Childhood Is this abusive

Friday

Moderator
Is it inappropriate to go to the toilet in front of your child (a man and female child) whilst that child is in the bath?
Totally normal in our family.

Both for whichever parent is watching the kids in the bath to use the toilet; as well as for there to be one person in the shower/bath, one on the toilet, one brushing their teeth, one using the mirror for hair/makeup/dance moves/etc. The bathroom was always Grand Central Station …both when I was a kid, and after I grew up & had kids. No abuse, nor sexual abuse, in either.

Pretty much every non-abusive household I know? Splits into 2 camps:

- Those whose bathroom is Grand Central Station, with everyone in there, at once. (Why do we even HAVE a door???)
- Those whose bathroom is constantly getting the door pounded on and people screaming at the person inside to hurry up, and people racing/fighting over who gets to use it. (Oy! You! If you don’t stop pounding on that door I will take it OFF it’s hinges! And you! Take you private time somewhere other people don’t need to be! I swear, it’s like you lot were raised by wolves. Consideration for others, people! Use it!)

Ditto to the whole casual nudity question; lots of non-abusive families practice casual nudity at home, and lots don’t.

Neither, all by itself, is indicative of abuse.
 

oakleaves

Confident
Yes so it's interesting that I got two different answers to this question which maybe shows how different views are on it.
I guess I am the only person who can understand the motivation in my own family's situation. I also think the age I was means that I worry I didn't really understand what was happening and my dad was disinhibited but did things that invaded my boundaries (the lying on top of me when I was in bed at night sort of clawing at me because he was drunk, the kissing, the exposing himself to me) but was that sexually motivated well I don't know I was 7 or 8. I think the reason it is on my mind so much is because i worry my mind gets things confused between my dad and this other person who I have clear memories of abuse from and I go back and forth from knowing my reality and doubting myself which is something I do in lots of different situations not just this. I have a big thing about being accurate and it bothers me when I feel confused.
 

Lostvoice

Learning
@oakleaves All of the things that happened to you or around you in your past will have affected you in a way that is completely personal and individual to you. If something/anything that you still have memory of now is stopping you from living life as you would like to now then you deserve to get help and support for it, it doesn’t matter if someone else would or wouldn’t call it trauma or abuse. What matters is how you felt/feel.
“Trauma is not the story of something that happened back then, it’s the current imprint of that pain, horror and fear living inside people” - Bessel Van Der Kolk
 

Friday

Moderator
I have a big thing about being accurate and it bothers me when I feel confused.
A person can turn breakfast into abuse.

That doesn’t make breakfast -in and of itself- abusive.
Nor every house where parents eat breakfast with their kids abusive households (because, clearly, breakfast is abusive).

It’s part of the tangle that comes from DV, child abuse, child sexual abuse. Separating out what’s abusive, versus what’s normal.

Is eating breakfast with your kids abusive? Nope.
Can you abuse your kids by eating breakfast with them? Absolutely.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
it’s how you are holding it that is important. Some things you describe seem like abuse other things, like going to the toilet may not be. But also may be. At best, you have felt a lack of boundaries from him.


I don’t know if this helps:
I had similar with my mum. Always naked then and now. She seems to enjoy it, the shock it causes walking around the house and everyone telling her to put clothes on. Always barging in when I am changing. Then and now (I am in my 40s). Always commenting on my body. Then and now. No privacy. She owned me. That’s what it felt like. So whilst not sexual abuse in the sense of contact and I am still undecided about her motives for it all. Sexual or not. She likes to pretend with my older sister that they are a lesbian couple, and they hold hands in the street and want people to see them as a couple. And they sleep in the same bed now and then. So for me there feels a sexual element to it. Other people see this as normal. I very very much don’t.
what helped me a lot, with getting some sort of resolution to the “why is this bothering me, what is this” question, was someone saying this was like covert/emotional incest. I looked up the term and some of it resonated. Another way that helped me was realising my mum is a narcissist. I am simply her object to do with as she pleases. Whether there are sexual undertones to that or not.
 

oakleaves

Confident
it’s how you are holding it that is important. Some things you describe seem like abuse other things, like going to the toilet may not be. But also may be. At best, you have felt a lack of boundaries from him.


