When I had my first encounter with periods, I had no clue of what’s happening inside me. I didn’t know how to react to it and with whom I should discuss it. My first period did not go well because no one prepared me for it. As a child, the only periods I knew were English, Science, and Maths period. Even now talking about periods is taboo.
Though movies like Padman inform us about periods, they are more focused on the need for personal hygiene and sanitary pads. We need to make sure that people, as well as children near the age of puberty, should be educated about the changes that will take place in their bodies. The need for sex education is a must for children, especially in this digital age.
With this blog, I am sharing the story of my first encounter with periods to highlight some effects of not knowing the inner self at the correct time, as people with ill intentions may take advantage of such situations.
My First Period Experience/ Story
I was 12 yo when I got my first periods. Unaware of what’s happening inside me, stomach aches and weakness signaled me to the symptoms of food poisoning. I was confirmed with this thought until I discovered my underwear with a thick brown- bloody patch. Thankful about the time it happened, the last days of summer vacations. At that time, I disclosed my sufferings to Nan who was a pharmacist and I trusted her more on this. Laughing at my too tensed face, she gave me a terrible look and said it’s not what you are thinking. It’s not so serious. No need to panic, she tapped on my shoulder.
Relax! You are growing. This happens to all women. Your mother, granny, aunt and, I all suffered through this during our teenage. This is a natural process.
She summoned me not to speak about it to Dadi. I was so baffled that I did not ask why so. I only wanted to hear the justifications: What Is Happening Inside me? What it is called? Why does it happen to all women? And why only women? Why don’t boys suffer through this?
Meanwhile, I saw Nan taking out a cotton ball and white bandage from her drawer. With some cotton, she shaped it a thin rectangle. Then, she wrapped the bandage around that rectangular cotton piece. She asked me to wear that. Nan when will this end? 4-5 days at least, she sighed. And till then you have to wear it.
It became difficult to even spend an hour with that. I could feel the liquid flowing out. It’s sticky. It’s painful. After almost 4-5 hours confused resting, I heard Mum’s voice. She and Nan came into my room. My Mum is a working woman, so it was in the evening when I met her. In a low voice, I explained- “It’s not comfortable. It is difficult to even sleep or move. I don’t know how to walk with it. These stains scare me. Mum something worst is happening to me.”
Listening to this, Nan interrupted- Nothing to worry. She has started periods.
“Periods”, Oh Periods. This accident is called periods. But without any medicine, how is it going to heal? Nan said no medicines! Then Mum handed me a package wrapped in a newspaper, from her bag. I was excited yet surprised. Is this a gift? I was to open that when Mum held my hand, whispered in my ear- “Open it in your room alone. Don’t tell anything about it to anyone.”
I unpacked it in my room alone, as advised by Mum. It was an unknown gift, a private 5- day accessory. It was a blue-colored packet of Stayfree Sanitary Pads. I read it’s description. But nowhere I found the way to dispose off those pads. I tried a pad out of it. It gave me comfort. The problem with moving was also over. I was relaxed. That whole day I did nothing but rest. I was lazy like I did a lot of tedious task.
So, this was my first period experience that was no less than an encounter for me.
Why I call my first period an encounter?
For me, periods came like an inspecting officer whose purpose was to check whether I am taking care of my body or not. When I failed, it gave me striking pain to teach me that if you do not take care of yourself then I will keep shooting and troubling you.
My first period taught me a life lesson that “it is better to gain prior knowledge about what’s going to happen next so that we can prepare accordingly, and obviously the best way.”
Why I Shared My First Period Experience?
I believe some experiences are meant to be told. As they teach you a lot, they can teach others too. This experience taught me about the necessity to know the inner self. Periods are painful due to some chemical reactions that take place in our bodies. There is no direct relation of periods with weakness. Periods explain us the need to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves first. Periods come for a purpose and stays for a purpose. During periods, women need care. They may suffer from mood swings, severe pain, laziness but the fact is they are lucky to have periods.