I have a demon living in my head, and it is a part of me. There are two of me existing in the same space. We share the same face, the same experiences and the same memories, yet one half of me is a rational and pleasant person to be around, and the other is living a crazy, illogical and chaotic existence.
The sensible and sane version of me feels weak and small, and powerless to resist the overwhelming and destructive demon that can only be caged for 10 days of the month.
I have a fear that builds within me on day 8 of my cycle. I sit and wait for the demon to come crawling into my headspace and start making a mockery of me. The moment I open my eyes of day 10, the paranoia starts rumbling in my solar plexus. It starts as a vibration, then rumbles into a deep thunder roll, before bringing a brain fog down over my eyes. My ears are open, but I cannot hear. My eyes are open, but I am blind. My hands are strong, but my body is weak. I am aware of this happening to me, but I have been removed from my body and I am watching myself from above. I am screaming at myself to stop, breathe and take heed, but I cannot make myself hear. I begin to live the next two and a half weeks behind a think pane of frosted glass. I see and hear the evil bubbling up in my throat, ready to come blurting out. Some days I can gather my strength and control the demon and suppress it, but others I am overpowered and subdued.
When the demon is released, I feel it creeping out the crown of my head. I feel a cold, slimy gel like substance slide down over my face. My eyes get heavy. The muscles in my face drop, and feel sad. The corners of my mouth droop, and the tone is lost in my neck. My eyelids are heavy and downcast, and my soul retreats. My shoulders slump, and I become a hunched shell of a woman. My breathing slows and my abdomen tenses and flops at the same time. My legs are heavy and my shoes feel like they have lead soles.
Then the anger sets it. The demon steps into my shoes and grows tall. It stretches its limbs and cracks its knuckles ready for battle. It starts to look for a fight. The anger simmers in my chest, using my heart as a power source. I feel it spreading out. A burning rage runs through my veins. A chemical fuelled fire that burns so hot. I am now in the cage. I cannot get free. I watch this demon take over my body. I scream, shout, and destroy everyone and everything around me. I hit myself and slap my face. I scratch myself and tell myself I am stupid, pathetic and don’t deserve to exist. I am evil and utterly disgusting. I hate myself. I am a vile creature, not worthy of love, not worthy of being called a person, not worthy of life. I wish that I had the courage to end it all, but I don’t really want to die. I just want to be free.
I collapse in a heap, exhausted. My life is in tatters around me. I have told my husband to leave and have cried and begged for forgiveness. I want him to touch me and then I want him to hurt me and then I want to be alone.
The next day finally arrives and I am so exhausted I cannot move. The demon is sleeping. For now. I hurt. Every muscle and joint in my body is excruciating. My pelvis is mobile and I can feel each bone grinding. Every step is an effort. I cannot think how I will make it through the day. I force myself out of bed because if I don’t I never will. I feel like my back will split open and my hips will fall out of their sockets.
I am riddled with guilt. I hate myself and am filled is embarrassment and disgrace. I have humiliated myself and all of those around me by seeking to destroy every relationship that is there to protect me. I have spat in the face of love and kicked it when it was down. I deserve to be in the gutter. I did not deserve to wake up today. Everyone would be better off if I had never opened my eyes again. The demon would be dead. I would be gone from everyone’s life. Their suffering would be over. My pain would end. I no longer have the strength to think about this anymore, so I allow the brain fog to be my shield.
I spend the day trying to apologise, but each time I do it becomes less and less valid and more meaningless. I am a liability. I cannot be relied upon to be stable. I scared my husband, my one true love. I made a mockery of our marriage.
Then the cravings start. I have to have food! I don’t care what food, but it must be now and it must be good. The pain in my stomach is unbearable. It feels like I haven’t eaten for a month. I could cut off my arm and eat it. I need sugar. I need carbs. I need starchy and stodgy food. Give it to me now or I will kill you!
I know I should do the washing up, clean the bathroom, vacuum the house, wash my hair, brush my teeth and change my underwear. But I do not care. I cannot move off the sofa. I will do it another day. I will do it later. Anything but do it now. I try to overcome this lethargy by writing a list, but I get distracted, I get tired, I get frustrated. I panic. I freeze. I cannot breathe. My heart will explode. I am going to die if I do not hide under the blanket and suck my thumb.
I go to bed. The tears roll down my face. They are warm and soothing. The demon runs over me and claims me for its own. The sobbing is uncontrollable but feels so good. I sleep.
I wait for my period to come. I wait for the release. The flow of blood that drains my anger, drains my anxiety, my despair and my hatred from my body. I am cleansed. I am released from my cage. The walls of my cage are stripped away as my womb cries with relief. I can breathe fresh air. I can feel the touch of my husband. I can laugh again.
The demon is a hot, fierce animal that lives within me. Only it is me. I am the demon. My greatest fear is that this will always be a part of me. I fear that I will fight this demon until I take my last breath. I fear that it will take away everything that is precious to me and leave me a shadow of the woman I could be. I will not let it win. I cannot let it win. This is not who I was born to be. I can be great, I can be wonderful, I can be beautiful.
I have PMDD, it does not have me. I am beautiful. One day I will believe this.