Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Privacy invaded by my parents

Hi,I'm Laura and i live with both my toxic parents. One morning I found my bedroom door wide open, although i had closed it the previous night, when I went to sleep. I felt exposed. It's summer and i sleep with very few clothes on. That means my father saw me almost naked while I was asleep and vulnerable. When I confronted them, they said they needed something from my room and that I had to get up anyway.

They called me stupid for not knowing that was their house, I was their daughter, so they are entitled to do whatever they want in their house.

I know that's not rape, but i do feel sexually abused. Am i right for feeling that way or is it all in my head? Please do not judge me for still living with them, as you don't know my situation. It's not like I was offered help and I refused to take that chance and leave.....

I tried to set boundaries all my life but they became extremely violent. Now I keep my mouth shut most of the time, for my own safety. What's with all that "set boundaries" advice coming from victims who know what I'm talking about? Don't they know it's dangerous if followed blindly?

Please help.


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22 thoughts on “Privacy invaded by my parents

  • Admin says:

    This isn’t all in your head. It made you feel uncomfortable for a reason and we believe you. It does seem as though there is more than you have written here. You mention they become violent when you challenge them. That isn’t appropriate parenting behaviour. Violence within the home is abuse.

    Setting boundaries can be about keeping yourself safe. Everything you do to keep yourself safe is the correct option for you at that moment. You are the person best to decide how and when setting boundaries works for you to keep you safe. We support the decisions you make to keep yourself safe.

    Women’s Aid & Refuge run a free 24 hour helpline where you can find support: 0808 2000 247. If you would like the name of local organisations you can reach out to for support, please email us at [email protected] and we will research available options for you. These organisations can help support you to make the decisions that will keep you safe. They will listen and they will support your decisions.

    We believe you.

    • laura says:

      Yes,there IS more than what i have written here.When i’m ready and when the time is right,i’ll write a book about my emotional abuse and about what i’m going through.Setting boundaries triggers violent behaviour in my parents.This is not a solution to keep me safe,on the contrary.Setting boundaries puts me in more danger.I live in europe.In my country, the law does not recognize emotional abuse,so i’m trapped.We do not have organizations,shelters or any kind of support.

  • Kerry says:

    On one hand popping in to your childs room to get something while they are sleeping doesnt sound so bad, however it is clear you are not a small child and that when you approached your parents about this they had absolutely no respect for your feelings. My oldest son is 9 and starting to want his privacy and any normal parent respects that.

    your instincts are there for a reason and yours are telling you things are not right….listen to them.

    Your parents reaction to your concern and the comment you made about previous violence shows you are not safe in your own home. I would agree with comment above for you to reach out to Womens Aid or similar for some practical help, or maybe your GP for some counselling so you are able to find the strenght to change your situation.

    Good luck

    • laura says:

      I’m not a child,nor a teenager.I’m a grown mature woman who’s treated like a child,as a form of domination.I have no access to help,as shown in my reply to admin.I live with my parents and that is NOT my choice.I have no means of escape.Where i come from, counsellors are not trained for this type of abuse.Nor is the police.No visible scars,no abuse.My only moral support is people online,just like you.

      • Kerry says:

        Hi, I just wanted to clarify that I did not mean to imply you were a child or any less deserving of privacy, quite the opposite.

        You sound desperately trapped and unhappy and I have read your follow up comments and see now that leaving is not an easy option.

        If there are no physical organisations that can help you, are there any online communities who can help with practical solutions that are relevant to your country? These may not be relevant or achievable but Im thinking of things that would get you far away from your parents – being an au pair, a live-in job elsewhere where they couldnt find you, even a voluntary role abroad would give you some much needed space from them.

        It must feel over whelming to be living like this and have no one believe you, you clearly feel powerless and I would love for you to be able to get some real help.

        I totally believe you

        • laura says:

          Hi Kerry,
          Sorry for the way i reacted.My heart is filled with rage for not being able to leave.Yes,i do feel powerless because i’m writing those line DURING the abuse.The rage i feel inside is already too much to endure,and sometimes it spills over on well-meaning people like you and like others who only want to help.I apologize,don’t take it personally.I replied to your comment immediately after a violent confrontation with my abusers.I was crying and tipying.You are lucky to live in a country where the law is by your side.If i manage to leave,it must be abroad.In my country,they’d find me and take me back against my will.

          • Kerry says:

            No need to apologise, I truly hope you find a way to get out and find happiness. Take care xx

  • sangiec says:

    Hi Laura, Everyone deserves privacy, and yours was clearly invaded.. and to make matters worse, when you queried it, you were pretty much told that in their home, you don’t get it! I hear that it’s not easy (or downright fearful) to try to set boundaries where you are right now, so all I can suggest is that you do all you can to keep yourself safe in the knowledge that your boundaries and privacy aren’t going to be respected. There are organisations who completely understand where you’re at and why you’re feeling like you do, and some of them (like rape crisis) offer complete anonymity and confidentiality via their helpline.. sometimes it’s just good to talk to someone who knows and empathises with where you’re at right now. Bottom line, I totally believe you and understand why this is troubling you so much..

  • Zak Jane Keir says:

    I believe you. What a rotten situation for you. You dont mention your age (which of course you do not have to do) but if you are under 18 Social Services may be able to help you. Also, as others have suggested, WOmen’s Aid might be able to help as well. Domestic violence and emotional abuse do not just happen in romantic relationships and no one should have to put up with abuse in their own home: perhaps there is help available for you to find somewhere safe to live. Best of luck.

