‘I was nun for years – we had $500 packing list, undies rules and banned items’
A former nun has shared the strict underwear rules she had to follow in her convent – or risk facing the wrath of the Superior.
Carrie-Eileen, from Pennsylvania, US, joined a convent when she was 18 years old after having a "really big conversion of heart".
But five years later she decided to leave the convent for good because she was left feeling "utterly miserable" and "always anxious" about breaking the strict rules.
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Now, the married mum of six has taken to TikTok to reveal more about the mysterious life of nuns in the convents, including the very specific underwear they have to wear under their habit.
In one video detailing the packing list she was given before joining the convent, Carrie revealed that each nun in her convent had to bring "seven pairs of white cotton underpants, no hip huggers".
Carrie, who was known as Sister Mary Faustina in the convent, said that she wasn't sure why there was a "no hip huggers" rule.
Giving her best guess, she said: "I don't know why that was a requirement I'm assuming it had something to do with modesty but I really don't know."
The list also asked the nuns to bring "two sets of long underwear", specifying that it must be the "thin kind".
When it comes to bras, there were also strict requirements, Carrie said: "No underwire, had to be white or skin coloured".
The cotton underwear wasn't the only thing the nuns had to wear under their habit, they were also required to bring knee-high brown socks, crew neck white T-shirts, long-sleeved white blouses, dark brown skirts that sat 10 inches above the floor and full half-slips that sat 12 inches above the floor.
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Although the nuns wore their habits all the time from when they slept, Carrie revealed that their underwear would be checked to make sure it was appropriate.
Responding to a comment about how the rules were enforced, she said: "The laundry Sisters would know! They'd tell the Superior & the Superior would order 'appropriate' replacements if needed".
The packing list didn't come cheap. In total it cost Carrie $508.49 to buy most of the clothing she needed in 2003.
On top of this, she had to pay a $300 dowry to join the convent as well as fork out $2,400 on health insurance for the year.
The convent's strict rules didn't stop at the dress code.
The nuns were also restricted when it came to the menstrual products they could use and tampons were banned at Carrie's convent.
In another video, the ex-nun explained: "There are plenty of communities that allow the use of tampons, my community was not one of them, however.
"We could use menstrual pads, at the time menstrual cups weren't really a thing, but that's because our superior was worried about the risk of toxic shock syndrome."
However, in the comments she said that she had suspicions her Superior was more concerned that tampons weren't "appropriate" to use.
The strict rule left her feeling terrified of getting caught when she was once sent tampons on one occasion.
She said: "I forgot to mention about how one of my friends sent me tampons once! I threw them away and wrote a letter back thanking her but saying we don't use them. I was so scared I'd have gotten in trouble that she sent them."
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The ex-nun revealed that they could get caught using the banned products during regular cell inspections.
She added: "They inspected the cells periodically for cleanliness, plus if we ever received gifts we were supposed to turn them in to the Superior. I was always, always anxious and in fear of being 'yelled at'".
In another bizarre rule set by the Superior, the nuns were only allowed to use natural deodorant and Carrie said that this clearly "didn't work" for some of the Sisters.
She explained: "We also were not allowed to use regular deodorants that had aluminium in them because she was worried about the risk of Alzheimer's. That risk as far as I know had been debunked but she was worried about it.
"I had to get special permission to use those deodorants because the natural types of deodorants just did not cut it for me. They also didn't work for some of the other sisters but either those sisters didn't notice or else they just didn't care."
In 2008 Carrie decided to leave the convent for good after realising she was not called to be a nun.
She said: "I just sank lower and lower into misery to the point where we were walking down the sidewalk one day and I was like 'you know what I with a bus would just come up and hit me'.
"If you are ever feeling that level of misery, something needs to change."
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