childhood trauma

this morning, as i was hunting around for something for my son to wear, i was worrying that i’m traumatizing him, wandering around the house in a t-shirt & undies. the t-shirt is long, but that’s not the worst of it. we’re kind of an open door household, & he sometimes sees me changing my shirt too. now i know that underwear covers approximately the same thing as bathing suits, & in my case, probably a lot more than some things worn in public. but still.

these are things i remember being distinctly traumatized by in my youth. i remember cold bay area mornings, my mom would get dressed standing over the heater in the living room. the shades would be open & i would be horrified — “motherrr, people can see you”. she’d always claim people can’t see in, but that was little comfort to me.

i remember my dad wandering around the house in a t-shirt & tighty-whiteys. this is not something an impressionable girl-child should have to see, but it was like a car wreck, i couldn’t not look. i shudder, remembering.

& yet here we are, in spite of all this, one of those underwear-in-the-house households. in fact, when my son is done with being outside for the day, the first thing he does is get rid of shoes & pants — t-shirts & undies for everyone. admittedly, this is comfortable. & usually, i wear a long skirt during waking hours, & at least chris wears those long boxer/briefs, which are almost like shorts. but still. when i get up in the morning & am fumbling around like a newborn puppy, eyes closed, whining softly, when the last thing on my mind is finding suitable attire, i worry that i am traumatizing my son with unnecessary views of my undie-clad butt.

when chris’s mom still lived here, i’ll never forget her wandering around the house in a short nightshirt. she has bad knees so she bends at the waist & i’m here to tell you, nobody should have to see that. nobody. childhood traumas don’t necessarily end in childhood.

in so many ways, i disapprove of this. but still, we do it.

32 thoughts on “childhood trauma

  1. one of my friends always say her dad’s huge penis (or so she says) as he walked around naked at night. she still cringes, but she’s none the worse.

    this was meant, by the way, to reassure and not to cause further damage 🙂

  2. Nothing wrong with a long t-shirt….I do it all the time 🙂
    I think there are worse things in life that would traumatize our children 🙂
    Hugs~ Sandee

  3. Saw mom running around in her panty-girdle and bra every Sunday morning of her life. Only caught dad in the tub once; a total gross out. I’m gay anyway.

  4. i saw my mum naked a few times, in her underwear a lot. it was kind of embarrassing but not “damaging”. i think it’s up to how the kid(s) react to the situation.

  5. you know, i kind of figured this is a real common thing — that in the family home, only the most uptight, repressed sort of parents would be totally covered all the time. probably it’s more traumatic to be raised by parents that act like the body is bad, nasty, dirty, & must be hidden away.

  6. there you go. i think that’s the real truth of it. that’s how my folks taught me, and that’s how we raised our kids. i always thought it would be harder on the kids to teach them, either explicity or implicitly, that there’s something wrong with their bodies. (or mine for that matter.) it was never a major issue and we never made an issue of it.

  7. Okay, so I must really be messed up because I was on the floor changing my nighties so my two week old son wouldn’t see me in my bra and undies.

  8. I was just talking about this to someone the other night – I saw my dad naked once, and I will never, ever forget it. Saw my mom’s ex-bf naked once, too. And I’m really tempted to make a comment about my mom’s luck with penis size, but that would just be WRONG. So I’ll just sit here and giggle to myself, and feel slightly dirty instead.

  9. kitty — no, i’m still smoking. still trying though.

    as for the rest of the comments, obviously this is a traumatic thing that people don’t even want to think about. so… perhaps i’ll make more of an effort to cover my ass in the morning. poor kid.

  10. Yep, I think that’s pretty much it. Whether or not a child is traumatized in many situations (not just near nekkidness) depends on the parent’s reaction. If the parent feels comfortable, the kid will think that’s the way it is. And Melly, if you’re not comfortable, that’s okay, too. He’s your kid, you’ll raise him the way you think best and that’s all any of us can do. We eventually figure out our own individual style but we all had to start somewhere, huh?

  11. all right, that’s it. i’m calling child protective services on the lot of you – and your parents. for god’s sake, people! have you no decency?

  12. My mom when she’s getting ready to go out sometimes runs around in her bra and pantyhose (no panites) and it’s totally gross! But I wouldn’t say traumatic. Just something to cringe at and then giggle.

  13. My father used to run around the house naked alot when I was a child. My mother was more modest. She was also a compulsive door-locker, which almost killed my father. He ran outside naked one snowy day to write his name in the snow. She didn’t know he’d gone outside, and locked him out.

