My First Period Story and How I'm Healing It Now

My First Period Story and How I'm Healing It Now

Today I'm sharing some hard things, and I'm giving you permission to click away from this blog if it becomes too much for you. 

This month I started my training to become a First Moon Circle facilitator--where I'll lead circles for 9-12 year olds who will soon get their first period and witness and guide them at this vital rite of passage. 

I am so incredibly excited and honored to do this work!

Part of this certification program includes doing your own healing work around your menarche (first period) experience, which is what we've been journeying the past week.

It has been bumpy for me. 

I would sit down to complete the deeply reflective exercises and find myself very distracted, only able to answer a few questions in my journal before clicking away to something else. 

I also have been extra tired, sensitive, and had stomach pains. I'm coming down with a cold. 

This is not surprising to me because I know my body is an expression of what's going on for me internally, spiritually, emotionally. 

And the years prior to my first bleed were marked by trauma, so it's no surprise to me that mentally reinhabiting that time of my life is accompanied with physical echoes of what I experienced at that time of my life and just the physical manifestation that I'm revisiting a challenging time. 

So I've been able to give myself grace. 

I'm sharing this today because I want you to know that our bodies are always relevant, always an external mirror to our internal experience, and an avenue for vital self-awareness.

I'm also sharing because it is incredibly important to witness others and be witnessed yourself.

I want to share a little bit about my first period experience:

I do not remember my first bleed. 

I think I was about twelve, I'm pretty sure I was in sixth grade. I told no one, and I didn't even acknowledge it to myself. 

I free-bled for the first handful of periods, letting my blood release into my Limited Too underwear because I just couldn't acknowledge this change in my body, the need to care for myself in this way. I couldn't go get a pad because it felt like acknowledgement that I would now have to care for my body, and at that time I could not do that. 

I carried way too much shame. Too much repulsion, too much fear. I did not like being in my body; it was a dangerous place. And puberty felt even more dangerous. 

So I abandoned myself and my body.

I denied this change, I hid it, I refused to acknowledge it. 

I didn't want this. I didn't want many of the things that my body had experienced, but nothing ever felt like my choice. 

I've since recognized that this deep self-abandonment at menarche set a pattern of self-abandonment for years. 

In this First Moon Circle Facilitator training program, and other menstruality work I've done, I've learned that how something starts is a pretty clear indication of how it will continue. 

Until something changes.

And that change usually comes through very mindful effort.

There is so much hope in that! So much possibility, so much beauty. 

I am proof that things can change. That we can heal. That we have power and choice and potential to experience things differently, to re-write our story. 

This is exactly why I am so passionate, so honored to work in this space helping others do this same work

Part of our module this week included an invitation to write a letter to your menarcheal self, including any wisdom, guidance, or words you needed to hear at that time but did not receive.

I want to share an excerpt from the letter I wrote to my 12-year-old self. 

And please, if any of this message holds words you also need to hear, know that I am speaking them to you, too: 

You are seen. You are important. What you experience matters. 

I know this is very hard for you right now, really scary, really vulnerable, too much. Too much has always been asked of you. Take your time. Be gentle with yourself. 
There is nothing shameful about your body. There is nothing wrong with you, nothing wrong with being a girl. I know it feels dangerous to be female, feminine. But it won't always. 

Someday in the future, you will love your body. You will feel safe in your body. You will feel powerful and protected and fierce and loving and loveable and utterly magnificent.

It will no longer hurt to be in your body, you will no longer feel betrayed or unsafe. You will feel alive, and powerful, and completely free, totally happy to make yourself happy and let the rest go.
It's okay if you don't feel this now--know that it's coming. 
You and your body are perfectly right and good and powerful and sovereign. You are so loved. I love you. You are safe with me. You are powerful and I am so, so proud of you. 
mother hugging teen daughter

Thank you for letting me share this part of me. Thank you for receiving it.

I deeply believe that our stories deserve--and need--to be witnessed, so please do leave a comment or reach out to me and allow me to witness your first period story, if you choose. 

Everyone's first period story is unique and holds so much wisdom and insight. I would love to hear yours. 💜

And if you want to write your own letter to your menarcheal self, I highly recommend it!

I know this is a practice I will return to often as I continue my healing work. It is life-giving. 

I hope you give it a try, even if you did not have any challenges at menarche! Connecting with your past self and witnessing that version of yourself, offering your compassion, your love, is very powerful all on its own. 

And of course, if you would like my guidance on this kind of deep healing and pivotal menstruality work, I currently have a few openings for 1:1 womb work with me and would be so honored to hold space for you and facilitate your journey. 

Go gently this week, beloveds. 💜

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