How i joined the "PULLOVER TYING CLUB"

Fomuso Blessing
Posted June 6, 2016 from Cameroon

It was a hot afternoon in the confines of a boarding school in Bafut- Cameroon several years ago that I joined the girls, “pullover tying “club in my class and school. That fateful day I felt very sick, tired, dizzy and restless. I couldn’t tell why I was feeling that way, but all I could do was sleep in class all day. When the bell rang indicating lunch time, I immediately got up from my sit, rushing to get a bite, with the hope that I would feel better after that. As I was walking out of the classroom I heard my best friend screaming “Blessing Wait wait, stop moving”. I didn’t take her seriously since we always threw prangs at each other. When she approached me she whispered in my ear “you are stained” and then she put her pullover round my waist, to cover the blood stains. Immediately, I remembered seeing girls walk around after classes with pullovers tied around their waste, trying to hide traces of blood stains from their periods, also I remember some girls waiting to leave the hall after everyone one had left and asking their friend to check them before they could walk around Being on your monthly period was a moment of retreat and seclusion for most girls, because there was a general perception of uncleanliness by other members of the school community, especially the boys. I felt like flying through the window because of the shame and embarrassment I felt. I could hear my classmates murmuring and some whispering “YIshh………..”(A sound used to express disgust or dismay at something). I managed to reach the dormitory and went straight to the bathroom where I took a shower and used toilet tissue as my pad because I didn’t have access to sanitary pads at that time.(I had given out that which my mum got for me as gifts to bigger girls, since I didn’t need it) I felt ashamed and uncomfortable all week especially around my male classmates. Everyone knew I was on my period and some of them even had an attitude towards me. I felt like I was unclean and could stain anyone sitting close to me. I also had echoes of my mother’s voice telling me “Be careful, take care of yourself, once you start menstruating, you are a woman, if you joke with males, you will get pregnant ”With those words in my mind I knew I didn’t have to smile with boys now because I was a big girl. My heart kept beating each time males even smiled at me because I didn’t want to get pregnant. It was a terrible experience and for the first months I was very unhappy each time I has my period. I think a collaborative effort can put an end to menstrual taboos in my community. A great deal of awareness raising is needed to wipe away this heart wrecking taboo. Every girl in every corner needs to taught to be proud to be a woman and to accept every stage that comes with being a woman, menstruation included. Men and boys too should be educated

My First Period

Comments 9

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Terry Mullins
Jun 07, 2016
Jun 07, 2016

Hello Fomuso Blessing - when I read your post, I was transported back to my days in junior high school nearly 50 years ago when I, too, joined the "pullover tying club". I related to the feelings you described, the embarrassment and shame. It makes me sad to think all these years later that menstruation is still considered a taboo subject filled with misinformation for boys and girls alike. Please continue to speak up in your community to raise awareness and to dispel the myths. You are right, and you said it so well..."Every girl in every corner needs to taught to be proud to be a woman and to accept every stage that comes with being a woman, menstruation included."

In love and peace,

Terry Mullins

Fomuso Blessing
Jun 07, 2016
Jun 07, 2016

Thanks Terry!!!! Our voices can definitely change things for women and Girls in the new generation.

Chi Yvonne Leina
Jun 07, 2016
Jun 07, 2016

.It`s so exciting to read about your first period here dear.We must do all to change the mindset of our people towards menstruation and sex education."Yish" should  have  no place in our menstrual journey.We must  fight to eradicate it.

Fomuso Blessing
Jun 07, 2016
Jun 07, 2016

Thank Sisi Leina......with our voices we can change stories,insitutions and traditions.

Marie-Claire Kuja
Jun 07, 2016
Jun 07, 2016

Dear sisi Blessing.

How I love your P.Bafut story. What a title too. Thanks for sharing. Our voices are strong enough and will go a long way. Together we are stronger.

Kuja

Fomuso Blessing
Jun 08, 2016
Jun 08, 2016

Thanks Ma Mac,yes together we are stronger.

Sally maforchi Mboumien
Jun 08, 2016
Jun 08, 2016

Blessing dear

Thanks for sharing. Pullover tying club is still a reality in our community. Just like you said girls are usually accused of being dirty that is why they stay away from school until it is over.

I know that with our voices put together this will be history in no distant time.  

Fomuso Blessing
Jun 08, 2016
Jun 08, 2016

Thanks for your kind words sis.

echo demitrez
Jun 09, 2016
Jun 09, 2016

Hey Fomuso, 

Read and liked what you have written about the day you had menstrual cycle, it was like I was going through my past and all those memories came back rolling down at me. May God guide you to your destined pathway in the years to come. 

With my best regards,