period

‘I was vomiting. My doctor said it was because I was ‘promiscuous’. Others said it was from grief, after my mom hung herself.’: Woman with chronic illness says pain ‘robbed her of so much,’ but won’t rob her ‘passion for living’

“The pain got so bad. I pulled over on the side of the freeway and called my dad, begging him to come get me. I became confused, disoriented. I remember thinking I could understand why my mother took her own life. It made me realize I either had to fight for my own health, or continue to fade away. I had to be stronger than my mom was. I couldn’t stop fighting.”

‘I was teased that toothpaste had calories. I hated the whispers and stares. I thought it was cool to not get my period anymore. I’m ashamed of this.’: 43-year- old mom finally confident in body image after struggling with eating disorder most of life

“It intensified when I left my parents’ home and went to college. I drastically reduced my food intake. I hate thinking about the look of shock, disappointment, and concern on my mother’s face. She hadn’t seen me since Christmas, so when I came home for Spring Break, my mother was worried sick over my frail appearance. I felt guilty, but not guilty enough to change.”

‘Step right up!’ my teacher said. I half shook my head no, turning pink. I slowly rose, my legs glued together. The floodgates opened. I was 5 feet from the board when someone shouted, ‘OH MY GOD!’

“Queue the tears. Oh, those embarrassing tears. I was mortified. I’d never been given the period talk. My parents were too uncomfortable to explain. And to make matters worse… you guessed it. I was wearing white jeans. WHITE. I never expected what would happen next. Not in a million years.”

‘My doctor told my 12-year-old self I’d still have children, but since I was so young, she never went into details. ‘Your doctors never cleaned out your abdomen in surgery,’ I learned. I was betrayed.’

“The receptionist sounded confused. ‘You already have an appointment scheduled for today. It’s your post-operation check. How did the surgery go?’ Chills went down my spine. I asked her to keep the appointment, but change it to ‘pregnancy confirmation.’ I can’t believe this.”

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