I’ve been kidnapped and held hostage. My perpetrator’s names? Hormones.
They are erratic in their behaviour, and often I’m incarcerated in their madness. On a rare occasion, these mini terrorists appear to be sensible, which is when I plan my escape, but it never lasts. These ruthless monsters are infiltrating the door to my mind and body. My soul busy, trying to hold down the fort like Jon Snow on the Night’s Watch. They have already trampled on my emotions, which are screaming for me to run for my life, but I can’t escape.
Somedays they have me weeping profusely. Losing an assertiveness, I spent a lifetime establishing. Other days they provoke me to become a dark Terminator, not thinking twice as I flip the bird to the perceived sinister black car honking behind me. Momentarily insane, I’m ready to rip open the car door screaming, “what’s your problem?” Terror in their faces, the blacks of my eyes, gazing at them menacingly while they race to roll up their windows. Their appearance as pale as fresh snow as they stare into the insanity of a hormonally enraged middle-aged woman. Able to go from zero to bitch in two seconds, appearing either emotionally unstable or entirely intact. Possessing personality traits that only Sybil could identify. My family, afraid. These perpetrators have somehow trained me to become one of them.
The hostage-taking happened suddenly and without warning, asking for no ransom, instead aggressively squatting in a place they have invaded. They have taken a toll on my appearance. My body is on guard and knows that no part of it is immune to how despicable the Hormones can be. As they collectively operate as a fastball aimed precisely at my head fully intending to knock me down.
My brain is shocked by the experience. My breasts have chimed in, my vagina waving a white flag of surrender all wondering how they got access to invade. Every part of my body looking at me to save the day. Holding me responsible for rectifying a situation I have no control over as I’ve had no previous experience with these criminals while navigating my way through this dark abyss. They’ve terrorized every iota of my embodiment. The fire department’s hoses are rendered useless for the intense heat that emanates from my body, so intense it frightens even satan. I am helpless. The cruelty of my captors forces me to alienate myself from simple pleasures like spicy foods and wine. To consume a minuscule portion of either, I will blaze up like a flare in the middle of the sky visible for thousands of miles.
My incarceration has my body transformed into a Rubenesque painting. Even my feet have changed due to these terrorists accessing the hormonal panel within my anatomy. My G-spot is the only one that understands this strategic and hidden culprit accompanying me like a Navy Seal. She is my cohort, the mission, to rid them of their militant occupation.
They’ve invaded my mind and language skills operating them incoherently. I feel like I’m living in a perpetual game of charades straight out of the Twilight Zone. Sounding out words that should be at the tip of my tongue, but often don’t emerge until 24 hours later. Once an articulate and witty conversationalist, my communication skills have become disjointed and simplistic. My mind cringes in frustration and disbelief as a litany of jumbled words tumble off my lips.
After lovingly raising three beautiful children, these terrorists have taught me to despise kids. As with other things, they have manipulated yet another switch. God help a child that is misbehaving in front of me in a grocery line, or little tyrants taunting me from the back of a school bus. As nasty as they can be, I can become their nemesis. But it is not me. I am under the influence of this rogue of wild banshees, vulnerable and falling victim to their direction.
I’ve fallen out of love with things that once defined me pursuing a more military existence possessing only the basic of necessities, as I fight this crew of rogue soldiers who have invaded my body, trading camouflage for a searing flushed exterior. Millennials now consumed like sunflower seeds. Their entitlement spat out like the shells.
There are no police or security I can call. My only resolve is to contact another captor and seek guidance. I have found that on occasion, extreme weeping accompanied by tequila serve as a temporary relief, but it doesn’t last. The menopausal manuals speak nothing of how brutal they treat their hostages. I feel betrayed by the medical profession dedicated to this field having available to them limited strategies that are void of side effects.
Why is the journey of women’s ‘menopause’ so disruptive while men’s ‘andropause’ is gentle and unassuming? They’re arrival on the other side a soft click of the remote from the ESPN scoreboard to the status of a romcom. Unaffected and void of scars, unlike the women. The men, a gentler and more sentimental lot now plugged into a magical brew of estrogen that their opposite sex has run out of like crude oil during the energy crisis. Their new dispositions the polar opposite of their testosterone-infused female partners whose physiology is now capable of heat beyond that of asbestos, accompanied by a no-bullshit attitude. Fierce and without apology. Their bodies morphing into something foreign from what they once recognized.
These emotional terrorists have taken me to a new dark level. Vulnerable while struggling to scrounge for gratitude and joy. A match is lit courtesy of supportive words from girlfriends hijacked and on the same dark road. The word ‘f*ckers’ is used to address the captors. Strangely soothing and still not strong enough to describe how destructive these ‘little f*ckers’ are. I find myself continually strategizing to escape because one can easily get swallowed up in the sadness of it all. I am aware to not engage in anything permanently stupid for any temporary upsets. The only light I can see is the finality of my menstrual cycle.
I surrender and decide to adopt a philosophy similar to a sect of monks, however void of the physical abuse they practiced. Whipping themselves should one negative thought appear. The belief being to indulge in negative thinking is a luxury as it opens the gateway to other negative ideas as those thoughts travel like the Hormones – in packs. Instead, I stay awake and alert; my soul remains intact as I move through this covert operation. Conscious of only those things that are rooted in light and joy, no matter the disdain that surrounds me physically. Some days only capable of going from minute to minute. No looking over the shoulder at yesterday or forward to tomorrow. Just here and now. My freak flag visible in full regalia. It is about waiting out the captors and shifting the power into my realm. Continuing to grow and expand into the incredible women we are, despite this physiological metamorphosis, transmuting by reclaiming our potential no matter how difficult it is on some days. And in the process, learning the beauty of tender loving care towards oneself while maintaining a perceived sense of temporary control.
The captor’s residency is ticking. Their access to the mechanics of the body running out. In time I will get to recover a transformational version of myself during this time of incarceration that is stronger, and fiercer. Belting out Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar,” to which the Hormones best pack up and leave Dodge.