Something About Her

There was something about her that caught my attention.

I was pulling into a parking slot and she glanced my way as she walked in front of my car.  Our eyes met through the windshield as she passed.   She flipped her shoulder-length brown hair away from her face and a bruise appeared on the side of her neck.

She was an employee of the store I was about to enter – on her way to the shopping cart drop to retrieve carts..

I frequent this particular store weekly and I could not recall having seen her before.

There was something about her….

Perhaps it was the way she carried herself. Maybe it was the devil-may-care attitude. Perhaps it was the hesitation she showed before stepping in front of me.  Or, perhaps it was something I sensed more than saw.

The bruise on the side of her neck was circular – about an inch and a half across.  She took no pains to cover it.  The center was a dark purplish brown and the bruise faded to an ugly brown with sickly greenish yellow edges.  It was several days old.  No doubt she had forgotten she even had it.

I wondered about this girl and how she obtained her mark. And, if it was consensual.

And, I wondered where she was cycle wise.

There was something about her….

Upon entering the store,  I headed to the restroom.  As I waited for the one working stall, she entered. She looked my way and then with cell phone in hand, approached the mirror and placed her purse in the sink. She had business to attend to.

The first piece of business was a phone call.  As soon as her call was answered she began rummaging through her purse, pulling out various things – all makeup.

She was talking with a young man, apparently her boyfriend. The conversation began with soft tones.  She wanted to talk with him, missed him, was at work, loved him.  As she conversed with him, she held the phone in her left hand and applied makeup with her right, with attention given especially to her eyes.

And, then she asked this young man two sets of questions and the tone of the conversation changed dramatically.

1) Why am I always the one who does the calling?  Why don’t you ever call me?

2) Did you know you bruised my neck when you choked me? Do you even care?

I was standing where she could easily see me.  She knew she wasn’t alone.  And, I’m certain she knew I was looking at her.

All the while she talked, she applied makeup.

The stall emptied and I made no move to claim it.  I continued to watch her, and listen to her conversation.

She told the young man several things.

  • You can’t hurt me.  No one can.
  • My dad tried to hurt me.  But, he couldn’t.
  • My dad beat me and did things to me.  But, he couldn’t hurt me and I told him so.
  • You can’t hurt me either.
  • My dad was a weak man. Only weak men try to hurt others.
  • You tried to hurt me. That shows what a weakling you are.
  • You had no right to put your hands on me…no right to choke me.
  • You left a bruise. Yes, you did. I’m looking at it right now…it’s a choke bruise…a line that goes across my neck.
  • Hurt me? Ha! You CAN’T! No man can hurt me.
  • Let me tell you something, you little &*^%#$ #*@&$%. You’re just a 65 pound weakling and I can take you out if I want to.
  • What am I doing? I’m at work.
  • Where am I? I’m in the bathroom talking to you while I put on my makeup!
  • Yeah, my dad hurt me. But, he can’t hurt me anymore. No one can. Not even you.
  • Like I said, my dad was a weak man. Only weak men hurt women. So you know what that makes you.
  • Okay, I love you, too.

And, the phone call ended.  She grabbed her purse, gave me a quick glance and out the door she went.

Twice, within 5 minutes of my arrival, this girl had been in the same place I was. She had captured my attention from the beginning.

Twice was to become thrice.

With my shopping cart loaded, and my list marked off, I headed for checkout.  The lane I chose was the shortest. After placing my items on the belt, I slipped down toward the end so I could chat with the cashier and the courtesy clerk.

As I turned to speak with the young woman bagging my groceries, I came face to face with the heavily made up face of a young woman…a girl of no more than 20 – the girl I had seen in the parking lot – the girl I had seen in the restroom.

At first, I was speechless.  The amount of makeup on her face gave her a clownish appearance.  My mind thought back to images of her captured earlier – that fleeting moment when she turned toward me and caught my eye…in the restroom as I stood to the right of her and watched….

To the right – the previous views had all been from her right side.  And, the third time I was on her left. And, I was able to look her squarely in the face.

The left side of her face contained more makeup than the right.  And, it was the left side that she had worked on the most as she stood in front of the restroom mirror.  Her left eyelid was puffy and her left cheek a bit darker than the other.

She recognized me.  I smiled and she looked away, busying herself with the task at hand.

There was so much I wanted to say to this girl. But, I said nothing.  I simply stood nearby and watched.  I didn’t mention seeing her in the parking lot, or overhearing her phone call in the restroom.  I didn’t ask how she was doing, or if she was okay.  I didn’t do anything to cause alarm in her or raise questions among her coworkers.

Perhaps I should have.

