There are two versions of Jenny.
In the bright corner, we have the happy, positive, optimistic lady. Let’s call her Smeagol.
In the drab corner is the enraged, crumbling, volcanic mess. We shall call this one Gollum.
From one day to the next, we do not know which Jenny will show up. Most occasions, Smeagol is the first one to appear, but without warning, Smeagol can turn into Gollum at any given moment.
Do you remember the battle of the mind between Smeagol and Gollum in Lord os the rings? Let me tell you that struggle is real.
Smeagol was a happy person who loved life. Overtime Smeagol was corrupt by an invisible force, called the MENOPAUSE. A.K.A the fat, angry mess.
The menopause had Smeagol acting in irrational ways. Ways that made no sense to anyone, least of all Smeagol.
The menopause started to take over the physical appearance and change the personality of this once happy person. It put a voice in her head that whispered badness. Badness about herself and would trigger rage against other humans.
Developing hate for the one thing humans could not control, breathing.
Smeagol, like others, never thought the menopause would attach itself to them. It is something that sneaks up on females whether they like it or not. We have to accept that we, as females always have to deal with hormonal bullshit.
Firstly, we have periods for a big part of our young life. These can put a stop on your active life, and you become a hermit for several days a month. Crying and experiencing pains in parts of your body comes as standard.
Dished up with mood swings that resemble a scary rollercoaster with dips into the darkest holes.
Gaining excess weight and looking like Princess Fiona from Shrek.
But you crave those periods if you don’t want a baby. Then if you do decide to have a baby, you have the ridiculous change in hormones that come with pregnancy. And once the baby is here, you are a blubbering mess.
After you have dealt with all that, you would think that we’d have a break. But no. Along comes the menopause to show you that the previous was not as bad as it could be.
What were you crying for every month? Let’s mess you up properly.
Physically you have remodelled, and you are experiencing atrocious changes that you can’t control. But let’s come at you from all angles. We will go inside your head and mess with you from within your territory.
There is something inside my chest. It feels like something burning, and clawing at me from the inside trying to get out. It’s anger with a shit load of rage.
Is it the real me fighting to get out of this cocoon? I need to get out I need to run away. I am screaming in my head.
If I don’t get out of the house right now, someone is going to get unfairly verbally attacked for existing. Without saying a word to anybody, I grab my car keys and leave the house. I have no idea where I am going. I just drive.
The voices coming from the radio are infuriating. Everybody is so bloody happy puking their bullshit. I punch the off button, shouting, “Shut the fuck up!”
Everything is quiet in my car now, but now I have no distraction from the rage inside me. “Get out! Get out!” I wail.
I pull into some waste ground by a field. I realise it is dark and quiet. I see a few dog walkers and a person jogging.
I turn the car engine off. There’s too much noise to compete with the voice inside my head that is battering me. It is like an abusive relationship with myself.
The menopause turns you against yourself, trying to destroy you. You won’t know it at the time because it is your voice you hear verbally abusing. The more your voice bullies you, the more you believe what is said.
I hear a noise that is not one I have heard before. Someone is in pain. Like a ferocious animal caught in a trap, whose fighting for its life. A long deep throaty scream coming from somewhere. The fierce fury of noise shocks me.
“What the hell was that?” I question. It takes me a couple of seconds to realise it was coming from me.
I can barely see, my eyes are streaming with tears, falling down my sorrowful face. My vision is blurred. I don’t care who sees or hears me. There could be a crowd around me watching, and I would have no shame about my performance.
My mind is flooding with angry, self-pitying thoughts. It’s my Gollum I hear coming from inside putting me down. Gollum beats me with internal dialogue, making me feel malicious about myself. The words are damaging to punish me.
Smeagal’s calming voice appears, “Breath. Deep breaths. It’s ok.”
Gollum sneaks in and starts his attack.
“No one understands you on any level. Nobody wants to. Why should they drag themselves down? You’re pathetic. You should be sick of trying in life now, or maybe you haven’t tried enough?”
Smeagal interrupts, “Smile Jen. Keep smiling. You are strong.”
Gollum laughs, “But you know the truth, You’re not strong, you’re nothing. When will you realise you’re useless? You try so hard to be different and maybe that’s why you are pissed off? Because you are no different, you’re nothing.”
Smeagal tries to interject again, “Calm down, wipe your eyes.”
Gollum attacks stronger, “Yes, keep smiling, no one cares anyway. Do you want anyone to care? No, we can’t have that. That would be sympathy, and we don’t need or want that. That is weakness, you’re pathetic. Don’t cry, Don’t ask for help. Help for what anyway?”
I look up and see it is darker than before. No one can see me.
Gollum jumps back in, “Did anyone see you in the light? You used to be the light, and now you blend in. That is such a suckers mentality. You’re pitiful.”
There are no tears in my eyes anymore. I feel nothing but alone. I am an empty shell of nothing. I am the coin spinning in the air, not landing. Spinning, not knowing what to do.
Why am I so fucking dull?
I need to get out of this circle of hate towards myself. How did I get here?
The light on my phone catches my attention from my side view. A text from my daughter reads, “Can you pick me up, please?”
I look out across the black field and sigh heavily. I clean my face up and smile.
Anger on hold. The rage must be buried for now.
I text back, “Sure I will.”
Gollum goes back into his hole as he has done enough damage for today.
I paint my smile back on so nobody will know.
The battle is my secret.