Common Dream Theme + Privacy Problems with My Father


I have a lot of dreams that involve going into a bathroom then not having any privacy. Either a bunch of toilets are in one big area/room or there are no doors on the stalls.

In one recent dream, just as I went into a stall, the door changed into a shower curtain and the upper part of the stall became the rod for the shower curtain, while the metal walls that made up the stall, disappeared.

In these dreams there’s always a line of people at the door and they are streaming in, or there are groups of people inside the bathroom itself. Or if there weren’t a bunch of people inside the bathroom already, as soon as I go to use a toilet, they suddenly appear, taking away any privacy I had.

I see the lack of privacy. But I’m updating this on 10/27/16
It was originally written on 9/30/15.

I spoke to a therapist about this recurring theme and he mentioned that it pertains to the potty training period in childhood. But how that fits I have not been able to figure that out. And the therapist didn’t elaborate leaving me to think he wasn’t clear either. I think he needed to know more about me before being able to interpret this running theme in dreams for me.

But in looking it up and not really feeling satisfied with what I found, the thought of feeling vulnerable and exposed came to mind.  These dreams started long before I started blogging though, so even if it does pertain to a feeling of vulnerability and exposure by blogging, it’s more than just that.

I would have to remember what was going on in my waking life first I guess, before figuring out what I felt vulnerable about when having this sort of dream.

There could also be more to it, but I’m not coming up with anything at the moment. However, this did bring up some lack of privacy issues I had in my family home with my father.  See below:

Knock before entering

As a teen, my father would just open my bedroom door without knocking. The older I got the more frustrated I got about this.

When he’d barge in, I’d ask him to stop and to please knock from now on.

More than once he responded with, “It’s my house, I can walk into any room I want.”

Other times when my timing was right and I would catch him at a time he was thinking more reasonably, he’d agree. But when the opportunity presented itself he’d knock, not wait for a response and just open the door.

When that happened I asked again and specified that he also wait for an answer. Just writing about this now feels crazy making. It helps me see what an entitled POS this man could be. I felt tormented when it came to the things he felt the need to control. I mean who needs to explain to a grown ass man that when you want him to knock that he should also wait for a fucking response to be sure it’s OK to enter.

God forbid he allow his teen age daughter some privacy. That would mean relinquishing some control. I get so angry at him even now for that teenage girl.

Trapped was how I felt in that household. I could never put a word to it before. And it explains a lot of why my relationships failed on my side.  The feeling of being trapped results in wanting to escape and this manifested in pushing people away. But with my father it resulted in me continually trying to get his permission and approval. And to get him to hear and understand me.

The door to the bedroom I had in my adolescence (we lived in a few different houses) had a lock on it but I wasn’t allowed to lock it. When I did lock it and he tried to walk in, he’d bellow from the other side, “OPEN THIS DOOR.”

When I did he’d seethe, “Don’t ever lock this door again.”

Periodically I’d lock it anyway.

When I asked “Why not?” He replied, “Because it’s the type of lock that if anything happened to you on the other side of the door while it was locked, I wouldn’t be able to get to you.”

Even as a teen I knew this was bullshit. And he used that made up reason each time he found it locked when I’d have the guts to rebel, which wasn’t too often because I was afraid of his reaction.

It was one of those little button locks that sat underneath and to the right of the door knob. These can’t be unlocked from the outside and there is no key. However, the door was a hollow core door. My father, who was more than 6 feet tall, in his early 40s and of average build, would have had no problem whatsoever breaking down that door, if it was ever even necessary.

The man had serious boundary issues along with those control issues.


9 thoughts on “Common Dream Theme + Privacy Problems with My Father

  1. Pingback: More Than Just Sibling Rivalry | Sleeping Tiger

  2. Your father refusing to allow you privacy, even as a teenager, barging into your bedroom unannounced any time he felt like it, yelling at you when you locked your door, saying “It’s my house, I can go into any room I want” — entitled POS is putting it mildly. That is abusive, invasive, and incestuosly voyeuristic.

    Also, your mother should have put a stop to it. Any mother who won’t or who thinks she can’t protect her daughter’s privacy in the bathroom and in her bedroom is no better than the POS who is invading her privacy.

    I’ve had those no privacy public bathroom dreams…


    • The bathroom was the one room I was granted privacy. At least in teen years.Sorry for not making that more clear. But in truth there could be much I don’t remember.

      Thank you for putting all that into words for me. I know he was abusive in many ways but there are still things I don’t see clearly as abusive, despite the not feeling right about it and remembering the frustration and trapped feeling it all gave me.

      I think I’ve been and still am to a point, trapped in the mindset of “It wasn’t THAT bad” you know?

      “Incestuously voyeuristic” wow, I never even knew that term. I learned something new here. My father was a creep and I hate to even put him in that box, but the truth is more important.

      You’re right about my mom. Just another way she was neglectful. And you know, I didn’t see that in this scenario either. He had so much ‘power’ in the household. It was ‘normal’ for my mom to not speak up. Or to try and be shot down.

      In general I think she should’ve put a stop to a lot of things that my father did and I also think that she felt it was futile. Not excusing her, I think she should’ve attempted anyway.

      Thanks again for another insightful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank goodness you at least had privacy in the bathroom. But there is no excuse for a father barging into his teenage daughter’s bedroom. Not unless the house is on fire and he needs to move fast to get her to safety.

