This pain is debilitating,
Each month recurring,
Programmed like clockwork,
Neat and lasting
Just as long as it should.
Dark powerful, undermining
Gashes I can’t escape.
I am stuck here,
Lying on my back,
Short of breath,
Hot, and trembling,
Prisoner of this body,
I have been stuck with since birth.
My fingers are shaking
Yet fighting the urge
Of abandoning their post
Contemplating the relief of
Resting on my stomach
Restraining the ache
In their embrace
– Or of punching their grief out on it,
Possibly making it worse.
Resisting my thoughts,
My fingers are typing,
Spreading the truth of this curse
That my body, our society,
And those drugs
Have been plotting
To hide in shame.
This month it fell on days
I was not working,
So I made a conscious choice
Not to stain my blood
With those chemicals.
As a result of this bravery
I feel like screaming.
Now I can’t resist any longer.
I have been suffering for three days.
My fridge is empty,
And so is my stomach.
I can’t stand without bending forward
From the pain.
The menial task of going to the grocery store
Yet I need strength.
It is 2 P.M. I had a banana and a peach around 10 A.M.
That’s all I have had to eat since yesterday at 5 P.M.
Call it survival instinct, or desire for comfort food,
I can’t postpone this errand any longer.
I swallow the pills.
Chemical relief is on its way.
I cannot help but think
There is something wrong with this body.
Being a woman does not seem functional,
In this society.
There are days
I would rather stay in bed,
And ache in silence,
Rather than face my duties head on.
Yet none of us complains.
With these lines,
I probably am the loudest one
Do not get the wrong picture though.
We are not weaklings.
And I for one know
I can take pain,
And not shed a tear for it.
Again and again, I have put on a brave face,
For each and every befalling illness
Or untimely break.
Yet the prospect of this lifelong affliction
Has proven to be staggering
More than once,
Stranding me to the side,
Bringing me down on my knees.
We are called the weak sex.
From my stand point, if you can go through
All that twelve times a year
Each year for about thirty-five years –
Which is more than the third
Of our average life expectancy –
I do not think we deserve to be called weak.
I call us strong.
My sister says – and I can only imagine –
Bringing a baby to life feels a thousand times
More agonizing than that,
But since you only go through it once
Your mind blacks out the excruciating pain.
Pain is relative.
You experience it in the moment.
A paper cut can feel more painful to someone,
Than a punch in the stomach would to someone else.
Women endure pain in monthly waves,
But it does not stop there.
And that is where you can bring some relief
By being aware.
Our scarring is not just physical.
Year round, we get badgered
About that time of the month,
Even when the issue at hand
Has nothing to do with it.
Please try not to diminish women
By reducing us to emotional messes
Due to our “condition”
I am not pointing fingers, just stating.
We are damned strong and kick through the pain
We take on in our bodies.
We do our best not to be subject to it,
And strive twice as hard on those days
Not to let it appear.
Please do not bring more stigmas on the rest of our days.
Try and keep in mind what we pull through,
And remember we make a fierce job at it.
Do not be repulsed when we talk about it.
Our bodies are not dirty,
They are powerful life-tight ships.
They bleed only as a side effect
Of this life making engine built up inside,
But they shoulder a whole lot of work,
And demand just as much patience,
As I type these last words I realize
Anger has taken over pain.
My fingers are assured.
They are not trembling anymore.
Nature is a powerful thing.
Over which we have very limited control
Even nowadays with our cutting edge meds.
I can still feel that my guts are not settled,
And that hard work is on going down there.
However the pain has been partially numbed,
I can go now, and do my grocery shopping.
So that is what I am going to do
And bid you farewell, dear friends,
Before I spill some more blood on this societal taboo.