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I’m still not used to menstruating.

It’s not unsettling like it was when I started out and had periods quite heavy for a wee one, because it’s balanced out with age. I don’t often get the sharp pains I had for most of my teens, which is important because I can’t get used to pain. And I don’t have to take deep breaths anymore when I look down and see all the blood.

It bothers me that I don’t know why it bothers me so much. Maybe I’ve internalised, somewhere in me, the idea that menstrual fluid is dirty and shameful. Maybe it’s the integrity of my body coming into question, bits of it slowly and steadily flowing out. Maybe it’s a horror at the loss of the potential of the life that could have been held there.

Something that certainly hasn’t helped is the societal hush around menstruating. If something’s hidden, it’s still there. It’s just there in more isolated ways.

It’s always a shock that my body would do this, would be capable of this. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to menstruating.

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