I have been a bed wetter for as long as I can remember.
I remember vividly being beaten by my dad, almost every morning, for wetting my bed…I must have been about four or five years old then. He would beat me so much, even my mummy would be crying for me.
I also remember my mum sneaking into our room at night to wake me up to go and urinate in the toilet so that I would avoid bedwetting…those were perhaps the only days I would say I escaped my dad’s wrath.
He was always angry with me because my two younger siblings weren’t bedwetting.
On other days, my mum would stop me from drinking any liquid as from 6pm so that I would have emptied my bladder before bed because I think, with the benefit of hindsight, that she must have either been too tired to keep waking up every night or may be my father stopped her from getting up to help me urinate.
You know, I was still young then and many times when my mum said, “Don’t drink anymore water again…” I would still drink when I got thirsty before going to bed, I would go out of her presence and sneak a cup or two. I was a child and you know children drink lots of water. So I would always pee on my bed.
Well, it continued into my secondary school…I went to a boarding school and it was a shameful thing for me even in my senior year…
Your juniors would be rude to you because they can fling your bedwetting in your face; your mates will take advantage and call you names at the slightest provocation.
Now, was I bedwetting every night at that time? No. Sometimes I could be dry for two months, three months…then I’ll bedwet again. Of course, as I grew older, I learned to manage my body; I learned not to take any liquid after 6pm, not to go to bed without fully emptying my bladder and all that…still, still…I would find my bed wet on occasions.
I have prayed, I have fasted, I have even gone to see a few pastors about it.
Let me tell you why I had to go see a pastor.
When I got into the university, I had a boyfriend.
Now, I was already 21 years old then. The reason I waited this long for a relationship was of course…my condition. What boyfriend would show me off as a girlfriend when he finds out I occasionally bed wet? That one will be hard, o.
Anyway, so this guy pursued me, he chased me, he showed me in so many ways that he was really in love with me…you know. I had always wanted a relationship, too. Just like my friends but hummn, boyfriend that I will sleep with and he finds out that I bedwet? Ha. So I was scared for a long time.
Anyway, this guy came, “I love you, I will do anything for you, you are my queen, you are the best thing…” I said, ok, o. maybe this is the one but I didn’t tell him anything.
We dated for almost 8 months before I allowed him to do anything with me. You know…
After that, everything was going well for a long time but I never slept at his place, never!
We had even graduated that time when we went to a friend’s wedding in another state. We had to stay in a hotel together…I was just panicking. I stopped drinking any liquid at about 8pm. It was a party, so you know everyone was drinking, I told myself, “Drink, you haven’t had this thing in a long time, maybe it has finally gone!”
Even then, it wasn’t as if I was guzzling everything they served me, I was just sipping my wine, slowly.
I made sure I peed before bed, I even waited a few more hours before sleep came to pee…again.
I wet the bed!
You know, despite everything I did, I still wet the bed. And you know, I was tired, it was my friend’s wedding, being one of the bride’s maids and you know…I was exhausted.
My guy woke me up, “Bee, Bee, oti too si’ori bed.” (Bee, you have wet the bed)
I told him, “Sshhh, please don’t shout… I have this condition that this thing happens once in a while…”
To be honest, he was sympathetic; he helped me clean up, you know. He was very kind and you know, nice about it…I was hopeful that finally, a guy who can live with this. So I just confessed everything to him.
A few months later, he told me in a text message, he didn’t think he could cope with this kind of condition. If I had been with it for so long, that means there was no cure…I was almost 26years by then.
I cried like I had never cried before and I promised myself after that, I will not cry for any man ever again!
Of course, for my own sanity, I had to keep looking for a cure; the fact that it was just an occasional thing told me I could find something, a drug, a therapist, something, a miracle, in fact that will stop it altogether…that’s how I ended up with this pastor.
When you are desperate people will take advantage of you. I wanted a relationship with a man; I wanted marriage, I wanted children…so I agreed to go sleep in church while this pastor prayed for me.
I didn’t know I was going to give pastor free sex!
He told me he would just lie ontop of me like Elijah laid on the dead woman’s son in the old testament and that after seven days, I would be cured…he was to lie on me with both of us naked…
Free sex, that’s what I foolishly gave him. Free sex for three days! Morning and night, o!
You know, at that time, it was something I was so ashamed of; when my friends came to see me at the church, I couldn’t tell them. I couldn’t even tell my mum. Who would I tell? Who?
I kept hoping, “Maybe he is right…, who will know this happened anyway, so long as I got cured?”
It was when some other women came for vigil that I saw pastor having sex with one of them in the name of helping her conceive that I knew this pastor was from hell!
I packed my bags that 4th day and left without even telling any of the women with me at the church.
So here I am, late in the day for me; I still have small episodes…maybe twice or thrice in say a year. It hasn’t completely stopped but it is something I have come to learn isn’t a disease, isn’t something that needs a pastor; with some drugs and me, who now understands that my bladder is overactive as I’ve been told. It just needs managing it with meds. I am not cursed, I am just…unlucky and it’s as simple as that; I’m a bed wetter, what man wants to live with that?
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)