This one’s a hard one to force out. Even anonymously, I feel nauseated at the thought of sharing such horrifying intimacies of my horrific flaws.
I’m of the opinion though that I must write of it though, and especially because it’s so hideous and shameful. I must blare it out somewhere in the universe so it can be known that I admitted even the most mortifying true aspects of my unworthiness.
I peed in a parking lot. Actually, I’ve peed in many bizarre places in my life. I’ve peed in bushes, I’ve peed my pants, I’ve peed on dates, I’ve peed the bed. I’ve peed while sleeping. I’ve peed while awake. I’ve peed myself while drunk. I’ve peed myself while sober….
I recently read Sarah Silverman’s biography, The Bedwetter, and I confess, it’s helped me have the courage to openly (albeit anonymously!) address my personal issue with this. For the first time ever, I realized I’m not the only one who suffers from such unwanted struggles! So here goes nothing…
My bladder sucks! My bladder sucks so badly that I’d be willing to bet the only way it could be worse is if I had no bladder at all. And even then, I could pee safely in a bag I carried around…. so, maybe that’s not actually “worse”.
My bladder is a cruel bitch. However, I refuse to offer excuses about that here. I have zero excuses, but I very much want a platform to be free to discuss the myriad of bullshit behind my stupid fucking horrible bladder. It may seem like a black and white issue, but I assure you, it is not. This issue has more shades of grey than those Christian Grey books. Yet, not once have I had the opportunity to discuss it beyond “yes, I did pee in a parking lot. Yes, I have a weak bladder”, so fuck it, I deserve to tell the rest of the story behind this confounding, humiliating, and unreliable bladder of mine.
Not that the why’s or story behind this matter for what is or change what is. What is, just is.
1st shades of grey:
- I had chronic bladder and kidney infections as a small child.
- I was the dreaded child to take on road trips because I had to pee every 10 miles and couldn’t hold it very long or very well.
- I was very slow to stop bedwetting and to train myself to wake in the night to pee. I didn’t kick this fully until around 6 years old. (I was very proud of myself when I finally did!)
- Incidentally, there has been much research which indicates that children in an abusive, scary home struggle with bedwetting and bladder problems longer than the average child.
2nd shades of grey:
- After I was molested in the 1st grade, I started having night time accidents again and occasional day time accidents as well. This continued well into my teens and was a huge source of embarrassment. By around 16, I had it mostly under control again aside from occasional accidents which accompanied night terrors.
- At 17, I was gang raped by three older boys from my school. They not only raped me with their penises, they also thrust random objects inside me. This did a tremendous amount of damage to my urethra, cervix, vaginal tissue, and you guessed it, my bladder. The damage was so extensive, the gynecologist suggested it highly likely that I possibly would not even be able to carry a child to term later in life. I also suffered a concussion from this event.
- After the gang rape, my bladder issues resurrected with full and added force, as did my night terrors.
- I met my first boyfriend 3 months after the gang rape. He was charming, fun, and very loving, except when he beat me. After the initial domestic assault at 18, the assaults averaged once of twice a month. I dated the man for 2 years. Throughout those two years, I suffered three diagnosed concussions and the emergency room physician who examined me the last time he beat me, suggested the possibility that I’d had more concussions which were undiagnosed because I didn’t come in for treatment.
- By my early to mid 20’s, I was back to only the random accidents…usually only accompanied with night terrors or extreme emotionally and psychologically stressful events.
3rd shades of grey:
- My boyfriend at 24 (my children’s father) was physically abusive on occasion as well. Not as frequently as my high school boyfriend, but every bit as violent when it did occur. I believe it highly likely I suffered at least two undiagnosed concussions in the duration of this relationship. I didn’t go for treatment after these incidents or call the police because I didn’t want to get him in any trouble and possibly be the reason he might lose his job.
- I had an acute ischemic stroke at 26, paralyzing the entire left side of my body. Among a plethora of other obvious issues, my bladder issues resurrected yet again. At this point, in addition to the physical damage, the night terrors, and the lifelong effects of PTSD, my brain literally lost its ability to communicate effectively with my bladder.
- Over time and various neurological and physical therapies, I’m back to #4 in the “2nd shades” section with some added complications. On most days, I typically can force my brain to communicate somewhat with my bladder, but if I’m quite stressed, especially fearful, or overly fatigued, the communication is difficult at best. Often, by the time my brain is alerted that my bladder is full, it’s a race to get to the bathroom in time. Sometimes I can. Sometimes I can’t. In addition, the residual weakness and imbalance on my left side from the stroke hastens my ability to walk quickly to the bathroom and I no longer can run at all without falling.
- I still struggle with bedwetting when I have night terrors, which can be brought on by stress, fatigue, or highly emotional or frightening events. I exist in a state of chronic PTSD since my father passed and my children turned against me.
It’s my fault. It isn’t my fault. None of that matters. It is what it is. My bladder and my brain have apparently been at odds since I was born and beyond that, life has not been kind to my brain nor my bladder.
Yes, I peed in an empty parking lot once with my 15 year old daughter in the car. I have also peed in empty fields and woods throughout the 15 years my children lived with me. Once, I even peed my pants while driving my car on the interstate when I couldn’t get to a bathroom exit in time. My children knew well of my bladder troubles, perhaps not the extenuating causes of the struggle but they watched me for years – me, trying to get to a bathroom in time and terrified I would not make it. I always tried to laugh this off with my kids out of embarrassment for how deep the struggle really was for me.
My oldest daughter chose to tell her dad, my mother, and her dad’s attorney (and subsequently an entire courtroom via dad’s attorney) only about the parking lot incident; using that as evidential proof that I am an alcoholic.
In court, I did not go into detail about my bladder issue or its extenuating causes. I was mortified and ashamed and could barely muster up the voice to say, “Yes, I have struggled with a weak bladder all my life”. In hindsight, I realize it’s good I couldn’t summon up the courage to go into further detail anyway, as things like my stroke, my rapes, and the domestic violence I tolerated were already going to be used as nails in my “bad, bad, worthless momma” coffin anyway.
Lexi has also thrown the parking lot peeing incident in my face every time we’ve talked in the five years they’ve been gone, citing it as clear evidence of how horrible of a mother I really was. Were I even able to get her to listen to the various shades of grey which surround my lifelong bladder issues (which I’m not able to do), I know she would simply scoff, cut me off mid-sentence, and say I’m just throwing out excuses for being an alcoholic, making myself out as the victim again, and just trying to manipulate her by garnering up pity.
I suppose we could just sum all this up to say, quit making excuses for yourself Chloe and just accept the dirty fucking truth.
The simple truth is, women with heinous crimes like bad bladders should not be allowed to be mothers.
*Sheerly as a side note: While I carried both my children inside my body, the two traits of mine I fervently begged God not to curse them with were my big feet and my awful bladder. My prayers were answered. Neither of them suffer from either of those curses. YAY! They’re the luckiest ones after all!