I was 12 and it was the last day of grade 6 when my period first made its’ appearance. I knew what it was and not much else. My best friend and I had talked about it… although I don’t remember details. She lived in a little more open environment with two older sisters. We lived a distance away though after my parents separated. I think her period arrived when she was 16. She wondered why it took so long. I’d also read the book ‘Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret?’ by Judy Blume, (my favourite) which gave me some insights to what was happening. We didn’t have sex education till grade 7.
I lived with my grandmother at the time. She was a school teacher and worked out of town. Neither she or my mother had ever talked about it. I think I was at school when I discovered it, before going home to get ready for the year end class pool party. I must have seen there were a few things in the bathroom cupboard before. When I checked then there were a few tampons. Back then they had no applicators and I had no idea what to do with them. She was just 52 at the time, the same as I am now, now beginning menopause.
I can’t remember what I did to go to the pool party, or if I braved going in the pool. I remember I had a huge crush on a boy that had moved there recently (all through highschool in fact) and he talked to me. I was very shy and didn’t have close friends where I lived.
I remember that evening, scared, taking the tampon and just opening my hand to show my grandmother. (Remembering this always brings up emotions <3) She did her best to explain in words how to insert it, still standing in the kitchen. I’m pretty sure she had me put one leg up on a chair… fully clothed. I must have managed. I never liked using them. She bought me pads the next day and I never asked again. I babysat so I had my own money but I was way too self conscious to go to the store and buy anything until I was out of highschool and had moved from home. I would fold layers of tissue/kleenex and pin them to my underwear, always afraid I would leak. I had quite heavy periods for a few days, all in all lasting 7 days. I had some strange idea not to bathe or even shower those whole 7 days. I think I washed my hair (I’ve always had an abundance of oil on my scalp and face) and used a wash cloth for my body, but I don’t remember for sure. I was considered different already anyway… a geek, nerd, miss-goody-two-shoes. I’m pretty sure my grandmother would have told me if I smelled. She had me in a bra in grade 5 at the first sign of breasts. I was bullied throughout grade school for many things… it didn’t mean they were true.
I remember going to bible camp with my best friend, and either that summer or the next my period must have arrived unexpectedly. My sleeping bag was rinsed out as best it could be and hung on the clothes line. Talk about embarrassing… although no one made a big deal of it which I was grateful for.
One time I slept in my cousins bed when I stayed over to babysit and leaked a little. I may have tried washing it out afraid to say anything. When I was helping my aunt change the sheets she said my cousin must have had chocolate in bed. In hindsight I think she knew and didn’t want to embarrass me.
When I became sexually active with the man who became my husband I didn’t even go for birth control until I was married. He provided condoms and spermicidal gel up till then. A good thing in hindsight. I was on the pill for only a few years before having two sons and then my husband had a vasectomy. (Not so good for him I now understand)
It was always a desire for me to be more open with my kids. I’ve done pretty well. I’m the one that had ‘the sex talk’ with them, when they asked at age 8 and 9, together… They said gross and went back to playing.
It hasn’t been long that I have been able to openly discuss anything to do with our true Nature. It was only two years ago that I heard of the period, menstruation, ‘the curse’ as some called it, referred to as ‘being on my moon’, or moon cycle and the Sacredness of it all. All I knew was I had PMS, which included mood swings and some cramping and bloating and it usually arrived around the full moon for a time, when my oldest son and I would often clash. It meant I wasn’t pregnant and if I wanted to go in the water I’d have to wear a tampon, and I’d have a few days reprieve from having sex with my husband, because I cared and it gave me an excuse (another story).
At some point I discovered that my mom was just 18 when I was born and not married to my father, and at 28 found out she’d had another daughter at 15 who was given up for adoption. I was also going to be given up. My dad says he didn’t want that. I have a sense my paternal grandmother influenced that choice. My mom passed a few years prior to my finding out and I’ve left it to destiny as to whether I meet my sister.
It is definitely one of my goals, my passions, to honour our Truth, to share more and help remove the stigma and shame attached to our Sacred BEing. What good are secrets, shame, denying our sexuality? We are here to Co-CREATE LIFE. We are HERE. NOW. TO BE. TO LIVE. AUTHENTICALLY. To honour ALL THINGS SACRED, ALL BEings, ALL CREATION… AS NATURE, OUR CREATOR, INTENDED.
Blessings, from my heartlight to yours,