Considering that it’s innately part of who we are, it’s fairly surprising that so many people are uncomfortable talking about health issues.
Many have no trouble talking about the unpleasant issues we might find ourselves dealing with either regularly or from time to time, and can even commiserate with others facing the same issues.
But others loathe even the mention of body parts or bodily functions, feeling that that is a conversation only to be had with one’s doctor or a medical authority.
Redditor abbymk814 found herself struggling unusually hard with something which would be considered a normal occurrence, so much so that it caught the attention of her parents.
But when the original poster (OP) told her parents just what the problem was, their response was a less than sympathetic one.
Worried that she might have behaved inappropriately, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for talking about my period in front of my family?”
The OP explained how when her parents asked her what was wrong with her, she felt unexpectedly ashamed after answering.
“I (16 F[emale]) have really bad periods.”
“My cramps are so bad that they make me nauseous and sometimes I have to lie in bed all day, or risk vomiting.”
“I also tend to run a fever during this time.”
“I have myriads of other crappy symptoms that make my periods miserable for me, but they aren’t really relevant.”
“Today was one of the many days where I felt like I was going to die from my cramps.”
“I took an ibuprofen, but it didn’t help much.”
“So, when my mother called me down for dinner, I dragged myself to the table and sat in silence.”
“I was too nauseous to eat and out of it from my slight fever to talk.”
“Of course, my parents noticed because I’m typically very talkative.”
When they asked what was wrong, I told them my stomach hurt.”
“This sparked a lot of questions.”
“‘Are you sick?'”
“‘Do I need to keep you home from cheer practice tomorrow?'”
“‘Are you going to vomit?'”
“Now, I’m the type to get awkward when people worry about me, so instead of just saying, ‘No, I’m fine’, I told my parents that I wasn’t sick, I was just having terrible period cramps and they were making me nauseous.”
“That’s all the detail I went into, no descriptions of anything, just the mention that my period was the cause.”
“Immediately everyone stared at me awkwardly, even my mom and my sister.”
“My dad started talking about how I should keep things like that to myself, and how I made everything awkward.”
“My sister said that I must be lying for attention because her cramps are never that bad, and I just want to ruin our dinner or make an excuse for me not liking it.”
“I started to feel really ashamed as my family went on about how disgusting it was for me to bring that up at dinner.”
“Eventually, they stopped, but not before turning to my sister and saying how they hope that she’s never as rude as I am.”
“I know this is a little stupid, but am I the a**hole?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for talking about her period at the dinner table.
Everyone was shocked that the OP’s family didn’t appear to be at all sympathetic to her predicament, while a number of people hinted that the OP’s condition might be even more serious than she realized.
“And your family is being sh**ty.”
“Your dad can’t bear to listen to his own daughter talk about a completely normal bodily process that occurs in half the population?”
“My periods were terrible when I was a teenager.”
“I would lose so much blood, be in agony, and occasionally vomit or pass out.”
“When I talked to my parents about it, they took me to a gynecologist, who put me on the pill, and I felt SO MUCH BETTER.”
“I found out as an adult that I have endometriosis, hence the terrible pain and heavy periods.”
“I also found out that managing endometriosis with birth control in the teenage years can help save a person’s fertility if she has endometriosis, as it slows the growth of endometrial tissue, which can cause fertility problems if left unchecked.”
“Your family shouldn’t be shaming you, they should be taking you to a freaking doctor.”- BeJane759
“This is how women end up suffering with conditions for YEARS. Speak up, especially with your doctors.”- SuddenWhole
“They were offended at the very mention of a period?”
“No, it is definitely not entirely normal for people to be upset or offended by the mere mention of periods existing and affecting you, especially as your parents.”
“You should be able to mention your period being really bad this month in front of your immediate family.”
“It’s a part of your health.”
“They asked what was wrong, and you told them in the most general way possible.”
“Your parents should behave like mature adults who are capable of discussing basic health topics with their daughter.”
“And yes, this goes for even during dinner, since they asked you specifically what was wrong.”
“Saying your period is bad is vastly less gross than ‘are going to be sick’ during dinner, which your mom seemed perfectly fine with for some reason.”
“You have nothing at all to feel ashamed about.”
“They should be ashamed of making you feel this way for something so normal.”- The-Last-American
“Actually, your parents should be getting you a medical checkup.”
“It shouldn’t be bed ridden debilitating.”- Kris82868
“But this much pain is not normal, so see a doctor ASAP.”- azula1983
“HECK NO, NTA.”
“For one, you shouldn’t be shamed about your period.”
“There’s nothing disgusting or inappropriate about it.”
“They asked what was wrong and you gave them an answer if they can’t handle such a simple topic.”
“Then they really don’t have any business asking after your well-being.”
“Because clearly they don’t care.”
“And your sister calling you a LIAR because her cramps aren’t that bad?”
“Periods affect everyone differently!”
“Yours seem especially painful so it’d probably be good for your parents to take you to a gynecologist for a check-up.”
“That would be a normal reaction for parents to have when seeing that their child is in debilitating pain.”
“If it was for anything else, they’d take you to a doctor.”
“But just because it’s your period, they say you’re lying and shame you?”
“Your family honestly needs to grow up and they owe you an apology.”
‘You didn’t do anything wrong here.”
“I hope you feel better, and I’m serious about seeing a gyno or at least the family doctor.”-CrimsonKnight_004
“So they ask you what’s wrong, won’t drop the subject, and when you tell them what’s wrong they get mad?”
“Your family are a**holes.”
“Also, periods are not shameful, acting like they are shameful is ridiculous, archaic behavior.”
“Next time this happens and they get in your face about what’s wrong, tell them you don’t want to talk about it because it’s shameful.”- Andante79
Upon reading many of the comments from the Reddit community, the OP gave an update, sharing that she did see a doctor, and many of their fears were indeed correct.
“I had no idea that periods weren’t supposed to be this painful and I’m really thankful for all of your help with this.”
“I had no idea that this could be affecting my health like this, so thank you all so much.”
“I’m happy to say that I had an appointment to see a doctor earlier today.”
“Last night, I convinced my mother to take me to a doctor, and luckily a family friend who is also a doctor was able to get me an appointment for early this morning.”
“I told her about my symptoms, and she said that it sounds a lot like endometriosis.”
“I’ve got a few appointments scheduled to confirm this, there’s going to be a surgery which I’m very nervous about, but she said it’s very likely that I have it considering my symptoms.”
“This got me an apology from my family, which I appreciated immensely.”
“I just want to profusely thank you all yet again for your help, because I never would have gotten help if not for your comments.”
“Luckily, due to early intervention, my doctor says that if I do have endometriosis, my fertility probably won’t be affected.”
“I’m so incredibly thankful for all of you.”
“This wouldn’t be possible if not for your help.”
The gut reaction of the OP’s parents was disappointing, to say the least.
Thankfully, the OP stood up for herself and wisely got a medical opinion regarding her problem.
Here’s hoping her days of extreme pain and discomfort will be coming to an end soon.