I got my period when I was 11 right before a family barbecue. I was terrified and my mom talked me through it only to BETRAY me when we got to the barbecue. She announced to everyone that I go my period. I was MORTIFIED. A traumatized preteen that had just gotten cursed by Aunt Flo for the rest of her life and then that personal information was publicly shared for all to know. I still haven’t forgiven her for this.
The little Bag
When I was in the 7th grade, I (like every girl I knew) carried a small bag in my backpack filled with pads and tampons. It was crimson and shiny, and completely stuffed with all sorts of hygiene products in case I or any of my friends needed something. One day at track practice, I was doing some warm ups when I noticed a commotion on the bleachers. A handful of guys my age were all gathered around looking at something, then they all screamed and ran off. Curious, as many others were, I walked over to the bleachers to see what the fuss was all about. They had somehow gotten into my little bag, freaked out (as immature, 7th grade boys do) tossed the bag in the air and spilled all my pads and tampons all over the bleachers. I was more frustrated than embarrassed, but my cheeks certainly flushed while I picked up my products. This was the first time I had truly experienced people being uncomfortable with feminine hygiene, and after that I tried my hardest to make sure that other girls I knew weren't embarrassed about carrying products or asking others if they have any. Now those guys are some of my closest friends, and I make fun of them for having been so uncomfortable with the topic of female health!
My first period came when I was at camp, a few days before my 12th birthday. I thought I was bleeding internally and would die.
Goodbye curious George
I got my period at camp between 5th and 6th grade, the same year my older sister (by two years) got hers. I had to use my counselors pads, because I hadn’t brought anything. At camp, we spoke about my period in code. We called it Curious George. I found the name egregious, but the public had decided. I stained every pair of my pants that week. When my mom picked me up, we bought pads, I put one on, and I bled through three pairs of shorts on the drive home. The solution was to wear nine inch long overnight pads all day long that felt like mattresses in between my legs. I had really bad discharge, even when not menstruating, so I wore these pads all the time and got blisters on my bulbs from them. And during my period, I’d still leak through. UbyKotex was my first savior, and birth control after that. I’m on birth control continuously now and haven’t had my period in 4 years. And considering that my period never did get regular or predictable, I’d like for it to stay gone forever.
Emma Thorp, Lady Type
I am here to say, it is very possible to forget you already have a tampon in and insert a second on accident. I haven't done it since but one time this happened and I will never forget looking down and seeing two strings! I also stopped using tampons a couple years ago and I gotta say do what is most comfortable for you!
I thought I was dying when I first got my period. I vaguely knew that a period was something all women got, but I had no idea it involved blood, or that it would be coming from my vagina. I thought I was sick, or had a disease. I screamed and yelled for my mom. When she got there, instead of helping me or explaining what was happening, she laughed at me for being so shocked. She briefly showed me how to put on a pad in my underwear. She barely explained what was happening, or how long a period usually lasted for, let alone explain other methods for dealing with a period, such as tampons or cups. For almost a year I thought I couldn't shower if I had my period, I didn't know what a tampon was, and was constantly under prepared for my period. I felt lost, but periods were something we didn't talk about at home, and my mom never made me feel like I could ask her questions about it. I felt deeply ashamed about the blood, and every time I stained my underwear or sheets I took it personally. Thankfully my sister moved back from college and I finally got some education, she bought me tampons, told me I could take medicine for cramps, and I finally gained control over my period. It was a long road that was completely unnecessary. Years and years later I've learned to love my period. Sure, it can be annoying sometimes, but it's a constant reminder to me that my body is healthy, that I am a woman, and that my body is amazing. I hope you all love your periods too.