By Inioluwa Moses
Growing up as a young girl I had this hate-fear relationship with my monthly flow, I hated the cramps, I hated the flow, I hated the colour, I hated everything about it.
I remember when it started. I was about resuming for SS1. It was a Saturday, an “owanbe” Saturday. I went for a party with my dad and I was dressed in my fine dress when I felt something flow out of me, I pressed my legs together hoping it will stop, but it didn’t, thankfully I didn’t stain my dress and I got home without attracting attention, I was 12 going to be 13.
I didn’t tell my dad about the “miracle” that just happened, I fixed myself up quick and waited for mum to get home.
Prior to this time, the management of ‘Always’ sanitary towel had sent representatives to my school, educating us on our monthly flow and how to make use of the sanitary towel. So I knew how to fix it on my panties.
As I grew up, anytime my mum forgot to buy a sanitary pad for me on her way back from work, I’d beg her to help me get it from the shop in my area as I was too scared to request for pad even if I was paying for it.
Fast-forward to school resumption anytime I was on my period, my cardigan became my best friend, under the sun or in the rain, I wore it.
Thankfully, the colour of my uniform was navy blue so the red didn’t always show, just a brownish patch that I could recognise anywhere.
Whenever had to stand up, I was in constant petition asking God to protect my uniform from the evil called blood. Unluckily for me, the two people seated at my back were mischievous guys so whenever I had to stand up, it had to be a gradual process, I’d ease off my chair gradually while my hand was on my chair feeling for any form of wetness, after that procedure I’d stand (with my heart beating wildly) and furiously dust at my gown checking for any wetness and then I’d turn my back to my friends who stylishly help me check if I got “stained” after this wild procedure.
My heart then calms and then I seat back down clamping my legs tightly in order to stop the flow (which eventually gushes out when I stand).
Now whenever I was on my period, I always sat on one side of my body and slept on one side in order to avoid staining my bedspread or cloth as the case my be. This one sided sitting or sleeping later caused my leg pain but I endured it as it was for the greater good.
I didn’t like the guys either, because they were mischievous people. I was really jumpy whenever I had my period in secondary school, any small whisper made me think I was stained or blood was flowing down my legs.
Fast-forward to my university days which weren’t any better. I had my secondary school mates as faculty mates and course mates, so they knew whenever I was on, and would always check to make sure I wasn’t stained.
I remember a particular incident which happened in my 3rd year, I was staying in the up bunk and this particular day I woke up pressed and as is my custom I rolled and prepared to jump down without resting on my butt, as I was about jumping, guess what jumped with me… blood, I don’t know how it happened all I know is that blood fell to the ground as I was jumping down, I went into shock, I didn’t know what I was doing, I couldn’t think, I was ashamed of myself, I was disgusted.
Through all this monthly chaos, I only experienced menstrual cramps once and it actually happened a year before I started menstruating, since then I’ve only had mild pains which doesn’t bother me much.
I’ve battled with my periods over time, begging God each month to skip this time. Most times I just want to cuddle in bed all day and sleep all the pain away.
I once took my monthly flow as a curse now I see it as a blessing.
I’m no longer ashamed of it, I no longer cringe at the thought of it, I’m learning to embrace it, through the years I’ve learnt that my monthly flow is not something to be ashamed of, I’ve learnt that guys who stigmatize ladies because of their monthly flow needs a re-education on it.
The whole essence of writing this story is to encourage young girls like me out there that our monthly flow is not supposed to be a shameful experience, and also for the guys to always support and look out for their female friends whenever they’re going through their monthly flow.