    I’ve known a couple of people who, like your dad, use the “it’s my house, I can do whatever I want” excuse for bad behavior. But no, there are still laws — both moral laws and governmental laws — governing what you may and may not do in your own house.

    I have also heard parents justify not giving their kids any privacy because their children might be doing something wrong behind their closed bedroom door. But in my opinion, there is very little wrong that a child or even a teenager can do inside their bedroom, that is worse than a parent, especially the opposite sex parent, barging in unannounced whenever he (or she) feels like it.

    As for the term “incestuously voyeuristic,” I don’t know if anyone else uses that term, I just put those two words together this morning in my prior comment because, well, that’s what your dad’s actions sound like to me. Not everyone who has incestuous urges will physically act on them. Sometimes all they do is fantasize. Sometimes they “enhance” their fantasies with voyeurism. Which is, in my opinion, a low-level form of acting on those inappropriate feelings.

    One of my exes had two daughters from his first marriage. He got into pornography and then he started staring at attractive young women in a lustful way. I knew him well enough that I could tell by the look on his face and the gleam in his eyes that he was mentally undressing other women and getting turned on. He even started talking to me about it, telling me how sexy this woman was and that woman was. Which broke my heart, especially when he said that because I had put on some extra weight, I no longer turned him on.

    His daughters were in their teens and early twenties when I was with him. They did not live with us. But when they came to visit, I could tell that my husband, their father, was looking at them in that lustful way. He never, to my knowledge, molested either one of them. But he had a creepy lustful voyeuristic way of looking at them that literally made me sick. I don’t know if he ever barged into their bedrooms or into the bathroom on them back when he was married to their mother, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.


    When I was twelve and just starting to physically develop, my dad grabbed me by the shoulders one day and said, “I don’t care if it’s wrong, I love you anyway.” Then he kissed me, very hard, right on the mouth, and then he told me, “Don’t tell your mother.” I was very naive at twelve. I still didn’t know anything about sex then, so I was confused. Why did my dad say that it was wrong to love me? Why did he kiss me so hard? Why did he tell me not to tell my mother?

    About a year and a half later, when I was thirteen, my parents were divorced and my dad was married to someone else. One day when he was over visiting the five of us kids, he tried to molest me. I knew about sex by then and I also knew that my dad was no longer someone to obey without question. He had fallen off his “throne” big time. So when he went to hug me goodbye and he suddenly put his hand down into the front of my dress and tried to fondle my breast, I fought the asshole off.

    Like I said on one of your earlier posts, maybe my parents were more “honest” than yours about what they were really thinking and feeling. I don’t know. It is possible that your dad wasn’t being an incestuous voyeuristic creep when he would barge into your bedroom. But after what I went through with my psycho dad and my pervert ex, just the thought of any father barging into his teenager daughter’s bedroom the way your dad did to you, makes me feel nauseated.


    • Since I left my last comment here, I’ve been thinking…. we each see life through the lens of our individual personal experiences. Because of this, I may be projecting things onto your father that was never there. Seen through the lens of my experiences, the thought of a father refusing to give his teenage daughter privacy in her bedroom is abhorrent to me. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. But… that may just be me.

      In your dad’s case, his motives, feelings, and thinking may have been something entirely different from my dad and my perverted ex. Maybe your father didn’t see you as a blossoming young woman? Maybe in his mind you were still his little baby girl? Maybe he was worried that you might be doing something that could harm you, something like drugs or whatever. It could be a lot of things that were going on in his mind, maybe things having to do with his own childhood, that he was projecting onto you. Things that had nothing to do with incest or voyeurism.

      I hope my comments on this post were not hurtful to you. You knew your father, you grew up with him, so I believe your instincts about why he treated you the way he did are going to be much more accurate than mine.

      Especially considering that I am not a medical professional and no one should ever pay any attention to anything I say, LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol, your disclaimer again.

        Thank you for saying all this. I thought of that before, the seeing through our own separate lens thing.

        I agree. And I think about things like your comment before when I read them. Thing is with me there is a lot I missed in the way of abuse because I normalized so much.

        So even if what you say is a mistake and you’re wrong about it, it can still be helpful. If nothing else I can ponder it. There was something he used to do that was way over the line that I may or may not write about. He never touched me sexually though.

        As for the bedroom thing though, I really think it was my father wanting to be in control all the time. He really was an asshole to be blunt. And I can’t really know what was going on in his mind. But I didn’t think he was interested in catching me without clothes on. After pondering your comment, I still don’t.

        I do know though that during the ages of 13 and 14 I remember things being tense between us. Well, I should say, I felt tension coming from him. I thought then it was because he didn’t like my best friend. But that wasn’t anything new, he didn’t like most of my friends and even called some of them scum.

        He grounded me at every opportunity. It was his punishment for bad grades too instead of really getting me help or trying to understand why I wasn’t doing well.

        I have wondered for years if there was some sexual tension for him then, once I learned something about it being common for fathers to have those thoughts.

        So his cold attitude would’ve been his loathing for himself. And no doubt his childhood was wrought with abuse, mostly from his father. But I don’t know a lot about it.

        It could be he was uncomfortable with me developing into a young woman.

        I could go on, but I won’t. I appreciate your words. And I hope you will still comment. I think you’re right no matter what the motivation, a father should give his teen daughter privacy.

        I also don’t think he thought I was doing anything ‘bad’. As I said, he just wanted to control every situation. I was allowed to close my door, just not lock it.

        Liked by 1 person

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