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Father Sleeping with Daughter
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Father Sleeping with Daughter

Ok, whew here I go. Recently, (for the first time in 20 years) I told my boyfriend about an incident with my father from when I was 11. He touched me inappropriately under the elastic band of my underwear against my hip..running his forefinger underneath back and forth for a few minutes. I told my mother (they were divorced) over a week later and she took me to a therapist and my father went too. I don't honestly remember much about the sessions and I've put a lot of this from my mind...deep down. I still have a relationship with my father and no further incidents occured. In talking about this with my boyfriend (like I said up until this point only my mother and father knew about this incident, not even my ex-husband) I mentioned that after they divorced when I was 8 I slept in the same bed with him on my weekends at his house, up until he remarried when I was 11. My boyfriend was seriously appalled at how inappropriate this was, I honestly did not see it as inappropriate at the time, I was just a kid afraid of the dark. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Is it inappropriate for a father to sleep with his daughter past a certain age. The inappropriate touching happened after I stopped sleeping with him. I told my boyfriend that there was no inappropriate touching while I slept with my father, to which he replied, "none that you are letting yourself remember".  My boyfriend also points out that my father is not my biological parent, but instead adopted me after he and my mother were married. I'm honestly very confused and would really benefit from the opinion and advice of others.
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13167_tn?1327197724
I'm not a believer at all in recovered memories - so I think you should trust your ability to remember that nothing sexual was going on in the bed.  You have a very very clear memory of the underwear incident - so you're not one of those people who can't remember their childhoods.

What your dad did is odd.  The underwear thing is REALLY odd,  but the sleeping together is also odd.  But I don't think there was more physical contact than you remember.

Have your boyfriend do some research into recovered memories and he may change his mind.  For awhile (I think in the 80's) they were believed to be reliable - even in court - and have since been shown to have needlessly wrecked a lot of innocent lives.

I really think you should put this in the category of "that's kind of creepy" and try to guage how upset your boyfriend is about this - will he be able to get over the images in his mind?
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332074_tn?1229564125
I think you should trust your instincts. You said it happened once and that you worked through it, then that should be all there is to it. I think we all will agree that a daughter sleeping with her child at 8 yrs old is indeed inapproperate now days, but that was not the case back then. It is our generation that has moved us where we are today, knowing that somethings should just not be done. This includes children sleeping with the opposite sex parent at any age.

I must also say, that I am sure there are people that do block out their sexual abuse, but you seemed to have dealt with it when it happened, and your boyfriend needs to accept that. I know when you love someone, you hate to think of anyone touching the inapropriate at any age. Reality is they want to make it better for you and they just can't. What was done was done, and you have dealt with it and moved on, and he needs to do the same.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Sorry to say this but If it wasnt for my memories from a way back then I would have not put several cult members in jail. I was to young to process what had happened to me. But as I got older I could remember. And the ones that abused me at 3. Then my father for 17 years. They all admitted it but one. And the others had witnessed his abuse to me. But yet everyone is in title of their own oppenions. Thanks, and have a safe day.

Skiilady.
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Avatar_f_tn
I remember only one incident of my father molesting me. But I realized later that the sme thing had happened many times, in the same room. I remember my brother groping me. I do not remember any other incidents with my brother. I remember my brothers and sister trying to smother me, and they have admitted sicking dogs on me.I remember my parents beating my brother amd me for no reason. I now think they did this as a scheme so that I would not talk bout these matters. I know that I do not remember everythin, but I remember more than enough, so that I have nightmares still and flashbacks of the pain.

I have also had "body memories." Memories of incidents that I cannot see but feel, and even smell the rooms. I believe these, I just don't have the incidents to match them with.
I probably never will.

I think you are saying the same things--not that you "reconstructed memories." There was one thing that was "reconstructed," but I will never know, I feel, if it was true. I had told my daughter--the words came out before I realized what I had said. It may not be true, and I later told my daughter that. I told her that I believed it when I said it, but that I have no concrete memories. Some feekings, though.

