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#36118 - 06/01/03 09:06 PM does this happen to anybody else?
sonlite Offline

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 100
Loc: North Carolina
I was playing basketball today w some guys from my church and in between games I had to take a whiz. So I went into the men's room and went to an open urinal and was about to start peeing when in comes one of the other guys from basketball. And here's my problem ... I just CANNOT, WILL NOT be able to whiz if I am standing at an open urinal and someone else in the bathroom. I get all tense, my breathing changes, I zone out. The other guy of course doesn't know my anxiety and tries to make a comment about our basketball games, but I am too frozen to even speak. So I stood there in hell until he left and then 2 minutes later after my body calmed down again, I was able to go. This has happened to me my whole life ... times when I am about to burst my bladder but then my body shuts down as soon as I perceive someone else's presence. Its embarassing. Does this sound familiar to anyone or am I just over-sensitive?


#36119 - 06/01/03 10:05 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
Marc Offline

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 256
Loc: Tucson, AZ

Commonly this happens to me. I hate it when I can't pee and that makes it even worse because I ususally have to really go when I get in there anyway. People call this being 'Pee shy' though there is actually a medical term for this and a Web site . I love the web! \:D It's a lot more common than you or I ever thought. I have gotten used to it and sometimes now, if I distract myself from the act of having to pee when someone else is in the room I can go. I think about all sorts of inane stuff... what am I gonna do later that day, should I get the oil changed in my bike, whatever. lol

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I just find an empty stall.

This seems like the least of our problems anyhow. I just don't even view it as an issue anymore. \:D

#36120 - 06/01/03 10:12 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
rax Offline

Registered: 12/02/00
Posts: 75
Loc: Newark, CA
Hi Sonlite,

The exact same thing used to happen to me as well. If there was someone at the urinal, I used to go to the stalls/rooms. Even in there, I used to flush, and pee during the flush, so that nobody heard the sound of me peeing.

I think it was just self conscious embarassment. I realized that I needed to get over that fear, so now, I take it head-on. I will stand at the urinal till hell freezes over, but I will not run into the stalls! As of now, Im overcoming my fear, and Im pretty comfortable at the urinal, although, I still cannot talk and pee at the same time.

A friend of mine, who was not abused at childhood (If he was, he didnt tell me), said to me that he is pee-shy too. So, I guess it may not be caused by the abuse, but may just be self consciousness, (slightly heightened by the abuse).

#36121 - 06/01/03 10:22 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
Marc Offline

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 256
Loc: Tucson, AZ
You'll love this...

Just found this joke from someone with paruresis:

I decided to stop at a comfort station. The first toilet stall was occupied, so I went into the second one.

I was no sooner seated than I heard a voice from the next stall: "Hi, how are you doing?"

Well, I am not the type to chat with strangers in highway comfort stations, and I really don't know quite what possessed me, but anyway, I answered, a little embarrassed: "Not bad."

The stranger said: "And, what are you up to?"

Talk about your dumb questions! I was really beginning to think this was too weird! So I said: "Well, just like you I am driving east."

Then, I heard the stranger, all upset, say: "Look, I'll call you right back. There's some idiot in the next stall answering every question I ask you."

Now let's all go pee! \:D

#36122 - 06/01/03 11:07 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Sonlite - I guess many people I know have the "Pee Shy" issue [I refuse to call it a problem]. I had that issue for years. Tell you what I do now. When I enter the restroom, if there are privacy shields between the urinals :rolleyes: , I try the urinals. If there are no privacy shields or everyone goes in a trough (etc.), I always go to a stall so I don't even have to play the game with myself. It just takes being honest with yourself about which place works for you. I usually try to think ahead so I don't waste hours waiting for guys to leave urinals!

VERY FUNNY JOKE!!! \:D I guess I shouldn't take my cell phone next time?


If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

#36123 - 06/02/03 03:16 AM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
sonlite Offline

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 100
Loc: North Carolina
Thanks for responding guys. Its good to know that I am not the only one. And its good to know that it might not even be associated w s/abuse.

Marc, good joke. And I guess you can find a website for ANYTHING.


#36124 - 06/02/03 03:20 AM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
Sick Puppy Offline

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
A lot of people have this, even ones who haven't been abused... it's common.

However I can't pee in a public bathroom at ALL, no matter how badly I need to go. I can't even use the stall. If I have to go very badly I end up going outside, it seems odd that I can go fine outside but not in a bathroom?

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly
From the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see

Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

#36125 - 06/02/03 03:32 AM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
Ivanhoe Offline

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Pee-shy, they actually have a name for it?

Marc, your joke had me on the floor--soooooooooo funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnny.

And, talking at the same time? I've got it the other way......."Some one say something, please!"

I'll head for a stall any time I can.......if you're taking a poll.


P. S. Hey, maybe we could meet, you know, do the group thing.

"Hey, honey, where you going?"

"You know my Pee Group meets tonight."

OK, guys, on the count of three. One..Two..Pee.

"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

#36126 - 06/02/03 07:33 AM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
Logan Offline

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1368
Loc: NY
Hi Sonlite

Me TOO! I've got the same delema.

I remember one one the most painful (definitly not the most!) expriences was in Disiplinarly Boot Camp-no i was not mandated by the courts or ever did anything the warranted me being sent there. Basically, not to get to far off topic, i was falsely acused of stealing some girls medication and was being transported out of the fiel via pickup truck to be drug tested and was being forced to drink 5 liters of water while tied up. I tried as hard as i could just to go in my pants but was unsuccesful. I pleaded and cried to them to let me go in a receptecal, and finaly they agreed, and they untied me and gave me a 20oz coke bottle.

