Friday, 15 March 2013

Menopause Update - WTF?


Ok, so one of the things that shocked me most about being pregnant, that no-one had told me about (incidentally, the absolute number one shocker is that you might poo whilst in labour - I mean seriously, EVERYONE should be told that! I thought I was the only dirty mare!) was that my beautiful rose-petalled labia suddenly - and I mean OVERNIGHT - turned into these angry red swollen unrecognisable things. :-O Was this normal? Did this happen to lots of people? Or was I about to get gangrene if I didn't consult a doctor immediately? Luckily, a quick google allayed my fears. But something similar, though less scary has happened, and even a google is unenlightening, so for the good of womankind, I am going to talk about it. And because in my world there's no such thing as too much information and oversharing.

You know how your juicy love tunnel has a certain smell? Not a horrible smell, of infection or uncleanliness or anything, but a smell that is just you? Well mine has always been a bit like salt and vinegar crisps. I like it, and have indeed been complimented on it in the past. It's kind of comforting.

Well no more. I have a cock-snuggler that no longer smells of ANYTHING. It's like it has turned to skin. It's true! Look! Smell my pants! NOTHING!

This disturbs me, as I always had this idea (which I think is scientifically based) that this smell was detected at a subliminal level, and attracted men to me. Yet now, I am a pheromone-free zone. I have nothing but my appearance and innate wit to rely on to win over the boys. I am doomed, DOOMED,  tell you!

Worrying. Especially as I suspect the next stage will be smelling of wee and mothballs. Probably. :-(

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Menopause For Thought

It is a bit of a mystery to me that I haven't yet made it to adulthood, but my body appears to think I am headed to crone status. It's a funny position to be in - on the one hand entering the menopause and on the other largely blogging about a boy I like who is all of 25 since his recent birthday. Without once referring to him as immature :-O

When you google 'menopause' you get lots of pictures like this:

Which SURELY has nothing to do with ME?? Look - THIS is me:

Granted the clothing is a little restrained there, but it WAS my Dad's funeral.....

It seems like being menopausal is more than a hot flush or two - it's a full-on onslaught that turns you into a steely-haired frump.

I've felt it coming on for a few years now - I've had a few hot flushes over the last few years - and it's not just heat. It's being drenched in sweat, heart pounding, head feeling like it's about to explode, so I've had to go and hang out of a window ASAP. At the same time, rather than diminishing, my periods became really heavy, and I don't know how I'd have coped without my mooncup, because tampons just weren't up to the job. They were like twigs being swept downstream in rapids. The only upside was that sometimes the irregularity of my periods meant that whilst occasionally my cycle would be as short as 18 days, sometimes I'd go over 50 days without a period, which was utter bliss. It now occurs to me that I can't remember when my last period was, I think it was before Christmas sometime.

Now I get lots of hot flushes, but they aren't like the ones I've described above - they are pure heat. I wake in the night burning up, but no sweat or other symptoms. So I shuffle over to the blissful cold of the other side of the bed. Then ten minutes later shuffle back, like a very hot inchworm. Repeat for about half an hour, at which point I realise I am freezing and wrap myself up in the duvet. This happens about three times a night or more, and has been doing for the last month. But no-one really talks about menopause symptoms, so I'm not sure how long to expect this to last - apparently 50 is the average age for menopause, so I am assuming I have a couple of years before this is done? And it's meant to be over two years after your last period, so that might just fit in, except you could have a period at any time, you never know.

Can I go TMI for a moment? (Like some of the above really wasnt!) I've had no problems with vaginal dryness, but there has been a noticeable thinning of my erm, *lips*. It was some time last year I was in the bath and thought, 'hmmm, that's new'. It surely must have happened gradually, but I only noticed when it was done. And I shave every time I have a bath, so you'd think it couldn't really sneak up on me. But like a thin-labiaed ninja, it did.

Talking of shaving, so far that has been the worst part of the experience - THE HAIR. If I didn't pluck daily, I'd have a Brian Blessed beard for sure. It is getting to the point where I really am considering shaving - but what stops me is that I am furry, so I'd have to shave my whole damn face. Don't look at me like that - apparently, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were furry. Downy hair makes you not shine on photos and gives you a natural soft focus effect. According to an article I once read somewhere, so it must be true. But it also means you can't wax or shave without having a weird 'patchy' effect. My sister tried it, so I know. Not a good look, trust me on this.

But aside from the hair, it's so far not been too bad. I am physically fitter than I have ever been in my life, which may be helping. The not having periods is a brilliant as you would imagine, and so far I've not noticed any dry skin. Oh, but the gums, that has been a very recent thing. I'm now brushing at least three times a day and my gums are still bleeding, it's like being pregnant. So that is a bit worrying cos I am absolutely obsessive about teeth. So, aside from the hair and the gums, so far it isn't too bad.

I'll keep you posted. I'm on high alert for incipient frumpiness.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Unforgiven

I've been thinking about forgiveness a lot, for a long time, specifically because I don't think I will ever forgive Steve for what he did over those years. The internet is full to bursting with all these quotes about how wonderful it is to forgive - and just this ONE about the other side of the coin. I have thought and thought, and I have come to the conclusion that actually, sometimes forgiveness is NOT the right thing, and that is not because I'm not a forgiving person, but because I am a VERY forgiving person.

