Translation by Community Member Pilar Albisu
I was in my second year of high school. I had just come home from boarding school to spend the summer vacation with my family. It was also the month of my thirteenth birthday, and my mother was already very worried. She called me into her room and asked me to undress so that she could examine my body. It was the third time that she had asked me to do this, and every time, I asked her the same question, “Mom…again?” and she always replied, “Yes, yes, do as I ask.” I was too naïve to understand that she was worried about my period.
A few months later, after having celebrated my birthday, I was laying on the couch, watching TV when, suddenly, I felt something trickle onto my underwear. I ignored it as I was focusing on the program I was watching. A few seconds later, I felt it again but, this time I felt wet. At this point, I ran to the bathroom. I took off my underwear and there it was…That famous mark of femininity. At that moment, I thought to myself, “It’s my turn,” because I had seen my older sister go through the same thing when she got her period for the first time; I was with her when it happened. So, it wasn’t a big deal for me. I called her (my sister) and I asked her to lend me a tampon. With a smile, she asked, “You got it?” and with an odd look, I replied, “Yes.” And so she showed me how to wear one. On the first try, it affected how I walked. She laughed and told me, “You’ll get used to it over time!”
When she came home, exhausted, I told my mom the good news. With a sigh of relief, she smiled modestly and asked me if I had cleaned myself up well and if I was wearing the tampon properly. I smiled back at her and replied, “Everything has been taken care of.”
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