Life + Love, Life Stories

That time of the month is more complicated for me than you know

My period works like clockwork. I take a pill everyday, one that limits my period so that it comes every three months.

No one likes periods, but I particularly hate periods, because there is no crueler reminder than my body is that of a woman, one that pains me to reconcile with my mind.

It breaks and weakens me.

I become painfully self-conscious. Suddenly, questions fill my mind, realities my body betrays me with.

I’m transgender and gender-fluid, but my body is not – is my identity legitimate?

The way I experience gender feels invalidated by the physical reality of my body. Questions about the conflict between my gender and my biological sex bother me all the time, but periods don’t make things easier.

I’m transgender and gender-fluid, but my body is not – is my identity legitimate? Click To Tweet

My period works like clockwork. I take a pill everyday, one that limits my period so that it comes every three months. There is an inevitability to it, before I can change my body permanently, it is a reality I have to face.

Yet, still, it comes and disrupts.

The first few days are shadowed by exhaustion and loss of motivation. There are some mood swings. The world feels like it’s falling between my feet, every interaction with other people become a new source of anxiety.

Do they see my weakness? Do they see my fragility?

I feel like glass, and I tread on my duties and obligations lightly. We all work like clockwork day to day, but there are no resolutions in periods. I can’t bear cold foods and drinks, as they bring harsh stomachaches afterwards.

I treat my periods the same way I treat my body – with oblivion. I don’t want to see the shape of my body, my below-average height, my narrow shoulders. It’s never easy, but to accept is to break down. Before I can go alter my body to the state I’m comfortable with, this is my only way of moving forward. I wear clothes that don’t show my form, preferring to shop in men’s sections online to avoid the discomfort of real stores. Wearing baggy clothes, shopping in the men’s sections – online – because I don’t want to feel the discomfort of real stores.

When my period comes, my body becomes harder to ignore. Click To Tweet

I heard about the boxer briefs from Lunapads first from a friend. When I finally decided to order a pair online, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised when the mail came, and I opened the packaging and indeed, there it was, simply a pair of boxer briefs. The fleece insert was black, the same color as the briefs – and barely noticeable.

Property of Lunapads

There’s a reason why that’s so important.

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When my period comes, my body becomes harder to ignore. My oblivion becomes stubborn denial. I can’t ignore the red patches on my sheets, the stickiness between my legs. I just can’t. Periods need to be dealt with – one can’t just be oblivious. You have to clean up, be aware of your actions, be careful – there are just so many things you can’t do. You can’t even love properly – no sex, no masturbation.

I’ve always felt that periods were some sort of punishment from God, made to weaken those with female bodies. It shouldn’t be a “female experience,” why should such pain and suffering be a female experience? Why does having a female body inevitably relate to suffering and weakness? This fact angers me and I hate it, because it causes me to hate my body even more than before.

In these moments, Lunapads boxer briefs offer me a bit of solace. They offer me solace, because they allow me to be a bit more oblivious about my body.  I no longer need to change my pads, and no longer need to change into smaller, less comfortable underwear, just for my period. I can keep on wearing boxers, keep on being oblivious. I can almost be oblivious about my symptoms, the “can’t do’s.”

In these moments, @lunapads boxer briefs offer me a bit of solace. Click To Tweet

Oblivion has always just been a series of illusions that we sustain to keep our sanity in place. Everyone is oblivious about something, and everyone has their own illusions. Without this, no one would be able to say “this is who I am,” because as people we are all too complicated to be boxed by rational labels and reasonable narratives.

Property of Lunapads

So yes, I’m happy with my oblivion, and the little bit of extra oblivion that Lunapads boxers give me.

I finally feel free.

All illustrations by Deema Alawa / ©The Tempest, Inc. 2016

Jay Zheng

Jay Zheng

Jay enjoys electric dance music and wearing dark clothes. They have more than a few issues about gender, but life is complicated so it's alright.

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