Normalizing Periods

2019

I got my period for the first time when I was 11 years old.
I wasn’t taken by surprise.
I didn’t get scared.
Mama had always made me get her pads ever since I was very little.
And she had told me that when girls get older,
They bleed a little every month.
womanhood, period

FULL STORY

You Know What

2019

Why is it wrong for people to know?
Why is it something to be ashamed of?
Why do we use euphemisms such as “I got you-know-what,”
Or “Did you get it?”
Or “Has it shown up?”
Why am I not allowed to go to church when I’m on my period?

FULL STORY

I Could Never Talk To Her

2019

I understood what a period was was,
But not very well.
Mama never talked to me about it.
When I got it for the first time,
I couldn’t tell her,
Because I could never talk to her about anything.

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I Felt Left Out

2019

My story is a little bit different.
I, too, wasn't close to my mother,
So I couldn't talk to her about it.
And I was a very late bloomer.
At 14, every girl in my school talked to each other about it,
And I had no idea what it was.
I felt that something was wrong with me.
I felt left out.
womanhood, period

FULL STORY

No Fear or Embarrassment

2019

When I was young,
I used to love finding out about new things before the time was right.
We were at my grandmother’s one time,
When I saw blood on my aunt’s pyjamas.
I was surprised.
I ran to my mother in tears and told her what I saw.

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You Have No Shame

2019

We were in the North Coast at the time.
I was not allowed to go swimming,
Because I was wearing a pad, and it was going to get wet,
Making it known that I got my period.
womanhood, period

FULL STORY

It Doesn't Have to Be Scary

2019

When I was a kid,
Mommy would always tell me that God would only start judging me for my actions when I got my first period.
Before that,
My slate was clean,
Because in front of God,
I was still a baby: clean and innocent.
But when I got my first period,
That was it.
We’d be the same.
I’d be a woman.
Grown up and aware,
And accountable for all my actions,
Just like her.

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Marriage and Blood

2019

My stomach started to ache really badly.
I found blood.
I stuffed a lot of tissues into my underwear.
I burst into tears and kept crying for some time.
My mother eventually found my stained shorts.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked.
I didn’t know what to say.
We had never exactly been close.
womanhood, period

FULL STORY

So and So Got Her Period

2019

I was having a hard time accepting the changes my body would go through.
I used to see how my mother dealt with her period,
And the blood terrified me.
I was afraid of getting it.
Most of my friends and cousins had gotten it.
I felt sorry for them when they told me the news.

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Not My Fault

2019

I can’t remember how old I was when I got it,
But I remember being in the third or fourth grade.
I remember being really upset.
I remember crying.
I was scared that someone would force me to don a headscarf.
womanhood, period

FULL STORY