The Ghost Period That Haunted Me
Regular period? Never heard of her.
Reality is, you’re lucky if you have a consistent 28-day cycle, because most women don’t even get that. What I, and so many other women, have learned is that it is far more efficient to trust the signs of your body than the days of the calendar when trying to predict the wet season. And what about when birth control is thrown into this Bloody Mary cocktail? Let’s just say, things can get a little crazy.
This is where my story begins. I was 15, sexually active for the first time and desperate to get protected. I went to my doctor and decided to go with the arm implant. For the first four months of the implant, it was period mode all the time. But when the bleeding finally stopped, it stopped entirely. At first, I rejoiced – happy that I was open for business 24/7 and free from PMS. But as I frolicked through the period free joy and happily spent my tampon money on extra guac at Chipotle, I found myself becoming more and more out of touch with myself. I thought I was done with my period troubles, but I was wrong. I was cranky without cramps. I was tired, but not losing any iron. I was inexplicably sad. My ghost period was coming back to haunt me. Because I did not have a valid reason to feel so crappy, I blamed myself. No longer could I soothe my ill feelings with a “you’re just PMSing.” My subconscious was confused. I thought I had hit rock bottom and it was all my fault.
My doctors assured me that not bleeding was normal. However, they did not tell me that, while I wasn’t bleeding, I could still experience hormonal changes. I was rollercoastering through all the same ups and downs as I did when I bled, but without the physical and, consequently, psychological explanations. Truth be told, this made me miss my period. I missed the ritual and the reminder that my body was living and functioning how it should be. But my body was still giving me these signals, I just wasn’t paying attention. All I had to do to know this was something I had already practiced when trying to predict my cycle: I had to listen to my body. If I had done this, I would have known that my body was working exactly as it should have been, even if that was slightly different than everybody else, and a little more convenient.
Despite this realization, something still isn’t right. I wonder – why is my subconscious so concerned with validating these heightened emotions at all? Why did I need to bleed to feel like my feelings were “normal?” Immediately, the word “hysterical’ comes to mind. I think of all the years of conditioning that have taught women that feeling and passion is a sign of inferiority; that the expressions that come out of heightened feelings are silly and dramatic. What it boils down to is our fear of intuition, our fear of a woman’s ability to react accordingly, or overreact accordingly. Really, every time I have ever seen a woman “overreact,” it has only been a woman loudly speaking truth to everyone else’s discomfort. But alas, I digress. The point is that your body will tell you 100 different things, but never let it tell you to be quiet. Never stop listening to your body. Just like your body can tell you when you will bleed, or when you will menstruate with signs other than blood, your body tells you how to react and operate. In a world that actively suppresses this intuition, listening to your body is a revolutionary act.Loading Likes...