I started looking for a job after I graduated. I really wanted my mother to relax now. Dad passed away when I was a kid. She had brought me up so well, all by herself. I got good marks because she would stay up with me during my exams, even when she had work the next day. She would cook food for us, even though that meant double the work. She cleaned the house herself and asked me to just focus on my studies.
I led a comfortable life. She provided me with everything.
I got hired by a well-renowned company. While I was going through the copy of the contract I got on my mail, I saw the joining date. It coincided with my period. The happiness of being hired, the happiness of finally being able to see my mother rest, got shattered by this revelation.
It's unnerving how my period date still affects the big decisions in my life. I can't run away from the things just because of my period. But you do not understand... they aren't just period for everyone. My periods are tormenting.
Some women are lucky to have what I call, easy-peasy periods. Their only challenge — changing pads or tampons. Some face minor cramps on the first two days. The others, like me, are agonized by them. It was not the first time, something of this sort had happened to me. This one time when our family friends wanted my mother and me to join them on their Dubai trip, we didn't go because I would have gotten my period there.
I pray for death on my first day. I get extreme abdominal cramps. I get loose motions. I vomit.
Chocolates don't help. Hot-water bottles don't help. I can't sleep because of the body ache. I have been prescribed painkillers but nothing works. Moreover, I am made to feel guilty for using the "excuse" by my friends and relatives, who tell me having painkillers will make me infertile. I have to live through it, there's no other option.
Well, I happen to have a condition called PCOD ( Polycystic Ovarian Disorder). I was diagnosed at 21. Around 5 years ago, I gained 10 kgs within a span of 5 months, with no major changes in my diet. Acne and facial hair followed a little later.
My ex-boyfriend started taunting me on the sudden changes in my body. Everyone I met commented on how bad my skin had become. The never-ending visits to dermatologists and gynaecologists didn't help either. Going to the gym doesn't help me lose weight. In fact, if I stop going to the gym, I gain more and my skin looks worse.
I had been tolerating it all because what could I have done. But what shook me was when I did not get my period for 3 months.
Finally, I went to a doctor who gave me medicines that made me 'bleed'. I say they made me bleed instead of 'help me get my period', because the bleeding did not stop. I bled for a month. I was so stressed and tensed that I had a mental breakdown. I hated myself for not being able to help my mother. Instead, I was putting more weight on her shoulders.
During this horrific period, a friend from school called me up and told me about a reunion our friends were planning. I realized then how easy a guy's life is.
I wished then that I were a boy. And I feel no shame in accepting it.
I don't know if boys realise how lucky they are. I am always bothered with the thought of being infertile? Will I ever have my own kids? PCOD has been linked to infertility. I wonder if I should get married early? Should I have babies early even if I am not at all ready for it, mentally? If I am fertile, is my fertility clock really ticking away because of my PCOD? And then came the questions arising out of jealously... Why don't I have the luxury of time like boys do to have children? Why don't they suffer like girls do?
Why am I a girl?
My period finally stopped after a month. I wish people can understand that girls like me do exist. Why is there no law that allows women to take leave on the first day of period? I wish I could get excited about getting a job without having to worry about how will I manage it on my first day.
Why don't women speak up? Why are periods still a taboo? Why am I expected to live through my period 'calmly' when it is really so painful?
My boyfriend once told me that I was faking my pain because he had never heard any other girl 'whine' about her period as much. I can't even blame him for what he said. he has been conditioned to think like that.
I want people to talk about periods like they talk about what movie they'd want to watch on a Friday night. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I want people to talk comfortably about period pain so that women like me can feel comfortable while talking about their pain. Women go through a lot of things mentally, emotionally and physically during their menstrual cycle.
I don't want people to pity me. I do not want their sympathy. But I do not want women to suffer silently. I want people to be gender equal while keeping exceptions and conditioning in mind.