One time in middle school I was at a JROTC Boot camp kind of thing. I had to spend the weekend in a tent eating cold food and getting yelled at for virtually no reason by high schoolers pretending to be soldiers. In between that was some genuine first aid training as well as some training to participate in search and rescue missions, but the vast majority of time was spent doing menial tasks for the sake of “discipline” without and effectual end. The sergeants never took a break from being hard on us, despite us all being 12/13 year olds. I would look back at the with more understanding if this sort of treatment was needed for our jobs, but I joined this club to get free flight lessons as it was Air Force oriented. I had no interest in the military, just aviation. Poor decision on my part, but I was 12. Anyhow, my shy and anxious self was so nervous that I was afraid to ask to use the bathroom for fear of being seen as needy or some sort of unsolicited reprimanding. I sat in my tent until late at night trying to sleep, but I could not. It turned into torture, yet I still wouldn’t dare face the sergeant on duty to let me use the bathroom. I’d like to think it was a mistake of pure innocence, or the fact that I was more stressed than I ever had been in my life and not just literal stupidity, but something came over me and gave me the worst idea I had all of that weekend: maybe I could let just a little out and change pants. I hadn’t wet myself since I was a toddler. I took pride as a child in being potty trained and never having accidents. So I didn’t realize the sheer volume of liquid that was contained within the human bladder. It went everywhere. I couldn’t stop it. The flood had begun and it felt like it lasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Thankfully it was contained to just my underwear and pants mostly, Both of which I sealed away in a plastic bag in hopes there wouldn’t be an odor. I changed and realized what must be done. I finally went to the sergeant and asked if I could go to the bathroom. He said yes and in 15 minutes I was back in my tent able to sleep. I felt like more than an idiot for being so afraid. I’m 21 now and I look back at it humorously. I work with teenagers regularly now and would have had so much to say to those kids then as an adult leader there. But I think beyond setting things straight with them, I realize the need for confidence and self worth to be instilled in every child even more now. And also for anxiety to be addressed better in people that young. I had no idea that my peers didn’t feel the same way I did, mostly because I was a bit sheltered and unsocialized at the time. But my 21 year old self to my 12 year old self would have so much to say, I can’t write it all here. I think I’ve thoroughly embarrassed myself, Even though this is anonymous. I hope this makes some people laugh but also encourages other to reach out to young people who may be dealing with social anxiety/general anxiety or depression and help them in the way I wasn’t quite able to be helped at the time. Most people just seemed confused by me, and either ignored me or made fun of me for being so “shy” and “quiet”.