Day Two is different than Day One in my beginning stages of my Gradual Exposure Therapy.
I get up in the morning and get my coffee. I go to the office and see Mike at his computer profusely typing. I hate to interrupt him, but “I need to pee” I say.
He looks at me for a second as if to say “Well then Pee!“, but it suddenly dawns on him why I say that.
“Okay” he says “Give me a minute!”
A minute later I’m in the small bathroom and Mike’s outside. I close the door but not all the way. I leave a gap large enough to see through.
If I lean back slightly I can see a sliver of Mike as he’s facing the door. Which also means, if Mike moves just an inch or two himself, then he’ll be able to see me peeing in the toilet.
My Anxiety Rises
I can’t tell you when the last time I was within eye sight of someone and peed. I actually can’t remember one time!
Maybe through a gap in a stall or looking at someone’s foot under the partition, but now, I could definitely see Mike’s shoulder and arm. I set my iPhone Stopwatch to Zero and pushed start…
Mike was just feet away!
It took me an extra minute to pee. Actually 50 seconds to get the first dribble, and then at 1:11 to get the full stream.
I peed for 1 1/2 minutes, which is long for me, but I was peeing with less force than normal.
An hour and two cups of coffee later, I’m peeing again with the door cracked and Mike outside.
This time it only took me 20 seconds to begin.
I’m getting faster!
An hour after that some friends of mine come over so we can all go to the movies.
I had peed right before they got here with Mike standing guard, and I had told him “I’ll need to pee again before we go, and you won’t have to stand outside“. He says okay, he understands that no one else knows that I’m Pee Shy and it would look pretty funny!!!
And so when my friends showed up 5 minutes later, they’re all standing and chatting by the door. I walk up and say “HI”. We BS for a second, and then Kay says “Ready?” She turns for the door and I say to them “I need to pee again“.
I don’t know why I told them “AGAIN” but it came out and Kay immediately came back with “AGAIN?” lol
I just said “YEAH” and made my way to the back bathrooms to pee, versus the small bathroom that was just 10 feet from where they all were standing (I’m sure they wondered why).
I peed. We left. We saw “Captain Phillips” EXCELLENT MOVIE! But about an hour into the flick, of course, I have to pee.
The urge increases throughout the movie. I fight it. It makes me very uncomfortable and it’s very distracting. I hate that!
Finally the movie ends (awesome ending), and we drive home. My friends hang around for a bit.
I wanted to pee badly, but waited until they left (it was only a couple of more minutes). Then once the door closed behind them, I turn to Mike and say “I have to pee badly!“
“I need to pee too” he says.
“You pee first because you’re quicker!”
And that he does!
Our friends are still getting in their car as he heads to the small bathroom. He leaves the door open, I’m just 4 feet down the hall and he’s peeing and done in just a couple of seconds. I wish I was like that!
I go in. He stands there as I gap the door. I thought it would take me a while to go since I’ve held it during the whole movie, but it only took me 20 seconds and I was peeing.
I’m surprised at that!
I peek through the gap as I’m peeing and I see him just standing there. I peed forever! Like almost 3 minutes straight. Finally I finish. He’s playing games on his iPhone. I come out and say “I’ll probably have to pee again really soon”.
He doesn’t look up, just shrugs and stands there. lol
And sure enough, 2 minutes later, I have to pee again. Mike hasn’t moved. HA!
“It’s so weird that I can pee, and then minutes later pee again” I say.
“You’re weird!” He says.
Ain’t no lie there!
An hour later something interesting happened. I locked up!
I went to the bathroom, Mike is standing outside, I leave a larger gap in the door.
Mike’s playing his game but he was shaking his foot impatiently as he sat on the counter waiting. It’s like a day and a half of this was getting to him and it made me wonder how long would he deal with this Pee Buddy thing?
I could see and hear his foot shaking. It was distracting. I couldn’t pee. I stood there for 3 minutes and got nothing.
Finally I gave up. Maybe the urge wasn’t that strong? Maybe his impatientness made me feel rushed and anxious? Who knows? All I know is that it kept me from peeing.
I came out and told him that I couldn’t go and would have to try again later.
And a half hour later I did try. And I did pee!
I was happy about that!
Later in the afternoon, Mike is sitting in the Kitchen reading his iPad. I told him I needed to pee and that he could just sit there (8 feet away from the bathroom). I told him I would just leave the door open more and see if I could pee.
I opened the door half way, and then said “F it” and pushed the door all the way open. I couldn’t see Mike, but I could hear him right around the corner. I peed with no problems. And as I was peeing I could look out the hallway windows and see the road and all the cars driving by. I peed with the door open. How cool was that?
I find my feelings disturbing. I keep saying to myself “Just go” when I need to pee. “Don’t worry about Mike” it says to me “Just go to the bathroom and pee. It will be easier and faster and you’ll feel safer” That’s my Paruresis talking.
I fight my feelings and don’t take the easy way out. I’m done with avoidance! It’s trying to over power my behaviors. I want nothing of it.
At 6:00 P.M. I took the hardest route yet. I told Mike I had to pee. He automatically grabbed his iPad and followed me to the bathroom. He went to sit on the counter… “NO” I said “I want to try something different“. Mike just looked at me. “I want to leave the door wide open, and I want you to stand in the doorway with your back to me.”
He raises his eyebrows “Are you sure?“
So there I am standing in the little tiny bathroom with nothing but a toilet and a sink (standing room only), and Mike is leaning on the door frame facing out, goofing with his iPad. He’s literally ONE FOOT AWAY FROM ME!
I could reach out and touch him if I wanted to. I’ve NEVER had someone this close to me as I’ve tried to pee. I wasn’t sure I could do it. I stood there for a minute. Then two. “Am I going to pee or not?” I say out loud to break the silence.
And guess what?
A minute later, I PEED!
It came out slow and quiet at first. Then stopped. 20 Seconds later it started up again and finally I was peeing at full stream.
Mike just stood there the whole time. The light from the iPad was changing the room shades of Red, Blue and Green… But I peed!
I was SOOOO HAPPY!
“Maybe someday I’ll be able to watch you pee” he says.