Pain and Discomfort

2019

I wasn’t feeling well for over a month.
I had a stomach-ache,
And was feeling down all the time.
My mother took me to see a doctor when I told her.
After he examined me, he said,
“There’s nothing wrong with you.
Eat well,
And stop eating food that isn’t home-cooked.”
A month later,
I got my period.
I didn’t understand what it was at first.

FULL STORY

Black and Blue

2015

I wanted to be a boy when I was young.
My brother and our cousins would be allowed to play in the garden behind our house until late, but not me.
They used to hop the fence, play hooky, then come back and lie about it, make up stories.
As for me, if I even so much as tried to call my cousin at night they’d tell me
“Why? Aren’t you going to see each other tomorrow morning?

FULL STORY

My Period and My Parents

2019

I was around 12 years old.
Our relatives were visiting on the day I got my first period.
I hid in the bathroom.
I was too scared to come out.
I didn’t know what to tell them.
My mother then called for me.
She came in and hugged me.
She told me it was a normal thing.

FULL STORY

Special Circumstances

2019

I was 12 years old when I got my first period.
I cried because I knew that meant I was a grown-up now.
My mother and my father’s relatives ululated and cheered.
My father was happy.
I still don’t understand the reason behind the immense happiness families feel when their daughter gets her period.
Does it mean there’s nothing wrong with me?
I don’t get it.

A couple of months later,
There was a copy of the Quran in the living room,
And my father asked to move it.
My grandfather was there too.
“I can’t,” I replied.
“Maybe it’s that time of the month,” my father said.
I went to my room and cried,
Because now everyone knew.
I don’t know why I used to be embarrassed about it.
I don’t know what made me feel embarrassed.

But I’m not embarrassed by it at all now.
If anyone asks me what’s wrong with me when I looked tired,
I tell them I’m on my period.
It doesn’t matter who it is that’s asking me.
I’m not afraid or embarrassed saying it, like I used to be.
And I don’t have a problem eating in front of other people when I’m not fasting.

FULL STORY

Every Month

2019

I think I was in the seventh grade when I got my period for the first time.
I didn’t know what it was.
I thought I had injured myself.
But I didn’t feel any pain.
I quickly washed my clothes,
But the blood kept increasing alarmingly.

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At Grandma and Grandpa’s

2019

That day,
I felt happy,
Because my mother had taken me for a walk around the house,
After my science exam.
I quickly went to the bathroom,
And found blood in my underwear.
I didn’t care.
I put a few tissues,
And decided not to tell anyone.

FULL STORY

My Daughter Is Manly

2021

“My daughter is manly”
The phrase my mother has always repeated with pride,
Ever since I was a child.
I had one brother.
We were like twins.
I was always the impulsive one who’d get into fights,
And defend my brother.
Instead of scolding me,
My mother found pride in it.

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My Family’s Embarrassment

2019

I’ve always liked to read about everything.
I got my period in the eighth grade,
And I knew what it was from the things I had read.
I used to place tissues in my underwear,
Until I found out about pads.

FULL STORY

Walk Straight

2014

Walk like a soldier.
Don’t you know how soldiers walk?
Eyes straight.
Back straight.
No swaying.

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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