I was always terrified of my Dad.
He had no problems with throwing me across the room with the back of his hand. He was a mean drunk, yelling at me and beating me with his leather belt.
I would huddle in a corner and cry.
I was a very skinny kid who looked like a nerd with big buck teeth.
I got teased a lot. The kids on the school bus would call me “French Fry Fag” because my Mom made me wear this knit hat with french fries on it (I have no idea why).
I was always getting knocked around, bumped into and made fun of. I was 98 pounds in High School and hated Gym Class. The Locker room was just a taunting nightmare. The humiliation never stopped.
My Dad was still the best in this field though. Nothing I ever did was good enough for him. It was always “You’re Stupid” “You have no brains”. He passed away 3 years ago… I can still hear his voice.
My life as a kid is pretty much a blur for me. I’ve blocked out most of it. Only pieces and fragments remain. It was just a never ending supply of insults, orders and belittling. I remember very few happy moments.
My Dad made me a coward. A timid man that will never forgive him for the trauma and destruction that he caused my life then and now.
Mom was no Better!
My Mom would pull me around by my hair. She used to beat me with the metal Fly Swatter and anything else she could grab. One time in the car she beat me with her hair brush until it broke. And then, because it broke, it made her madder and she then proceeded to stab me with the end of it.
She was a bundle of joy until the day she left my Dad.
She left him because she was terrified of him. She thought he was going to kill her… especially when he drank… which was every day!
She came up to my attic room that night. She was crying. She said she was leaving and would come back and get us kids (me and my sister).
She never came back. She left me with an abusive Father who beat me and never loved me.
I thought that once he died I’d be free of this trauma he’s caused me. I thought I’d feel relief and that these stupid anxiety handcuffs would come off. But they never did.
And as I get older, the handcuffs tighten and my fears intensify.
Why can’t I let go of the past?
Why Can’t I Pee in Public?
I remember having a hard time peeing even when I was just a little boy of 7 or 8. Our bathroom was at the back of the house and to get to the bathroom, I would have to sneak past my Dad’s room. He would sleep with the door open. So I’d have to be very quiet and tip-toe past him to the john.
I’d shut the door as quietly as I could so it wouldn’t wake him.
I would pee on the side of the toilet bowl so it wouldn’t make any splashing sounds. I could hear him snoring as I peed. And if he stirred and stopped snoring, I’d freeze up. My pee would stop. I would stand there in silence waiting for him to snore again so I could finish and get out.
This began my journey of Pee Shyness
But… If I could trace the roots back even further…
I would go back to my tiny tot years.
I would often pee my pants. With a Father like mine, it was easy to do. I would wet myself and it would send my Mom into a frenzy.
She would go out of her way to humiliate me when I did. She would pull down my pants and make me stand butt naked in the corner while my Sister and her 2 Girlfriends looked on and laughed at me. This nightmare would go on for 1/2 hour or so… Until I’d learned my lesson.
Things like that, your mind won’t erase.
I’m sure the embarrassment, humiliation and timidness made me who I am today. I was raised that way. It’s no wonder why I associate Peeing with such ridicule and shame.
I quickly learned to not pee. To hold my urine in no matter what the circumstances were. Hold it until it’s safe enough to release and let go.
It makes perfect sense to me.
I totally understand WHY I can’t Pee!
The problem is, even with knowing the origins of this pee shyness, I don’t know how to rewire my brain and untrain all that I’ve learned.
It’s such a silly thing, but it’s so impossibly difficult.
All I want to do is to pee in public without being frightened to death by the bathroom door opening and footsteps coming in.
My Father’s Dead!!!!
Can’t that ghost just leave me alone?
He still has his thumb on me 20 years after I left his house. The day I left, I swore I’d never be back. I swore I’d never seen him again until the day he died. I hated him that much.
I was close. I saw him only 3 times before his last bout at the hospital with lung cancer.
And for the first time in his life, he told me something that I’ve never heard him say before; he loved me.
And even though it made me cry to hear it, I didn’t believe it. Not after all he put me through. It was a little too late.
He fucked my life up. He’s left me bitter, sheltered and full of odd phobias and fears…
- Nail Biting – I’ve chewed my nails to the pulp since the sixth grade
- Lip Twitch – When I’m in a confrontational situation, my upper lip uncontrollable twitches
- Bladder Shyness – The biggest and most painful ordeal I’ve ever had to face on a daily basis. Peeing in public is the worst!
I try to hide it. I don’t tell anyone about my shyness. They wouldn’t understand. In fact, I believe they would make even more fun of me.
I’ve kept this secret locked up in me with all the other skeletons in my closet… Until now that is.
I’m letting it all come out!
As scared as I am about opening up and setting myself up for more ridicule and humiliation, I’m also relieved that I’m getting it out of my heart and onto the page.
It has to help, doesn’t it?
I’ve spent a lifetime building up this wall, and brick by brick I’m tearing it down.
My intentions are clear; I’m going to beat this Social Phobia. I have no doubts in that.
And when I do, I’ll be able to stand up tall and proud and finally say to my Dad
“This Time I WIN!”
“This Time I BEAT YOU!!!”