ENCOPRESIS – the story of my life (part 2)

I decided to do a second entry about this as some thoughts have come to mind. Like many of the children that have/are going through this, I too used to hide my soiled underwear. When your choices are to be yelled at now or yelled at tomorrow, I chose the 2nd option. I hid them because I wanted to live for an hour (even half an hour) as if it never happened. To be able to live like everyone else and be “normal” was such a dream…I was willing to put up with what I had to, for a chance to not go through it. I threw out several pairs until found out. The truth of my actions made the hurt worse emotionally, but the reality was that I was getting yelled at anyway (that’s how it was interpreted at the time).Yes I’m ashamed of my actions (and stopped doing it when got caught), however I’m not surprised when I hear of other children doing similar things. I can understand where they’re coming from and I can also understand why parents get frustrated about it. It’s not easy but there is light.

Whilst bedwetting in children is more common, widely spoken about and socially accepted it emphasises Encopresis/soiling as taboo. It’s hard on everyone involved when strangers abuse and remove themselves from your presence because of what they don’t understand. The more awareness we can get out there about this condition and everything it entails will help those involved (and uninvolved) understand what’s happening and what it feels like to live with it. Parents need to know what works and what doesn’t, and the children need to know that someone actually truly does love them as a person (even one that stinks).

Someone has to say that you are ok, and have a right to be happy. I wish I was told that. Some parents want a “miracle fix” (understandably but unrealistically) to help their child and live a happier life as soon as possible. Everyone is different and respond differently to the treatments available. What works (or didn’t work) for me may/may not work for you and your situation. It does take time before the body sorts itself out, heals what it needs to and move on. Certain food or allergies have been shown to trigger Enco (or encourage it), trauma in family situations/privacy breach, insecurities, family history of medical problems including  constipation or a colon not working properly. These are some of the different triggers available that should be considered when helping your child with Encopresis. How the family handles and responds to the situation is vital in creating a positive environment and experiences whilst in this tough time, trust me.

Parents if you’re stuck, I’m here to listen and help (e-mail me anytime on naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com) and offer what I can. Let us work together, where it matters. It will be ok. You are ok.

16 thoughts on “ENCOPRESIS – the story of my life (part 2)

  1. Mr B 26/08/2015 / 5:00 am

    Hello,

    Did not know this site existed. I wish I had your courage and strength to come forward and share. Even though I know its wrong but the shame of having it when I was a kid growing up and my memories of it all is too hard for me to get in touch with. Still ashamed and very afraid to revisit it all. But I respect you and everyone else who has come forward here. It would reassure anyone who is going through it. It would have helped me.

    Take care and love yourselves.

    • naturegirl015 12/09/2015 / 5:36 pm

      Hello Mr B,

      How are you? I’m sorry to hear that your experience with the Encopresis journey, and your memories are painful of it. I’m happy for you to feel comfortable to open up and share your story, and being brave to do so. I’m here for you. I am interested in hearing your story, if you are ok in sharing it. You are NOT alone anymore. Feel free to e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

      Thank you for your post. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog. Keep in touch and take care,

      Dimity

  2. Brian 14/12/2014 / 4:13 am

    I have been diagnosed with encopresis since i was 3 or 4 years old. I got teased and bullied because of it growing up. I’m in high school right now, and I still have it, and I have about 7 clogs in my colon. Many people don’t even know what it is, nor do they care. Anyway, It’s really hard to do a lot of things, such as sports, dress out in gym, and have sex. I can’t really go to anyone’s house right after school because i have to clean up, my bathroom is constantly a mess. My parents are actually really okay with it as long as I clean my underpants and whatnot. I have done around 25 flushes (extreme intake of miralax), and I have taken miralax at a normal rate for 3 summers, but nothing helped. I even had an enema where I found out that I had around 7 clogs in my colon. What i wanted to ask is how do you control it in situations where it could ruin you if you don’t, such as sex and dressing out in gym.

