This is hard to write, hard to admit, hard to talk about in public, but I must.
It’s a woman’s thing. A real woman’s thing. Nothing to do with men who identify as women (a ‘concept’ that’s all the rage now in the media. Only women born as women know what I am talking about, and only women born as women are women.
It’s about the monthly blood bomb that is a woman’s lot from the early teens until forever!
I am going to talk about myself here. This is my story.
I have lived a half-life because of the blood bomb for forty years. Yes, forty years of monthly pain, excessive blood pouring forth from my vagina, monthly blood migraines – induced by my female hormones – cramps, nausea, tiredness, irritability, violent rages pre-and during the blood bomb, and this has been occuring now for forty years, and is still continuing.
40 years! For every month of these past 40 years, a half of that month has been locked down in pre-menstrual aches, headaches, pains and hormonal anger. I have ridden the wave of this, like all women, with dignity, with resignation, philosophically, living my life as happily and as productively and as energetically as I have been able.
What is the point of this blog, you might ask? All women have periods, right! The point of my rant is this: Up until the age of 13-and-a-half I was a happy, balanced, active child. I had clear thoughts and I was able to study and focus on happy things. I was a kid. I played guitar, wrote my diary, had happy times with my friends, loved ballet, did ballet, loved my family – especially my kind and supportive dad, and never had a moment of self-doubt.
That all changed the day I had my first period. I was on holiday on the Island of Oland off the coast of Sweden. It was summer 1978. I was 14-and-a-half. I was having a lovely holiday, walking, cycling, going down to the local farm to buy milk from the farmer. I was drawing and writing in my diary and was happy. Then as if overnight, that happiness vanished. I got my period. I remember seeing that first clot of blood on the toilet paper and remember my happiness evaporating there and then. The light in the bathroom became duller. Everything became silent and echoing. The first thing I remember was I had to tell my best friend, but she was a long way away in Ireland. I would write her a letter telling her.
But I actually felt horrified, disgusted. The days went on and I felt no better. A couple of days later on a trip to Stockholm with my parents and brother, I thought my world had ended. You’ll have to get used to this – were the only words of comfort my mother offered me. My father just smiled at me in an embarrassed way, a kind way but embarrased all the same. It was not a subject that was ever mentioned again.
So, the joylessness of periods had arrived, and for the next 40 years I would have to suffer chronic blood loss once a month, the cost of tampons, sanitary towels, that god-awful hippy Mooncup thing which I tried for a couple of months then threw in the recycle bin. Imagine stuffing that up your vagina every month, then retrieving it and washing it up, then doing the restuffing? It’s hell.
And there’s the hormone headaches that I have endured almost every month for 40 years, my period migraine, I call it.
My happiness times in my life have been when my periods have gone AWOL. Pregnancy – no periods – fantastic. But those times have only have amounted to a total of 18 months in a period of 40 years.
Why am I going on about this? Because I am 54 and after having no periods for six months, a happy time for me, where I felt healthier and more vibrant and more energetic than I have ever felt, since being 13 years old, I now have my period back in full on blood bomb rage, paying me back for being absent for six months by giving me a double dose of everything, including low mood, migraines and clot explosions.
And while we’re on the subject of hormonal rage and a deputy-bank of england governor and his misogynist remarks about the UK economy being ‘menopausal’ due to its sluggish and lazy non-growth, I will tell you this, Mr Deputy Governor and the transexuals of this world, Deputy Governor, you’re a lazy misogynist – menopause means leaving periods behind and we’re now free to take on the world – and we do – and to the transexuals – do what you want with your body but don’t you dare tell me you identify as a woman, because you will never be a woman. You will never know what it is like to be a woman.
I want a time without periods. Period. I want to be that balanced, happy 13-year-old again but in my 54-year-old body. Who the hell would want to be a woman? It’s damned hard but women are good at it. Real women that is.