At home, I would poop shirtless, for fear that poop water would splash up on the back of my shirt, leaving my brown stained and "unclean". Everyone knows poop water isnt necessarily clean, and we also know it can leave evidence of a splash session, so i guess somewhere between those points, I decided it was easier to take my shirt off. Eventually this led to pants-lessness, simply because it felt more comfortable, since I already had my shirt off. I think I was always a physically sensitive kid and I don't Think I ever really enjoyed pants, or underwear, and this physical discomfort, combined with splash fears, resulted in the nude pooping. THe nude pooping, has and always will be, how I poop. Sometimes I can poop with my pants around my ankles but its never quite right.
Now theres more to this cluster-fudge of defecation woes. I also suspect I have some form of IBS. I am a slower, infrequent pooper, who tends to be somewhat of an "over achiever"... when i do drop the kids off at the pool. I poop, alot, with a deal of effort(more so just, long straining sessions, as opposed to those quick missions that seem people seem to accomplish so effortlessly). I've never had pain, but, pooping has never been a "smooth" task. I am an avid toilet reader, and some of my best reading and studying has occurred on the porcelain throne. I like to sit, take my time, naked, and relax on the can. Call me an odd ball, but its my style, and its how I work the best.
Now this "unique" methodology, I think is what created my public bathroom stigmatization.... and when I realized, i couldnt sit naked, for 30 minutes at a time, reading magazines, comfortably, in the school bathrooms, everything went down hill. Occasionally I'd get the cramps but over all, i just trained myself to enjoy the afternoon poop. Sometimes rushing home, and running straight to the bathroom. Eventually my body normalized, and I can safely say going at the same time every day helped alot. It seems like that, though, when in new environments, under stress.... I would get the urge to go, and as a result, even more panicked and fearful than normally.
The three worst experiences with with-holding bowels, were horrible cramps I got at school a few times, in 5th grade when I moved to a new city, in a new state, and attended a new school.
The second, was when I went to a summer camp for 4 weeks in michigan post-freshman year in high school. We were staying in college dorms, and I could not for the life of me use the bathroom. I think i lasted four days, of cramping PAIN, and for fear I would have to fly back home to use the bathroom, or go to the hospital, I mustered up the courage to explore. I found a whole UNUSED dorm bathroom,(a girls bathroom as we were on an all boys floor, it was unused). This bathroom became my haven, and I discovered i was not the only shy pooper. From time to time another person or three or four would come in, see if anyone was in there, and either use the bathroom, or leave and come back later when it was empty, each being respectful of each others privacy and anonymity. I found that playing with my cell phone or reading a magazine helped alot to get my mind off of my own anxieties. I also realized that I could time my poops during hte lunch hour, so the second everyone would rush to the bathroom, I'd dip into the ladies room, and get to work. I also realized there would kids who had the same fear of showering around other people, and enjoyed the personal nature of a private bathroom. It made me feel more comfortable with my own problems.
The third time I had problems, was working this one job where, the bathrooms were located literally RIGHT next to where the entire staff of (3), very personal, would remain throughout the WHOLE day. It was really bad and after a few cramped out days, I timed my bathroom goings properly. Alot of it is feeling comfortable, giving yourself time, and mustering the courage to try new things.
I definitely cant go when people are near by, I think they are nearby, they are in the house, or they KNOW I am going. The fact is, alot of it IS psychological, and being more confident and less anxious and achieving what you need to OUTSIDE of the bathroom plays a huge role in giving you the confidence you need to take care of the "business". As I got older I began to develop problems with shy bladder as well, getting stage fright at times, and at other times unable to pee even if people knew I went to the bathroom. The paranoia sets in "do they know im taking a long time? I bet she KNOWS im in here for too long, hes perceptive and I bet he notices it" resulting in a complete lock-up. I had to run out of college parties, and piss in the woods, because that was the only place I felt safe... and when I went to a campout music festival, I ended up being so fed up with trying to muster the courage to get into a portapotty, and try to go in one of those foul smelling and DISGUSTING boxes, i ended up running full speed into the woods, as far as I could go, and squatting, and successfully droppin' a deuce. It was a marvelous and relieving experience and I came to the conclusion that pooping in privacy, is a natural tendency, because we tend to be vulnerable while defecating. Un able to run or escape from danger, and as homo sapiens evolved, with was one of our attributes... some of us more instinctively aware than the others.
As with achieving alot in my life, and feeling better about myself, it has definitely helped my problems, and technique is EVERYTHING. Avoid the "uncle teds" lounging around in the bathroom, scout out private bathrooms, find the local starbucks with their locking 1 person bathrooms, and try out new bathrooms, try to make yourself comfortable. Just know, some where, near by, is a safe place to poop, you've just got to find it.
And regarding people you live with? you just get used to it. I had a roommate for a while and I thought it was going to be a problem, and on the third day, I didnt even think about it, just went in and pooped. After wards I couldnt believe that i didnt even realize someone I didnt know very well was one room away. You will desensitize yourself, and if you are a sound-a-phobic pooper, like me, running a shower, is the best way to mask your poop session. Just tell them you are taking a shower, run the shower, poop, and jump in to wet your hair. It works at home quite effectively. Not to eco-friendly, but its better than sacrificing your gastro-intestinal system, and health. Also eat a good diet, with healthy food, bananas are amazing with pectin to aid in a smooth poop, and get lots of sleep and drink ALOT of water. Stay confident, be vigilant and search out your locations, dont be deterred by others, dont let them take ahold of your "turf"... be territorial!