PMDD is a bitch.
Two good weeks a month
then those tell-tale cramps in the side
another seed of life launched by a hopeful ovary
but to me it signals the opposite
and I start to look for the creep
the grey fog, red-rimmed
like the pollution of a distant battle
those firing guns will get closer.
"Hell week" I call it
written in my planner in red ink
and if it was just for me alone to bear
if I could crawl away into a hole somewhere
and face the monster
it would be better.
But I can't.
The battles happen in a messy house
in spilled milk
and I snap and scold and my voice is loud and
(now I'm the bitch)
I rage at God, fate, broken brain, past trauma, whatever caused this
my family doesn't deserve to endure this
(why can't I just be normal?!)
I'm taken hostage every month
PMDD tries to break me
dragging me out of sleep every night
like the prisoner flung under the glare of stark lightbulbs
It rips the scabs off old wounds
when I have no strength to staunch the blood
so I bleed
and try to fend off the fangs of
I wait for the menstrual blood the way somebody might wait for a root canal
knowing she'll be miserable for a day or two
(for PMDD doesn't vanish the second the cramps come)
but at least then it will be over with,
end in sight
a cease-fire of the guns.
If only the peace could be
Whoever called women the weaker sex
I wish he could live hell week in my body
have to white-knuckle dangle off the edge of the black hole
have to face down the demons living in my brain
have to face the guilt and shame when my defenses slip and my husband and children suffer the consequences
I wish the people who say "God will meet all your needs" knew what it was like
to have to scrape with a knife at the empty bottom of myself to offer up comfort to a crying child
when every cell in my body weeps for someone to
I wish those people would have to walk hell week in my husband's shoes because really
he's the one trying to meet my needs
when I can't be a partner in this life together
and I feel like a burden
("You're not a burden," he tells me, but the stress in his shoulders
breaks my heart)
At some point the blood will come
And I can start clawing my way back up out of the black hole towards something resembling
And I'll be able to laugh again
and my kids' loud voices won't make me
and I'll be able to do things and be a
"productive member of society."
And by god I'd better be productive because I've got two good weeks, people
and then it all
This is the world of PMDD and people tell me
"You're so strong"
but I don't want to be strong
PMDD is a bitch.