    • naturegirl015 01/01/2015 / 7:41 pm

      Hey Brian,

      Happy New Year 2015!! How are you going? Thank you for sharing your story with me, even if it’s embarrassing. Hopefully with more Encopresis battlers & survivors (including their families) open up about this condition, together we can create awareness and openness with society and in ourselves. I had Encopresis until I was 15 years old, and didn’t know then what I know now. It’s to control a condition when you can’t even physically feel & smell it until it’s too late, and some of my tips have been mentioned throughout this blog. Having a discreet bag of extra underwear (and a place to hold the soiled underwear), cologne/perfume and a spare change of clothes are recommended. One of the hardest is dealing with the self conscious-ness of the condition and trying to reduce the amount of negative attention it attracts. I hope this helps, and thank you for reaching out. Take care,

      Dimity

  3. tere 08/05/2014 / 1:36 am

    Hi,

    My 8 year old son suffers (and I mean suffers) with this condition. He has been yelled, punished and ridiculed by me the person who’s job is to protect him from all this because I was not aware of his condition and I didn’t even know that it existed. I believe that it is important to make other people aware of this condition because kids with encopresis get blamed because of the lack of education on this condition. My son does not have a normal childhood because he has accidents every day and it usually happens at school. He does not know what having a real friend is because he is an outcast other students bully him at school and this is the hardest part of this condition I don’t mind the cleaning up its the bulling and not having a normal life that worries me. I want my son to have friends and to be accepted by who he is.. Your blog has giving me hope knowing that my son is not alone and that you have recovered from this condition. Thank you!!!

    • naturegirl015 11/05/2014 / 5:40 pm

      Hey Tere,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m the same as your son. I too was bullied, constantly, and had no real friends. The few friends I did have stole from me and turned me away. Your son is NOT alone anymore. He has me (you do too). I’m happy that my blog is helping you and your family. Keep reading the blog, don’t forget to subscribe and LIKE the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/helpencopresissurvivorseeellen?ref=hl

      I’m always available to write to your son if he wants someone to talk to, and you can e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

      Dimity

  4. Elizabeth 16/08/2013 / 4:12 am

    my son is 12 years old and he still soiling his underwear,i don’t know what to do?

    • naturegirl015 17/08/2013 / 7:48 pm

      Hi Elizabeth. Thank you for posting. Your son isn’t alone with Encopresis. Can you tell me what you have tried?

  5. litlladielv 14/11/2012 / 4:28 pm

    First I’d like to commend all of you for your courage to post about your battle with encopresis. I personally do not suffer from such issues. However my son which is now 10 years old has been living with daily encopresis. The symptoms suddenly began at age 6 with no known justification? We have tried every medication including several invasive procedures and long hospital stays. Multiple tests to rule out medical conditions all with absolutely no real explaination. It has been very hard to parent a child with this. Calls from the nurse to bring him home and shower him andreturn him to complete the remaining school day have caused me to be unemployable. I have searched for years to get therapy but no one seems to have experience working with kids having these issues. I know he can’t be the only kid in our state suffering from encopresis. Thank you for your insight and suggestions for possible ways to help my son get through this tough time

    • naturegirl015 16/11/2012 / 11:55 am

      Hi Litlladielv,

      Thank you for reading my blog and take the time to post. I understand how frustrating it is for you (and your family), as I’m helping other parents in a facebook group about enco. I honestly don’t know how I got encopresis medically (and I never had any trauma to trigger it), part of the mystery of enco. My heart goes out to you and your family, especially your son hearing the treatments you have tried. Fortuantely I’ve never had to go to hospital for a “clean out” but suppositories have affected me now. With the internet available now days, there are a lot more information, support groups and advice out there for parents than what there was when I was living with encopresis. I have found books written on encopresis written by doctors and nurses, but I haven’t found a single one written personally from an encopresis survivor. That’s why I started this blog and why I’m writing my book. I’m sorry you have become unemployed in the process, my heart really goes out to you. Not many people understand how to deal with the condition at school, some dotcors and society/bullies. If more of us speak up, hopefully more parents can learn what we have learnt. Your son does need to know that he’s not alone, I’m living proof, and he will survive. Feel free to ask me questions or your thoughts. Thank you for openinng up to me too. It’s not the end of the world, you will survive, your family will survive, you will be ok. Take care. xx

  6. Dave 27/06/2012 / 1:22 pm

    Thank you so much for what you’re doing here.

    I am in awe of your strength and courage at posting about a topic that is so taboo. I also suffered from encopresis growing up. As a result, I felt a lot of shame and self-loathing that continued through adulthood, despite recovering from enco in high school. I never had any idea that others experienced this, until actually quite recently when reading the DSM-IV for grad school.

    Normalization and consistent support would have limited the duration of enco, and scope of psychological anguish for me. Instead I was threatened, avoided, punished, and generally ostracized. I felt a part of that weight lift just by finding out that I’m not alone in having these remnant feelings of being burdensome, unlikable, different, dirty, and wrong. No child should have to grow up like that, especially due to a cause so straight forward!

