We are the only species on the planet who feel the need to hide in tiny, walled-up cubicles, preferably soundproof and well-ventilated, to do our business.
Depending on gender, likes, dislikes or OCD’s we position ourselves on, over or in front of a toilet which is usually a large, ceramic-type bowl for urinating or defecating into, typically plumbed into a sewage system, with a flushing mechanism.
We take care to aim carefully so as not to make a noise. Some even go to the extent of layering toilet paper over the water in the bowl to muffle the sound of the pee-stream or preventing the inevitable poo-splash. Heaven forbid that anybody else may hear what we are doing in there, despite knowing that all people do exactly the same things behind that closed door.
If we dare make a smell, which other people may find offensive, we get all stressed out and frantically start opening windows or spraying some vile-smelling-lavender-toilet-spray into the atmosphere to try to hide the stink, fooling ourselves into believing that nobody will notice.
Like everybody else, I have had all of this branded into the motherboard of my being. I like my privacy in the loo but, I will never get it back. Ever. Again.
For me, not being able to use my arms and legs has become the easiest part of being a quadriplegic. It’s everything else that goes with being paralysed that is difficult to deal with. Ask anybody living with a spinal cord injury what their biggest challenge is. If they were to be honest, I’ll bet that there answer would be dealing with bowel and bladder issues.
My entire life is ruled by my pee and poo routines. My bowel and bladder need to be physically and manually emptied, by my care assistant, at specific times – something I am still not used to and probably will never entirely be able to make peace with.
To this day, so many years later, I still feel embarrassment and a deep humiliation every time I have to go. The sense of shame is overwhelming. I resent my loss of privacy, my loss of independence and my loss of dignity.
Dear God, will these feelings ever go away?
I didn’t ever think that I would miss sitting on a toilet. I do.
Even more than that, I miss being able to wipe my own butt.
There are days I wish I was an elephant or any other animal, for that matter.
I love how they just empty their bladders in a torrential downpour and simply lift their tails to drop their load, leaving behind a steaming-mini-mine-dump while continuing to feed, surrounded by their herd-buddies, without a care about who’s watching or what they’re thinking. If we humans are watching we gasp in mock-shock or make fun of them, giggling our stupid heads off.
Animals truly know how to live out the mantra, “what others think of you is their business”.
Dear God, please may I be an elephant in my next life, if there is one? But, please don’t give me any tusks because I don’t want some selfish human being shooting me for them.