Five Minutes of Her Time

2019

I got my period when I was in 9th grade.
I felt that something strange and confusing was happening to my body;
Something I couldn’t control.
I was sitting in the living room that had a bifold door,
So it was never fully closed.
I tried to gesture to my mother to come help me,
But she was busy.

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Broken Hymen

2019

I was very young,
About 8 years old,
When I found blood in my underwear.
I didn’t pay any attention to it,
Until my mother saw it and asked me.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Tell me if you find blood again,” she said.
She explained menstruation to me,
And explained what a hymen was.
She told me it resembles a wet napkin,
And that it could tear easily,
And that they’d kill me if I tore it.
This scared me,
And stopped me from doing anything.

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A Serious Condition

2019

I first found out about periods when I was around 11 years old.
We were in Saudi Arabia when I started noticing mama’s Always pads.
I didn’t understand what they were,
Or what they were used for.
All I knew was that they were mama’s,
And that she used them,
But I didn’t understand why.
Then she told me,
But I didn’t understand.

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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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Mama’s Bag

2019

Because of my curiosity,
I asked mama for one too.
“That’s for big girls only,” she’d say in an upset and serious tone.
My curiosity compelled me to wear the hijab like them,
Just so I could be a grown up woman like them.
But still she ignored me.
I kept secretly watching them,

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The Monthly Battle

2006

I always thought I was special.
Or at least that is how my parents made me feel.
I used to watch the older girls from a distance.
I watched them go through through their monthly agony: their period.

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Blood-soaked Underwear

2006

Only twice has the sight of blood-soaked underwear shocked me.
The first time it happened ever. (period).
And the second time when I was too deranged to know what was going on.

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Milk

2016

I didn’t drink milk because I didn’t
want to grow breasts ...

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Every Last Detail

2019

My parents explained to me in detail everything about puberty,
Before it happened.
They were psychologically preparing me for it,
So that I wouldn’t be taken by surprise.
They were also laying the groundwork for the social and religious obligations,
That accompany puberty.

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Body Issues

2014

I don’t know how to resolve my body issues.
I can’t stand my body and its needs.
I feel like that diminishes me.

FULL STORY
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