By Ms. Menses
You are a fighter!
This world puts up obstacles everywhere and we’ve had to learn that “life is just not fair.” I learned that lesson early. As a woman with PMDD and the daughter of someone who has a job that has forced me to move different schools every year, I have never had it easy. To me, fighting isn’t a choice; it’s a lifestyle. I’ve had to fight for my education, for my health, for everything. I am the square in a world full of circles. I have found that I am a good fighter too- this world has prepared me to fight the big fight. Life. Every time someone tells me no, I start thinking strategy. How can I fight this?
You are your best advocate!
I have learned to be my own advocate because I have moved from school to school so I have never had someone to stick up for me. I don’t take no for an answer. One of my professors recently commented on my tenacity and ability to fight. I have been told over and over that I cannot do something because of my age, or because of the taboo nature of my passion (menstruation). I have been told that I cannot graduate because of the classes I have taken at different schools. I have been told that my credits will not transfer to a different school because I have too many. I know all of these examples are academic-related, but this is because I am a student. I know that when I enter the working world, it will be the same story.
Don’t be afraid to stand out!
I have always been different and God has always made sure that I would stand out. Having moved over 14 times and never gone to the same school for more than a year, I have had to stand alone. Most people follow the crowd and blend in, but it is just too exhausting to follow a different crowd every year. So, I have learned to follow myself. I never fit the label. At bible study, I stand out for not agreeing with their beliefs on LGBTQ issues. With my friend groups, I stand out for not drinking. As a half Asian, half white woman I stand out both with my minority friends and with my White friends. When I was younger, my parent’s job moved us to Japan and I attended a Japanese school. As the only foreigner, I was stared at every single day. This happened every year, whether I was the “new girl” or “foreigner” or the only “military kid.” Because I speak openly about feminist issues and my passion for menstruation, I stand out like a sore thumb. Ladies, I urge you all to find the fighter within and learn how to love standing out.
It’s okay if they don’t understand.
PMDD is something that most people will either not know about or look down upon. Let’s face it- mental health is something that is extremely taboo and when it is tied with “feminine issues” it is double the taboo. So, you’re just going to have to get used to the stares. Get used to having to fight every day to prove that you are human too. Get used to having to explain over and over again why you were crying in class or why you have to cancel plans. People will have to understand, and if they don’t- you don’t care.
Stand up for yourself!
PMDD isn’t something to mess with and women with PMDD especially are people you don’t want to mess with. We have to deal with the bullshit every single freakin’ day. We have learned how to fight the fight. We have all experienced no one in the medical community standing up for us- so we have to stand up for ourselves. Even close family and friends will tell you to get over it or learn how to think more positively. I want to tell you all that no one will ever know what we go through and no one will ever experience lives as tough as ours. Don’t let the haters get you down. Keep fighting that fight.
About the Warrior
Ms. Menses is a University student who is passionate about menstruation and women’s rights. She has done a TED Talk about menstruation and is currently working on researching the effects of menstruation on girl’s education. She loves to talk about and teach classes about menstruation. She is planning on getting a Master’s in Public Health with a focus on Women’s Reproductive Health issues. She hopes to help make menstruation something people can talk about openly so that girls do not have to suffer.