Image has a photo of "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" monkey figures in background. Text says, The comment was deleted and I was blocked. I commented on the Facebook page. I was blocked. I answered a question on Twitter. I was blocked on Twitter too. They even blocked me from viewing their website. - Amy Sequenzia, awnnetwork.org"

Menopause: Just When You Felt Less Socially Awkward

JUST when I had finally stopped obsessively worrying that I might possibly be offending someone somewhere; just when I had started feeling (almost) comfortable socializing with humans, rather than pets, at dinner parties; just when I had mastered the polite nod, knowing when someone is waving to me and not the person behind me and saying “thank you” when being complimented…. THIS.

Are you there, God? It’s me, Nadine. You never mentioned THIS. Nobody did. Everyone talked about my period! Especially me. (I tend to “over-share” sometimes.) But I was Image has a photo of "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" monkey figures in background. Text says, The comment was deleted and I was blocked. I commented on the Facebook page. I was blocked. I answered a question on Twitter. I was blocked on Twitter too. They even blocked me from viewing their website. - Amy Sequenzia, awnnetwork.org"totally ready for that. My mother made sure of it. She had been traumatized as a young girl herself when she one day suddenly started to “hemorrhage” while walking to school. (My Grandmother, due to the modesty of the times, had failed to mention menstruation to her.)

I had my own copy of all four volumes of the “Life Cycle Library.” I was notified about pubic hair, the use of deodorant and the existence of the maxi pad. When Mother Nature came to call, it was no big deal. In fact, I didn’t even bother to stop climbing on the monkey bars at recess. So, when I reentered my classroom, looking like a walking crime scene, I was sort of surprised that my teacher seemed so put out. Clearly, she had not read the “Life Cycle Library” volume 3. Thus, I proceeded to fill her in by presenting a lecture on menstruation. The point is, while certain Neurotypical adults might have been shocked when I got my first period, I myself was not.

But there was no “Life Cycle Library” volume on hot flashes. No mention of hormone levels that having you sobbing when you can’t find socks that match and threatening to run away when someone asks you if you got the mail. Nobody tells you that your metabolism just stops working one day and you can gain five lbs. by watching a Burger King commercial, but that you might sweat it off again at night. Who knew that the hair on your arms would one day disappear and reappear on your chin? Not me! Just what I love best! A surprise! (No I don’t – I like ROUTINE and predictability.)

And there’s an added bonus for those of us who are not just perimenopausal women, but Autistic perimenopausal women. Some us–including me, because I’m lucky like that–also start having sensory challenges again, even if they had faded. Our executive functioning, which may not be so great already, can also take a big hit. And well, two words – mood swings. I’m sorry. But somebody had to tell you. It might as well be me because my social skills aren’t that great anyway.

I also want to tell you this though, you will make through this like you made it through everything else. Really. You’re going to make it. I can’t promise that people who make you wait fifteen minutes to buy shoe polish at Walmart, while they chit chat idly with the only open cashier will make it, but you will. You can believe me. I read all the volumes in the “Life Cycle Library.” And I’m not good at lying, so I don’t bother trying. Good luck. May estrogen be with you.


About the Author, Nadine Silber.

6 thoughts on “Menopause: Just When You Felt Less Socially Awkward”

  1. I greatly admire your courage. I look at menopause as God’s way of giving us free reign to blurt out anything and not care who is hit in the crosshairs. Even the most diplomatic woman has zero filter during menopause and that is okay. Filters have down sides too. They prevent honesty sometimes and even though you had inhibited filters to start, this is now your time to shine! Menopausal women are God’s way of reminding the world that honesty matters!

  2. Your sense of humor, and yes you have a great, sarcastic one, will see you through anything a woman must handle. I hope you will get off the hormonal roller coaster very quickly, but don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed. Welcome to another stage of life!! Been there, sometimes sure I’m past it, but then it just hits me over the head to remind me I am still a woman!! =D

  3. Thank you!! I am an autistic woman who struggled with PMDD and had to have surgery and now in surgical menopause. No they don’t tell you. No they don’t talk that we will experience it differently. I am doing okay but i didn’t know about just much it was going to hit me. My executive functioning is non existent. I am more prone to meltdowns due to sensory issues and boy my moods are better than the pmdd but still unstable.

  4. You will be surprised to hear that in Asia mothers are still shy about talking to their girls about menstruation so many have to go through what your mother did. Menopause is though a liberating experience here as well. Thanks for your candor.

  5. Just saw this and as a woman just diagnosed last year at age 48 AND having been in perimenopause for the last 15 years, boy did you hit it on the nail. The closer I’ve come to the actual BIG M, the worse my executive functioning has gotten too. Before my diagnosis I thought it might be early onset Alzheimer’s!

  6. Thank you so much for this. I’m 52 and toward the end of the transition—I wish there was a manual for going through the life cycles when female and autistic.

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