- Posts: 42
- Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:21 pm
My Mom was a nurse, and used to talk about work a lot. That's normal. She talked about gross stuff at the dinner table a lot. Normal, too for a nurse, perhaps. But I now realize that she used to break confidentiality *a lot* We lived in a small city where everyone knew or was related to everyone. She used to come home all the time and say, "So-and-so's Aunt/uncle/cousin/parent/grandparent is on our floor. S/he had a stroke/was in an accident/broke a hip," etc. This part isn't important to the story, except as context for not having much respect for boundaries.
TMI warning for bodily functions and "girl-talk..."
Until my teens, Mom was obsessed with my bathroom habits. Have you peed lately? Are you drinking enough water? What, you peed again? Do you have a urinary tract infection? (Never, not once) When did you last poop? Did it pass OK? Are you constipated? How long has it been?
I never had bladder or bowel issues when I was younger. I get that, to a certain age, bathroom habits are something to keep an eye on with kids, and I get that nurses will ask about toilet habits like they ask about the weather, but I was getting these questions well past the point that it was anything I wanted or needed to talk about.
When I started having periods, that was another topic of over-interest. Did you start (you know I did, because you saw my pad in the trash) did you finish, is it heavy, is it light? And then, angrily pointing out the obvious: "You stained your underwear, you know!" (yes, I know, I was there when it happened.) "There's a blood spot on your school uniform pants, you know!" (Yes, well, what do you want when I start in the middle of class and my male teacher won't excuse me to go to the restroom?) She would always bring this up when my brothers or my dad were present, and it embarrassed me no end. I was a shy, awkward kid. I was mortified about my period, as a teenager, and didn't even like saying anything to my mom about it, let alone brothers or dad. But she *always* had to talk about it.
When I hit puberty, and actually even before my period started, I would get in trouble for staining my underwear. I now know that it was just regular non-period womanly happenings, but I was constantly getting scolded for being "dirty", not taking care of myself, not keeping clean and fresh. She would make a big deal of picking a pair of my underwear out of the hamper and going, "Look at this! Are you sweating that much down there, or are you not taking care of yourself?!" I started wearing pantyliners, but she was the one that bought them, and it was always, "Ugh, you need more already?!"
One time, she told me I was dirty, and made me undress from the waist down and lie down on the counter with my legs up/open so she could "clean me" which was done roughly, with a scratchy cloth, and left me with uncomfortable irritation. That only happened once. I was embarrassed half to death. And again, I wasn't dirty. I showered daily. I showered after exercising. I washed properly, everywhere. But was constantly scolded and shamed for being "dirty" when my body was just doing female-body things.
The other weird one was, when I got my first bras. I went shopping with Mom, and when we got home, Mom said, "Are you going to model them for your dad?"
Dad and I both were like, "Uh, what? No!" And she said to me, "Don't turn it into something weird. They're just like undershirts! Go and try them on for your dad." I remember dad and I exchanged a look that was like, "Go along with Mom so she doesn't explode." but I was uncomfortable with this little "fashion show." and I could tell he was too.
I don't know why I'm saying this, except maybe to establish that there wasn't really a concept of bodily boundaries or privacy in that house. Lack of boundaries/bodily privacy would track with what happened when I was a younger child, if indeed it did. Someday I may not feel the need to add that disclaimer.
- Posts: 77
- Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:08 am
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests