I had become a prisoner of My Own Private
Bathroom, a sanctuary and source of salvation in my life, and I was desperate
to be released from a life-long sentence.
over 40 years, since I was 13 and at a familiar summer camp, I could not
urinate easily while other people were nearby in a bathroom. It didn’t matter
whether it was a women’s public restroom, the home of my friends and relatives
or even in my own home if visitors were close by or someone was waiting for me.
I simply could not “go” at will when I needed to, no matter how hard I tried.
my limitations in being unable to urinate “like everyone else,” I resisted my
temptation to surrender to paruresis. Instead, I continued to try and live my
life as best as I could. I simply rationalized away my condition and accepted
my fate and circumstances. “Some people,”
I told myself, “are in wheelchairs,
while others are blind. They manage; you can, too.”