This isn’t a pretty post and I should warn you, it comes with a warning that it contains themes of self-hatred.
I hope that you know me as a caring, supportive, positive and inclusive person. I am also no youngster as I approach turning 46 very soon. 46 isn’t old but I am peri-menopausal, or suffering the whirlwind of changes that happen to some women.
One of those is an intensification and change in PMT (pre-menstrual syndrome). I have a couple of months of suffering depression and then I suffer a vicious and horrific attack. It’s hard to put into words, but it feels as if my soul, my mind, my who-I-am is being sandblasted by a high-pressured acidic mix. All of my defence mechanisms are ripped away and my thoughts turn to constant vitriolic attack on myself.
I know that when it happens, the attack will cease about 36 hours later. The trouble is, that by that time, the harm is done. The thoughts have been carved into my mind. They may no longer be an active thought but the groove they have left stays there as a new part of me.
It’s exhausting. I am so exhausted afterwards that I don’t have the emotional energy to fight back. As I try to move forwards, an insidious voice whispers, wondering whether the thoughts in the storm are really the reality and I am just too stubborn to admit it the rest of the time. I often think that my continuing existence is down to pure stubbornness more than anything else.
I know I am not the only person who suffers from this type of PMT, so I am writing this to try to move away from the shame associated with it and to be open.
During the attack, I rip to pieces nearly every part of who I am, including my character. The easiest target for me centres around my body. I have covered how much of a failure I am (this is how I feel) with exercising and weight loss elsewhere. This month, my attack attained a new level of harm. For the first time, I don’t just dislike my body, I loathe, and am ashamed of it. I haven’t felt that shame before. I’m not sure how I will approach letting others take my picture again.
I have only included some of my thoughts in the picture for this post. Some are too nasty for me to verbalise.
I hate how I feel right now. I have been so tempted to stop taking pictures and to walk away. I don’t know whether it is strength, openness or an emotional masochism that is making me share these pictures. I hate how I look in them. I hate how fat I am. I hate that my fat isn’t the beautiful, voluptuous curves I see in others. I am challenging myself to look properly at myself by posting these images. I hope that at some point in the future, I can come back to this post and see it as an event in my history that I healed from. I have to hold on to hope.
Self-care helps to scrub those thoughts away but even with that, a trace still remains.
I’m posting this for both Sinful Sunday and the Menopause Diaries.