I got my period VERY young. Traumatically young. Insanely devastatingly young.
Oh life as a menstruating young person… SO GREAT!
I guess it’s not insanely abnormal having an early period. At least these days. But wow…it still sucked.
No one else had it. Well…except one girl in my class. Thank god our moms were friends so I came to know. It became like our secret power. We were women! All those “poor, young, underdeveloped, period-less” girls. It was a small comfort.
I mean, I had actual tits in grade three. Do you know how awful it is to need a bra when you’re not old enough to even be home alone, let alone babysit? When the grade 8 girls are jealous, so they pinch your boobs and call you a slut? (Wow girls are cruel.) When boys are at eye level with your breasts from grade three until about high school?
So yes, I developed early. Really early.
Which is why my mom (coincidently) had discussed periods with me about a week before I got it. Perhaps prior to that, too — I’m not sure. But I’ll never forget it. The day before my period made its way into my life… I puked. I puked for kind of no reason. And my mom had to pick me up from school. But i wasn’t sick. I was just…well…weird and pukey.
Then the next morning I woke up to blood in my underwear. And although I had been given the preparation talk…I. WAS. TRAUMATIZED. How could this actually happen? Blood comes out of your VAGINA? gawwwwwwwd.
I cried and cried and cried. I cried so much my mom almost didn’t make me go to school. But then she did. And I cried some more. And I spent the entire day in the nurses room.
And life has never been quite the same since.
Not to mention the DIAPERS we had to wear then. There were NOT cute pad options at that point. But I think every single type smelled like baby powder. Which only emphasized their likeness to diapers. Who the hell came up with that idea? gawwwwwwd.
My periods were also ridiculously heavy for a very young girl. I had my doctor write a note to excuse me from gym class when I was bleeding. Boy was my gym teacher MAAAAD. He did not get it. He hadn’t a clue. I was actually TERRIFIED blood would fall out of my underwear as I was attempting high jump — or spiking a volleyball (I’ve NEVER spiked a volleyball in my life FYI — but I IMAGINED I would). And that would be the end of it. Blood clots everywhere. I’d be screwed for life. I’d have to quit school entirely. It would be huge pressure on my family because they’d have to homeschool me or send me somewhere else far away. None of those things were an option. So I had to sit out of gym class and bleed through my giant, horrible, baby powder smelling maxi pads and glare back at my angry teacher who was just. so. mad.
WHITE PANTS (MAKE YOU STRONGER)
The third time I ever got my period I was wearing white pants. Yep. That really happens. That horror story you are imaging in your mind is EXACTLY how it happened. I casually asked to go to the loo, stood up in my WHITE PANTS, walked down to the washroom, without a CLUE that I had bled all the way down to my feet. FUCKING. HELL.
It’s every 10 or 11 year old’s nightmare. Jeez…it’s ANY woman’s nightmare.
But something happened then. Someone powerful. Suddenly I didn’t give an EFF who knew. There I was…stupid-young…and completely free of the inhibitions surrounding menstruation. It was so liberating. I began talking about it to everyone. All the boys. All the girls. I gave advice hahah. “Oh, don’t worry…when you FINALLY get YOUR period, it’ll be okay.” I fit in with my babysitters (who I felt i had more in common with anyway).
I began talking about it at recess. Talking to any teacher that would listen. At the dinner table. I suddenly became known as that girl who would not shut the fuck up about blood, bleeding, menstruating, being “on the rag” (as it was horrifyingly, affectionately called then). My diary is FILLED with entries about having my period.
No wonder I have begun a period nutrition blog series.
Speaking of which…adolescent nutrition is quite interesting. The need for specific nutrients increase SIGNIFICANTLY. Though it tends to also be a time when you begin really eating like shit. How does one remedy that?
So nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc all need to shoot up. As does water consumption. So choosing a recipe for this first period story was tricky and it had to be something FULL of nutrition. OH WELL! Instead of focusing on the absolute NEED for nutrition at that time in one’s life, I’m going to focus on sweet comfort.
RIGHT HERE –>> Gluten-Free Raspberry Apple Crumble — YUMMY!
I don’t think I’ve ever been much of a comfort eater. I do that with…I don’t know…other stuff. Red wine? Walking a friend’s dog and pretending they’re mine? Netflix? Writing about periods? Anyway, my mom WAS comfort eater. Apple crisp was the treat she OFTEN made. Served it with fresh cream. This was something she used to soothe our tragic adolescent moments. So I’ve re-created a healthier version of something I consider PERIOD COMFORT FOOD.
HEY LADIES: I want YOUR STORIES. Looking for your first blood stories written in a paragraph. This could be anonymous or not. Traumatic or normal, funny or SO-NOT-funny, epic or boring. Either comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks lovelies — Sara xo