The Day I Became a Woman

Ese Ajuyah
Posted May 12, 2017 from Nigeria

God! What kind of pain is this? Surely there must be a rat gnawing on my insides! I don't understand what is happening to me. Am rolling on the floor and writhing in pain! I lay face down on the floor. Perhaps my connection with the earth would ease me of this pain. I feel like a huge cobra is writhing inside of me! I have no record of how long I lay on the floor. I feel warm stickiness between my thighs. I rush to touch it. It's blood! Blood! Why do I have so much blood running between my legs. I lay down again and am gently tugged out of sleep. My mother is peering at me closely. Ese stand up your clothes are stained! She guides me into the bathroom and asks me to have a bath quickly. She rushes out of the bathroom excitedly am wondering why? She returns with a piece of cloth wrapped snuggly. She helps me to fit the cloth on my panties and guides me to wear them. We leave the bathroom together. My mother is smiling sheepishly and am wondering why? She breaks the silence and say today you have become a woman! I will tell your father when he returns so that we can buy and slaughter the chicken. I ask my mother why? She says it's the custom of my people to celebrate the day I become a woman. Me am so glad because I get to eat chicken even when it's not Christmas! Among my people today that culture has not changed. Young females get to eat chicken the first time they see their menstruation. It is necessary to keep speaking to and educating young females on what to expect during their periods. That way they do not get to be alarmed like I was.

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Sherna Alexander Benjamin
May 12, 2017
May 12, 2017

Hello Ese,

I read each word you wrote with anticipation of the next. You are correct when you speak about educating girls about what to expect when they begin their menstrual cycle. Continue using your voice to make a change and to educate others. 

May 12, 2017
May 12, 2017

Dear Ese,

I read your post with a smile. I wish sincerely, that the chicken slaughtering will tally with the provisions parents make towards the girls' menstrual hygiene.

In this day when the cost of one chicken can buy a minimum of four months supply of sanitary pads for her, I believe parents of the girlchild will do more in celebrating her welcome to womanhood by buying her a large economy pack of pads instead. After all, she only gets to eat a few pieces of the chicken in any case.

Every girls deserves a pad. Menstruation is not a choice.


May 15, 2017
May 15, 2017

Dear Ese,

Thank you for sharing this inspiring and amazing story. It was an interesting read.

It will go along way teaching young ladies on menstrual hygiene and management that way they are educated and wont fret when the red visitor appears.

Thanks for sharing.