by wanting something from me.  This is a time you either need to give to me (your love and understanding) or get the hell out of my way.
There's really no in-between.


  1. Couldn't have said it better myself. It is so hard to fight those thoughts and feelings. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Well said. I love the exchange at the deli counter. That does sum up the irrational thinking! Great article :)

  3. I think women in general have to put on a "face" in society and some may have mini-break downs every now and again through out their lives....but it's on a continuous cycle with women dealing with PMDD. We can only go so long before we can't wear that face...before we can't put on the act...where every little detail, feeling, mood is magnified. I'm already an over analyzer, but when I'm PMDD-ing - it all goes into hyperdrive and by tryig to compensate and put back on my face it creates even more havoc sending my rage skyrocketing. My most recent meltdown was in part due to the fact that I didn't want to be at my job that day, I didn't want to be interacting with anyone and I felt forced into it. The effect of having to do what I didn't want to was raw and extreme. I think it difficult to understand what we're thinking and feeling during this time or month, but you did a very good job of pin-pointing. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Man, is this me!! I literally told my Dr today, it just feels like an out-of-body experience. Like I am watching a horrible version of myself yelling, screaming, crying and being "crazy", and I cannot do anything to stop it. It is just out-of-control. The thing that has been really pushing me over the edge is the irrational thoughts. (i.e...my husband is cheating, or going to leave...my friends all hate me...everyone hates me) It really is a life ruiner.

  5. I know this feeling every month a week before I get my period. I'm 46. I noticed it started happening probably about 10 yrs ago. There are times I've been so bad that I just couldn't believe I was capable of saying certain things and reacting so bitchily to my family and even coworkers. I'm happy to find out this IS a real condition.
    I'm going to start with trying s better diet. I hope it's as simple as that for myself being that I really don't want to take any sort of pills or supplements. I'll give it a month of healthier eating. And I'll report back on here how it has affected me.