I got my period in fifth grade and my mom was the only person who knew -- thanks to a nice little note I left on her pillow to inform her that my time had come. Uttering the words out loud felt very out of my comfort zone. Needless to say, I didn't talk to my friends about it at all and wished I could pretend my period wasn't actually a thing. I wanted as little to do with my bloody vagina as possible. Pads seemed like the least invasive approach, so pads it was.
As you can imagine, pads got old. There were certain pants that didn't hide the diaper lines very well and they smell. Tampons began to pique my interest. I remember seeing these weird things in mom's bathroom drawer, unwrapping them layer by layer to find cardboard and cotton and having no guess as to what they could be. At 12, I was finally learning what tampons were (and yearning to go back to those days of ignorance).
Be aware: this was painful. The tampon was half in, half out, and being tugged around.
It took me about two years to get back on the tampon wagon.
The image of the tampon stuck on a line of skin/tissue/whatever was burned in my brain. I could not get past it. When I finally decided to attempt tampons again, I prepped by figuring out what the heck was going on there. The internet taught me something so major. Something that really should be talked about more:
Why isn't this talked about more?! This information should be on tampon boxes -- like hey, as a heads up, if you have trouble getting your tampon out don't freak out. Don't assume you have an alien vagina with a little extra something. You are ok. You just might have a different hymen than your friend who told you tampons were the best. Take a deep breath, you are not alone, you will get this little fucker out. And if you don't, do not be embarrassed to go to the doctor. You may need some extra help.
* important to note that imperforate hymens are typically detected early on (i.e. newborn stage), but this is just a little reminder to check in with your body! I highlight this because it is your body after all. You should know what's up down/in/around there. If something doesn't feel quite right, don't be embarrassed to ask questions and seek out answers!
thank you, readers!
This outlet really has helped me ask my questions, share my stories. I'm finding that the practice of investigating and getting to know myself in this way is super empowering. I'm learning to feel less shame and I hope the sharing is helping you. Thank you for listening and liking and spreading the love.