It is quite normal for children to wet the bed until six or seven years old. I wet the bed until I was twelve. I was beginning to think I would still be wetting the bed in high school. Luckily I stopped just before then. How did I stop? I have no idea. I just did. There was no miracle cure or treatment. It just happened.
No matter how hard you try to not wet the bed you just cannot help it. I tried with the power of thought. I went to bed with an empty bladder but somehow in the middle of the night I would wet the bed. I would wake up disappointed and a feeling of shame.
My parents were saints. They never got angry but I’m sure they were worried. The amount of extra sheet washing that happened must have been horrendous. I had hospital tests to see if there was a physical problem. There wasn’t. We had a night light down the hall to encourage me to get up and go to the toilet in the middle of the night. That didn’t help either.
It didn’t bother me that I slept in wet sheets. What I mean is that I would sleep until morning in a wet bed. In the morning I would realise that I had wet the bed. I wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night while wetting the bed. It happened so often it didn’t phase me.
Hear bed wetting and some people jump to conclusions and associate it with physical or sexual abuse. Usually it is just developmental delay. I was a slow learner.
I slept with a plastic sheet between my sheet and the mattress. The sound was terrible with any movement. I put up with it because I knew of the effort my parents went to protect the mattress. It was already ruined though. I suppose they didn’t want me sleeping in my own urine soaked mattress. My thick plastic sheet even went on trips to stay with my grandparents with parents in tow.
School camps or overnight trips I had to avoid so I didn’t have the chance of other children knowing that I wet the bed. I sidestepped the chance of humiliation and embarrassment. The camp I did get to go on my mother came too as a helper. I didn’t wet the bed that camp. I was just lucky. Instead I gave myself a split lip jumping on a trampoline and received a tetanus shot.
Sleepovers at other people’s house were a no-no. Again I didn’t want to ruin other people’s mattresses nor did I want to embarrass myself. It was a shameful secret. The time I was allowed to go I went with my plastic sheet. This must have been when I was eleven or so and I wasn’t wetting the bed every night. We thought we would chance it. My friend’s mother wasn’t told beforehand. I put the plastic sheet on the bed when my friend went to sleep. It made a lot of noise and woke her mother. She wondered what the crackling noise was. I plead ignorance. The next morning I had wet the bed and I called home very early and woke my parents and they came and got me. They talked with my friend’s mother. I was embarrassed because I had wet the bed and because we hadn’t warned my friend’s mother of my problem. She never told the other kids at school. I am grateful for that.
Going to bed at night wasn’t easy for me as a child. All I wished for was a dry bed the next morning. I spent so much anxiety and worry over bed wetting, something that I really had no control over. If there was someone or someone’s child in the same unfortunate boat as me I would say, it will pass. There is no point in getting angry, worried or embarrassed. I would however try and find a rubber sheet instead of a plastic sheet. That might have reduced the bed wetting or at least given me a better night’s sleep. I am just pleased that bed wetting is being talked about and shared. In my day it was just a shameful, lonely, dirty secret. Today I feel free of the stigma.
It is a common problem with some children with Asperger’s. Just search bed wetting and Asperger’s and there are millions of results.