That time of the month

It hurts everywhere from top to bottom. Head, breasts, bowels, lower back. I can’t sit, I can’t lie down, and I actually can’t stand any position for 1 to 2 days.

It comes with nausea, dizziness, constipation, cramps, fatigue, hot flushes, food cravings, acne, and of course bleeding.

It makes me inconstant, moody, impulsive, complicated, emotional, anxious, irritable, fragile, sad, overwhelmed, egotistical, impatient, demanding, oversensitive, inconsistent, angry, shameful, tensed, senseless, resentful, self-conscious, and many other unpleasant things.

Every time, I feel like crap.

Even though women are not all equal in terms of symptoms, they all sure ride the same hormonal roller coaster and fight the same invisible enemy with no weapons.

An enemy called “That time of the month”.

A silent storm that strikes the body and the mind without prior consent.

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As women, we’re victims of the most wrongful law of Mother Nature: a body with teeny tiny ovaries that have the power to cause excruciating pain inherent in not bearing life, in refusing the other painful option of going through 9 months of discomfort and delivering around 3 kilos and 50 cm of flesh via a narrow hole.

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Men know nothing about periods. And by periods, I mean the symptoms rather than the mechanism. They don’t want to hear or talk about it, they’re embarrassed, they’re disgusted, they’re shocked, and obviously they turn the topic into one of the biggest taboos of our society. A society that is, however, clearly sex-driven, that can stand heavy loads of blood in movies, that broadcasts the most horrific and violent pictures of war on TV at peak hours, but that turns a blind eye on a very basic aspect of womanhood which affects about 50 percent of the population. Surprisingly, as ignorant as they are, too often they even turn it into a very convenient explanation of women’s attitudes. Woman’s a bitch? Periods. Woman’s mad at them? Periods.  Woman doesn’t want intercourse? Periods.

As if they couldn’t just be assholes.

If only they knew. If only they knew the pain, the feelings, the shame even, of what being a woman means. If only they could acknowledge what we have to face every month, sometimes at the least expected time ever…

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And if only they knew that despite the physical and mental pain, we deal with it. We hide it as much as possible. We shut the fuck up and carry on with our lives as if nothing is happening. We go to work, do the shopping, clean the house, cook, do the dishes, take care of the kids, walk the dog, do the laundry, and take our (not very fair) share of chores that men are also *supposed* to accomplish. And we don’t brag about it.

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But because of all the things we don’t dare to share with the men in our lives – fathers  brothers, boyfriends, teachers, colleagues, bosses – and because we learn from a young age how to suffer in silence, we have developed a very high level of resistance to pain.

But it’s also that resistance and our knowledge of what pain actually is, that makes us resilient, tough, strong-minded, powerful, determined, ambitious, creative, joyful, patient, caring, generous, rational, supportive, independent, proud, smart, funny, confident, sincere, understanding, affectionate, brave, outspoken, beautiful, passionate, trustworthy, and many other amazing things.

So when men get uncomfortable during TV commercials about tampons or sanitary pads that involve a few drops of blue liquid, or when they complain about a slight scratch or mosquito bite on their skin (ask my boyfriend), I just want to punch them so hard in the face and the stomach that they get a hint, just for a second, of what real pain is.

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Credits:
– Crazy talented Sarah Andersen: http://sarahcandersen.com/
– Crazy talented C-Cassandra: http://c-cassandra.tumblr.com/