I wish I could have a single perfect word to describe what I am feeling right now. Perhaps it is a good thing that there isn’t. After all didn’t I seek this complexity of emotion as an angst ridden college student? This emotion where I could not express what I was feeling except through bad poetry and angry outbursts? This emotion that made me feel misunderstood and therefore justified in feeling unhappy?
There is one simple way of describing it. It is called PMS. It is the time for, ‘ the bloody tears of a disappointed uterus’ as my biology teacher from school mentioned. But I refuse to use that simple description because it is not so simple. Nearly ten years of being a menstruating woman means nearly 120 episodes of PMSing, as it is so eloquently called. While some of them maybe similar, every time it feels like I am displaced from my own body while being acutely aware of it at the same time. It means feeling an actual disconnectedness between the logical happiness and contentment of the situation you find yourself in and yet unable to stop this sense of unsettlement, a sense of foreboding, of anguish, of disappointment, of feeling like a failure, of near insanity.
I know PMS is a gigantic joke to men. As I type this I can imagine the laughter of many of my good male friends, good sensitive and (mostly) sensible male friends who might find even a serious lament of menstruation hilarious. There are days when I can get the joke and can take them with a pinch of salt. There are days when I can even crack them. Today is not one of them.
Today, a part of me even wonders if the reason I crack those jokes is to be seen as a ‘cool’ girl in the eyes of the observers. It is cool to joke about PMSing, about the mood swings of a pregnant woman and about crazy menopausal old women. It is uncool to actually talk about these issues. Even today, in this so called era of liberal independent thinking women, it is hard to talk about certain basic issues. I can walk down a street past midnight, I can travel Europe alone, I can admit to bi-curious tendencies, I can discuss transgender rights, but I still cannot bring myself to tell a friend that I accidentally stained her bed sheet without an acute sense of shame. I still cannot figure out how best to dispose my sanitary napkins when I am travelling or staying away from home. I know mothers do not tell their sons that they are lying down because their abdomen feels like its tearing inside out and pretend to have an headache instead, I know wives who do not tell their husbands that fuck off and make your own coffee because it is an impolite thing to talk about.
I do not know if this silence is purely an Indian phenomenon but I do know that the sense of shame that we associate with normal, healthy bodily functions is universal.
Erh. The body is mostly back to normal and tired.
I should just wear a sanitary napkin and sleep anyway. You know, incase my nether regions decide to release its bitter scarlet poison and all.