Until I bled for the first time, the stigma revolving around menstruation remained intact. However, Youth Ki Awaaz is allowing every woman to speak up and smash that taboo. So, here I am, speaking of the hidden story behind my first period and how I managed to survive it so far.
It’s been over ten years since I bled first and trust me the odyssey wasn’t any easy. I even remember the date when I encountered how a bleeding woman looks like; 14th of March, 2010. And my immediate words were, “I am normal. I also can have periods.” There’s a little interesting story behind that thought actually.
I was in 8th standard when all the girls of our class were taken for a seminar where the hosts were making us understand how wrong it is to believe that a girl on periods is impure. But then only a few days later, one of my friends asked me if I got them yet. I said no and her reaction was so ghastly that it scared me. “Haw, you haven’t got your monthlies yet? I started having it in the 6th standard. Isn’t it too late? Babe, consult a gynecologist because it’s a serious matter.” As a girl, who isn’t familiar with the concept in detail, I got scared. Then again at home, my grandma was repeating the same thing to me and my mom. And when she learned that I have passed 9th standard or simply put, I am 14 years old, she forced my mother to take me to the doctor. The thought of visiting a gynecologist and facing the questions she might ask, fret the hell out of me.
Fortunately, one day when my mom woke me up in the morning and removed the blanket, she found me in red and wet night pants. As I rushed to the bathroom, I was happy as it eluded the chance of meeting a doctor and escaped the possibility of answering uncomfortable questions (which I used to think a gynecologist asks every woman).
But my happiness was only evident until I had my first cramp. The pain was so difficult to bear, even my soul was screaming to be either healed or killed forever. I had to take a painkiller despite knowing its harmful effects because I had to survive that day. I wasn’t able to find the right position to sit or lie down in the bed. It was so hard to move that my single muscle movement gave me a torment. On top of that, I didn’t know how to manage between leaky pads and deadly cramps. The turmoil of rolling back and forth in the bed because of pain and rushing to the bathroom to immediately wash away the fresh bloodstain from my clothes was taking my life every other minute.
The torture remained in my abdomen till now as I had to skip important classes, exams, and events, which I wanted or, in fact, needed to attend. Though my mom had been an assurer all this while. She held me whenever I cried out of the killing pain and puked away even a single bit of grain from my stomach. Thankfully, she was there to hold me from behind and rub my belly, back, and even the legs. Unlike others, she never asked me to bear the death and avoid medicine as she saw me rolling on the bed and falling on to the ground because of my period pain.
I had my supporter right next to me and she was my mother.