Yea, I said it. Ohhhhhh, ewwww, periods. We all have one. It’s going to happen if it hasn’t already, and yea, it sucks. However, we have to talk about it. Sit down, let’s have a conversation. Throughout the years, I’ve been bullied and beat down by my period. First of all, my first period was a bleeping mess. But let me start from the beginning. I was super chunky when I was younger so I never used to wear white because I hated the way I thought it made me look. But on this particular day I felt daring. My mom was taking me to Ross and I wanted to look cute, so I chose to wear my tightest white pants because who in high school didn’t want to show their ass off? At that point I was about 13 or 14 years old and far from worrying about my period. Why u may ask? Well, a couple years before when I was about 9 or 10 (could have been 8 who knows) I got my period for the first time, but it was weird. It was extremely heavy, lasted about two weeks, very painful and lasted only about 6 months then stopped. Not. One. Word from my Yoni FOR YEARS! All good right? *Anticipatory silence* Very wrong. So there I was strutting my stuff into Ross, excited to go to the bra isle to look at all the cute bras that would never fit me. *rolls eyes* I was (and still am) a mess.
I’m checking out the bras right, and I feel a weird unfamiliar prick in my stomach. Now, Debra (what I affectionately call my brain) immediately started sounding off, going on and on about how I should have listened to that little quiet voice inside earlier that warned me that I just might regret this clothing choice later. I shut her up, only to have my fears confirmed when a well meaning (bless her heart) woman came up to me and told me my entire ass was covered in blood. I just stood there, in the middle of Ross, terrified, hurting, embarrassed and mad at Debra for being right (I hate being wrong). SO, I ran to my mom and she rushed into action buying me a jacket to tie around my waist and giving me a nice little talk when we got home consisting of her telling me what it was, how I should handle it, and how I should hide it. And that’s that. I lived liked that for years. Embarrassed to buy tampons or pads, hiding them under other groceries. Never talking to anyone about shit and dealing with the pain later. I did witness something live changing though. One of my friends threw her daughter a period party. She invited a bunch of women, had a bunch of tasty food and partied all night. Women old and young came together under the moon and just chillaxed. I loved it. That was the first time I had heard anyone discuss anything about the period so candidly, if anything positively. It was uplifting and cool and I learned so much from others around me. I was extremely pleased…..until The extreme cramps started.
My cramps were so bad I could never get out of bed. All I could do was lay there and cry and pray for a week to go by quickly. No amount of tea, hot water bottles or pain killers would help. Then, the cramps disappeared and the headaches started. I literally swear whatever was killing my stomach climbed up my spine and sat directly between my eyes. Everything from sound to light would set me off and I would be confined to my bed once again, but this time with a pillow over my head. I went to every doctor and not one could help me. Fortunately, the headaches stopped on their own. However, no I believe that its not the period itself that is giving me these issues, its the way I’ve been preparing. I realized that in our highly patriarchal society, women are never really taught anything about their periods except that it sucks, its a burden, it hurts, its supposed to and it’s only redeeming quality is that we’re all not pregnant (Hooray?). For me, that’s not cutting it. (I have very high standards (now) and I scorn any discomfort LOL)
I was researching how other cultures looked at menstruation, recent and ancient, hoping to gain some answers as to why this natural process seems extremely unnatural. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a really fascinating way of looking at the menstrual cycle- the time from the start of your period to the start of the next one. It is a view that is guided by nature, Daoist principles and yin/yang theory. These principles are based on eating and living according to the rhythms of the seasons and your bodys own unique qualities, which leads to greater health and balance. By being mindful of how your cycles rhythms mirror the ebb and flow of the natural world, you can achieve a deeper, more intuitive understanding of your body. Within the native culture, womens periods are called being in ones moon time. Referring to the monthly moon cycle. So lets look at what that all means and the beauty that was seen in that time of the month. A beauty we have somewhat lost in the modern world. In most Native cultures, it is considered to be a sacred time. A time of purification, of inner purification. And as a woman, I can say I understand that. In ones moon time, there is a sense of being purified, of getting rid of some sort of energy or negativity. Moon time for a woman would be considered a ceremony in itself. It would represent the power of birth. The power of life. Hence why women in the Native culture are often called lifegivers. And thats one hell of a gift to have! When our ancestors were alive, men would literally leave women alone (who could go in a moon lodge) as they feared their power at that time of the month! (Mind blowing commenced)
The period, is the most powerful time for a woman. I believe with proper preparation, she can manifest miracles if she didn’t feel like sh*t most of the week. I’m slowly learning that as we become more in tune with our cycles, our bodies and our emotions, the earth and other women around us, the period can become something highly enjoyable instead of something to dread unless your sixteen at the tail end of a wild night gone horribly awry and your in the back seat with your ex best friend and another friend who just turned 18 so she can buy plan B. (Again, if you want these stories, I want these likes) As womxn, I think (I know) we have to pay closer attention to this thing called the period and take a greater responsibility preparing for it and utilizing it.
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