There i was, standing in a pasture, 5 feet away from the truck, in between the desert and civilization and with tears srteaming down my face, completely unable to go.
When we finally arrived at the hospital 2and a half hours later and i was in so much pain that i was in a fetal position. My bladder was so swollen that it looked like i was pregnant.
Then they had one of the boot camp staff followed me into the bathroom and insisted he watch me go-which was hell followed by extacy.

Sorry about the length of this post. I did not expect it to be this long.

One thing that i found out through self discovery that really helps me is- it may sound gross- if i squeez my thing with my thumb and pointer fingers. I don't no wy that works but it does for me.

hope this helps

"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

#36127 - 06/02/03 06:00 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
You got it David:


Yeah I still have some problems with this too.

Not with peeing just with peeing in public.

But I actually start trying to cover up & make noises with something I have more trouble with in a public bathroom:

Butt as they say when you gotta go you gotta go...


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#36128 - 07/08/03 03:54 AM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
Don-NY Offline

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
This is one area I've never had a problem with.

I think because for all the rejection I experienced from males, for all my insecurities and doubts about my own maleness and masculinity, the "Men's Room" was the one 'Male place' that I absolutely belonged in.

If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

#36129 - 07/08/03 05:07 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else?
uncertain Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 22
Yep, I have this problem, luckily I have come a long way in the past few years. It seems the more I am comfortable with myself the easier it is for me to "go".

I'd say find something that works and go with it. If I use a public bathroom, I will use the stall if there are others in the bathroom. If I have to wait until one comes free, oh well, I will. I cannot pee in a urinal if someone else is next to me or behind me, waiting. I have come to accept this. In stalls, I rarely have problems, even if there are others in the bathroom (unless it is a small bathroom, and there is no music - hate those ones!).

One trick I use to relax myself is to close my eyes and imagine that the other person(s) in the room are people I know and feel comfortable/safe with. I will actually visualize that this person is my mom, or this person is my brother, or this person is my good friend... and eventually I can go.

This topic reminds me of being 12 years old and on a 3 day school trip. There was only one bathroom for 20 boys and the urinal was a big stupid trough. What psycho invented the urine trough for humans!! I always wondered why boys were treated like animals at public btahrooms while girls always had stalls. Anyway.. lol... for three days i could not go to the bathroom. Whern we got back to the school, I walked home... barely able to walk I was in so much pain. I must have had an angel look after me so I wouldn't get a bladder infection. I remember going pee when I got home, I peed for what seemed like hours and my stomach was in so much pain.

I didn't know that so many people struggled with this either... I have been teased about it in the past. i find it encouraging to know others have the same issues.. and we're ok!

#377130 - 11/28/11 06:15 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else? [Re: uncertain]
Sobernow Offline

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 256
Loc: Oklahoma
My problem with using the urinals in public mens room -- is i am too scared i will be mugged, shot, raped or whatever.....

this got lots better once i started counseling for csa issues.

I too would almost be sick from needing to pee or take a crap.

#377133 - 11/28/11 07:03 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else? [Re: Sobernow]
JaapVisser Offline

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 57
Loc: The Netherlands
I can't use urinals. Even if I have to wait long to use the private restroom, I wait (outside). It freezes me. Didn't know there was a term for it actually. Dunno if it is actually related to my csa, never thought of it, I just know I hate urinals.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

#377154 - 11/28/11 08:59 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else? [Re: JaapVisser]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1595
Loc: California
Ah, yes - pee fright. I used to have this too.

I somehow got over it (kept trying and trying and trying). It was so long ago, I frankly don't recall how I ever got over it. I do remember the feeling of joy when I realized I could pee whenever i wanted to (in public) and not feel what you described.

Good luck to you


#377182 - 11/29/11 12:10 AM Re: does this happen to anybody else? [Re: Magellan]
Survivinguy Offline

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Colorado
Well I have to imagine you feel far more comforted in knowing that you are not alone in this and that one more person saying "me too" isn't going to accomplish anything in particular but honesty helps me too so here's my "me too".

I can't imagine going #2 in a public restroom - even at home I prefer locking at least one door. I have less trouble urinating at urinal now but as a teenager and young adult I always looked for an open stall.

My issues distinctly stem from being traumatized by my brother and dad while using the bathroom. Either of them would wait outside the bathroom, listening for when I would 'finish' and then come in to get me with my pants down. It's still difficult to feel safe 25 years later so I take what precautions I can and acknowledge my fears are based in fact, not make-believe. I try not to shame myself for my fears - it's not my fault.

Try to always remind yourself of that as you continue to recover - there's plenty of embarassing things we survivors shame ourselves for and a great deal, if not all of it, we don't deserve one bit of shame either from ourselves or others. If survivors have an issue with the use of a public bathroom - so be it - it's not their fault, it's not a big deal and it certainly shouldn't be cause for ridicule.

My two cents.

Heal well,


I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

#377240 - 11/29/11 07:15 AM Re: does this happen to anybody else? [Re: Survivinguy]
lapchinj Offline

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1481
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing

Edited by lapchinj (03/18/13 03:55 AM)
Stick around, It will get better....🌹🌹🌹

#377278 - 11/29/11 02:56 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else? [Re: lapchinj]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2711
Tuco can't pee

Sergio Leone's take on the issue - fast forward to 3:10.


#377285 - 11/29/11 03:16 PM Re: does this happen to anybody else? [Re: Chase Eric]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 753
Loc: VA
"Shy bladder" is just another symptom of heightened anxiety. It's no wonder those of us with post-traumatic symptoms have the problem, though it seems to be very common.

If the urinals don't have "modesty panels" in between, I might as well just tie a knot in it and leave.


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