I would like to share the story of difficult beginning of the friendship between me and my vulva. When my body (concerning my vulva) started to slowly transform during my early teenage years, my mum told me that I would expect my period soon. I was one of the last ones in my class to still enjoy the time without this little "proof of adolescence" - yet waiting day by day to become equal with my female schoolmates and to finally see these little drops of blood on my panties.
I was 13 years old when it came and I didn't wait a long time to announce the good news to my close (girl)friends with great pride - however quietly, so that no male would find out. That evening, before I went to sleep, my father told me that he was proud of me. Oh, how ashamed I was that he knew it. Why my mum just did not keep it for herself?
The next morning I woke up in a pool of blood. I was so shocked, not expecting such a strength. I did not protect myself enough. I had to go to school, so the duty to clean my bed fell on my father. I could not stop to think about this dishonour. I still remember the white pants I was wearing that day during sports class and my schoolmates asking: "Did you get your period?" I ran to the changing room and saw a red spot on it. Could this day get any worse?
I could have not imagined that something like this would come next month and then again and again. Why did I have to be punished like this? Why did I have to handle so much, and yet at the same time pretend that nothing was happening? I started to call it "the ugly thing" and I was praying for it to disappear. I would be crying every time I realised that it would come during a trip with my friends or family. I wasn't proud anymore, and I didn't to share with anyone that I was bleeding. And even though my mother was always there to listen to my problems, I didn't want to talk to her about it either. I hated the menstrual pads, because everyone was able to see the wings each time I was changing clothes before the sports class. I didn't want anyone to see me throwing used pads to the trash either at home or at school. I felt dirty.
It took me a long long time, but I've found a way to appreciate my period. Now I'm observing the pieces of my uterus lining when removing my cup. I find it beautiful. I'm praising my body, which is handling the pain. I'm not ashamed to buy the menstrual pads, even if it's the only item on my shopping list. But it has been a difficult journey. I'm still sometimes afraid and shy to talk about it in front of people, especially the ones who never had it. I'm still meeting people who think periods are disgusting and something to rather not discuss. I am dreaming of teaching my children (whether they are born girls or boys) about how beautiful and important it is.
I love my vulva with all the processes that it concerns! And thank you for this amazing site that helps me understand it even more.
L. - 25 years old