I don’t know if this helps:
I had similar with my mum. Always naked then and now. She seems to enjoy it, the shock it causes walking around the house and everyone telling her to put clothes on. Always barging in when I am changing. Then and now (I am in my 40s). Always commenting on my body. Then and now. No privacy. She owned me. That’s what it felt like. So whilst not sexual abuse in the sense of contact and I am still undecided about her motives for it all. Sexual or not. She likes to pretend with my older sister that they are a lesbian couple, and they hold hands in the street and want people to see them as a couple. And they sleep in the same bed now and then. So for me there feels a sexual element to it. Other people see this as normal. I very very much don’t.
what helped me a lot, with getting some sort of resolution to the “why is this bothering me, what is this” question, was someone saying this was like covert/emotional incest. I looked up the term and some of it resonated. Another way that helped me was realising my mum is a narcissist. I am simply her object to do with as she pleases. Whether there are sexual undertones to that or not.
Thank you for sharing this, it makes a lot of sense. I also agree with you that the behaviour you describe from your mum sounds like there is a motive there that is unusual and for her own gratification and that sort of narcissistic element of things.

I know no privacy in some families is normal but if the children feel like they need privacy especially after a certain age it should be given.
I feel like back of boundaries can be quite damaging but I do understand some families have different boundaries and that is fine too.
Thanks for responding.

A person can turn breakfast into abuse.

That doesn’t make breakfast -in and of itself- abusive.
Nor every house where parents eat breakfast with their kids abusive households (because, clearly, breakfast is abusive).

It’s part of the tangle that comes from DV, child abuse, child sexual abuse. Separating out what’s abusive, versus what’s normal.

Is eating breakfast with your kids abusive? Nope.
Can you abuse your kids by eating breakfast with them? Absolutely.
Yes this also makes sense. And reminds me of other things (so much stuff is just there for me at the moment and I don't know it is probably jst emdr reminding me of things. I suppose it is the motivation and the way it is done that matters.
 

caroline_13

Confident
Yes so it's interesting that I got two different answers to this question which maybe shows how different views are on it.
I guess I am the only person who can understand the motivation in my own family's situation. I also think the age I was means that I worry I didn't really understand what was happening and my dad was disinhibited but did things that invaded my boundaries (the lying on top of me when I was in bed at night sort of clawing at me because he was drunk, the kissing, the exposing himself to me) but was that sexually motivated well I don't know I was 7 or 8. I think the reason it is on my mind so much is because i worry my mind gets things confused between my dad and this other person who I have clear memories of abuse from and I go back and forth from knowing my reality and doubting myself which is something I do in lots of different situations not just this. I have a big thing about being accurate and it bothers me when I feel confused.
I think some of the things you named are inappropriate.

Some others may not be (e.g., watching kids in the bath) depending on if there is otherwise no abuse. Context is important.
 

oakleaves

Confident
I think some of the things you named are inappropriate.

Some others may not be (e.g., watching kids in the bath) depending on if there is otherwise no abuse. Context is important.
Like the lying on top kissing and sort of writhing about don't think that's normal.

And the watching in the bath felt like I was being watched when I was uncomfortable with that like I was old enough to be aware and not like it.

I used to have a lot of dreams about snakes in bed with me which sounds silly and Freudian but I don't think it is. I was young when I had those dreams and I would wake up terrified and maybe it is nothing.

My therapist said today that a lot of my childhood doesn't make sense and was mixed up and that scared me too like what does that mean and it makes me think they don't believe me.
 

caroline_13

Confident
Like the lying on top kissing and sort of writhing about don't think that's normal.

And the watching in the bath felt like I was being watched when I was uncomfortable with that like I was old enough to be aware and not like it.

I used to have a lot of dreams about snakes in bed with me which sounds silly and Freudian but I don't think it is. I was young when I had those dreams and I would wake up terrified and maybe it is nothing.

My therapist said today that a lot of my childhood doesn't make sense and was mixed up and that scared me too like what does that mean and it makes me think they don't believe me.
We believe you.

When crazy things happen, confusion follows. There is no normal, or even "appropriate" way to react to some things.
 

NotWeakNotStupid

Policy Enforcement
It depends on the situation whether it's abuse or not: if your dad was being really aggressive and stopping you from resisting, then I think it could reasonably be classified as some form of abuse depending on the rest of his behaviors toward you. Parents often show some form of aggressive affection towards their kids, whether it's abuse or not depends on other factors.
 
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