I was wet with shame. The smell of urine covered my pajama pants. Tears were streaming down my face. I tipped over to the edge of the bed. I’d have to go clean myself up again. As I started to push myself up, I felt something else. This was new. I felt a firm mass at my seat. Cautiously, my hand moved toward the seat of my pants and horror washed over me. I had not only wet myself but I upgraded to eliminating feces while in the REM stages of my sleep.

I tiptoed out of bed and walked to her doorway. She kept in mostly closed, even when she was alone. I pushed the door with my fingertips and heard the slow creak. I could make out the shape of her body under the covers but could not see much else. I turned on the hallway light. “Hey!”, she sat up startled. “What the hell are you doing standing there with your matted hair? You a horror!” Shaking, I responded that I had an accident again. She retorted “Go clean yourself up!”

Shaking, humiliated, and feeling utterly alone, I walked into the bathroom, switched on the light, and turned on the water in the bathtub. Four more hours until my alarm went off and I’d have to go to school.  After cleaning up, I walked back to my bed wondering if other seven year olds experienced this at night. Both the elimination incident and the unhelpful mother.