Those words strike fear into the hearts of the masses. But why? Do we see menopausal women wandering the countryside attacking villagers? Are we reading about mass murders perpetrated by the 50-something female? No.
Then why? I know many women who’ve gone through, and many who are going through, menopause. I’ve been through it myself. The majority of these women have appeared to behave no differently than anyone else I’ve observed. Even when angry. So why the bum rap?
Now don’t get me wrong there are women who are emotional basket cases during menopause. One colleague of mine refused hormones and cried virtually every day. She was cranky and spiteful and made everyone around her miserable. She was a 50-something Mt. Vesuvius. One day a phone call came in from a co-worker who’d left the company 15 years prior. During the course of that call she inquired about Ms. Vesuvius. “Does she still sit at her desk crying every day?” Menopause? I think not!
Women who are emotionally high strung throughout their lives will be emotionally high strung during menopause — in her youth it probably got blamed on her “time of month” and in her 50’s — you guessed it — menopause! Unfortunately that stereotype is universally applied to that particular “time of life” and we all become the butt of extremely offensive assumptions and a boatload of incredibly derogatory humor.
I’m not sure when menopause became that time of life when a woman is likely to “go postal.” It’s been like that throughout my lifetime. Maybe it was those post-war homemakers who dutifully raised their families and never spoke back to hubbies — maybe they finally spit the marbles out of their mouths and let their voices be heard when they hit their early 50’s. They’d have to blame that on some life changing phenomenon. I don’t know — it’s only a guess.
What I do know from personal experience and observation is that menopausal women are some of the most stable, and reliable brain trusts with whom I’ve ever had the pleasure to be acquainted. And that is from the life experience that has taught them to deal with virtually anything and manage to handle themselves with finesse and aplomb. Others could learn from them.
So if you’re wondering, I don’t don my safety helmet and body armor when I’m preparing to visit my menopausal friends — in my experience it has never been necessary!
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