This story is shared by Srinidhi Sriram. It is a part of the Menstrual Hygiene Campaign by Limitless Stree, starting from 25th April 2021 to 31st May 2021.
Srinidhi is a Limitless Stree Member. She is a young, energetic and passionate women. Always excited and try to do something which challenges her. And writing a blog is also something that challenges her. She took that challenge and presented her piece in front of you all.
When I got my first Periods The experience
It was a regular school day. I was in my 8th grade. Though nothing was unusual, I still felt a bit uncomfortable since morning. The day went fine, but I started feeling extremely tired when I was back from my school. I hurriedly changed and went for a nap. When I woke up, I found a red stain on my skirt. I was shocked and ran to my mom. I explained what I saw to her. And then we ran to the restroom, and suddenly she started crying. I was bewildered and asked, “What just happened, MOM?”
It was the breakthrough moment of adulthood. The realisation that I finally got my “FIRST MENSTRUAL CYCLE” YAY!!
Before it hit me, I only had half baked information about menstruation. It was a taboo, the un-uttered topic at my home. My Mom asked to keep her informed of any changes I feel in my body. Later in the evening, she taught me how to use sanitary napkins and explained how it feels during menstruation.
After my dad came from the office, my mom informed him about me. I didn’t know why I felt uncomfortable making eye contact with him. It was the first time I felt so, and then I locked myself in the room.
After about an hour, a small ceremony took place at my home with a bunch of neighbours. For a moment, I felt celebrated, but the next moment I was terrified. I had mixed feelings about everything; I was happy, sad, confused and excited, all at the same time. Can you relate to that?
Then we headed to my hometown, which is a beautiful village in the south of Tamil Nadu. We could not afford a taxi at that time. So we took the bus. It was an 8 hours long journey, and on top of that, to add to my woes, it was the rainy season. The roads were at their worst. In addition to that, it was my second day of the period. Can there be something worse than this?
I said to myself, “Ok, welcome to the world of period woes.”
Finally, we reached our destination. At our native village, we have our 100-year-old home. As soon as we arrived, I was surrounded by a group of nannies celebrating, singing and dancing. The next day, all my close kith and kin came. It was a mood of festivities and celebrations.
My 100 year-old ancestral home at my native village
On the fourth day of my period, all the ladies gathered around, singing the old traditional Tamil Carnatic songs, showering flowers at me. I was in awe.
Later that evening, my cousins, aunts and sisters shared their piece of wisdom about the period experience. Rather than talking about the problems and solutions, their advice was confined to one single thing, - “How to behave after attaining menstruation”.
I seriously felt it was not needed at that point of time. There were lot more topics to discuss in that newly introduced phase of transition. It could, about the change that’s going to happen to my body, the hygiene that needs to be maintained. Unfortunately, only a few of them advised me about how many hours I should use the same sanitary napkins, all the foods to be taken during menstruation, and other valuable things.
Getting periods is one of the most significant transition that happens in a girl’s life. During that stage, one should be her moral support. Talk to her about menstrual hygiene. Talk to them about the changes their body is undergoing. One can start by telling it's normal to have cramps, back pain, or tender breasts before or during their periods. They can ease the pain by putting a heating pad on their lower belly or back and taking nonprescription pain-relievers. Comfort them by telling them it would only last for a couple of days. Help them explore their body.
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