I think it contributed to my divorce 4 years ago because I never really explained it to my husband, and although he certainly knew I had bathroom issues, I felt so guilty and selfish about always asking him to leave the house, that I was never able to confront and deal with this or really talk to him about it. He was as understanding as anyone could be, but it still did not change the fact that I could not go with him in the house, or in the same hotel room. I became resentful of him because when I couldn't go, I didn't feel good (bloated, full, yucky) and when I didn't feel good, I got mad! Mad because I thought, 'If only I could be alone, I could go and then I would feel better.' The other problem I have is that if I don't have an opportunity to go for a couple of days, then I actually become 'constipated' and can't go, even if I am able to sneak away to a private toilet. So after being on vacation with my husband for a couple of days, it didn't do much good to have him leave for an hour.
To cope with this problem, I guess I've basically cut myself off from most normal things in life. I don't stay overnight with my family. I quit my office job and now work from home. When I have a house guest, I just dread it! I don't like to go out to eat with people and then on to another activity, because I know that if I feel like I need to use the bathroom, I won't be able to go and then I will just be in pain. What else is there? I'm a prisioner in my own bathroom!
I realize that I'm rambling, but I'm so happy that I'm not alone in this, I just want to pour it all out. A lifetime of misery. My real problem now, as if this is not bad enough, is that I have a boyfriend and we're seriously discussing living together. And, since I know that means I'll have the same trouble I did when I was married, I don't want to do it! I can't. The misery of not being able to use the bathroom when I NEED to and WANT to is enough to prevent me from living with someone I dearly love. The thought of it makes me break out in a cold sweat. Fortunately, I have told him about it and explained as much as I possibly could. At first, he didn't understand it at all, but now he sees that I have a real problem and that, unrational as it may be, it's a serious problem. He's very supportive and has a great sense of humor about it, which helps a lot. He makes me laugh when he says, "Your #2 is my #1 (priority)." I've been to doctors, taken Zelnorm, more grams of fiber than any human being should, gone through biofeedback, taken Buspar for anxiety, Wellbutrin for depression and am now on my way to a gastroenterologist. My GP told me I have IBS, and I think I do. I have a lot of those symptoms too. But, I would trade IBS for this nightmare anyday!!!! I don't know what my question is for those of you who might read this. I just feel alone and sentenced to living a restricted, miserable life. I wouldn't dare have kids because of this. What if I couldn't go with them in the house?! By the way, my mother and her father both have this condition, I believe! Thank you, thank you for this site and this opportunity to write. I will do whatever I have to do (short of a colostomy) to get better. I will also let other people who live with this same misery know that it is real, it is not just a matter of 'willpower' or 'relaxing' and that they are not alone.