I was in group therapy with a woman who says that she had about 10 or more babies from abuse from her uncle, when she was very young.It seems like too much tfto believe. She lived in a city, not isolated in the country.  I have not read literature about recovered memories lately.I don't really know what I believe about recovered memories, but I believe that we should not dismiss it. I think that people can re-experiece incidents that they had repressed.

I do remember about the McMartin day nursery case in California, maybe 25 years ago.. I family was ruined financially and suffered great hardship because some children lied and said they were abused. It was not true. Psychologists now can evaluate better when such reports are false.


I remember the dogs attacking me. When I was in therapy for this, I did not recover any
new memories, but had repeated dreams, eve today, about some other really bad things.

Skiilady, no one can take our real memories away, and you proved it. I do not think that anyone said all memories are false. They said that sometimes people believe some things, but the incidents never happened.
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Avatar_f_tn
I also just recall that used to take me on out-of town car trips that he made for his business. I have always remebered that he took me; I have not recally abuse in this setting. I have always know that the trips happened. I have never mentioned them to a therapist.
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Avatar_f_tn
I remeber other incidents when my father abused me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Maybe my father stanted abusing me later, after the trips.

Maybe this was the only incident for you..

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Avatar_f_tn
If it has not bothered you before, why not just leave it alone,and let it stay in the past where it was   luck   jo
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Avatar_m_tn
Tekos advice is the best - "Something, happened once, you are not even sure what it was. You still have a relationship with dad? Tell your boyfriend to get a grip! He was not in the pic then and has no right to make a big deal now. It will only stir up ghosts from the past that can wreck yours and everyone elses future. Make him understand that your telling him these things is only a way of trusting him with your innermost private things.  That means to listen, support, understand and then keep the mouth shut! You have moved on with no lasting harm, he should let it go too."

As another person has said, what was appropriate years ago is not considered appropriate today just due to all of the reports of sexual abuse the media makes us aware of.  In some cultures, the family ALL sleeps together in a large communal place.  In some cultures, the women never cover their breasts.  These other cultures still produce healthy adults.  I wouldn't be ashamed or worried about the sleeping with your father - even if he wasn't your biological father.  You saw it as nothing more than being afraid of the dark and you don't believe that anything inappropriate went on.  

Your boyfriend needs to take you at your word and console you rather than argue with you over it.  He needs to be a bit more supportive here!
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Avatar_f_tn
What you posted here is not carefully worded enough, This forum supports health and healing. Let us all write with that in mind.

Exactly what is now inappropriate because of the media?

How do know the women who do knot clothe their upper body are healthy? Give me a citation. If an American, or someone from say, Japan, did this, she is unlikely to be healthy, and people around her are not guaranteed healthy feeling, either.

Do the families who sleep together in the same place, also sleep in one bed? I doubt it. Not all cultural practices produce healthy people. Just because its done doesn"t mean it is good or right,

Please don't take the difference between abuse and health so lightly. Abuse children can't do that ever, in terms of what they feel, antway. Pretend that you are protecting a child when you choose words/describe culture practices.

I do not mean to criticize you; I just would have preferred to have live my life without the childhood abuse. Let's think carefully about what is carefully, and not take it lightly.

The poster said that her father was inappropriate and that she went to therapy. So did her father.
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Avatar_f_tn
She IS sure what happened once. She describes it. What she does not remember are the therapy sessions.
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Avatar_m_tn
What I was referring to is that the media only exposes us to the things that are wrong in our society.  And if they are not finding enough that occurs in reality, they will even make  things up.  My psychologist himself states that television is a big business and exists to make money.  They know they can hook an audience (and thereby generate ad revenue) with violence and crime.  Even our entertainment is full of violence and crime (witness all of the police-type of shows on all channels).  One thing that particularly galls the people around me is how we never hear about any of the good things that are happening in the middle east - just the bad.

As far as topless societies goes - I was referring to certain African societies.  What would not go for normal in western society is perfectly normal for them.  And I can't remember for sure, but I think the communal bed was common in Eskimos - "...sleep together in a communal bed while the baby cried for attention from its cradle hanging from the ceiling..." was once web reference - though I am not at all sure if this still goes on today.

