9 years old.

Innocence tainted.

Dear diary, today I was playing high jump with my friends. I tucked my skirt into my panties so I can jump higher. As I jumped my friend shouted, “There’s blood on your panty!”

Oh diary, I’ve never been so embarrassed. Some friends started laughing and others ran to me, concerned that I had hurt myself. I ran into the house crying and telling my mom, “There’s blood on my panty and it keeps coming. Am I dying? What’s wrong with me?” I continued.

“It’s your period!” She calmly explains.

My period? What’s a period? I know we have periods in school. I didn’t know there were two types of periods. 

“All women get it, just relax!” She says.

Relax! How can I relax when I’m bleeding besides I’m not a woman I am a child.

My stomach cramped so much as if I ate something that didn’t agree with me. My mom sent my older brother to the shop to buy sanitary towels or pads as I knew it cause I saw her use it.

She gave me tablets for the pain and told me to have a bath and to place the “pad” on my panty.

What’s going on?

Dear diary, my mom said I should lie down on the bed until the pain goes away. I wanted to play outside. Gosh, this pad is uncomfortable and I can’t walk properly. I look like a duck.

“Oh and by the way whatever you do, don’t play with boys!” My mom’s order is issued with no smile or explanation.

What does she mean, don’t play with boys? Most of my friends are boys. Why can’t I play with them? We always play football or catches.

“Why can’t I play with boys anymore?” I ask her.

“Because you are a young woman now!” She firmly states.

A young woman? I’m a child, not a woman and what do I tell my friends? I’m so confused.

Dear diary, I understand why my mom said not to play with boys. Today I was very upset because some boys were teasing me about my situation. They told their moms about what happened and their moms told them not to play with me.

I only have two friends now. One is my sister and the other is a girlfriend I grew up with.

Dear diary, my friend told me today that the boys can’t play with me because I can have babies.

You can have babies by playing with boys?

Do you know how diary because I can’t understand how because I played with boys before?

Dear diary, today I fainted at school. The pain was unbearable and the principal sent me home early. As I got up there was blood on my school uniform and all the children in my class were laughing and pointing to the back of my dress. I was angry and shouted at them to grow up and now I am going home to have a good cry but first I need to take off my school blazer and casually hang it around my waist until I get home. I don’t like what’s happening to me.

I am still trying to understand this thing about boys and babies. My mom says she will tell me when I am older. Sigh!

Dear diary there’s a man who lives down the road that I don’t like. He hasn’t done anything to me but I don’t like the way he looks at me. I told my mom I never wanted to wear dresses anymore because men always seem to comment.

“Hey baby, you look good!” It is what they say but I am not a baby diary. I am a big girl. Why are they suddenly looking at me?

“You’re looking just right!” Another comment from that man who just got married. Just right for what? I am confused by these comments I have been receiving lately. I don’t like the way they look at me. It feels different diary.

Dear diary, today I went to the shop and made sure that I was wearing jeans even though it was hot.

But as I got to the shop, some big boys whistled at me. I ignored them and walked into the shop and one of them touched my bum. I turned around to see who it was and they laughed at me. Boys are so stupid diary! I swore at them and they laughed louder. I don’t like going there anymore because those boys are always hanging around there. I decided to walk to the shop that is further away to avoid them but now I have to pass that house where that man that just stares at me lives. He was at the gate again today, just looking at me. I carried on walking but I don’t feel nice when he looks like that.

I told my mom about him and she said I should ignore him but I am ignoring him. Maybe, I need to find another shop to go to.

Dear diary, today the shopkeeper asked me how old I am. I told him I was 9 years old and he held my hand for very long and told me I look older. I pulled my hand away because he was rubbing it. I wanted to vomit. He said he would give me extra sweets if I came to his side and he served me. I don’t want extra sweets diary so I have started avoiding him whenever I go there and I wait to be served by the woman instead.

What is going on with my life?

Dear diary, I don’t like being 9 years old because men and boys are disgusting. I wish I was a boy so I could hit them. My mom says I should be a lady and that I’m too much like a tomboy. She put me in ballet classes to make me more like a lady. I hate ballet!

Dear diary, I hope next year is better. This year hasn’t been nice for me. I cried so much and I feel so different. I want to go back to the days before I had my period. The days when nobody looked at me and touched me and I could just play with my friends.

To be continued: