1. I was convinced the bears could smell blood and would eat me.
“12 years old and we were on the road trip from hell—17 days, 4000 miles from Houston to Yellowstone and back—crammed in a Suburban. We had already fought rock slides ripping off the bumper of my parents’ brand new car, lost reservations at Yellowstone, our tour bus breaking down in the back country, I had accidentally scalded my mom by flushing the toilet while she was in the shower, and two days later my sister fell off her bike and had to get 12 stitches at a ski clinic in the Rockies. But when we were getting settled at the one place in Yellowstone that hadn’t lost our reservations, I innocently went to the restroom and surprise! I panicked. Like, I absolutely lost my mind, sure that I was going to die. My mom tried to calm me down while my dad went down to the hotel gift shop. He came back with the thickest, most gigantically horrifying pads you’ve ever seen in your life and tampons. I cried even harder. My mom didn’t know how to use the pads because she hadn’t used pads since they came with their own belt. More crying. So I spent the rest of the trip alternating between the pads that made me feel like I was wearing a diaper and panty liners and flooding out. I ended up staining my new souvenir boxers and refusing to go on any more Yellowstone adventures because I was convinced the bears could smell blood and would eat me. My dad had to cancel the hot air balloon trip and the whitewater trip he had booked. 20 years later, I’m still so sad about it.”
2. I felt as though I was undergoing the transformation into a newborn vampire.
“I was 12. I sat down to use the toilet, and when I stood up, I noticed a red tint in my urine. Almost immediately after, I felt a sharp pain in my lower abdomen. I felt as though I was undergoing the transformation into a newborn vampire. The excruciating pain and crippling fear disappeared the minute my mother revealed that I had gotten my first period. I instantly jumped into the shower to rid myself of the mess and cry. Then I put on a pad.”
3. When I first saw blood I thought I was dying.
“I was at a lake house with my friend’s family for the weekend and 29 mins after my parents dropped me off I started and I didn’t have anything (I was 11 so I was petrified) I know what it was but when I first saw blood I thought I was dying. Let’s just say I used of all the toilet paper there because I didn’t have any pads.”