Coping with The Rage
Author: Jenny T
This week our resident blogger Jenny T struggles to cope with The Rage and contemplates life as she goes through the menopause.
I must admit I didn’t see it coming. But now it’s here and it has a name, and it must be ‘a thing’ as whenever I refer to it, women of a certain age laugh with recognition.
It takes precisely 5 seconds for The Rage to erupt and it is uncontrollable. Yet the things that you would think would cause the rage you can now control (untidy teenage bedrooms, traffic jams, lack of trains due to the Waterloo dig-up, food in the sink plughole). No, this new Rage comes at unexpected times, from nowhere, and feels like a very spikey monster uncurling from the pit of your stomach and launching up your torso and out of your mouth with spit and spikes and true venom (a bit like John Hurt’s alien episode, RIP x 2).
Finding out I had potential Japanese Knotweed – that would render my house unsellable and me bankrupt forever – did not Engage The Rage. No. But the 12-year-old estate agent who rang me in Turkey with no recollection of why he had rung me until he said, ‘Oh yes about your Knotweed’ and then lost track again – he unfurled the monster, though verbally on the phone I managed to contain it, but I was kicking the wall and silently screaming.
The 142 episode was not containable. The teenager and I we went to the Turkish cashpoint and I was immediately reminded of an Ibiza cashpoint several moons ago – just a pop up street affair – that swallowed my Euros AND my card. So, I advised lanky to work out how much English money he wanted, and translated this to ‘approximately 120 Turkish Lira’ before he put the card in. We went through the process and he decided he wanted 140 Turkish Lira. The options were 100, 120 or 160 (of course), so in ‘other’ he typed 142. Why. Why. Why. I used swearwords and lost it in the street. Monster spat and hissed and lashed about unhinged for about 5 minutes. Leaving its host with a hot flush and a very shocked son. Sorry about that!
Then there still are two remaining examples of ‘previous’ things that were annoying, and now they absolutely bring out the monster, in full throttle:
1) As we know, ladies, the facial hair is an issue. For me it is now a daily issue. I have those eyebrows that these days everyone is not only copying, but having them tattooed on (strange affair). But mine need constantly plucking – every single day – and because my eyes can’t hear I need a magnifying mirror to the power of ten and some very tweezerman-like tweezers. I also need to excavate the chin area. This is personal, and I try and sneak away when manfriend is present so he doesn’t realise how hairy I am. Yet he always turns up and catches me, and he ALWAYS says something like ‘Faffing again?’. I have sat him down and explained that it is personal, and private, and please respect this. But no. The minute I see his shadow and hear the start of the word ‘Faff’ the monster comes out screaming and kicking.
2) Shaving my legs is an alternate daily thing, but must be daily in bare-leg weather. This involves a hot shower and a closed door. DO NOT open the bathroom door when I am in there or the draught makes the goose bumps on my legs stand up and I am then shaving off bumps of skin not just hair. [How many TIMES do I have to tell you this? And WHY can’t you even be so polite as to knock? ARE YOU STUPID? Monster Mr Rage thinks so.]
So, if you have The Rage please, like me, try to avoid situations and people who you know will entice the creature out of the black lagoon and out of your mouth. It will render you exhausted and either slightly confused or slightly embarrassed. Or you’ll laugh like a banshee woman, confirming to witnesses that you are, indeed, old. However, some situations are just unavoidable. Let’s call these the 142s and put them down to experience….I just roll my eyes and say ‘Sorry, Senior moment’…or pretend I’ve just died.
Read more from Jenny T: The Meaning of Love
If you are experiencing mood swings, check out this article: Mood swings during menopause – causes and lifestyle solutions.