Friday, 1 July 2016

HOW I STOPPED SOILING MY PANTS

Not surprisingly, one of the main questions parents ask me is how I eventually overcame my soiling problems.  I outlined this briefly in my first post, Why I Pooed My Pants, but many parents have appreciated a more detailed explanation. 

I can only write about my own experiences and, in my case, the effort to become clean had to come from my own willpower.  My parents never sought medical advice about my soiling and I was never on regular medication for it.  My mother did occasionally give me a laxative, usually Chocolate Ex-Lax, when I was badly constipated and had not used the toilet for several days.  This did make me poo, but I usually had no time to reach the bathroom and resulted in some very messy accidents in my pants.

The habits I picked up in my toddler years
stayed with me for a long time.
As I previously stated¸ for a long time I didn’t make the connection between withholding and soiling my pants.  Even after I had made the connection between withholding my poo and having dirty pants I continued to have problems for a long time.  Avoiding going to the toilet when I didn't feel like it had become a habit and like all habits, such as thumb sucking in children or smoking in adults, it was difficult to break.

By the time I had made the connection I had pooed my pants on numerous trips and many times at home, been stinky around other children and often suffered from constipation and stomach aches.  I hated the moment when I knew that I had messed myself and would soon be told off again.  But I still sometimes withheld when I felt the need to poo.  Like so many children I often thought only about the present moment, not the time later in the day, or on the next day or the day after, when I would suffer the indignity of having my pants checked before being cleaned up like a toddler by my mother and scolded at the same time.

Aged 7, I believed I was the only
school aged child in the world
who pooed his pants and began
to feel I was babyish and disgusting.
By the age of 7 I was starting to feel really babyish.  I also began to think of myself as a disgusting child for pooing myself instead of using the toilet.  I truly believed that I was the only school aged child in the world who dirtied his pants and my problem was making me really unhappy.  This was not helped by my mother threatening to ask my teacher to tell everyone in my class at my new junior school what I did and saying that they would laugh at me.  I don't think she would have carried out this threat but the thought horrified me.

Ultimately, however, the initiative to deal with the situation came from myself and my desire to be like other children.  I started making more of an effort to solve my problem, forcing myself to go to the toilet at home even if my initial instinct was to withhold.  Also, in my first term at junior school I pooed in the boys toilets for the first time in my life.  For most 7 year olds this would be no big deal, but it takes courage when you've spent years avoiding sitting on school toilets.  On my way out two older boys entering the toilets complained about the smell: 'I bet he's done a poo,' one of them said.  Yes, I had, and I was proud of it!  I had done a poo at school and it wasn't in my pants!  And I was happy to leave the stink behind in the boys toilets this time rather than carry it around with me!

Making the change wasn't easy, the withholding habit I had picked up as a 3-year old had become deeply ingrained, and there were times when I relapsed and had accidents.  Also, my bowel needed time to recover from years of withholding and I sometimes soiled myself without being given any warning that I had needed to use the toilet.   However, by my 8th birthday I was largely clean at home as well as at school, where I'd been lucky enough to have few problems anyway.

Most of my accidents after that happened on trips away from home.  My toilet problems while out and about will be the subject of my next post.

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