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My Dad Watches Me at Night

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From a 15 year old in the U.S.: During my sleep, sometimes my hand is inside in my shorts. Or sometimes inside my underwear unconsciously. I am not sure how this started. Anyways, I was sleeping and felt like someone was watching me. So, I opened my eyes a little and saw my dad, just standing there. Watching me. I immediately moved my hand away and exhaled like as if I was still sleeping. And the worst part was that I wasn’t covered in my blanket. I quickly grabbed my blanket and just waited for him to leave.

Just thinking about this makes me wonder if he is physically attracted to me because sometimes at night when I wear my t-shirt, I don’t wear a bra underneath because it’s comfortable without it, but he just stares and when he does I move out of the, quickly as I can and go to my room. Now, at nights, I sleep with a bra because I feel very uncomfortable.

I was reading a story about a woman’s father who would look at her through a hole that he would find or he would make himself one, that lead to her room when she changed, or in the bathroom, etc. And she would consider that as sexual abuse, even though he had never laid a finger on her.

I am not sure if I would consider this as sexual abuse, but I feel somehow offended and probably like…”Sexually abused” even though he had never laid a finger on me or anything like that. (As far as I know..)

I now understand how women feel when they don’t tell on their parents with this type of problem. I used to think that women who didn’t tell on their parents, should have told them. Like I would’ve been straight up about it.
But you don’t want to ruin your family.

You don’t want to consider your (in this situation) father some type of pervert or anything like that because he was there in your whole life and never once, have you thought about them doing these type of things.

I don’t think I will ever tell my mom. I don’t want to cause my family to have problems.

So I decided to just talk about it here because it’s the only way I can let out my problems. I’m too scared to talk about this to my friends. And at the same time it’s embarrassing.

My Dad Watches Me at Night

Answered by on -

A.

It’s challenging for many men to deal with their daughter’s emergence into adulthood. The difference between a dad who is working through his feelings of attraction and a dad who is an abuser is all about boundaries. Without knowing more about your family dynamics, I can’t tell what’s happening in your case. Has he crossed the line too far? Or is it possible you are too sensitive to the possibility?

I do understand your concerns. But if you don’t resolve this, you are going to be uncomfortable in your own home until you are old enough to leave. Even then, you will have a very difficult time being close to your family. For those reasons, I think it is important for you to confide in your mom to let her know how uncomfortable you are with your dad and then to have a frank three way conversation that includes all of you. You are all setting the terms for the rest of your teen years.

Before I get a dozen letters expressing concern that I’m defending an abuser: I’m doing no such thing. I’m allowing for the possibility for misunderstandings and the very normal awkwardness that happens between dads and daughters and mothers and sons that occurs during adolescence. A short letter doesn’t provide enough information on which to make a judgment.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Dad Watches Me at Night

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Dad Watches Me at Night. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/12/05/my-dad-watches-me-at-night/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.