It is the night before Christmas Eve, and I am thirteen and three-quarters. I wake up sometime during the night with a sore stomach, and go to the toilet. I discover brownish stuff on the toilet paper and wonder, “is this my period?” I think it probably is. I put toilet paper in my undies just in case, and go back to bed.
In the morning there is a bit more blood, and I know that it is my period. I go downstairs. My mother is in the kitchen and my brothers and father are around. Everyone is busy because we are getting ready to go visit our grandmother on Christmas day. I can’t talk to my Mum when my brothers and Dad are around. I am embarrassed. I am too embarrassed to say anything to Mum.
I search my Mum’s bathroom for pads, but I can’t find any. I put more toilet paper in my undies instead. My period is very light, but toilet paper doesn’t work and I still get blood on my underwear.
We get back from my grandmother’s house on Boxing Day, and that night my mother sees some bloody undies on the floor of my room, and asks me if I have my period. I say, “Yes.” She thinks that I didn’t tell her about it because I didn’t realise that it was my period. She doesn’t know the real reason: I was too embarrassed to tell her.
I am relieved that she knows, because now I can get some pads. I didn’t know when I would have had the guts to tell her if she hadn’t found out for herself… possibly not until months later.
My Mum tells my Dad, and he smiles at me, “Congratulations.” I feel a bit embarrassed, and getting my period seems to be a strange thing to celebrate (but we do anyway, my Mum takes me out to lunch).
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