I’m about to tell you something I haven’t breathed a word of in more than 34 years. Something so humiliating that the only person entrusted with the information was my Mom and that was because she had to come and rescue me.
Rescue me from the lunchroom.
Where I had started my period unexpectedly when I was 12 years old and bled through my panties, through my pants, and through my heavy wool coat leaving a telltale puddle on the plastic seat.
It was for me too. I felt such SHAME. I was holding back the tears and huddling against the wall in the school office so no one would see what had happened to my steel gray coat with the shiny black toggles. The coat I wouldn’t wear again because of the stain.
You may be wondering why would I share this memory, buried for so many years and let’s face it why wouldn’t I bury it? Teenage angst can be the WORST. It can leave lasting scars or lasting impressions. For me, I would do my best to pretend that this didn’t happen at least once a month.
Seems crazy, huh? Do any of these sound familiar:
- Hiding the feminine hygiene products at the back of the cabinet?
- Making sure no one is looking and going to a woman at the checkout counter to buy them?
- Wrapping your products securely in tissue and then making sure something else is covering them in the garbage?
- Or taking them with you in your purse rather than let anyone see them in the garbage pail?
- Avoiding social activities while you are on your period?
- Making excuses to your lover so you didn’t have to tell him why you weren’t in the mood?
- Trying to hide why you weren’t “on” at work so your boss didn’t see you as weak?
Recently I was talking to Andrea Clarke of Mama Quilla Fertility about what she calls, “the bleeds”. She’s one of the guests on the telesummit Project Positive Change is hosting and quite honestly, I thought what on earth am I going to talk to her about? Am I really going to have to talk about “bleeds”? As it turns out, it was an eye opening and empowering conversation.
And it conjured up these heartwarming memories (just kidding!).
What if, there was another way to look at our “time of the month”? What if, instead of feeling shame, embarrassment, or hesitancy we were able to become strengthened with the knowledge of how our bodies worked?
What if we could become even more kick-ass, powerful, and creative by working with our cycles?
What if we learned to love the bleeds instead of dread them?
Andrea is on the forefront of this work in the world and has so much good information.
It starts with us.
We can create change for ourselves, for our sisters, for our daughters, and for our granddaughters.
It’s time to learn to love ourselves and everything that we are.