Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Over. Period.

I got my period today.

Yes, I realize this is not a topic most people would openly want to discuss, nor is it a topic most people would want to read about, but this period is different.

It will be my last period.


From the moment a little girl learns about what will happen to her body during puberty, the question instantly arises, "When will I get my first period?" Girls wonder how old they'll be when it happens, if they'll be the first or last of their friends to get it, if it will happen at a totally inopportune moment, what it will feel like, and countless other thoughts that come with the process of growing up. But the one thing each little girl knows for sure.

When I get my period, I'll be a woman.

But then everything changes. The first time might be scary or exciting or embarrassing, but once those feelings inevitably go away, the dread of the monthly bill sets in. It soon becomes: I hope I don't have my period that weekend. Ugh! I just got my period. I can't fit into any of my jeans. I'm so bloated! I have cramps. I can't stop eating! I need sugar...and salt! Why am I crying? I'm so cranky! My skin is a mess! The complaints are endless.

Women wonder why they have to go through this horrendous ritual each month, when men don't have to deal with anything even close. We dream of a way to turn off our period until the time when we actually need it because we want to have a baby. Even the makers of some birth control pills have come up with ways to stop periods all together while on the pill. The point is clear. After the first time or two, women do not want to deal with a period. It's nothing but a pain in the ass!

Then why am I so sad?

Shouldn't I shouting with glee about the fact that I'll never need to worry about cramps and irritability ruining a special occasion? Shouldn't I be thrilled that I won't need to waste room in a suitcase with 500 tampons and pads instead of an extra pair of shoes? Shouldn't I be stoked that I'll never have to worry about having morning sickness or getting stretch marks again?

Maybe I should be. But I'm not.

I'm not ready for this.

Most women start to go through menopause sometime in their mid to late 40s. It starts gradually, and gives your body and mind time to adjust and accept what's going to happen. But not me. Nope. At the ripe old age of 36, my womanhood is being forcefully ripped from my gut and tossed away with a label marked "defective". I don't have the luxury of time to get used to it. There was no warning. One day I was young and healthy, and the next day my body was being taken over by an enemy army looking for a fight to the death.

In one week from today, it'll be over. The enemy army will be removed, along with my precious fighting grounds. There's nothing I can do. There are no choices to be made. If I do nothing, I'll die.

Right now, I'm typing through a fog. My keyboard is wet with saltwater tears and I can't control my trembling lip. Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am, and each time I hear it, I laugh. Strong? You think I'm strong?

I'm not strong.

I've just been thrown into a situation that leaves me no other options. I'm just doing what I'm told. It's not strength, it's submission. It's not a determination, it's obedience.

A period is usually used to mark an end. Today is no different. Today, my period marks the end of my life as a complete woman.


  1. People who lose a leg to a car accident are still the person they used to be. In fact, maybe they are more than that former person, because they now have a special characteristic-- they cheated death and are still here to tell the tale. This will be you once your surgery is over. You will have cheated death and lived to tell the tale. And that is worth more than any box of tampons. Love you. jessica

  2. You are right in saying that we are all saying you are strong when in fact you feel submissive. Let us be your strength. Let us be your determination. You cannot shoulder all of this burden. By sharing your experience, you are letting all of us in to help you battle and we are standing guard. I may have just met you once, but that once was enough. I knew you had spunk! And I knew you had sparkle.