Before we begin I want to give a little heads up on several things. First, I’m warning my readers of a certain subject I will be talking about. Menstrual cycles. Periods.
This just got…
Also, I know that female bodies are made to bear children and there is a certain process the body has to go through in order to prep the body for this miracle. I’m not stupid. This is just the story of how and why I became so uncomfortable with my period. Just bear with me.
Rewind to 5th grade – sex education class at school. Our p.e. coaches were tasked with teaching us all about sex, puberty, boys puberty, and of course, periods. From the entire lesson, my takeaway was this…”when you get your period, it means you’re ready to have a baby!” I don’t know why this was engrained in my mind so deeply. Maybe because that’s all my grandmother would talk about. And that is what our coaches explained was happening to our bodies when we started our menstrual cycle. Which, per science and biology, is true. But this is what really got to me…”when you start your period, you are becoming a WOMAN, because now you can have babies.” My mind took this with a ton of salt. Not a grain. So at the time, I understood this as meaning – the ONLY reason you are a woman now is because you can have kids. I know…young, dumb, and naive.
But this stuck with me for years up until I got my period…and then it got worse. When it came, I wasn’t surprised or shocked. I was merely indifferent towards it all. Because of the awkward connotations I had with the idea. I didn’t really know what to think or feel when it came. I called my mom to tell her. But ONLY because I needed her to buy me some supplies. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have told anyone. Like once you see the wrappers in the trash, you’ll know. I don’t need to tell you. I lived with my great grandparents so the mess definitely wasn’t going to be left there by my 70 year old grandma.
When the word got out, my oober-Hispanic familia went a little overboard with the name calling. “You’re a woman now!” “Be careful with those boys! They only want one thing.” Like what? Do they want a period too? I don’t understand. I never had to be wary of half of my classmates. Until this? What is this wizardry that all of a sudden makes boys dangerous? And what is this thing that they want? And why do only the boys want it?
Okay I didn’t ask these stupid obvious questions but you get my drift. It’s f*cking stupid! First and most of all, my period is NOT the only thing that makes me a woman. Not then and not now. For me, “becoming a woman” meant so much more.
At the age of 11, it was the strength and self-control it took to go through a horrible car accident with my family and sit back and watch my sister get drug out of a car unconscious and barely alive. At the age of 14, it was the faith and courage it took to push through some of the hardest times anybody could go through when losing their father. At the age of 20, it was the compassion and perserverance it took me and my siblings to help our Mom fight breast cancer. And the strength to put on a smile for her when we shaved all her beautiful hair off.
Look, what I’m trying to say here is not “ooooh look at little ‘ole me, I’ve been through some sh*t and I’m still here!” I’m not throwing a pity party or trying to hold myself on any pedestal. I’m trying to say that THIS is what makes me a woman. All these traits that not only make me a woman, but a human being. And everybody has beautiful traits about themselves that make them who they are. And their traits probably tell a story about life just like mine do. My mom has a story. My wife has a story. My sister has a story. My daughter and mother-in-law. My grandma. My great grandma. And they are all the strong, independent women they are today because of that story. Not their periods…..
So yes, I hated my period for this reason! And because I never even planned on birthing my own kids so why do I even need to go through this crap! It hurts, it’s gross, it’s even debilitating sometimes. Take it away! But I’d like to give a shout out to that testosterone. So far, it seems like I’ve already skipped this month’s doom week. Thanks T.
Anyways! Thanks for reading y’all!