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  • Writer's pictureCoco de Bruycker

Bloody heaven.

If I was a feminist, I would be a bad one. I think feminism is the wrong way in the right direction. Here is why my opinion on periods is unpopular and why it's important to share it anyway.

World Period Day 2020 | Dear Quarantine Diary:

OK, let's cut straight to the chase. This is a love letter to my period attacking the pain and stigma connected to it. For some reason I can still remember the day I got on my period the first time: October 25th, 2009. I had told my mother of my pre-discarge, the white liquid you find in your panties some weeks before it starts. So as I was rushing up the stairs to her bedroom trying to manage my body and catch the 7:12 AM train my mama was ready. Hell yes. The process was smoother than some broadway show. Stunning. Sleepily, she scuffed into her changing room to present the pads she'd already gotten for me. Tampon talk later.

"That hole is so far back, though." I'm grateful to my period. Getting on period every month taught me so much about myself and my body. I had a nervous breakdown when I didn't find the entry at first and where to stick the tampon in. It all looked so easy on paper. 2 mins to change a tampon, they said. I spent 2 hours in the bathroom at my first tampon rehearsal that ended in me crying on the bathroom floor. I found eventually. "So far back there, though." My mama laughed. That's the first and only time we mentioned periods. It became second nature, a natural part of our lives. Please, can anybody tell that the drug stores and cashiers, too? There is always such an awkward energy about us. That's where I wish we talked more tampons. Just f*cking scan it, yes? Can we as a society agree on that? Morphine?

Before this post here, I've never felt the need to talk tampons and periods. I've found myself in rooms and girls chats often, yes. I usually endured those silently, just like my occasional pains. I've never understood why women feel the need to voice pains that re-occur every month. OK, are you ready?

#confessmyunpopularopinion If you have pains every month, do something about it. Now, one woman attacked me saying, "You don't know what you're talking about. You got lucky, I literally die every month for real."

That's when I usual fall silent, the lastest. I can't change your opinion, so what's the point of discussion? I had on my tongue: "But look at you, you're still here living." As an actor it's my job to empathize. So I did research and an experiment. I found that your mental health does impact your menstrual cycle. The more depressed you are, the worse the pains, I concluded. So the next month I deliberately told myself: "Let me feel the worst menstrual pain, so I know what they're talking about." Abrakadabra. God answered with the worst cramps ever and I found myself on the bathroom floor crying again. (Even though I'd successfully found my hole, though, man...) Now I know what they're talking about. It's hell. So that's why a girlfriend of mine even takes morphine to cope. Oh, speaking of... Michael Jackson once wrote about it.

This is a conversation some women have with their period. PERIOD:

He got flat baby Kick in the back baby A heart attack baby I need your body

WOMAN (with intense period pains): A hot kiss honey (Your) just a bitch baby You make me sick baby So unrelying

Bloody Hell, why you so unreliable?!

My period has always been irregular, unreliable. I didn't give it any thought, it's just a thing that happens every month (or a month late), you take care of it in the bathroom, 2 mins, practice makes perfect, that's it. That changed after I got my heart broken.

I got my heart broken and it was so bad I missed out on my period for more than 12 months. Read that again. Yes, 12 months. But I made a mistake and stuck my head in the sand like an ostrich. Eyes wide shut because pregnancy could've even been a possibility. But the possible baby daddy had blocked me out of his life on all channels. This time it was my mama who cried in the bathroom: "Why didn't you tell, me? Geez, Coco, you gotta learn to take care of yourself! It can be womb cancer or anything!" Bloody Heaven, thank you, health insurance. So I got the most out of my benefits before leaving Germany for the US and went to my gynaecologist for the first and last time ever (at least in my home country). "Have you been stressed?," she asked. Uhm....

Yeah, you could say so. I got my heart broken, homeless, I raised 30K for my acting training abroad.... That's... Stress, right? I sacrificed so much for my dream life, I even put my womanhood in danger. "You'll be fine." She sent me home with a smile and a pat on the back. My gynaecologist saw my strength. That's how I wish we all women would see each other. Periods are like our quarantine right now. We're all in a different body sitting in the same storm. Periods are like people: only when they're gone, you see how much you miss them. And missing, my mama says, is heart-breaking and ——melting at once. So, ladies. Before you take morphine: Take care of your heart first.

How I've been healing myself:

My friends know me as a spiritualist, I'm used to mediation, prayer, visualisation. That got me where I am today, that's how I filled my own emptiness. And I know, we're all different, you don't have to do that or believe me. Here is some more "normal stuff" to heal your heart. 1 | Dance in your bedroom for one minute like no one's watching. Let it out. Let go of expectations, self-perception and ego. Or...

2 | Face yourself. Sit down, eyes either closed or open and observe your thoughts. Accept every single one of them and listen. To yourself. Why do you hurt?

3 | Feel yourself. You can take this both metaphorically and literally. I started masturbating for acting because I didn't know how to fake an orgasm when I was told to play a very sensual scene back in school. But, more importantly, watch yourself. Practice to understand yourself, get to know yourself. An acting instructor of mine once said: "You can only change what you know." So stop moaning in pain and do something about you.

"Pain breeds purpose."

Motivational speaker, entrepreneur and mentor of mine, Evan Carmichael, nailed it like that. People always think because of my innocent appearance I don't know what pain is. Believe me, I know, I'm with you. Pain is more than just physical: When they removed my tubes sticking out of my legs in hospital at 9 years old, I screamed so hard, my parents thought I'd pass out. My emotionally abusing father kicked my ass as kid and laughed at me falling to the ground. My first boyfriend pushed me to have sex without my consent and threw me out within 48 hours. My twin sister died five days after our birth. I got bullied in school because the "retarded cripple believes in angels". Now. Believe me, I know what pain is. Maybe it's my focus that keeps me from severe menstrual pains. I just know that the world needs my all and I don't have time lamenting happenings I can't change. I accept them and do my best and carry on. Life's bloody heaven. My opinion is as valid as yours. I'm a woman, human, like you and I love you so.


the "bad feminist" PS: 2 tips of mine: free of charge, free of obligation. 1 | A #flamefriend of mine in Germany made a documentary breaking the stigma on menstruation in Germany. You can watch it here with English subtitles (yay, now that's service, huh?)

2 | LOLA is a startup close to my heart because they have a mission: hygiene products that are good for you. All of their tampons are 100% organic cotton, available in customisable boxes and packs starting at as little as 8 bucks a month. Delivered to your door. That's service, again! They also stand up for the taxation of female hygiene items in the US. Tampons are a necessity, not a luxury. If you shop via this link, you can get 15% off your first order and I get 5 bucks off for every referral on my next one. Win-win-whoop-whoop!

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