    • laura says:

      If i was able to move,they would come shouting and knocking on my door.There’s nothing i can do with an absent legal system.No restriction order in my part of the world.

  • Lorrie says:

    I believe you, Laura, and I understand the kind of mark living in a dynamic like this can leave on you.

    I had similar boundary issues with my mother and brother during my time at home and now have nothing to do with either of them; it took me a *long* time to realise that actually, there was something wrong and I wasn’t just imagining it or making it up. It’s natural to doubt yourself, but you must try to acknowledge your feelings and listen to others when they say it’s not your fault.

    I can only back the other commenters up when they tell you to reach out: there are amazing organisations out there who will listen to you in confidence, believe you, support you and protect you. Please make contact with someone – anyone you trust, whether it’s a GP, teacher, social services, NSPCC or women’s organisation. You deserve to feel safe, to be safe, and to have your boundaries respected. You’re not alone, and I hope things improve for you as time goes on. x

  • AJ Lee says:

    Abusive men rape. They begin by grooming. They begin by eroding your boundaries.

    • laura says:

      And how do abusive parents begin?I’m not talking about rape here.It’s a totally different situation.Maybe you could read my post again.

  • laura says:

    For people who wrote ‘i believe you’
    It means so much to me.When i go out for a walk,my pain doesn’t show.I had friends who didn’t believe me.They said:’But you seem so happy and elegant all the time.’I have been invalidated by my own friends.Your comforting words somehow alleviate that wound.For me,life goes on even DURING the abuse.I do everything i can for myself.But people expect me to cry and to act like a victim in order to show my abuse.

  • Exsugarbabe says:

    I’m a parent and we can be thoughtless people, but the fact your dad didn’t apologize for the incident is worrying. You also say there’s been violence, I say get out as soon as you can then only see them on your terms, then if they break them treat them like children and lay down the law, sounds like they need a naughty step.

    I learnt about boundaries the very hard way. My ex constantly crossed everyone’s boundaries, I asked him not to smoke around the kids, he carried on, I asked him not to ring me up to ten times a day while he was at work, he rang me more, he made people give up stopping him, it was a power game. Then I noticed his family were similar, with your firstborn you worry about everything but even asking several times she broke the rules, now to a point grandmas time is her own but she was still looking after them she should had stuck to some rules. This family are control freaks, that’s why they cross boundaries. The whole family system is poisonous and we still suffer a little as my daughter sees her cousin and then mummy still controls things, she stops him doing things last minute and for no logical reason, it’s all part of a sick family.

    None of this is your fault so get out and make your own life with people who don’t feel the need to behave in such a toxic way, put those boundaries up.

    • laura says:

      It’s a vicious circle.Boundaries lead to more violence.As for leaving,i’m forever stuck with them.You can see why in my reply to admin.Today it happened again.If i tell them what is bothering me,they repeat the behaviour on purpose,just to see my hurt.It’s sadistic,i know.I’m 33.I looked in the mirror and i saw my first grey hair.It’s a life sentence,as i was born in a wrong country,with no law to punish them and defend me.I can’t take it anymore.I’m on the brink of desperation.I get a lot of moral support from the internet commmunity and from sites like these,but that’s not enough anymore.I need to LEAVE,but i have no place to go.

      • Exsugarbabe says:

        I’m very sorry, I assumed you were about 18 but at 33 this is disgusting. Do you work? Could you crash on a sofa? Please get some advice and tell the sisterhood how you get on, you are important. By the way putting down boundaries will only be possible and safe when you live some distance away, then you can play the tune. One life, please live it.

        • laura says:

          That’s the problem.I can’t put any distance between me and them.All my life i dreamed of leaving.It would have felt like a rebirth to me,like being born again.Many people tell me to leave,but nobody actually helps me to do it.I’m tired of words,i need practical help.It’s like rubbing salt on my wounds when you say ‘leave’.Where should i go?What would i eat?As soon as i get a job,they brutally intervene and i have to give up that job.I’m not crashing on a sofa waiting for life to get better.When you say this is disgusting,i feel invalidated.It’s like i allow them to do this to me.I did not choose to be abused or to not live my life.

          • Admin says:

            Hi Laura – have you ever accessed any support services? If you’d like to be put in contact with an organisation who could offer both practical support & advice, alongside therapeutic support to manage the feelings that changes may generate, send us an email with your closest town, and we will send you some information on what’s available in your area. Our email address is [email protected]

            Sending peaceful thoughts x

          • Admin says:

            Hi Laura, we’ve had your email, thank you. We’re doing some research on services in your area & we’ll be in touch later in the week.

  • susan says:

    Iv been thinking about you, how are you?

    • laura says:

      Thank you for asking,Susan.I still live with my abusers.Not all days are bad,some days are ok.They don’t throw temper tantrums or cross my limits eveyday,but when they do,it’s unbearable.It’s like a rollercoaster,a storm waiting to start.Everything can trigger them:a word,my tone of voice,when i express a ‘wrong’ opinion or feeling,you get the idea.As they say,i never know when the other shoe will drop.That’s the difficulty of my situation and the core od their dysfunction:unpredictible rage/behaviour.
      It’s so nice to know you were thinking of me.