Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Like Clockwork

I am ten years old.  At school, I am watching the clock, willing the hands to move.  If I pack my things quickly maybe I can get home in time.  The bell rings, I push my chair in and make my day to the door.  Most of the kids had the same idea and since I sit quietly in the back of the room, I am now shuffling my feet wishing I could step forward into a desperate run.

I need to get going before the older boy comes up behind me on his bike and harasses me.  I need to run and when he bothers me I have to walk so he doesn't chase me. 

Today, I have lucked out.  I have made it all the way to the back porch.  I am searching behind the railing for the key.  I need to get in.  I manage not to drop it this time and dance as I insert it into the old lock.  I crash through the door, leaving it open, even though it is winter.  I make it half way down the hall before my bladder lets go and I pee my pants.  The flow rushes like an opened dam and is relentless while I wet through my clothes just as I have every day this month. 


I hated having to raise my hand to ask to go to the bathroom at school- I was painfully shy. That kind of shyness is a form of anxiety.  I didn't use the facilities during lunch or recess because I felt like it was too close for comfort with so many other girls in there, laughing, putting on lip gloss.  It was just another torturously awkward event for me, so I held it all day in order to avoid my anxiety.

Something about turning that key was symbolic for my body.  Why it couldn't wait even thirty more seconds is still a mystery to me.  All I knew was that it was just one more thing that I was sure was disgusting and different about me. 

Symptoms of Anxiety in Children

Children with anxiety may have difficulty with relationships with friends, parents and teachers and perform poorly in school. Symptoms of anxiety in children may lead to serious mental health disorders if not treated, and include personality changes, problematic behaviors and emotional outbursts. Consider these facts from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration about the symptoms of anxiety in children.


  • Children with anxiety who were previously potty trained may begin wetting or soiling their pants during the day or night.
Read more: Symptoms of Anxiety in Children |

Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, PTSD, Anxiety, Self-harm, Cutting, Depression, Survivor, Survivor of childhood abuse, Postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, OCD, Recovered memories, Repressed memories, Spousification, Stockholm Syndrome, Suicide, Teen Suicide, bullying, drug abuse, incest, memoir, Attachment Disorder, reactive Attachment Disorder


  1. holy crap! I was always afraid to go to the bathroom in kindergarten and that may have been a contributing factor to bladder infections at a young age. so much so I had a mysterious surgery at age 5 that I can't seem to get my mother to explain to me, even though I remember being in the hospital.-Bethany

    1. Wow, that surgery sounds like what I went through at 7 years old...many infections too. My sister said she knew something must have happened to me because most children don't have infections as I did unless something sexual and/or major anxiety related, is going on.

  2. That was me too, a bed wetter, pants wetter, what have you (until probably 11 years old) became really bad. It happened when I was older, at church, in groups of people, while horseback riding in Girl Scouts. I got made fun of so much and it was definitely from anxiety. It was hell.

  3. I had to wash my pants in the bathroom when no one was looking. I hung the in my closet. I could never get them clean enough and sometimes had to wear them a bit damp the next day. I think I probably smelled like pee at school. Later life, when I married Roger, my body must have fet safe to get sick, because I got damaging kidney infections constantly. I have seen an herbalist and have returned to good health after a long time of drinking a special tea.
    Anyway, I am sorry you guys had these experiences. Love you both. <3 CAirn

  4. I remember in 4th grade? 5th grade? There was a girl in my class that used to have that problem. We were having a spelling bee or something. We were all lined up at the back of the room and were being called to the front of the class for something. She wet her pants. I can't even remember her name. I remember that other kids made fun of her. I don't remember her name. I wonder what had been going on in her life....