Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

It’s Just How I Deal

We were on our way to band competition. Getting ready to jam into the crowded school bus, surrounded by flags, rifles, tubas and excited students, I know they are waiting on me.

I’ve had an accident.

Frantic in the restroom, I realize it’s worse than I thought and I’ve got minutes to figure out how to avoid the worst crisis a teenager can deal with.

I’m 16 and I have incontinence, except, I don’t even know what that means.

I can already feel my nose tingle with the smell of urine and panic, the embarrassment causing me to sweat, adding to the odor…adding to my panic…adding to the odor…and so on.

I rub deodorant on the inside crotch of my dance tights, pull up my clothes and reach for a small bottle of Calvin Klein Obsession in my make-up bag.

I overdo it in my fear and run to the bus.

I’m one of the last and desperately want to sit near my “boyfriend” but I’m burning with shame on the inside.

“What is that weird smell?”

I plaster myself against the wall and window of the bus, staring outside, refusing to acknowledge the comment.

I don’t know if anyone knew it was me. No one ever said anything.

At least not to my face.

I had a great day today. I worked hard on a draft of a research paper, one I hope will lead to publication by next year. Took some pictures. Had a sports blog post recognized by some people I like.

I got out of the car and realized my pants were wet.

I didn’t even feel it.

I’ve got to print this paper and turn it in, I’m already on campus; do I stay? How can I explain that I need to go home?

I tie a jacket around my waist, run to print my paper and try to come up with a delicate way to both interrupt class (because of course, by now, I’m late) and explain my situation.

My professor looks unimpressed at my interruption, which is to be expected, since another student was giving a presentation and a little exasperated because I’m speaking so low.

“Um, I’m sorry. I have incontinence and I’ve had an accident.”


“I have incontinence and I’ve had an accident.”

“Okay, yeah, go then.”

I run away, bursting into tears.

This is someone I respect and admire and I blew an opportunity to be graceful under pressure. Instead I pulled a TMI.

I’m too young to have this problem. A problem I’ve had for 15 years, when I was surely too young.

I’m very easily embarrassed and this is certainly up there on my most embarrassing moments (something we’ve discussed before.)

So. I tell you guys.  I take a relatively private shame and put it on the interwebz.


It’s how I deal.

Written by thelittlepecan

November 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Posted in atheism

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. I think its quite possible – I know at least two other gals that have issues with it. I try to keep an extra pair of pants in the car for multiple reasons..

    For me it always happens At Work… of course the most embarrassing place for me to have it happen. We are definately too young to have to worry about these sorts of things.

    Kathrine Kirby

    November 10, 2011 at 8:03 am

  2. I would have just died and been a big pile in the floor. I have a similar problem that proves embarassing quite often and when I least expect it.

    Kathrine Kirby

    November 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    • There’s good Rx’s for it, but I haven’t had consistent insurance the past few years. Football games and concerts are my biggest problems. Jumping around, lots of beer, waiting until the last minute to go and then waiting in line all add up to a bad time. I just wear dark pants and take pads, JIC.

      I’ve always wondered how many young women have this problem but are too embarrassed to speak up.


      November 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm

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