Let me start from the very beginning. If you're a female you can imagine the horrifying experience of the first time you had your period. So natural, yet ugly. My mom as usual kept in the dark until boom.. I came of age. Surely enough, I was scared. I thought I was injured somehow, and in the place where I was never allowed to examine or even look at. I still can hear all the warnings going through my head "Never ever touch yourself down there," Never ever look down there," "Just wipe yourself quickly clean after you pee, that's all." I thought that the devil lived down there and that he has punched me with his pitchfork on that day.
My mom came back home for the surprise of her life. I hadn't still made it to the 5th grade and I already had my period. She just gave me a sanitary towel. I still remember the brand, "Loulou", the same she used. She showed me how to stick it inside my pants and that's it. She didn't care to give any explanation. What is this? Why? Will it happen again? What am I supposed to do now? Nothing was said. I had to ask: "Mom, what happened?" She looked far away as if she got suddenly absent-minded, and after a long pause she said, "Nothing, it's normal, every girl has it. Don't worry."
Me: Has what? What the hell is this?
Mom: It's called the period. You'll see it every month.
Me: Why does it happen? Where does the blood come from?
Mom: Hey, hey. enough questions. Just keep yourself dry by using these towels I gave you until it ends.
Me: When does it end?
Mom: Two or three days from now.
Me: Why didn't it happen before?
Mom: You were so young. You are still so young, but it means that you now are a woman.
Me (Laughing): Wow! I grew up?
It has always been my wish and my prayer to God to make me grow up fast so that people will treat me like an adult. I thought God made my wish come true. But my mom didn't like me laughing about it.
Mom (interrupting my dreams): What are you laughing about? This is filthy. You are not clean until it ends. You should take care from now on.
Me: Take care of what? Am I not ok?
Mom: No, you're not ok during those days of bleeding. You're sick. You should stay in bed.
Me: But I'm feeling alright.
Mom: Why are you always arguing? Of all the girls of the world God gave me the most troublesome!
Me: Sorry, but I just wanna know. That's all. Take it easy.
This was the last time ever to ask my mom about anything. I learned my lesson. I wondered why she wasn't happy on that day. Unlike my father, who congratualted me and gave me a big hug.
When I got back to school I expected that all the girls had had the same experience. Well, that's what my mom said, right? All girls have it?. But none of them seemed to know what I was asking about. I then came confused and whenever I had my period I got scared and kept checking the back of my skirt several times to see if there are any stains. I must have looked so suspicions back then. I then started having all the negative feelings about growing up. Growing up alone was bad enough, I felt isolated. I couldn't run and play the ball with the other kids during those days. I kept excusing the teachers to be able to go to the restroom during classes. I started having the pain and the headaches that made it difficult for me to concentrate and I got depressed. I hated being a woman and I hated my period for making me a woman. I wanted to return a kid. It was far better. At least I wouldn't walk with those Loulous hanging between my legs. (It was the worst brand ever, it would never stick to its place. Oh, Thank God for the Always Ultra of today.)
Two years after, things were so different. Most of the girls had shared the experience by then. They were all so curious about what has happened to them. It was certainly miserable to have this shock while you're at school, being totally ignorant about it. A few had been enlightened by their mothers before they had the shock, but the majority were in the dark just like me. Most of the mothers were not any better than mine when it came to this issue it seems. I then discovered that it's normal. Still things were wrapped in mystery.
I went to the school library to search for answers. I found my treasure: A book about teenaging. I borrowed the book and kept reading it all day after school. I did nothing else. Read it from cover to cover. I didn't sleep that night. I was so amazed. It's like Pandora's box had suddenly opened in front of me. The book talked about stages of growth, psychological and emotional changes, menstruation, masturbation, sexual identity, everything that I was totally blank about. This is definitely the day in which I really grew up. I left the Disney world and I entered the real world. I discovered that in spite of all the education I was having, all the exams, all the difficult subjects and the high grades I was scoring, all were a zero. I was ignorant. Not only ignorant about the world, but about myself. Never before had I thought about things like how we grow up? (I only knew I am one year older when I blew off my birthday candles) what happens after we grow up? how do people get married? how do they have kids? why do they have kids? what's the aim of life? what are ethics? how can a person be ethical? and many many other things. My mind suddenly exploded with questions. But I kept them all locked into my head, never asked anyone, especially adults. I no more trusted them. I dicovered they were all liars. At that point I didn't care to understand why they were lying, I just knew they were liars. The only good adults were those who wrote facts in books. Books became my dearest friends, they never lied to me. (They are still my best friends now, although I discovered that some of them lie as well.)
I kept reading and reading all the time. I was always afraid that life was too short to read all the books in the world. I wanted to read them all. My hate for school became bitter. I started being aggressive with my teachers. I ignored studying. I felt I was way above all this. I would instead search for books about the topics in the schoolbooks and read them. I truly grew up, fast, super fast. Nothing could stop me. I would look any adult in the eye and feel like an equal. I got the same knowledge that he/she has and keeps as a secret, as if it is dividing them from babies. My self-confidence boomed and I was considered by many to be arrogant (that's why I failed to make new friends, my old friends were the only ones who knew the truth, and I managed to keep them till now.) I grew stubborn, cause my beliefs were based on facts, so I felt I had a solid ground to stand on, and almost nothing could sway me. My parents felt I was impossible. My success kept them from saying any negative comments. If they ever said one, I would stand tall and look them in the eye, saying "What do you want? I'm a perfect daughter. I know my duties well and I am the most successful one among my peers. What more? Do you just want to control me? Do you just want to feel the pleasure that parents get from designing the lives of their children, ultimately ruining them? I'm not a puppet, and never will be." Of course after hearing a 13 year old talk in that way, you freak out. I myself sometimes freaked out. Sometimes I was surprised at my ability to come up with the perfect answers in different situations. I faced people with reality without being rude. (At least I sincerely avoided being rude)
As I grew older, I understood many things. Everything thing for me became a subject for analysis. I was the youngest one to own a computer (at that time) and I was able to use all its applications perfectly. I then insisted to work during the summer. My parents yelled a bit, then they agreed cause I had had everything settled. This made me even more independent and made me more self-confident. All of the limitations that the world set for me kept falling one by one. Being young didn't prevent me from achieving what adults achieve. I could learn, I could understand, I could work and earn my own living. Being a girl didn't stand in the way, I was far better than all the boys (and some of the men) in my family. I didn't stay in bed during my period, even when it was most painful. I didn't do like the girls who act out the fatigue, as if saying out loud "I'm having my period, please take pity on me." I discovered that they were acting out the social picture, while in fact they can be perfectly fine. I took something for the headache and vitamines which kept me going very normally. I learned the benefits of my period and how it can tell me exactly how healthy I am. I sometimes make it work for my own benefit, taking it as an excuse to skip my weight-trainning session at the gym, for example. I loved the idea that my body is working in an organized cycle, that I can monitor its performance. I know when I will be in high spirits and use this extra energy. I know when I'll get depressed and be sure that there's nothing wrong. I know when I'll be easily provoked and prevent it.
Men always refer to our period as a disadvantage, saying that it makes us crazy and sick. They take it as an excuse to prevent us from having certain jobs and holding high positions in our country. This is bullshit! Why don't we ever hear this stupid argument in civilized countries? Why don't they say to their prime minister, "Oh, you're a woman, so you get a period which makes you crazy, then you can't govern us." Why are we the only females who get ashamed of their period? It is only a cultural and social heritage, that has nothing to do with reality. My own period was one of the reasons why I advanced in life. Let yours act in the same way.