The Cycle of Life Or Blood In, Blood Out…

Category: , , By Glamour Diva & galaxyMafia
I don’t remember exactly what prompted my memory of my first period. I was sitting in my chair at home, reading or watching TV when all of a sudden it came to me, the thought…not the period. I must admit that while the memory of that fateful day made me smile I was in no way nostalgic for that time period. As the great comedienne Jackie "Moms" Mabley said, “Who wants things like they ‘used to be’”? Not me Moms…not me…

I grew up in a family of five, two parents and one brother and sister, bother older. As I’ve said before my parents were very religious but also quit pragmatic. They saw no value in keeping their children in the dark about anything, especially sex. This worked out well for us kids because we never had to worry about getting erroneous information from “the street”. I also think having this knowledge made us less promiscuous but that’s another post altogether.

We grew up knowing the proper names for reproductive organs and when we were old enough, told point blank how they worked. I don’t remember getting the menstruation talk exactly but I do remember that I wasn’t that impressed; having to bleed to reproduce seemed like a design flaw to me. I thought, couldn’t The Creator have made the process more efficient and a less problematic? My sister suffered from horrendous cramps when she had her cycle and severe depression when she didn’t get it because she always thought she was ill. My mother suffered from relentless abdominal pain and eventually had to have a hysterectomy. Add to that all my aunts, cousins, and male family members who complained and joked about it and who could blame me for thinking menstruation was some sort of punishment?

I made up my mind then and there that this “period” thing would never happen to me. I had all the accoutrements of puberty (breasts, womanly hips, pubic hair, etc) and I was already thirteen years old, four years older than my mother and sister when they started. I may not be able to have babies, I thought, but then again, I don’t want any!

Then the mood swings started or maybe a more appropriate description of my emotional state at that time would be mood hurricanes. I was a terror! My parents tried everything from spankings to grounding but nothing worked. Looking back I wonder if they ever thought about an exorcism. They probably did but they loved me too much to say it to my face I expect.

I remember after a particularly atrocious day at school, getting home and banishing myself to my room. I was sitting at my desk, doing my homework when my stomach began to hurt. I tried ignoring it but I eventually couldn’t take it anymore and headed for the bathroom. After I’d…done what I was there to do, I turned to flush the toilet when I noticed…THE BLOOD! Everything my mother taught me went right out the door and I started screaming my head off! My mother heard me and ran upstairs, yelling if I was okay. All I could do was point at the toilet and cry. She walked over and sheepishly looked inside. Then she started to laugh. When I saw her laughing it finally hit me what had just happened and then I began to cry in earnest!

I mother tried to comfort me but it was not to be. This was the end. I’d made the move from child to woman and I was not happy about. I cried all through the maxi pad use talk and my mother’s explanation of how wonderful this event really was and how happy I’d be in the future when I could hold my first baby in arms. I cried while I listened to her call every female in our family to share the good news. I cried while I sipped my hot tea and then I cried myself to sleep. This was the end. I was finally a woman with all the rights and privileges thereof. Damn you menses!

Fast forward to 2006 and I still hate my period. I hate the way it smells. I hate the way my face breaks out. I hate having to have four different tampon absorbencies. I hate having to strain my brain thinking about when my last cycle was when I go to the gynecologists and I hate the look on her face when she realizes I don’t keep track of it. But most of all I hate the fact that I had to start it in the first place!

To this day my mother swears that it was the sheer strength of my will that held back the onset of menses for so long and I tend to agree. I think it speaks to my character now; implacable tenacity even in the face of certain disappointment. I know life sucks but I won’t give in. Besides, what choice do I have? Giving in to the period will just mean the terrorist will have won. Right?

If I’m ever blessed with female children I can only hope to be as loving and as patient as my parents were with me when the dreaded Period Monster attacked me. With no provocation I might add! - GD
 

3 comments so far.

  1. m. 11:36 AM, January 13, 2006
    LOL!! im sorry, i gather you were (are?) upset about having started menstruating, but that was sooo funny : i can so easily imagine a 13 years old scowling and feeling really worried while all the adults are cheering and celebrating!
    and you know, its super cool that your folks have such an attitude towards menstruation - it was fantastic reading about how your mom was actually calling up women to tell them! fabulous!
  2. anybody 5:15 PM, January 22, 2006
    GD, I've been wanting to leave a comment here for some time. But all I can say is that I'm completely bummed that I am 42 and have officially passed from perimenopausal to menopausal as of this month. It sucks when I think about growing old. Despite the discomforts of a period, I really wish I would have just one more so I'd at least have the illusion of being young.
  3. Sex and the Sushi 6:30 PM, January 23, 2006
    Hello Lady Donna!

    I can understand you're point of view. Maybe I'll change my tune when the period stops. Although something tells me I'll be jumping for joy...;)

    Smooches,
    GD

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