    Anyway.

    Now, at my house, we not only run around naked a lot, all of us, (although my 12 year-old daugnter is getting modest) we also do the naked dance. My 4 year-old daughter enjoys that mightily, both watching and participating. If she grows up to be a stripper, at least I’ll know who to blame.

  14. i think family nudism is a nice concept, but trust me, it’s bad enough me in my undies. i really, really need to work out. i mean, really. & gravity! damn that gravity.

  15. lol melly! i was like that when i first got my dog. you’ll get over it when it gets to be too much trouble to hide. i saw my mom in bra and undies all the time when i was a kid – no problem. but i still cringe and twitch and become faintly nauseated when i think of seeing my dad in a t-shirt and tighty-whities, which was only about five times. on the opposite extreme, my neighbors let their two-year-old boy run around stark naked in the yard in the summer. i figure that’s probably emotionally healthy. not sure i’d do it, tho… wow. that was a rant. sorry. too much coffee…

  16. my cat went for my nipple once. THAT traumatized me. i still undress in front of her, but i keep the boobs covered and away from her.

    i’ve seen my parents naked or nearly-so, by the way. doesn’t really bother me. it’s not like they were whipping something around in my face.

  17. i’m really missing something here – as in huh??? – as in traumma??? – i must be awfully ignorant but i really don’t get it … i mean if i was to lock myself outside buck nakked in a public place i can see where that would certainly be traumatic – but seeing family members in their best outfits – i mean what’s such a big deal – ???

  18. Trauma doesn’t occur in my household, I live with my grandparents (I’m only 16) and I think they shower in their clothes….

  19. Well to comment on that i just want to say that I knew a boy who saw his mother naked many times when he was a toddler and a youngster and nothing ever happened. Then when he turned 10 years old he had a dream about he and his mom having sex. From then on he started becomming sexually aroused by his mothers naked body ( and she was no fox, just a regular lady). This lasted for about 7 years and all the while he would spy on her in the shower, in her room, or even just bending over in the kitchen ( of course he would masterbate all the time. Everytime he would think of having sex with his own mom.) Then he realized that something was wrong and decided to tell his mom and see a Phyciatrist. After many sessions he reduced little by little his urge to have sex with his mom.
    What I’m trying to get at is that seeing a parent naked can start to have negative affects on kid if he is urged on by sexual maturity, one dirty thought, or even just a dream (as it was in my case)

  20. Well, I used to see my dad naked too and I wasn’t traumatized, no not the least. My mother once, she ran across from her bedroom to the bathroom only in her panties, as I came out from my bedroom, but I made a concerted effort to close my eyes. because I don’t want to see my mother nake at all. My dad I don’t mind. I came home once from a movie came apon my dad naked sprawled out on the couch and I saw his penis and his nutsack. he had his eyes closed but not sleeping. and I was not traumatized at all I kind of enjoyed it because I gay. I hope I get another chance.

  21. I used to go from my room to the bathroom in the morning half dressed to get ready for school. Often times just in my pantyhose and bra. One day my brother met me in the bathroom and he had on just a pair of my pantyhose. It looked weird at first and then kind of sexy. He pressed into my bottom and got me through our pantyhose, it felt great!

  22. I used to go from my room to the bathroom in the morning half dressed to get ready for school. Often times just in my pantyhose and bra. One day my brother met me in the bathroom and he had on just a pair of my pantyhose. It looked weird at first and then kind of sexy. He pressed into my bottom and got me through our pantyhose, it felt great!

  23. I used to go from my room to the bathroom in the morning half dressed to get ready for school. Often times just in my pantyhose and bra. One day my brother met me in the bathroom and he had on just a pair of my pantyhose. It looked weird at first and then kind of sexy. He pressed into my bottom and got me through our pantyhose, it felt great!

  24. I used to go from my room to the bathroom in the morning half dressed to get ready for school. Often times just in my pantyhose and bra. One day my brother met me in the bathroom and he had on just a pair of my pantyhose. It looked weird at first and then kind of sexy. He pressed into my bottom and got me through our pantyhose, it felt great!

  25. I used to go from my room to the bathroom in the morning half dressed to get ready for school. Often times just in my pantyhose and bra. One day my brother met me in the bathroom and he had on just a pair of my pantyhose. It looked weird at first and then kind of sexy. He pressed into my bottom and got me through our pantyhose, it felt great!

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