The rest of my childhood was uneventful from a medical and health standpoint. I was a very small kid until puberty hit, and then began to shoot up like a beanpole, but at the same time gained a fair amount of weight. I didn't feel comfortable in this new chubby body, but always understood that for some of this, this was a natural part of becoming a woman and the fluctuations of hormones.
I developed physically like the other girls, though perhaps a tad bit slower. Went through training bras, and mood swings and other fun girl stuff. There only seemed to be one crucial difference. My period never came.
I tried to conceal this fact from my female friends. As they got theirs at 12 and 13 and 14 and 15, I felt excluded and ashamed. The same monthly event that was the subject of complaints and fear and mortification by my friends became a subject of fear for me too - but for a different reason. It was around this time that I began to feel different from other girls. Though I often had crushes on boys, I was never the boy-crazy type. I liked Legos as well as Barbie. And this difference in development seemed to mark for me yet another difference between them and me I couldn't put my finger on. I felt like a girl who shows late to a party. Everyone else is in the midst of conversation, laughing and whispering secrets or telling jokes that I could never understand.
Whether it was normal teen angst, or this lack of shared ritual, or something underlying and chemical - I'm not sure I'll ever know.