I am not condoning inappropriate touching nor child abuse.  I was nearly abducted and nearly abused myself and I know how terrifying that can be.

My main point (as was Tekos, whose advice I greatly respect) is that there doesn't seem to be any lasting issues here and the boyfriend needs to let it go.  As Teko said - "He was not in the pic then and has no right to make a big deal now. It will only stir up ghosts from the past that can wreck yours and everyone else's future."
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Avatar_m_tn
In commenting further...

The OP (original poster) didn't seem to be getting appropriate support from her boyfriend. I wasn't there and didn't hear the exchange between them - but that is what I felt upon reading her post.

The OP also posted this -

"My boyfriend was seriously appalled at how inappropriate this was, I honestly did not see it as inappropriate at the time, I was just a kid afraid of the dark. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Is it inappropriate for a father to sleep with his daughter past a certain age?"

In answer to this, it is hard generalize and give an answer that fits all situations.  A lot depends, I think, on the people involved and what they are used to.  Some families are very open and loving in nature.  (That would describe my family own family with my wife and son as it is now.)  Others are very formal and do not show show any affection at all.  (That would describe my family while I was growing up.)

I would say that it would not be a good idea for a parent to consistently sleep with a child regardless of what sex they are.  (Mom with daughter or Dad with daughter or whatever.)  It isn't conducive to normal childhood growth and their independence.  (I have read that in many books on child-rearing.)

Besides the child-rearing aspect, I also think it probably isn't a good idea for a Dad to sleep with a daughter or a mom to sleep with a son past a certain age.  But I don't think that there can be a hard-and-fast rule about what age it becomes less appropriate.  Just completely, off-the-cuff, generalizing, I would think 5 or 6 would be a good age to stop.  But as for a child having nightmares or sleeping through a stormy night every now and then, I would put the age more at like 13 or 14.

Another person has made another post about a completely different situation - where the father (we don't know if it is a step father or biological father) actually locked the door to be in bed with the daughter.  That sort of behavior IS completely inappropriate - NO question at all.  I am with all of the other people replying to the OP (in that other post) in that the daughter should have been removed from contact from the father immediately and completely.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the clarity. I understand now. You are right about TV. I do not have one anymore.

The only thing I differ with is that the OP's dad DID touch er inappropriately once, and she does remember. It's the therapy she does not remember. Teko says she says she does not remember. She remembers ONE incident clearly. I don't know why everyone is sayings she does not remember.

We need to keep a distance when it is not our situation. The OP is saying her bf over-reacted. We can empathize with her. The way she reports it, the BF is beating a dead whatever. However, we do not know everthing the OP feels about her dad or anything for that matter. Allow her some room.

I can learn from this too.

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Avatar_f_tn
BTW, I think the other message was a hoax.

Memories are not always "reconstructed." Instead, they are repressed. They have always been there, but we push them out of our conscious mind.

I think the BF needs to give her some space, too. Maybe she does not have any repressed memories. All, including the BF, should listen to her, and not try to push for a reinterpretation.
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Avatar_f_tn
She describes exactly what her father did with her underwear.

" He touched me inappropriately under the elastic band of my underwear against my hip..running his forefinger underneath back and forth for a few minutes. I told my mother (they were divorced) over a week later and she took me to a therapist and my father went too."

She does remember this one incident. She then goes on to say that she does not remember much of the therapy sessions.The one incident happened after she no longer slept with him. A father does not have to be in bed with a daughter to abuse her. I don't know for sure how it went with him, whether her sleeping with him led to the abusive incident. It is just not a good idea for a father/daughter to share the same bed regularly. If they mother is absent, I can see it happening once in a while, like when a small child has a bad dream, or need comforting for some reason.

You are not a psychologist/psych. You cannot diagnose her. Just empathize with what she posted and give her space.

Your last few sentences sould reasonable, but you cannot say for sure. I am saying to recognize what she says, and validate her position, but do not diagnose her.

That is what survivors do--when they hear another survivor, it brings up their issues. But they identify their issues as different from the person sharing. They say what is happening with them, it is like a knee-jerk reflex, but they should not impose it on the person speaking. It is a key therapeutic element for healing, in group survivor therapy, for both the sharer and the listener.

