Typical, it was a Sunday and we were in church, I was 11 years old. In the middle of service, I felt my panties get wet. I asked mummy to excuse me so I could go to the toilet.
I pulled down my panties and there it was, I was bleeding. I thought I was dying I didn’t know what to do. I had never been told about this, I had never heard of this, I did not know anyone with this. I took toilet paper and wiped, but the blood was still coming. It was bright red.
I tried to wash out my panties, and then I stuffed it with tissue papers. I walked back to my seat in wet panties and sat down. I was worried.
My mum was sitting listening to the sermon, “excuse me mummy” I said. “Shut up” was the reply. I didn’t know what to do, my tummy had also started to ache. . ” I’m bleeding mummy, in my knickers”, I said. But she ignored me. I said it again but mummy Looked at me with disgust, but she didn’t say a word.
I sat in silence wandering what to do.
After church had finished, we went to her friends house, the one I mentioned previously sister B. My mummy told everyone in the house that I had started my periods. So that is what it was, I remember her daughter coming to me and was excited, “you are a woman now” she said. What did she mean, I thought I was always a woman. I remember that mummy told me during bible reading. That in the beginning God created Man and Woman. I was even more confused, but I remember the shame and not wanting to sound silly. “I know” I replied.
When we arrived home, after my mummy called me into her room. More humiliation. She had in her hand a pad and a sanitary belt. It was the most ugly thing I ever saw. She told me to take off my knickers and open my legs I stood there in front of her with my newly sprouted pubic hair, bleeding. Totally and utterly humiliated.
She put the pad in between my legs and tied it with a belt. “How could this be” I thought. It was the ugliest thing I ever saw. I recall this moment as clear as day. I was totally and utterly ashamed, I felt violated once more. She then started to curse me. She said something about HE SAW and JACOB; no I still didn’t have a clue what she meant. She said that I was nasty, that I was a sin, that I am not a woman. That I must have been doing something with boys, the list was endless. I stood their and took all the accusations. ” no, mummy I was sitting church and it came out”. I said. Mummy wouldn’t hear it I was a dirty little whore and that was why I was bleeding. It was a curse. Well I was confused, but the bleeding confirmed what mummy said. I was a dirty little girl. I was not a woman after all.
I hated this wetness, this blood, I did not want to be a woman or a dirty little girl. No matter how much times I wiped my curse wouldn’t go away. Mummy didn’t tell me it would come very month, neither did she tell me it would cause pain. But she made it clear it was my fault I was bleeding. I needed to find a way to make it go away. I thought.
Once I went back into my room I took off the sanitary belt, I kept the large pad between my legs. I cied myself to sleep. “Maybe tomorrow it will be gone” I thought.