When Your Period Gaslights You


Some people get travel- constipation. I get travel- weird periods. It doesn’t help that I am traveling with a dueling uterus who wants to be Alpha. She won out this month and threw me off even more.

I knew it was only a matter of time; the calendar said I was a smidge late and my bitchiness and annoyance of EV-ER-Y-THING said menses was imminent. But, I came down with a chest cold/allergy issue (I secretly think Texas is trying to kill me already) and I stopped caring about bleeding.

And then, last night – or should I say in the wee-est hours of this morning- I felt the signs. I woke up with some serious late period cramping and backaches. I had the tell tale signs of uterine pressure, like a too-filled water balloon ready to flood and I also had a super weird craving for nachos. I don’t  even know what that was all about.

If you’re following me, you know I am essentially homeless, living with my family in a hotel (room). My hotel bed has beautifully crisp white sheets and a super comfortable white faux-down comforter and a bright white over-the-comforter extra sheet thingy. White. WHITE. Everywhere.

I cannot start my period engulfed in white. I just can’t. These “signs” are making me think that I absolutely will wake up in a pool of my own blood, worthy of a CSI investigation. How would I recover from that? How do you broach that conversation with housekeeping?? WHAT IF IT GET’S ON THE MATTRESS?? And then a scenario flashes before my eyes: bed sheets soaked in gallons of red. Me frantically clawing the bedding off, only to discover the huge red body outline on the mattress. The horror etched on my family’s faces. And then our silhouettes slowly walking into the darkness of night, illuminated by the red-orange  glow from the blaze behind us. Because I would have to burn this bitch down if I start my Carrie-inspired period tonight and bled all over this rental bed.

So, I jump out of bed as smoothly and quietly as I can in the pitch black of half-morning half-night  and feel my way into my bag for underwear (I am already positive the ones I have on are ruined forever) and do the awkward-stepping-arms-straight-out walk to the bathroom. The light blinds me immediately, and I fumble to close the door behind me, quickly and quietly. I waist down strip and rummage through my toiletry bags to find my “products”. In squinty-eyed defeat, I realize they are in my suitcase. In the closet. Which is back through the inky darkness from which I just came. Panic. Wait… over there. Brightly colored stars and hearts and tribal motifs. YES!! Uterus 2, you were smart and left your shit in the bathroom. I grab the little box and  my fresh underpants and happily unwrap a panty liner. But then, I realize I am NOT in fact covered in my own blood. As a matter of fact, things seem under control.  But, those pangs in my lower areas sing to me. My aching back knowingly echos the same.

“You will have to burn this bitch down come morning”. 

So I immediately grab a (tween sized) pad. With wings, mind you.  And I affix this, over the liner, to my underpants. Well, first I have to unstick the wings-part from all the other places it stuck BEFORE it found it’s home wrapped around my underpants.

Let me pause here for a minute to impart some next-day-after-coffee clarity. In my head, all of the above action was done in ninja-like silence. Nary a peep heard by my soundly sleeping family. But the reality is, it probably sounded more like a construction zone, or at least a bustling office. I mean, aside from the falling out of bed and blindly getting to the bathroom, we all know that  opening ladies product wrappers is literally the loudest sound on earth. It’s science. If a sonic boom and kotex wrapper were to go head-to-head? Kotex, hands down. Every time. I am pretty sure you can hear that shit in space.

I finish in the bathroom, use The Force to get back to bed since the wattage of the bathroom light was brilliant and totally screwed me on the return voyage, and sometime before the sun comes up I manage to get back to sleep without those nachos I was desperate for.

And when I rise in the morning, AFTER 9 A.M., I quickly stake claim to the bathroom to find one lone red dot on my fortress of dry-weave. Not a mess. Not a crime scene. Not even a need to change anything. A speck. I could have slept NAKED and not left a mark.

Well played period pangs. You effed with me real good.