Nor should anyone else impose their beliefs/judgements on her. Therapist cannot even do that for certain. When one talks about disturbing experiences, it is like drawing a picture that is always a work in progress. Allow her to be where she is, but do not impose anything on her.

If both parents are present, it is not uncommon for the kids to get in bed with them, even these days. It is different and inappropriate for a father and daughter to be in bed together on a regular basis. In this particular case, if she never feels bad about it, it perhaps did not hurt her. We don't know. She needs support, not for us to paint the picure for her. Let her paint her own oicture. It is her life.
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Avatar_f_tn
We are not supposed to give opinions. We are supposed to give support. That is my point, Opinions are OK if someone asks which dress to buy, but not with abuse. Opinions center of the responder. Support centers on the OP.

We can also refer people to seek professional help. This is not like an advice question and answer. Abuse is a clinical, traumatizing, sometimes life-destroying phenonema..

We can also share personal experiences, as long as we are specific that this is our experience, not the OP, and that we are trying to be supportive. Sometimes the OP raises a issue for a listener, but I have begun to think that maybe responses like that belong in a separate post. Howeverm this would stop the sharing with the OP, so I am not sure,

Since no one has given us rules--maybe I am wrong, we can learn as we go along, Obviously, this forum desperately needs a moderator, to help us with all this.
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13167_tn?1327197724
This woman seems to be long gone,  and not going to appear,  so we're kind of having to talk behind her back and guess what her wishes were in coming here.

In my opinion,  she was looking for guidance with how to deal with her boyfriend's feelings about her past relationship with her father.  Men have such difficulty dealing with rape,  and molestation,  and I believe her intent coming here was how to make him stop giving her difficulty and second-guessing her memories of her relationship with her father.  She remembered one incident of apparent molestation,  he was made very uncomfortable by the whole relationship and believed she was repressing memories or even outright denying information she knew to be true.  And she has an ongoing relationship with her father,  so she was looking for guidance on how to make her boyfriend accept her memories as accurate,  and accept her relationship with her father.

I didn't perceive she was coming here for empathy at having been abused,  but rather,  help in dealing with her boyfriends emotional reaction.

So I think opinions on whether memories are correct,  and giving her resources to give her boyfriend are exactly the "support" she was seeking.  

But I don't know,  because like so many internet posters,  they post and leave.

Best wishes that she found,  among the variety of responses here,  the answers she sought.
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Avatar_f_tn
It is really hard to say what she was looking for. When survivors talk about abuse, it is an individual think. Also, when ANYONE talks about feelings, it is very hard to say exactly what our feelings are, when we are upset.

The important thing is to believe what she says, and give her room to say more, if she has the need. And to offer resources, and understanding. We can respond to what she says her feelings are, without trying to say exactly where she is.

It is also important that she feel welcome to come back. Mabe she will write to the person she found most receptive here. I just don't think we should get into an argument. That might discourage her. Maybe we could do some of the disagreeing in private communication. I don't know.

She is a young person, and I feel she is vulnerable. I know that anyone can feel vulnerable, so I feel especially responsible to anyone who asks for help. to do the best by them.
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Avatar_n_tn
your dad putting his finger in the elastic band of your underwear is NOT appropriate .. not back then and not now. Years later that would still make me feel completely uncomfortable and I would not want him around my children. That is definitely a sign of sexual abuse. And yes people DO block out memories from their childhood. I started having weird dreams when i was 15 about my biological dad beating on my mom .. at this point i had completely blocked out that he even existed .. all i knew was my step dad was my dad.. hes the one who raised me. when i told my mom about these dreams she cried and told me they werent really dreams they were exact memories of things that had happened ... Sleeping in the same bed as your dad is no big deal .. of course thats only if the finger in your underwear hadnt occurred. My 8 year old son likes to crawl in bed with me sometimes in the morning after my husband leaves for work. We will cuddle up and watch tv and sometimes fall asleep for an hour or so before we have to get up for the day.
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