Adult and woman
When I had my first period at age twelve, I was unable to tell my mother for a month, while I shared the news with friends. It unfolded in the second month without my telling her.
We were out shopping one weekend. We went into the restroom, and when I came out, I had forgotten to flush it. It was strange that I did. My mother went in after me and beckoned me at the door. I realized my tardiness and went back to apologize. She smiled and showed me the blood-smeared crumpled toilet paper in the bowl. “You started your period,” she said. It was not the way I had planned to broach the subject, but so it happened. I lost my appetite for lunch, which my mother understood that I was in shock.
It was easier to talk about menstruation with my friends because we were in it together, and also I felt free to grow into adulthood outside home. Menstruation was a path to my future, in which I have an independent life. While at home, I was embarrassed to have the body of a woman. Menstruation was a reflection of my mother’s womanhood, which meant an entrapment and misery. Having my mother witness the fact that I would become her was a mortification.