For someone who has struggled and fought in the plight to find her normal, the monthly cycle and my cyclical and scrabbling new found awareness of it is a crude awakening. A distillation of all the wrongness that can be, I have found the days leading to and the days of bleeding to be.
Bleeding. Bleeding and bleeding more. A constant trickling flow pouring and pouring out of her centre; crudely and raw. Banging into things and feeling ultra sensitive to noise and sound. Flitting from hopefulness to helplessness. Smarting at loud voices and requests, tripping over things, tripping over words spoken and words heard and dropping things as if they are covered in melting butter. Mistakenly leaving the loo looking like somethings been murdered there even though you mean to be ultra careful to clear up after yourself and sometimes the bed sheets too, spattered in ruby red splotches, another mattress bruised and aged with brown red stains by your humanity. Sometimes other people’s chairs, god forbid the shame, the shame, now in the 21st century. Or a cab seat or a bicycle seat if things are pretty heavy. Dare I say it. Wicked witch and Sleeping beauty cursed after that first drop of deep red blood on her sixteenth birthday. Physical exhaustion, aching muscles and drained skin, like the flu. The wicked witch is the hiding of the reality, the castration of the reality of the feminine. This can only manifest as a wicked witch hidden evil, Well here it is, it’s red blood that pours out of the hidden places at the very centre and is victim of centuries of oppression of being forced to hide and cower and be ashamed. That’s the wicked witch.
For some reason I feel compelled to write when the going gets tough and I feel like a bottle of compressed stuff fit to burst. How often this is when the tide of blood exits from the body sending the hormones ratting and firing lunatic-ally through the body. Or is this so. Or is it my ancestral female riling against the fables of the wicked witch that must be hidden. This feels like the time we need to closet away and wrap oneself up in something to stave off the hostility that can creep and crawl at the door of the senses. But most of us lilet it out ultra and always and carry on maniacally proving we can still hurtle through the days like a warrior in spite of and despite and thus… full of spite?
Given that I have spent twenty odd years bleeding once a month in a fury of blood, sweat and tears literally; being a victim of hyper sensitivity and intense moods and ultra vulnerability when ‘aunty flow’ comes to visit I feel able and wanting in the current flood to write about it.
Probably the hardest time was when my children were small and I was ten years younger and with a sort of insane stoicism i’d battle through activities, and life pretending that I wasn’t bleeding, sometimes so utterly heavily, pretending I wasn’t even to myself, and hurtling from menstrual bleeding which felt like my self was disappearing in the constant torrent to sudden bone dry unbleeding unred after a good five to seven days battening down the hatches against the storm to find a hollow shattered exhaustion in its place but at least the bleeding had stopped for another month.
Now in my probably final decade and a half of bleeding I just need to write about it before the next hurdle swings it’s bat in my head and wrenches from my body’s female centre, the womb, the incessant tide of blood which ebbs and flows so keenly now with utter clockwork precision and, if I am to believe many women who tell me, will render me an emotional and sweaty mess of skewed hormones.
I had a conversation with a woman yesterday about the trauma of motherhood. I would like to write about that too but she reminded me that she also found it to be a smack in the face but that it’s not something you do. You have, apparently, to preserve the purity and hope of bringing new life into the world. Just don’t mention the war frankly. Well I’ve said it, it’s traumatic. At least it was for me.
Now that’s not to say there aren’t good days, like everything, but if like me you are pretty much mothering alone or just not in a great relationship then it can be a barren and painful place but just with loads of beautiful parts (the children ironically) along the way. And of course it can make you feel like a very horrible person because along with all the false advertising of life and motherhood we are subjected to along the way, we kind of, at least, I kind of deep down, feel like it’s just me that’s so cantankerous and cranky that I find bleeding a chore of utter human misery, being endlessly patient to others needs a torture and feeling all these feelings a cardinal sin.
I have forgotten myself in motherhood or at least in the decades I have done it, I have lost myself completely in a blur of, to repeat, blood, sweat and tears. Raising children from cradle to adult isn’t a picture book or a rose garden and the challenges sometimes feel insurmountable and the reward, one that you have to seek deep inside for. Although ‘obvs’ and what is an utter cliché and renders all the lies of the bliss of motherhood actually true, there are magical moments which can only be described in my opinion as expressions of love. And that’s any happiness or achievement, conversation, resolve of an issue, laugh, chuckle or smile no matter how big or small. That’s all great but the nitty gritty can just be plain hard day to day like everything I suppose.
Anyway I’m off to have a not to hot bath and try to come to terms again with being in a foul mood again, even though I’ve read Wildpower and tried to harness the seasons of my cycle for the benefit of me and all mankind. Goodnight.