Childhood Adventures From An American Born Trinidadian

Have You Seen Your Periods

Look out for periods, they just might begin falling from the sky. That is what I spent years doing, because older women kept asking me if I had “seen my periods” and I had no idea what the hell they were talking about. How does one “see a period” and what did they mean, the punctuation point, well of course I had seen it, daily in school or whenever I was writing. Nyri had no idea that the term “periods” was in fact a reference to menstruation, and to be frank, that was a subject that I was certain would never be discussed in any great detail by anyone but my friends on days we pondered this farce called life. 

Parents don’t speak to children in this country, and what I started to learn was if I was going to survive and not get pregnant, I would have to do the research on my own! So I did what we all do, listen in on adult conversations and came to the conclusion that my “periods” were waiting to fall from the sky and bless me with magical blood on a random Tuesday and allow me to begin my journey into womanhood. I was already known as “no breast Nyri” so maybe this would help me along with my non-existent onset of puberty.

I envied my friends who had beginning shapes, strutted like peacocks in training bras and spoke of secret trips to the latrine that involved wrapping things in newspaper. I however had none of this excitement, no breast to speak of, and the only thing that was going down in my latrine was that scheduled afternoon poop that was a guarantee from my daily overindulgence of mangoes!

Navigating puberty with no parental guidance is common. Talking about sex and development is still seen as taboo, yet teen pregnancy is the greatest of shames on the family. If you enjoyed this short story, drop a comment and let me know. Don’t forget to share the love!

The Unnerved Traveler

4 thoughts on “Childhood Adventures From An American Born Trinidadian”

  1. Omg! I didn’t know what that was too. My mom saw my underwear and then hugged me and asked me if I felt okay. Then she scheduled a doctor appointment with my pediatrician. I had no idea what it was and didn’t care. Then in the 4th grade my friend mentioned what she was experiencing and I realized what she was talking about. And even then I had no clue as to what my body was doing.

    Liked by 1 person

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