    It’s interesting how all the pieces come together, but I’m thinking adults who previously experienced encopresis are going to share a lot of similar personality traits, depending on how their enco presented and how long it lasted. In my case, I’m guessing I was a constipated baby since my parents described me as an extremely needy and fussy baby. So I learned early on that no one could help me with my pain. This (along with an unstable parental unit, and maternal depression) resulted in an avoidant attachment style that could probably be diagnosed as Avoidant Personality Disorder on any given day (in fact, research supports the connection between fussy babies and APD, but I digress).

    Further compounding this pattern of avoidance, encopresis was all about hiding, lying, covering up, self-shaming, etc. My parents avoided talking about it; I avoided ever admitting it was happening. This pattern of lying, never revealing my true self, fear of exposure, and avoidance continued through adulthood. Periods of substance abuse, and other types of disassociation like excess gaming, represented a continuation of my fundamental reaction of avoiding problems, pain, and even my own feelings.

    To suffer in shameful (and probably smelly) silence was our burden. Even after you’ve resolved the enco, the behaviors and thoughts associated with it will remain until you seek help. Suffer in silence no more. It wasn’t your fault, and your past need not define your future.

    <3

    • naturegirl015 27/06/2012 / 3:28 pm

      Hi Dave,

      I want to thank you for opening up to me about your past experiences with enco (how did you come across my blog?? I’m on Twitter too @naturegirl015, and on Facebook, and Youtube http://www.youtube.com/naturegirl015). So many of us with enco feel so alone because no one speaks up. However once you start, it feels like a weight has been lifted, a secret burden being released. How old are you? Do you want to e-mail me and we can talk more? Where are you from? It’s great to meet up (or at least hear) of another fellow survivor. Thank you for sharing your story and experiences.

      What you have felt or treated, I’m the same…and sadly there’ll be others too. That’s why we have to open up and share it and support eachother. I’m in the process of writing a book about it, so was wondering if I can use some of your comments in it? (I don’t have to mention your name, but things you have said or experienced). I want to thank you for your last sentence saying how it wasn’t my fault, it really touched me and that’s why I started creating this blog, so other parents can find that out too and for those like us to know that we’re ok just the way we are (apart from enco).

      Thank you and keep in touch.

      • Dave 28/06/2012 / 8:23 am

        I’m with you, and I think what you’re doing is long overdue. The movement to normalize enuresis is gaining momentum and I think people should have more resources to deal with something so psychologically and socially damaging. A big part of the problem is having no good term for adults who lived through enco as children. I haven’t been able to find research on that topic at all (though there is a great deal of high quality enco research).

        So consider me an ally; I’ll do whatever I can to help. And I would love to share my story if it can help other people understand how these patterns are so powerfully reinforced, despite being ostensibly easy to solve!

        I’m really looking forward to talking more — I’ve never spoken to ANYONE who went through this. Shoot me a line at z.ouroboros.z@gmail.com

        • naturegirl015 28/06/2012 / 1:11 pm

          Hi Dave,

          Welcome onboard and thank you so much for replying. I know this is long overdue, and it’s reassuring to find out great minds think alike. You are spot on about enco being psycholigically and socially damaging (but it’s also physically too). Just because times have changed doesn’t necessarily mean that the treatments have gotten any better. I agree that there are a lot of info out there now and some connections between enco and diet, etc..and although some “research” suggest some negative psychological effects as a result (eg. depression, lack of self esteem, lack of self confidence, lack of social confidence)…it doesn’t meantion if the actual treatment, punishment or how society treats us is the actual cause of those negative things. You and I both know the answer to that one. I too don’t know what a term is for us except “enco survivor” (which I’m sure you would refer to yourself as too). If we can band together and maybe find other survivors, we can put awareness out there, write a book (or several), try and get onto the Dr Oz Show (think of his millions of viewers around the world) that can benefit from what we know. Although we might not have a “miracle answer”, surely we would have some of an idea of what the child is going through, what he/she wishes the family would know but can’t say and some perspective on this condition. I haven’t found any books written specifially on enco by itself and written from someone who’s personally experienced it. It’d be great to have it also with parents who’s children have it and get their perspective. I don’t know what to do, and it hurts painfully inside hearing what the kids are going through and no one who truely understands. I have to be there, I have to help.

          You can e-mail me too (telferd2000@yahoo.com.au) as it’d be great to share experiences/thoughts on this topic (and other things)…I too know the feeling of finally finding SOMEONE who has had it too and willing to admit and talk about it. xx

          P.S. I just sent you an e-mail.

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