I would like to preface this post by saying that I am going to introduce you to my friend Blotchy, and as a result, I will be discussing my menstruation cycle. I now consider you, dear reader, duly warned. I also realize that today’s poster can seem rather crass to individuals who wish to become pregnant, but cannot be. I give them my regards and would like to disclaim this poster’s universality. These are my sentiments alone, and you, reader, may share or not share them as you desire.
I introduce you to Blotchy, not because I believe she needs introduction or because she is a friend to all (she isn’t, least of all me a lot of the times), but because I believe that sharing my tumultuous relationship will illuminate for you a little more about myself. Namely the fact that I am crazy.
When I say crazy, I do not mean to diminish those individuals with legitimate mental illnesses that struggle on a daily basis in a way that I could not imagine. I hope I do not offend, because that was never my intention. Instead, I use the word to mean that sometimes, maybe a lot of the times, my thought processes make no sense whatsoever, either logically or otherwise.
But what does this have to do with Blotchy? Why bring her into this? Well let me tell you my story.
I am absolutely terrified of becoming pregnant. In it of itself, that is not something irrational. Pregnancy is scary. People die from being pregnant! And by people, I mean female-sexed individuals who are capable of conceiving. And the ones that don’t die often experience a lot of pain. Obviously, pregnancy is scary, and to a certain extent, this fear is clearly based in some semblance of reason.
However, what I mean when I say that I am terrified of becoming pregnant is that I am constantly worried that I have just become pregnant. And by constantly, I mean since the moment I learned to I could become pregnant. Which was a long time ago. Around when Blotchy first appeared. (YOU MEAN THAT IS WHY THIS HAPPEN I DON’T WANT IT MAKE IT GO AWAYYYYY.)
So imagine me, since I was around eleven years old, concerned that AT ANY AND EVERY MOMENT, I could somehow be with child.
Of course, my problem was compounded by the fact that since I never ever engaged in any form of contact that could lead to pregnancy at the age of eleven until much later, the pregnant state in which I was constantly convinced that I was under could only have happened in one way: immaculate conception. Always, my mind would turn to this inevitable conclusion, and as it raced in nervous worry, I would eventually wonder: “How will I explain this to people.”
Yes, that’s right, readers. Once I had convinced myself that I had somehow immaculately conceived whatever god’s (or demon’s) child, my first reaction is not to wonder why I was chosen or what an immaculately conceived child would mean for the world (and for science). Instead, my reaction is “BUT WHAT WILL THE NEIGHBOURS THINK????” (In my mind, all my neighbours spell themselves using British English.)
So this is where Blotchy comes in. The majority of other people may be safe in their trust in science. They could believe that if they had been abstinent and hadn’t sought out pregnancy in other forms (in vitro fertilization, the turkey baster method, etc.), they had a comfortable zero percent chance of becoming pregnant. I, on the other hand, had to HOPE and WISH that I wasn’t pregnant. Sometimes, I would even plead with whatever entity I may or may not believe had control over these matters. I would be like a little girl trying to convince Santa that since I’ve been good, I should deserve a present (and by that I mean no present at all).
As a result, I would breathlessly await Blotchy every month.
I guess it might be important to mention that my menstrual cycle is longer than the average cycle. Closer to 5 weeks, maybe 5.5 weeks, than your average 4.
This was not something I would figure out until much, much later.
Suffice to say, I freaked out a lot.
But even when I was finally aware and able to gauge the regularities of my cycle, I would still freak out sometimes. A lot of the times. And finally knowing what was regular made those times when I wasn’t regular that much worse. In retrospect, the most plausible reason for those incidents seem to be stress. The reason I always would land on, of course, was Immaculate Conception???? That never helped with the stress.
So to commemorate all the comfort Blotchy has ever afforded me, despite the fact that I would probably never have needed the comforting in the first place if I could make myself be rational, I have made this poster. Even though I know I complain about Blotchy all the damn time, you serve your duty well, and I salute you.
And for you dear readers: I hope you will not judge me too harshly for my peculiarities.
About the Poster: The image of Blotchy was drawn by me in Adobe Illustrator. The typeface used is called Baurete by We and distributed via the Behance Network.