Goodwill woke up with a start like he had a nightmare and when the smell hit his nostrils, he really hoped he was dreaming but he wasn't. He had wet the bed again! Not one dry night in all his 15 years.
He gently got off the bed, tears of shame welled in his eyes as he tried to clean himself up, change the sheets and remove the mattress for drying outside. As he quietly did, he saw the glare his dad gave him over the dining table, the pity in his mum's eyes and his little sister's hand over her nose to stop the smell of ammonia from choking her.
Wetting the bed at 15 years made Goodwill understand that, the urine smell was stronger, you lose the respect of your junior ones, lose your father’s admiration and you are subject to the ridicule of your neighbors, especially when they see your bed drying out in the sun, not one dry night since he was born. As he tried to position the bed outside, it was almost as if the neighbor's children were waiting for him and as they set eyes on him, they started chanting the song of shame, "wee wee wee wee for body, how are you? shame!".
Goodwill had heard the song a million times but somehow it still made him want to curl up and cry, however, he always made sure he didn't shed a tear, not in front of them, he always waited to get back to his room to let go.
He cried because he had tried everything possible, his parents had cut late dinners and water for him, he had alarms that woke him up at intervals over night to urinate, his grand mother who constantly helped keep his father's anger at bay, had done all the traditional steps required, the concoctions, the peeing over burning coal etc. and defended him when his dad got really upset, because his Dad also had a history of bedwetting as a child. Nothing seemed to be working and he could see that even his very patient mother was getting tired.
Goodwill lost all his confidence around friends, family and schoolmates. He isolated himself from everyone especially when the whole family sat in the parlour, he locked himself in the room because he was usually the butt of the family's jokes, when they needed a scapegoat. When he managed to come out of his shell to play with his siblings and friends and they got in trouble, he always took the fall for it, because he never defended himself, they put the blame on him. He felt guilty and embarrassed most of the time.. if only this bed wetting would just stop, so he could be free from this 15 year old burden on him.
But despite his predominantly withdrawn demeanor, Goodwill could get really aggressive and reactive sometimes, especially when he was being scolded; It was as if those times, he let loose the beast within him.
He loved the idea of holidays or sleepovers, but he never had anywith his siblings or friends, he dreaded it because he was in constant fear of being found out and being teased.
His family finally decided to see a doctor when the stench got stronger and permeated the whole house, the act more frequent. Goodwill was examined for bladder/urinary tract anomalies and infections, thankfully none of these were present. Thus, the causation leaned heavily on genetics; his father’s history of bed wetting.
The Doctor talked about how medication could be used as a form of treatment, but he recommended that they continue with the practices already in place and reassured Goodwill and his parents that he would achieve nighttime dryness sooner than later, to their collective relief.
He further drew attention to Goodwill’s mental state, the constant shaming, taunting, teasing and putting down had begun to affect him psychologically. He informed them of the need to be empathetic and support him rather than abuse and embarrass him.
Like always, it's a gradual process, but Goodwill is taking it all like a champ!