There has been lots of discussion on various forums I'm on about how to forgive your abuser, and I have found myself saying I don't plan to and doubt that I ever will, and that I am glad of that. In response, there have been lots of people saying that I should forgive him for myself, not for him, because otherwise the bad feelings will destroy me. To which I respond:

No, bad feelings won't destroy me, because I have no feelings towards him, as he isn't in my life any more. If he WERE to enter my life again, forgiving him would leave me open to abuse again, because that is exactly what happened in the past - time and again I forgave him, and time and again he abused me again. Now, without forgiveness, any contact with him leaves me frightened and wanting to run - and that is how I am MEANT to feel. This man is evil and he means me harm.

You see, that is what is the problem, it is the very essence of him that makes me not forgive him. When I said I was a very forgiving person, I wasn't just going on my own judgment. Son has before now said, 'Mum, sometimes I think you are TOO forgiving.' There was a recent drama because when I tried to clear the air with an ex-friend who had been spreading rumours about me, she graciously refused to admit that she had done anything wrong in either spreading the rumours or in ignoring me when I approached her to try to sort it out - and then lied about the whole incident afterwards, saying I had physically attacked her! In fairness, I would have if someone else hadn't intervened, but that was only because she was poking my chest like she was some badarse, and comprehensive girls don't let High School girls do that sort of thing with impugnity (she's bigly snobbish about schooling). I tell this story to show how I'm no slacker on the forgiveness front - the rumours were potentially very damaging -  that I was a drug addict, which is, when I last checked, incompatible with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's Code of Conduct, even if social services didn't get to hear about it (there is already a file on me and my son because of the domestic violence); the fact that I could easily disprove them wouldn't have stopped the inconvenience and stress of an investigation from either quarter. Yet despite this, I was the one who wanted to make things right.

The thing is, I find it easy to forgive, usually. Then when I do, it is complete forgiveness - I don't have a little list in the back of my mind of what people have done. The worst I do is remember what happened and beware of getting myself into that situation again with that person, but as far as the relationship goes, from my point of view the slate is clean and I feel about the person and treat them exactly as I did before. To me, once you have forgiven a person, it's like you have restored the previous version of Windows - everything goes back to how it was before.

Reason being, I can easily see why people do the things they do, I can understand how we all have faults and hang-ups and that usually people do not act out of malice. In a selfish way, I would hope that people would forgive me and understand why I would screw up, so I do that with others. Also, usually people are in my life because I value them, so to not fully forgive would be like having a crack in a beloved vase and constantly looking at the crack rather than the vase.

For many years I struggled to forgive my mother - we had a difficult relationship for reasons which I'll probably go into in a post one day. Then one day I realised that she was a product of her upbringing, and her dad and gran were products of their upbringing, and back and back ad infinitum. It wasn't her fault she was the way she was. She would never be the mother I needed, but she was trying to be her best. But for various accidents of fate, I'd be the same as her, so who was I to judge? I'm not actually sure this rationalisation is the truth, but I've found it is the only way I can live with her in my life, and now she has dementia, it really doesn't matter what the truth is, she can't change anything now. So that is one situation where I have forgiven for my own sake - and for hers, incidentally, as if she didn't have me she'd be stuck!

Steve himself would say he didn't know why I was friends with certain people because of things they had done to me. In his typical disordered way, he has never forgiven anyone in his life. He doesn't have to - to him, people are either wholly good or wholly bad, and it all depends on whether he approves of their last action related to him. It wouldn't matter that I had paid to take us on holiday, and had spent the whole week doing everything I could to make him happy. If I then spoke to someone while he was outside smoking, that made me a bad person who deserved to be beaten. It wouldn't matter that his sister gave him somewhere to live for six months; if she then refused to lend him £5 she was an evil cow, always had been, and he HAD to move out. Conversely, if she had been refusing to let him see her and her son for a year due to his addiction, if she then gave him her old iPod she immediately transformed  into the salt of the earth, a really good girl.

This is part of the reason I can't forgive him. He isn't like other people. He hurts others not because he messes up, but because inside is a soul-less excuse for a personality. I've seen him transform into the devil himself, seen a reptilian persona slide over the mask of his human features. If I believed in demon possession, I'd believe I've seen it. Everthing he does is all about him, he has no genuine feelings for others. Not forgiving him is an act of self-protection and preservation.

Yet here are the definitions of forgiveness from Wikipaedia (I've looked at lots of other sites too, and they are very similar):
"renunciation or cessation of resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offence, disagreement or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution."
"to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of offence or debt"

By those definitions, I have forgiven him. If I passed him in the street and he was on fire, I would piss on him. Well, I wouldn't, but I'd put him out. I have no thoughts of revenge any more. I bear him no malice in my heart. He has no place in my heart at all any more.

But wipe the slate clean? Oh no, never, not if I live to be a million years old, not even though it would most likely be a paper exercise as I doubt I will ever see him again.

Some people don't deserve my type of forgiveness. Which is a shame, because the only qualification is to be a person, not sub-human.