Have you ever had one of those days where you send a cold e-mail to a co-worker, throw a vase at your boyfriend, tell your well meaning mother to fuck off and burst into tears when you get cut off in traffic? Then like two days later, when you get your period, you’re all ‘Ohhhhhhh. Oops.’
PMS. There are all sorts of arguments and inquiries out there about what it is and what it isn’t and who gets it bad and who doesn’t and what's really happening.
One thing that’s pretty consistent though is that it gets thrown around when a woman’s being pissy. ‘She must be on her period’. I've known men to download iPhone apps to track the impending insanity of their partners. Most of my female friends speak about their emotional hormonal flux with a bit of shame, because they blew things out of proportion. Whether male or female, it seems pretty popular to invalidate the content of any upset that occurs with the hormonal flood pre-menses. Once the hormones balance back out, we sheepishly go ‘nevermind’ and negate what was so fiercely, so overwhelmingly, unacceptable.
I suggest we start doing the opposite.
In menstruation we are shedding. I see the hormonal surge right before menses as an invitation for emotional or psychic shedding as well. Rather than seeing this increase in sensitivity and decrease of rationality as burdensome, I say we look at it as the quiet voice that we ignore in our day to day finally getting a chance to be heard. What are those things that we are so graciously trying to accept? Perhaps they’re unacceptable. What are we tolerating that our hearts or guts are sick of tolerating? In these tender and sometimes insane times, we can turn towards the intensity of our experience and listen to the parts of ourselves that we keep muffled out of convenience, fear or survival.
Perhaps men and women alike can begin to shift the collective approach to Pre-Menstrual-Syndrome from that of some comical or crazy thing that women go through, to an important time for truth telling and looking within. I’m not saying we advocate throwing vases here, but begin to honour what’s being brought to the surface, month after bloody month.