My Sister has Paruresis

I’m talking to my Sister the other day. She’s telling me about the mall and when she went shopping with her husband.

She says “He got mad at me because I was in the bathroom so long“.

Wanting to tease her, I say “Why were you in the bathroom so long, were you constipated?”

She laughs “No, I had a hard time peeing because the bathroom was so busy”.

I took a step back “You can’t pee if the bathroom is busy?” Bells were ringing in my head. It reminded me of me… Which I’ve never talked to her about.

“Sometimes it takes me forever to go, especially if someone’s in the next stall” She pauses “I feel like they’re listening to me“.

I’m really besides myself. I ask:

“Are you Pee Shy?”

“I guess so” she says “I always have a hard time going if it’s too busy or too quiet”.

WOW!!! This is a crazy coincidence.

Me and my Sister have always been close. She’s 2 years older than me and we share the same sense of humor and personality. We can usually chat about anything.

I decide to open up myself “I have a hard time peeing in public bathrooms as well.” I take a second to compose my thoughts, she was silent. “I’ve been like that for as long as I can remember…”

“Same here, I don’t know why either…”

I think I do!

I really think it stems from our abusive parents. Granted I don’t feel like Dad was abusive to her (I never saw him hit her), but we did grow up in the same household under the same circumstances. I’m sure it rubbed off.

Sister With Paruresis

It may not have affected her as much as me, but I believe it’s from our childhood. The past that I’ve pretty much blocked out.

It’s either that, or maybe Paruresis is hereditary?

I’ll never be able to find out from Dad if he had a nervous bladder (because he died), so it will always remain a great big question mark.

Is Paruresis Hereditary?

Is pee shyness something you pass down in your Genes? (I don’t speak to my Mom, so I can’t ask her).

I don’t know if there’s ever been an official study on this, but it would be interesting to find out.

My guess is that it’s NOT hereditary. But I do believe your upbringing can affect both brothers and sisters the same way. Seems logical to me. We could both have shy bladders because of it. After all, we both do have shy bladders!

What are the odds of that?

I didn’t go in deeper with the conversation with her. I didn’t tell her about my blog here or my issues and how deep they really go. She’d think I was mental.

Right now it’s just a coincidence that we share. Something that seems more like an annoyance to her, but a massive problem to me.

I’m fine with that. It seems odd talking to her about that anyway. It seems odd talking about Paruresis to anyone (let alone a Woman). That’s why I love this blog. It lets me vent. Get it all out for everyone to see.

I’m sure there are tons like me who are in hiding and won’t admit it to anyone.

It’s not something you blurt out over Dinner “Oh, by the way, I can’t pee in front of other Men“…

Can you imagine the looks over mashed potatoes and gravy?

My Sister’s Pee Shy!

I don’t know what to do with that information…

But at least now I know!

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5 Responses to My Sister has Paruresis

  1. Carol Olmert says:

    You can refer your sister to a website I created for and about women who suffer from paruresis. I wrote a book, “Bathrooms Make Me Nervous”, to help women recover. I am also very involved in the International Paruresis Association which occasionally offers workshops for women only. http://www.paruresis.org

    • Richard says:

      Hi Carol. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I am floored. I am in the process of reading your book as we speak! :) Even though your book is for women, it’s all about the same topic and very little is written about it. I have signed up at Paruresis.org already. I’m sure soon enough I’ll talk to my sister about this more and see what transpires. :) Thanks again! It means a lot! -Richard

  2. Thomas says:

    Same here. About 15 yrs ago, I was talking to my brother’s wife about my having trouble peeing when around other people, & she said ” Oh, that explains it. I think Kenny has it too. I notice that when we are out shopping, he keeps looking at the bathroom & when he does use it & someone else goes in after him, he leaves without going at all.”.

    The problem is… me & my brother are both close, we talk about EVERYTHING, & this never came up. We also come from an abusive family in which the bathroom was the least safe spot in the house. BTW, I’m a male & have had this for some 46yrs now.

    • Richard says:

      Hi Thomas. It just goes to show you how secretive this problem really is. Who knows how many people are really affected by it, when no one ever brings it up. Kind of scary!

      Have you since then talked to your brother about it?

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