Reflections of and on a probably Asperger's parent parenting an Asperger's kid (or 2)!

dragon pups

dragon pups

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On Faith and Hormones

WARNING: do not read if you are grossed out by reproductive biology or offended by mild cussing.

So my depression has “flared up” again, and as expected, in timing with my… um…  “moon cycle”.  I am very listless, with out any real positive ideas, and the more I talk about it the more people try to shine sunshine up my A** and direct me to just find or have more faith.  No, I do not want to believe that I am a horribly deficient person, that I lack the most basic tenet of Christian religion, that I am just miserable to be around or that I have disgusting character flaws.  I have spent years and years trying to come terms with this depression, to try to treat, medicate, counsel, etc. this business away…. But today I had an insight!

It’s all about biology.

My period is miserable. Now go ahead, lecture me about how it is all my fault, about how the diet I choose will severely impact my symptoms, that I need to manage it better with exercise, etc.  You’re right, there are probably some things I could be doing to improve how I experience my symptoms. Bite me. The truth is that I come from a LONG line of women with VERY strong hormones. Every blood relative female for 3 generations (living) has had serious hormonal complications.  I do not need to give you a family medical history. You need to trust that I am not making this crap up and that I am intelligent enough to see the patterns.  From puberty through menopause, the women in my family have obvious behaviors and medical complications directly corresponding with their hormonal cycle. 

When I was younger I was told that childbirth would even out my symptoms, that it would get better, or at least more manageable.  My childbirth experience has shown me…..  that I go into labor every months.  As I sit typing my hips pull and scream with the same back pain I had for 3 days prior to my deliveries and I am squirming to get away from a severe discomfort I don’t even know I have until I get snappy about it.  Yes, I have seen several OB/GYNs about it, like all doctors they are guessing in the dark too.  I know my body better than they do.  Nothing I have tried or been prescribed really improves the situation.  In an earlier era, I bet I would have been that woman who spent her whole life pregnant… and I was HEALTHY in my pregnancies. (The reality is: I tremble to even consider trying to manage another personality in the dynamic of this family!)

So it is very hard to be pleasant and cheery when you are in pain, but really that is not the seat of the depression (more like the surface wave).  I get very, very irritable, really angry.  As my skin changes, and my body parts ache, and I identify those sensations that came with pregnancy, labor and nursing, again, knowing I am going to lose a whole day to fatigue, and have extra laundry (increasing the work load while decreasing the energy level), and have to cook even though it makes me nauseous, and migraines that will make the lights too bright and the kids too loud, is it any wonder that I also feel a buildup of resentment, frustration, anger?  That as I get impatient with my body, I get correspondingly impatient with everybody else despite my best efforts to be cognizant of it and counteract it?  Everything just gets TOO big, the little challenges become big, the big woes I can ignore at other times become gigantic, all encompassing.  My failures to keep house, manage money, be patient with my children are just highlighted by my condition of gooey discomfort for 5 days (nearly a week!)  I get bogged down, have trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, lose focus on those positives that carry me through the rest of my life. I get depressed.

I reach out to my husband, to my mother, to my friends, looking for self-affirmation, for that flicker of the good person I must be to have earned their love & friendship in the first place… ‘cuz I sure can’t find it myself right now. 

My family/ friend support network is very familiar with this cycle, unhappily so. I have been extolled uncountable times to get meds, see a shrink, get with God, just HAVE FAITH to get me through this monthly drama.  I have tried LOTS of things (including all of the above).  I am a deeply reflective person, and I am breaking my heart, searching my soul, beating my self up trying to be “right”, to live up to the high expectations I have of myself, which of course just makes the depression cycle deeper.

This morning I came to a point of realization, of opinion, a response to my loved ones & myself:

I HAVE FAITH!!!!! Stop making me feel bad about my relationship with God because I am a slave to my biology.  Why are we surprised that as I find my self forcibly subjected to the divine process of biology over and over and over I have found a relationship with God, a FAITH, that sees it HAS to be pre-destined, that God’s will is UNAVOIDABLE.  To restate the obvious: My gender and family history are not MY choice.  I do not get any kind of feedback or input into when or how the whole thing goes down.  He will put me through what ever He deems necessary, regardless of what I think life is supposed to be or should be, or is for someone else, or was last week.  I have FAITH that God will put me through a continuous series of trials that will be unpleasant & painful.  I have FAITH that even when I think I am as deep down as I can be, it will get worse.  I KNOW it, in my heart, and my experience proves it.  Every month as I re-face some of the worst pain I have ever known, I do so knowing I will do so again in 3 weeks.  Every time I see my face break out, I know exactly how much more it portends.   When I am at my most exhausted, my autistic child will have the daily afternoon meltdown.

A college professor once warned me that I would be addicted to anger.  But anger provides strength, a strength that overcomes weakness of the body, provides adrenaline.  I used anger’s strength to get me through 2 knee surgeries, 3 years of post-op PT and the delivery I was awake for.  I have worked to control that anger on a more daily basis, trying to make sure that it doesn’t undermine my relationships and sabotage my support network or self-esteem.  I am 35+ years old, a True Adult in my head, and as such I have tried to accept that I have failures/ weaknesses, to own my faults. 

But on my weak days, when I hurt, when the inevitability of my enslavement to my biology overwhelms & frustrates me, it is really, really hard to be a friend to myself, to deny the anger that provides the strength I need.  Every month I watch the people around me withdraw in emotional self protection when I need to tap that anger, when I reach out too many times for that glimpse of who I am at other times.  When all I want to do is scream for help, the BEST thing I can possibly do is shut up and hide. 

It IS my FAITH that God has some divine purpose, that this is supposed to be making me stronger, not just punishing me, that keeps me hanging on, EVERY MONTH.  My FAITH gives me the strength to hide when I need a hug.  My FAITH drives me to keep looking for those tiny nuggets of love in new places when I wear my resources out.  My FAITH shows me the dog who sleeps protectively by, and the child who comes to tuck me in, and the husband who washed the gross dishes, and the friends on FB that send “thinking of you” messages, and the parents who let me call to cry, and the security of running water, and the boss that finds me valuable all the non-bleeding days I work, and the beauty of the quiet sunrise.   My FAITH is the last thing I see when everything else is dark to me.  My FAITH shows me that this too shall pass and next week I will be better able to appreciate the laughter of children.

I don’t need more faith, I need more FORGIVENESS.

I need to forgive myself for being unable to be as good as I want to be when biology assaults me.  I need forgiveness from my friends and family for being less than they want and need me to be one week a month. I need to forgive God for besetting me with this unique body.  I need forgiveness from the universe for being unable to keep my anger and sadness hidden every month.

And I am ashamed of myself for being mean.  I am sorry, everybody.  Please forgive me for being of the “weaker sex”, for giving in to my anger. I am trying to “accept” my weakness too, but sometimes it is very, VERY difficult to be in the depth of God’s will for me and not rail against it.  And the next time you’ve lost pints of blood and hurt like hell, I’ll be sure to remind you to “suck it up cupcake” too.

No comments:

Post a Comment

My thoughts are mine, yours are yours, this page is mine - offensive comments will be deleted. Thanks!