I was discussing with both my Bestie and my BFFE about their daughters “becoming a woman” or getting their periods for the first time since they are both around that age and it made me realize how far we have come to when I first got my period. Products are completely different then when I was that age and I amazed at some of the products out there now. I mean, we really didn’t have much of a choice but girl’s today have special pads and tampons made for teens. Plus there are things like the Diva Cup and washable unders with pads built into them. We had kotex and tampons without applicators. Fun times. And this event in a girl’s life is one we all remember. For some of us it is more imprinting than others. I shall share with you my story for the hopes that some girls out there, my God Daughters and BFFE’s sweet girl included, can see that we all go through it and none of us like it. So girls…here is the truth about getting your first period.
I remember being shown “the film” about getting your period probably in about 6th grade and being mortified. Girls went to one presentation and boys to another. We even got little booklets to take home to discuss it with your parents. Not that any of us wanted to do that. I always wondered if the boy’s presentation was as embarrassing as ours. No girl wants to here about the “blood of life” flowing from her vagina. It is gross, yucky and all I could think about was that if that was what babies was all about then I was for sure not gonna do that. I mean who wants to even consider in 6th grade that you would soon have blood that flows out of you every month? It soon became the topic of many a hushed conversation on the playground for a long time in groups of girls. The book Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume was passed around secretly and we all wondered when this supposed “miracle” of womanhood would happen to us. I really was not looking forward to it unlike most girls. I had no desire to have blood come out of my vagina. Who the fuck wants to bleed from their vagina every month? Not me. The whole secret of womanhood seemed messy to me, no matter how wonderous and magical the film made it sound. I was pretty sure I was being lied to. That unicorns and fairies were not going to come celebrating me becoming a woman and I was not going to run through a field of flowers telling everyone how wonderful it was to bleed from my vagina for the first time. I was not wrong.
Nobody warns you when you are around the age of 12 that this “gift” from Mother Nature will show up whenever the fuck it wants to and totally ruin your life. I got my period for the first time at junior high and of course I was wearing white shorts. Probably the last time I EVER wore white pants (except for in nursing school. Who’s bright idea was it to give a predominately female class white pants to wear?). I was mortified to be in class and feel this weird wetness coming from my private area and instantly I knew something was wrong and asked for a bathroom pass. I knew I wasn’t peeing my pants but it sure felt like it. By the time I got to the bathroom, it was too late. There it was soaked through my panties to my shorts…the Stain of Shame. What was I to do now? It is not like I can wear those shorts and not like I had extra clothing to change into. Was I supposed to walk around all day with the Stain of Shame in my crotch area for the whole school to see like the Red Badge of Courage or Scarlett Letter? I quickly shoved toilet paper into my underwear and went to the nurse. When I got to the nurse and embarrassingly explained what had happened, she nodded in understanding and offered to call one of my parents to bring me some different shorts. In the meantime, she would tell my teacher I was staying in her office for a bit and gave me a kotex pad to use. Of course you are also not told that these kotex pads will feel like you have just been handed a diaper or better yet, a pillow to wear in your chonies. It is like the nurse said to me “Here! Shove this pillow under your vagina! Congrats! You are now a woman!” And men, in case you are wondering, that is EXACTLY what it feels like. Take a pillow and put it in the crotch of your underwear and see how it feels. Now try walking around the block with it there, or running or better yet…swimming. Now add to it something constantly dripping or gushing into your pants onto that pillow so that you constantly feel wet and dirty. And let’s not even mention what happens when you sneeze when you are on your period. That will make it like a crime scene in your pants. For reals. This is how it feels to have your period. Yeah. It fucking sucks to be a girl.
The other thing you are not warned about is how bad it will hurt to get your period. “Mild discomfort” my ass. That film lied. As I lay in the nurse’s office, I thought I was gonna die. There was so much pain in my stomach and I didn’t know why. I felt like there was a screwdriver being repeatedly stabbed into it and into my vagina. Or a little tiny army of warriors battling in there. I could hear them screaming “Release the blood of life! She is now a woman!” Or yelling “Freedom!” as they charged against some other army they were fighting in my uterus. Plus, now I was nauseated and there was this feeling of stuff leaking out of me. Oh screw this becoming a woman thing. This was what all the girls were waiting for? This pain…this mess…this feeling of wanting to die? Not at all what I had signed up for when I was born a girl. On top of it, now I have to experience this every freaking month until I become old? Uh…no. I don’t wanna. So gross. Boys are so lucky.
The topper to this wonderful life altering experience? My change of pants and unders finally arrived to the school….by MY DAD. So yeah. That happened.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did want to die when I got my first period because that film fucking lies and there are no unicorns and magic when you get your period but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl telling girls out there how it REALLY is to get your first period Running. The experiment continues….