My mother passed away when I was young, before I got my period.
My grandmother was living with us at the time,
And I had never heard of periods.
I was ten years old and I had exams.
I went to the bathroom and found blood in my underwear.
I was terrified, but I calmly changed as if nothing had happened.
I changed three times until my grandmother noticed that something was wrong.
She asked me, and I burst into tears and kept apologizing,
And swearing that I wasn’t peeing myself and that there was blood.
She didn’t say anything.
She left and went to speak to my aunt on the phone.
My aunt was over shortly after, and she talked to me.
I still kept apologizing.
She told me to quiet down.
And explained that what was happening was called the period.
“You’re a grown up now, so no more playing or talking to boys!”
I hated the period, and I hated myself, and my aunt.
I used to bind my chest because I didn’t want to grow up.
My teenage years were sad and depressing,
But what I took from my experience is that I explained to my sisters what the period was before they got it.
I came out of this loop when I was 17,
When I realized that I had a benign tumor in one of my ovaries and it had to be removed.
Only then I did I understand what it meant to be a girl.
I started loving myself, and my body, and I even understood how important periods were.