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I have an established dislike for school periods. But now I want to emphasise my hate for p e r i o d s. A scary word, I can’t even type it properly. The teachers fear it, the parents shush it, the boys run from it. Top secret operation that must be contained, else the world will die from disgust. But… It’s not! I know, shocking! Confusion! Sirens in the distance! Suburban moms, cover your kids' eyes and ears!
It’s disappointing that when I was eleven years old no one told me that. I was the first girl in the class to get it, as far as I know. I bled through my underwear, through my pants and on some school surfaces the day my period started. I called my mom in tears and covered myself up by tying a sweater over my hips. It was cold autumn weather. I remember it well, due to the situation and the wind. There are some moments in life that feels as if mother earth is trying to create an atmospheric vibe. The type of feeling you get when you really listen into the lyrics of an emotional song, and the wind blows right at the high-pitched chorus. Every goose bump that appears on the body is felt individually. Such an eerie feeling of living in the emotion. And that day this feeling was magnified by public humiliation and waiting for my mum to pick me up in the cold air. Time did not exist, but tears did. I wasn’t weeping, I stood there with a blank stare and tears streaming down as if they did not belong to me. They were rolling down a foreign face, someone who’s soul is miles away. This was not due to the name calling, or the collective laughter of our class. I could handle that; it was just verbal, not even physical this type. I thought I could handle it, but at that point I had broke.
When my mum came to pick me up, she opened the car door and rushed me in. I saw the fear in her face and rushed movements. A fear that someone she knows will see me. People talk. Gossip. That is the worst thing that could happen. We are social beings and the reputation is all that matters.
Of course, my mother comforted me with a hug and a few generic kinds words. It wasn’t much, but when you’re eleven your mother is your whole world and even a few generic words mean everything. I wasn’t fine, but sitting by my mother, I knew I will be, just as soon as I get out of these period stained clothes.
Turns out people did not talk. They might have talked about it in their own homes, something my father strongly believed in, but nothing mentioned to my parents. He would go on and on about the impressions we leave and the things their friends talk behind their backs.
I mean really? Talking behind your back? I thought it was a middle school thing. I thought friends you make through life you could trust. I thought my well-being was more important than what others think… Turns out I was stuck in middle school. 24 hours, seven days a week. Lonely, rejected, and second-place to juicy gossip.
What I learned later in life is that my parents made piss poor decisions. Times changed. I surround myself with people that will not hold the gossip they hear above the opinion they have of me. The well-being of those I care about is the be all end all. Not some filthy middle-school gossip.
But at that point and time, I was just eleven years old. Mental illness was not in my vocabulary, but that’s when depression became one with me. While others had imaginary friends to drink tea and play with, my imaginary friend was depression. It wasn’t imaginary for me, but for those around me, it certainly was.
Had it not been for rape and neglect in childhood, the abuse at school and home, I might have brushed that day off. I mean who doesn’t have embarrassing period stories? It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Carrie’s. I know she’s fictional, but there are thousands of Carrie's around the world who could tell her story from their perspective. That’s why we need to turn those sirens off and uncover the eyes and ears of kids. They need to know that periods are natural. They’re part of becoming a woman. They should not be a part of becoming mentally unstable.