Having Many Faces, Hiding My Real One

By Glenda Rivera

My biggest struggle with PMDD was that I didn’t know I had it.

For many years, I lived feeling guilty of everything…if I raised my voice…if I was mad. Morning and night, there was always something to feel bad about.

I always looked for guys to alleviate my pain, and not necessarily toward the best ones for me. I felt guilty about that too. Going to bed sometimes I’d just cry because I could finally put my mask down. The day is over, you can now cry and feel bad.

Although this was happening, becoming a mother motivated me to do more and become more resilient, but I couldn’t figure out how come one week in particular, I’d become so tired, miserable, clumsy, and I’d eat so much more during these days…. I felt like I was put together the majority of the time, but all messed up for a few days each month.  And the thing about it was that it wasn’t subtle, it was very drastic. It got to the point where I didn’t want to see anyone during these days except my daughter. I was a single mom at that time.

I’d silence my phone and disappear from the face of the earth for a few days. Then, after having my period, my confidence came back, my hopes, my dreams, my empathy and my desire to do things, everything was back again.

Then I started thinking, how long will this last? Could I do something about it ahead of time to prevent these dark days from coming? What should I do?

I never talked to anyone about this. I partially blamed my state to the dysfunction of family, and thought, this is just the result of all the bad experiences I’ve had. My body and mind are suffering because of it.

Time passed, but after going through the cycle of sadness, rage, regret, shame and guilt, many times, I finally I opened up to my OBGYN. After many questions and conversations, he told me what I had and put me on medication. I clearly remember when I started the medication, I felt relieved. The edge was not so edgy. I started reading about PMDD, and realized now everything makes sense! But my battle was just starting, I was still in for a roller coaster of emotions and feeling like no matter how prepared I thought I was, I was always going to have to show different masks, one for my clients, coworkers, family, and if I was dating someone too (that never lasted). I ended up destroying everything, all by my self, no help, just me, no matter what.

Exercise helped me cope many times, and to this day it has helped me tremendously, plus the desire to do new things and continue to live my life the best way possible. I wondered many times, is there a cure out there for this?…there must be one… right? Why don’t I know about it? Living in the dark is insane. I began to try a lot of different remedies and products, and to my surprise, a lot of people didn’t even know PMDD existed, it was surprising how many people didn’t know anything about it. Maybe like me, they were in the dark.

When I met my actual husband, I told him ahead of time what was going on. “We will do this together,” he said. “But the one thing you will not do is hide from me.” I accepted this challenge and we have been 5 years strong, so far.

My biggest pain was always feeling like a failure and a bad mom, but after years of accepting this disorder, I have learned new ways to cope, physical, mental and spiritual.  

This year, 2019, I decided to post about this for the first time, and finally take my strong-woman-all-the-time mask off and let people know that I am strong, but I also deal with real difficulties. I am not going to feel shame because I have PMDD, because PMDD is not everything I am.

I am a human being and a warrior.


About the Warrior:

Glenda Rivera

Louisville, KY | Fitness  & Zumba instructor | Studio owner | 45 years old | Wife & Mom

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