When she finished bagging my groceries, I thanked her for taking such care with my purchases.  She stopped, turned and looked at me.

“Thank you.  I’m just doing my job,” she replied.

“No, you’re doing more than just your job and I appreciate it. I hope to see you the next time I’m here. I’m going to look for you. Take care of yourself. You’re important!” Oh, there was so much more I wanted to say.

I knew she was scared.  She was facing fear the only way she knew – chin out, head-on, with as much bravado as she could muster, and all the while hoping for the best.

Perhaps there will be another time…another meeting…another opportunity to cross paths with this girl who caught my attention. I hope so. I have something I’d like to slip into her hand.

I caught a fleeting glimpse of her again this morning – in the mirror of my own bathroom.  I guess that’s why she caught my attention in the first place – I had seen something familiar in her…I saw the me that used to be.

If you (or someone you know) happen to be caught up in domestic violence, and/or are a victim of abuse, know this – silence is not your friend and your situation won’t get better on its own.

Break the silence. Seek help. These sites below can help you find a way out of an abusive relationship.

Being period wise means you take care of yourself and take charge of your life – you do what’s right and best for yourself.  This attitude of self care, self awareness and self preservation extends into ALL areas of life, throughout every day of your cycle.

It’s not selfish.  It’s fact.  You can’t care for and protect others if you’ve not first cared for and protected yourself.

Be period wise.

Rage

Rage is a terrible master.

Of all the emotions, rage is the most terrifying – the most dangerous.

As one who has experienced rage first hand – as bystander, victim and perpetrator – I know all too well its power and its potential.

Neither are good.

To those against whom I’ve raged, I ask your forgiveness.

To those who have raged against me, I offer my forgiveness.

To those for whom rage has become the normal response for dealing with life’s frustrations, I offer advice.

  • Don’t blame it on PMS.  Be period wise. Own it.
  • Keep an anger journal and find your triggers (list situations, cycle day, emotions felt, actions taken)
  • Understand that it hurts YOU and others, too.
  • If you find that you need help – GET HELP.
  • Take an anger management test and take the results to your doctor.
Rage doesn’t empower you.  Rage makes an idiot of you and hurts those closest to you.
Rage divides and destroys. And, ultimately rage will rob you of everything you hold dear.
Stop it.  Now.
Be kind to yourself and to others.

Today

Today is important.

It’s the first day of the rest of your life.

Make it count.

Make a difference – in yourself, in others, in the world around you.

Make a difference – period wise – for yourself, for others, for the world around you!

Today is the most important day of your life.

Why?

Because today is all you have.

One Hundred and Fifty-three Days of Possibilities

Today is the 212th day of 2014.

There are 153 days remaining.

153 days to

  • become
  • accomplish
  • change
  • add
  • subtract
  • multiply
  • divide
  • settle
  • disrupt
  • begin
  • stop
  • start
  • undo
  • grow
  • take on
  • put off

Don’t look back on the days now spent.  That’s not where the energy lies for your To-Do list today…tomorrow…the next 153 days.

You do have a plan for accomplishing your goals for 2014, right?  Take a look at it from a period wise advantage.

  1. Recalculate.
  2. Reschedule.
  3. Rephrase.
  4. Redefine.
  5. Realign.
  6. Refine.

Move forward with the plan.  Make each of the remaining 153 days move you into who or what you want/need to be on January 1.

Do it for yourself, period wise, and launch yourself into new possibilities.

Be the Heroine of Your Life

I stumbled upon Nora Ephron by accident – literally.  The July, 2014 issue of Prevention Magazine was on the floor, my arms were full of laundry, and I caught my toe on the magazine as I made my way through the house.

Laundry tumbled to the floor as the magazine skittered several feet and flipped open.

I stooped to pick up the scattered laundry and came up with the magazine in my hand instead of panties and tee shirts.

It had opened to page 63.  The picture was of two girls – both wearing masks, dresses and capes – standing in a super hero pose with head turned to the side, chin lifted, eyes squinted, chests out, hands on hips.  Powerful.  And, powerfully feminine.

At the top left of the page were these words:

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. – Nora Ephron

That’s awesome period wise advice.

Be the heroine of your life, not the victim = powerful…life changing…empowering.

For more on the amazing Nora Ephron check out the following links.

 

Back to School – Period Wise

The count down to the first day of the 2014-15 school year has begun.

Back to school shoppers are filling the local stores as parents and children select school clothes and classroom supplies.

On the list of must purchase items should be period supplies if you have girls who could start or have started to menstruate.  And, along with period supplies should be a period pack for school – something small and discrete, yet big enough to contain necessary products and an extra pair of panties.

Back to school period wise thoughts follow.  (Additional thoughts are welcome!)

