We were growing our life together in NYC. We lived in a beautiful apartment on the Upper West Side across from Central Park. We were both successful, beautiful and completely in love with each other. We got engaged. We had plans. We were going to move our lives out of New York City. We were going to get a dog that she could run with and we were going to grow old together.
I had already been diagnosed with PMDD. I was taking Prozac and it seemed to be helping. I’d take it a few days (4) before my cycle but then there was a definite shift. Perhaps it was the pressure of my job when the recession hit in 2010 and my income was gravely affected. Perhaps it was that my ability to focus was diminishing, as I couldn’t even respond to emails with clarity. Maybe it was the fact that I began to forget to do simple tasks. An unsteady mind definitely negatively affected my relationship with my fiancée and myself.
My professional identity was compromised. I was unrecognizable and the lines between home and work weren’t etched. There was no reprieve. I couldn’t function one on one with my fiancée and I certainly couldn’t communicate with my clients. My feelings were stuck in my head and so I couldn’t tell what I was feeling except for the feeling of being trapped. I couldn’t laugh. I couldn’t hug my lover, my arms felt heavy at my side. I couldn’t answer any of her questions, as I would begin to stutter, embarrassed and exasperated by the very idea of trying to decipher a feeling, thought or muster a reaction.
My partner watched me go from a high-spirited, courageous, determined woman to a deeply tortured and confused shell of what she knew and loved. Her love for me became unbearable while I was in PMDD. I thought that she couldn’t or wouldn’t give me space to work out my PMDD. Let me isolate. Why she couldn’t just leave me alone? As a result, I believed that I hated her. I wondered if that was possible and retraced every decision I had ever made to be with her. This was a monthly debate in my head. I thought that she should be able to let me isolate when I wanted to check out. How could I be with someone who can’t give me the most basic thing that I need to survive?
My PMDD had me heartless. It was so easy for me to cut off. It’s as if I were a completely different person. My heart was not my own. I became cold and didn’t want any of what I had built. I became disinterested in fighting for business and my life began to be too much for me to participate in. I’d only want to show up if absolutely necessary. It took me hours to post a status update on Facebook. It was a way to be social and appear happy without having to commit to doing anything with anyone.
When PMDD would be over. It was as if a veil lifted from over my eyes. I could see clearley and all the love for life would come rushing back into my blood stream. I’d feel wonderfully light. Full of self love and then this sense of dread would ensue. I’d think she is so beautiful. She deserves someone normal. I thought, so much damage, I just can’t keep apologizing. I thought she saw me broken and no matter how many times she told me that she was on my side, I just heard her say she had had enough. She’d scream she loved me, but I heard her say that she couldn’t feel my love. I’d spend the next few days cleaning up the mess. At work I’d hustle while I could and get that business. At home, I felt that my mind was turning inside out. It was inescapable. My thoughts in PMDD were inconsistent with my heart and my heart outside of PMDD would be broken from the pain I’d cause. I felt betrayed by my mind and my body.
That’s when I decided to take Prozac everyday! I thought it would lessen the effects of PMDD. Get my mind working back to normal. Help me loosen up and able to be a part of life rather than want to isolate. Love my lady and my self. It worked for a little while and then another shift occurred. That’s when I became afraid of what I would do to myself.