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-by Erika “who threw up a bit in her mouth typing that title” Ray

I had a blissful existence with my period for almost two decades.  Really I did.  I was a late bloomer.  How late?  I drove myself home to get a tampon.  Yep, that late.  My period was always good to me.  Only lasted three days, never gave me cramps, no bloating, nothing.  If I was moody, I probably just blamed it on the period.  If we have to get messy once a month, I was going to blame a ton of shit on it.  I’ll pull that card.  For the most part, it was a nuisance.  I was never bed-ridden.  I never needed to go on birth control to regulate it.  I just existed with it because I was a woman and it’s part of our genetics.  I’m a woman and I have a period.

All that changed after Becks came along.  My period showed up and reared her ugly red-head and I fucking hate her.  Once a month, she makes me hate that I’m a woman.  So much that right now, I’m not sure why I’m giving her the female gender.  Because there’s no way a woman would ever be a period.  My period is an old, sexist, grouchy Man who doesn’t understand why I’m working.  Doesn’t understand why I’m not cranking out more kids.  He’s pissed that I didn’t bake my husband fresh bread this morning.  He’s mad that I’m not sexually satisfying my husband every single day.  And he’s pissed that I’d have to fake it (Everyday, people.  You’d have to fake it).  And to punish me, he shows up once a month.  My period is that kind of man.

Once a month, I have a period that is tricky and deceptive.  “Oh there he is…” I say in the morning.  But he’s only teasing with the actually start date.  This goes on for a week until he makes a grand entrance to stick around for another week.  And during that week, he isn’t lazy.  He’s hardcore.  He gives me cramps that make me consider ripping out my uterus.  Those cramps can get so bad that I talk to them in the car, “Please just stop.  Please just let me get to the hotel and I’ll silence you with a glass or two of wine.  Please cramps, please.”  But he does stop there.  Oh no, he’s just getting started.

He bloats the shit out of my stomach.  So much that I look six months pregnant.  Every month when my period shows up, I look down and think, “I need to stop drinking beer, eating regular lunches, do sit-ups, starve myself…”  It doesn’t help that the week prior, I could eat our house clean.  I contemplate eating the can of peaches that we brought into the house from our previous apartment ten years ago.  I eat like I’m about to die.  I never remember this fact.  Each month, I’m shocked by the amount of food I consume.  And then I’m shocked that I’ve started a period.  Why don’t I remember the cycle of destruction?!  But during my period, I spend the next week willing myself to eat.  Because like a sexist old man, my period doesn’t allow me to eat.  He wants me waif-ish and sick so he takes away my appetite.  “I’m doing you a favor,” he whispers as he taps my bloated tummy.

And then the mood swings…  No joke every other period, I will find myself on the floor crying.  The slow dramatic actress cry.  The kind that awards an Oscar to the actress, but they know how to do it while looking pretty.  I’ve never been able to master that trick.  I’m covering the floor with snot and tears.  Why am I crying?  It never matters.  I can make anything into a reason for a good bawl-fest.  Veggies in the crisper about to go bad?  Sure.  I’m bawling because there’s starving children walking to school for a free breakfast.  And here I’m letting the cilantro turn to brown mush.  Idiot.  New Taylor Swift comes on the radio and I’m sobbing because she found her power to never ever get back with the boy.  Oh yeah, that’s my life during my period.

I was complaining about it once and a woman said, “That’s what we get because Eve ate the apple.”  As women we would make this awful time into a martyr situation.  We get a period because we’re women and that’s what our genes demand of us.  In order to be a woman, we have to have this asshole show up once a month.  Not as a punishment for some potential made up story to keep women in line way back when.  I say “potential” because not everyone believes in that story, don’t get mad at me.  But believe me right now, if men had to have a period, they would have figured out a way to be a man and not have a period.  Because men can’t deal with this shit.  One little cold and their world is about to end.  But walk around in pain for a week, crying, bleeding, ruining perfectly good undies, scrounging around for the last hidden tampon?  No way.  They would have fixed this problem and still kept doing their gender thing.  But women suffer and deal with it.

Hey, lady doctors and scientists?  Hey female activists and humanitarians?  Do me a favor and find away for us to not have periods?  Don’t sensationalism them or make it a badge of womanhood.  I’m over it.

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  1. September 28, 2012

    This was a great read! Every woman should be able to relate, and if they can’t (because they get those perfect periods–or just don’t get ‘em because of some awesome birth control method) then they’re mean and I hayt zem. Luckily, I’ve been pregnant since March, so I haven’t had to deal with this issue. My husband came up to me the other day and said “Hey babe! What’s it feel like to have not had a period for seven months?” Luxurious, I might have replied, but the hemorrhoids and baby hiccups are keeping me up at night. Ah, the joys of having ovaries…

    • September 28, 2012

      No period was so novel in the beginning of the pregnancy. And I was one of those damn BF-ers who got her period a few months after having the baby! I’m nursing for a hour straight every hour and I still got my period 3 months later. It’s like He laughed at me for having an easy go with it in the beginning. I hate him.

  2. September 28, 2012

    You’re period and my period should get together and drink scotch in a basement dive jazz bar filled with cigar smoke and dirty waitresses. I don’t even want kids!!! so why do I bleed out of my vagina every fricking month for 7 days filling my lower guts with the cramps of 10,000 men? It’s bullshit and I’m like you, I don’t know why every month I’m shocked at the revelation that I’m a irritable cunt just prior. It’s bullshit. straight up.

  3. lifeineden #
    September 28, 2012

    I was like you, easy periods in my youth. Now, it sucks. The teasing, the migraines, the “surprise! I’m not over yets!” I hate it too.