It’s estimated that 3 in 10 girls have begun puberty by 8 years of age.  Most girls will experience menarche as tweens.

With this in mind, it’s period wise to be prepared and the best way is to have a period pack handy at school (either in the locker, backpack, or purse).

Any small bag will work. Ex: A small makeup bag is perfect for holding a few liners, pads, or tampons, as well as an extra pair of panties.

If your daughter has not yet begun to menstruate, make sure she knows what to do in the event she starts.

If your daughter is new to menstruation, having a plan in place and her period pack with her will ease the transition from home to school and will calm any anxiety she may have as well as prevent embarrassment should her period arrive unexpectedly while at school.

If your daughter is a period pro and feels ready to move from pads or tampons to something more exciting (like cups) encourage her.  Periods often fall on weekends and holidays – what better time to learn the ins and outs of cup use!

When it comes to girls and menstruation, it’s best to prepare for the unexpected. Sometimes you just never know, and if she’s prepared, she’s confident.

If your daughter has already begun to menstruate, make sure her school period pack has a day’s worth of product plus 1.

If she has not yet started, make sure she knows what to do if she starts her first period while at school.

Also, help her have a plan in place in the event that she doesn’t have her period pack, or forgets to bring more product to school and suddenly discovers she needs it. She needs to know what to do in just such an emergency, and who to go to for help. (School nurse, school counselor, teacher, friend)

If your daughter has begun to experience vaginal discharge or expresses concern that her period may start, liners are terrific little confidence boosters.

Leaks are a big concern.  Have an anti-leak plan and a contingency plan in case she does experience a leak.

Talk through different possibilities with your daughter and come up with a plan for each.

If possible, before school starts, walk through the school with your daughter – visit the restrooms and look for receptacles. She will need to know what to do with used menstrual products.  (Flushing is not an option.)

Preparation is the key, period wise. And, it can make for an awesome, confident start school wise.

Words Heard at the Zoo

A trip to our local zoo provided me with a reminder to always be prepared.

Intent on walking the paths rather than gawking at animals, I packed light.

That means I took four things.

My zoo pass, my driver’s license, keys, and my cell phone. All were slipped into various pockets in the shorts I wore.

As I stepped out of the house, I hesitated and almost slipped back in for a moment.

I was leaving sans product…no pad…Instead…tampon.  I quickly thought of the last time I had come across someone who was in need of product. It had been quite a while and I reasoned that this trip out would be no different than others.

So, I rushed out and drove off eager to make it to the zoo at opening time.

I had been at the zoo a total of 2 1/2 hours and was making my way back toward the entrance – had reached the halfway mark – when I noticed a couple heading my way.  They were talking animatedly and she was upset.

At first, I assumed they were fighting, but as the distance between us closed, I was able to make out words.

Words like:

  • NO!
  • I don’t have anything with me!
  • It wasn’t expected.
  • What am I going to do?
  • Yes!  I LOOKED in my purse.
  • No, the restroom doesn’t have any.

I automatically patted my hip pocket and when I found it empty, I reached for my front pocket.  It was empty, too.  And, no…there was nothing in my car.

I had nothing to offer her.  NOTHING.

As she and her husband passed me, I felt a lump form in my throat and tears sting my eyes.

I knew better than to go out unprepared, but chose to do so anyway.

Period wise = period prepared.

Living Life As A Girl – Giveaway

If you’ve ever wanted to try a sampling of various and different menstrual products, the opportunity is now. 

The mastermind behind Living Life As A Girl, is planning a giveaway of a huge sampling of pads, liners, tampons and wipes.  If you’ve ever wondered what a particular product is like, chances are you will find it among the giveaway goodies she will be offering soon.

Who is she? I’ll let her words speak for her.

When I was about 12 I realized that I loved helping girls. I was always giving my friends advice. Also most girls came to me if they needed help. I started a YouTube channel because I like to help other girls with any help or advice they might need about all girl stuff.

Does she have any period wise advice for girls? Oh, yeah! And, her advice is spot on.

A piece of advice I would give to girls my age would be to talk to their moms if they are feeling scared or need anything.

Check out Living Life As A Girl‘s Giveaway video - be sure to subscribe to her channel and stay tuned for more info about the giveaway!

Faking It

Did you ever fake it?

I did – as a 7th grader.  In my group, I was the only one who had not yet reached menarche.

The new ad by Hello Flo brought back so many memories.  I’ve laughed and cried.  And, I’ve wanted to hug that little 7th grader from my past who lied about starting and assure her that it’s okay to be different.

Be yourself.  You can’t be anyone else.  Being honest about your experience and true to yourself is period wise.