Each period is slightly traumatizing in its own little way. No matter how many you have (too damn many), each one finds a way to bring some fresh drama into your life and panties. But no period could ever come close to the terrifying experience of your very first period—and a recent Reddit thread asked women to reveal their especially wild stories about this special time in their lives.
1. "I went to the bathroom and almost cried."
"I was 14 and visiting my dad for the weekend who lived 3 hours away. I was feeling really sick, loads of pain. I went to the bathroom and almost cried, I was so sad that this had happened and even more so because I was away from my mum.
"I called my stepmum and sister over and told them, they were smiling and screaming ... I was humiliated. My dad asked what all the fuss was over so I told him I got my period and he just said 'oh' (he assumed I already had my period and had no idea it was my first time).
"My stepmum made me a really, really hot bath and I soaked in that for about half an hour. When I went to get out, I got really lightheaded from the huge temperature change, fainted, and slammed my back onto the bath.
"I woke up shortly after with a huge gash across my back, naked, on the floor, and blood everywhere." —_armin_tamzarian_
2. "My mother smeared the blood on my face."
"My mother smeared the blood on my face saying 'You won’t get pimples if you do this!' Called all her friends and they proceeded to get drunk. Confused 12 year old me just stood there." —Emirae
3. "I attempted to put [the tampon] in my urethra."
"I was never really explained what my period was, how it happened or anything. Also mom had me skip the sixth grade health class that taught about reproduction and stuff.
"On my 13th birthday I noticed I was bleeding down there, went to the bathroom, wiped, and saw even more blood. I panicked and yelled for my mom while crying. She told me I had gotten my period. With no explanation, she said I could either ride the cotton horse or plug it up.
"She handed me a tampon and left. While me having no idea where anything was, I attempted to put in my urethra. Obviously that didn’t work, so I called her back into the bathroom and asked for the other option.
"She was pretty upset by this, said fine angrily and left. I sat on the toilet crying and scared for what felt like hours, until finally my mom returned with a box of pads.
"Later I looked up what a period was, since my mom hadn’t explained anything beyond, 'You’re a woman now!' Thank goodness for the internet." —LetsJustWatchThis
4. "I had to stuff my underwear with toilet paper for three days."
"I was on 'holiday' with relatives I’d not met before (kind of an 'exchange'—their kid had stayed with us on a tour of European rellies). I was homesick and 3,000 miles from home.
"I bled through my trousers and the whole family we were staying with took the piss out of me for having stained pants. We were, at the time, camping, and no one had any supplies. I had to stuff my underwear with toilet paper for three days.
"Not the greatest first period experience." —carmen_verandah
5. "I fainted and hit my head, knocking myself unconscious and giving myself a concussion."
"I was fully prepared that it would happen. I started puberty early, but for some reason I hadn’t yet had a period (as in I grew like a weed and had huge breasts practically overnight, had a full 'bush' and all of that).
"It started in the middle of this standardized testing we were forced to do during sixth grade. I was 11 at the time because it was in the fall and my birthday is in the winter. I’m sitting there, already done with the section we were testing on—and suddenly it felt like I had wet my pants. So I ask to be excused to use the restroom.
"I go, lock myself in a stall pull down my pants and underwear, see the blood, and promptly faint. Now, I have zero problem with blood and, like I said, I was fully prepared about the fact that this was likely to happen soon.
"But I still fainted and hit my head, knocking myself unconscious and giving myself a concussion. I’m lying there in a crumbled heap when a classmate walks in, then runs screaming out of the bathroom upon seeing me.
"So, needless to say, everyone in my middle school knew the moment I had my first period." —punkpixz
Answers have been lightly edited for spelling and punctuation.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.