Author's note: The following is a true story based on a personal experience.

When I was younger, I was a very nervous kid. I was badly bullied at school and felt somewhat alienated at home; moreover, my therapists never seemed to work out. Therefore, I always had to come up with various methods to calm down my anxiety. I often ate to calm myself, paced anxiously, and did a number of other textbook coping mechanisms. Most of all, I bit or chewed on random objects. My pencils looked as if they were manufactured by woodchucks, I had created a sort of oral origami art using plastic bottle caps, and my fingernails were on the verge of legally being declared deadly weapons. My favorite, however, was clothing. I had destroyed countless shirts, sweaters, and jackets by tearing through their sleeves. I turned crew necks into V-necks and put ripples into blankets and comforters so large that they were becoming a tourist destination for skydivers. I especially enjoyed the flavor and texture of robes.

One day, in seventh grade, I had to use the bathroom. I had off of school that day due to intense cold and was enjoying the surprise day of relaxation. In good spirits, I plopped down on my trusty toilet seat and began the day's work, if you will. I cannot remember anything odd about the process as it was occurring; surprisingly, it was incredibly calming. From what I can recall, I was planning out the rest of my day of freedom as I was clearing my bowels.

Once my tank was empty, I reached for the toilet paper to begin the wiping phase. As I lifted the right side of my body, I felt a slight pain coming from my buttocks. It was a confusing pain, for normally when I eat food that reminds me of its presence, I feel it on the outside. This pain was coming from inside of me. It's as if the bacteria inside my small intestine decided to go on strike, ignored a pepper and left it for the large intestine who did not have time to complete the job. Therefore, the pepper is left stuck, half digested, leaking its burning pepper juices right by the door to the outside world.

Toilet paper in hand, I go to make the first wipe. I can't tell you which came first: the intense pain, realizing something was dangling, or the shock. At first, I thought that I was not finished with my business yet and had a very unusual straggler that needed to be freed (Considering my awful diet at the time, this made sense in my pre-adolescent mind.). I pushed for what seemed like hours as I watched myself grow redder in the mirror with each attempt. I had pushed for so long that, by the time I was going to leave the bathroom, I would be going to college. Or be a tomato. Or have a stroke.

Realizing that I could not push the unidentified object out, I grudgingly grabbed more toilet paper. Prepared for what could possibly be my death, I gingerly took hold of the object and pulled. Tears flowed from my eyes as I leaned forward from the toilet, pants and underwear around my ankles, pulling something out of my rectum. I became paranoid that my family would begin asking what was taking me so long in the bathroom, so I pulled my pants up, washed my hands, and waddled out of the room, object in tow. Wincing with every step, I was either hoping that it would fall out on its own or that I would devise an ingenious plan to remove it.

Unfortunately, after thirty minutes, I could bear the pain no more. I could not sit, stand, or even exist. The pain grew stronger with each passing moment. Embarrassed, I approached my mother and choked out the awful situation I was in. Confused, she directed me towards the bathroom. Being uncomfortable with my body, I didn't want to drop my pants in front of her in any sort of situation, so you can imagine my fear of doing so with something dangling from my anus. The pain forced me to do so, however, and, once my bare behind was in full view, she was dumbfounded at the source of my pain.

A piece of string.

A piece of string was stuck in my ass.

There was about six inches of visible string dangling from my ass.

Apparently, my nervous chewing on clothing had gotten to the point where I would swallow the bits of string I would bite off. As I became more nervous, the chewing would become more intense. Logically, this would mean larger pieces of string. Now, common sense tells us that the string from clothing has no nutrients and therefore cannot be digested by the human digestive system. Smaller pieces of string could pass through my digestive system and exit out without complication; however, as seen by this scenario, larger, balled up pieces had a risk of unraveling and, erm, getting caught.

There was only one solution to this problem. My mother told me to hold on to something and that this would only take a second. Confused, I only had a split second to turn my head ninety degrees to the left. I was planning on asking her what she was going to do, but she already had her plan in mind. She grabbed a firm hold of the string, yanked with all of her might, and pulled about two and a half feet of string out of my body. I screamed with such intensity that my mother could not hear correctly for an entire week (This is not an exaggeration.) and began bawling hysterically. She told me it was out. I somewhat figured that.

To this day, I have a fear of using the bathroom because of the pain I went through that day. I will never forget the intense agony and embarrassment, nor will I ever look at a toilet the same way again. The only reason I am sharing this story with you is because not many people know the dangers and traumas a seemingly harmless piece of string can bring a person. This string was caught inside of my body, people. It was strangling my intestines. Isn't that attempted murder?