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jack's story

Now that I think back, I am aware that I first had a problem using public loos around the age of 10 or 11. I don't remember anything before this. I did have an unpleasant incident when I was about 8 but I don't know if this started it or not.

I went to high school for six years and peed about twice in that time. I left the house at 8 in the morning and got back home at half past four. I never went to the toilet between these times. I don't know now how I managed.

At college I started to become aware of just how severe this problem was. I was there for longer hours than school and had to go to the toilet. I would hang around near the loos (there were lots of notice boards to read so I didn't look suspicious). When the coast was clear I would go for a pee. If someone came in it wasn't as bad if I had started as it would be to find people already there.

In my adult life, I have avoided social events and missed out on things I would like to have been a part of all because of this problem. I don't know what caused it and I am not too sure how to cure it. What I do know, is that since I started to talk about it 3 months ago it has got better.

I have courage to at least go to the loo and try. I have had success on some occasions. The UK AP meeting I attended in January 2000 was brilliant and I look forward to a future where this very disabling problem looses it's grip on me. I believe this problem affects all sorts of people. I think others, like me are ashamed of divulging their "secret" to others for fear of being thought of as "weird" or "odd". The best thing I did was confront this problem and tell my wife. She has been amazingly supportive and says she wished I had spoken to her years ago.

I would urge anyone who has this problem, to whatever degree, to confront it. A good place to start is by visiting the discussion board.