    It, along with yet another miscarriage, let me to be one of those ladies with awesome birth control — I do a 3 pack cycle so periods only quarterly. It IS nice. Although the ones I do get are still all over the place. Sometimes easy, others evil. The unpredictability is the worst part of all.

    Though with my dry skin, forgetfulness and mood swings (oh yeah, still get those) — can’t say I’m looking forward to menopause, since her sister Peri already seems to be visiting.
    Tho

  4. September 28, 2012

    Fucksakes, that had me rolling on the floor laughing! I feel you. I’ve even fantasized about getting knocked up again just to get a break from it. With pregnancy and breastfeeding, I’d see no “Flo” for two and a half years. Tempting, right? But then, I’d have another kid to raise, so I ain’t going there.

  5. Jill #
    September 28, 2012

    This made me laugh and want to roll on the floor and cry. I absolutely hate the migraines and the back aches and the tease. Oh, you are nearing that wonderful age where you don’t need your period anymore. Maybe this month you can just have mood swings, hot flashes, temper tantrums, migraines and a little weight gain for no reason. I will see you in three months and not leave for a year or so. Yep, that one really pissed me off. My doc says it happens. Probably will off an on for five or six years. Go back on the pill she says it will control it. After the second round of this I called her and said to give me the stupid pill. I don’t care if it is called hormone therapy. I am going to supplement it with a little zinfandel therapy and see if it settles all the crap down. Not ready for this yet! To stinking young.

  6. September 28, 2012

    Best post ever. My period was not easy when I was young, but it was predictable. After the kids were born, it likes to fuck with me. We’ll just get settled into a routine with predictable duration and symptoms, and then he’ll change it up. Let’s be clumsy this month! No, now let’s be weepy! How about so irritable you don’t even want a hug from your 5yr old? And let’s start with some really heavy flow for 3 days, stop completely for a day or two, and then add a couple of surprise light flow days for fun. Especially when the good panties are on. You know, the only ones in the drawer without a stain. Bah. I’d look forward to menopause if it weren’t just another craptastic game we get to play.

  7. kate #
    September 28, 2012

    Yup. Mine sucks too. And I did the infertility thing…my eggs are crappy, rotten, wizened little things with absolutely no hope of making babies.After IVF, the doctor literally said “your eggs are old, they won’t make babies”. My uterus on the other hand, she’s still doing her job, making herself known for a week every month. I would have that bitch out in a heartbeat. I have no need of her. You know, if I couldn’t, ever, ever crap, and my asshole bled and ached and made life hell for a quarter of my life, damn sure some surgeon would say “well, you know, it’s not a popular option, but we could remove the asshole”. And I would say “yes, take it, donate it to anal science, do it now. here, lemme bend over”. But the uterus, no, that bitch will likely be donated to medical science along with the rest of me when I go.

  8. September 28, 2012

    Oh you are so right!!!! Why does it getter harder now? Every year it is worse! I used to laugh at “pms” thinking I just didn’t get it – I didn’t realise there was an expiry on that and pms is accumulative over the years! I remember how much of a nightmare my mum was going thru menopause and now I can see I am already going down the same road slowly! It is frightful! I am like a ravenous murderous intolerant witch when it comes!!

  9. Jenn #
    September 29, 2012

    Oh how I sympathise whith this, I was a relatively early starter (12) and had trouble from the off, unpredictable (me and the periods), moody, severe cramps,nausea, extremely heavy flow (have had to be given medication to stop the bleeding on several ocassions), I went on the pill at 14 and bingo, everything was perfect, until at the age of 26 I was told that long term use of the pill had damaged my liver and I had to stop taking it (I am not allowed any chemical contraceptive). I am now back at square one with my periods (although I have now learnt to control my moods and temper flares). My period is currently playing the ‘here I am, haha only kidding’ game it seems to like so much (for the 2nd time in 2 weeks)

  10. September 29, 2012

    i suffered for ever with mine. but mine was never shy or kind. mine came o early and got progressively worse til the point where i could not leave my house for 3-4 days of my 10 day cycle. one fall we took the kids apple picking, its a tradition. the apples ain’t gonna wait around for my period to end, so i did the responsible thing, bulked up on my super plus plus supplies and pads so thick with wings so large they really should just be adult diapers. i thought i could make the 1 hour apple picking excursion. insert one bumpy hay ride. i felt the giant clot go and it was flood gates from there. when the hayride stopped and i stood up it looked like a massacre had just occurred under me. talk about utter humiliation not just for me but my entire family. my husband (thank goodness for him) was unfazed. he quickly threw his flannel around my waist and walked directly behind me til we finished paying and left. that was it. that and the fact that i now required pain killers to sit upright. i called my surgeon and got the process rolling and goodbye uterus. i did not want more surgery. i had had plenty in the past year… but i just could no longer deal. when all was said and done it was the best thing ever. no more accidents in public. no more pain. no more pads tampons super tampons, etc… my uterus served me well and grew my babies and now i was done with it and all its “issues”. freedom. total freedom. this summer i went swimming whenever i wanted and never thought a thing of it. my surgeon now calls me boring, and i am happier for it.

  11. sara #
    September 30, 2012

    wow you have it nailed …. amazing post … than there is the otherside of it the one where your uterus has fallen out of you and your on deaths door it gets taken away only not to be able to have kids ever again everything inside of you gets reconstructed ..oh and you still have issues… your bladder now cant hold your pee very long you still get migraines and back pains and now your closer to menepause…oh yah being a woman def has its up and downs…. but aunt flo she can go to hell in my case she did and reminded me of her existance… what a bitch…lol

  12. October 5, 2012

    I’ve had periods from hell since 13…. and i’ve never taken birth control because it makes the other women in my family crazy so i don’t feel comfortable taking it. and like you said, somehow in the few weeks i don’t have it i always forget how awful it is and then BAM. it nearly kills me. eff it.

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