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TW: Mild self-harm

I was spanked as a child.  I was a well-behaved youngster who needed little discipline and was generally obedient and respectful to the best of my ability.  I can probably count the number of times I was spanked on my fingers.  I was not scarred for life by this ordeal, I am well-adjusted, and I have never reacted by being violent to others.  To all appearances, I am a testament to the value of the practice of spanking.

And yet, I oppose it.  Vehemently.

This was not always so.  For most of my life, I assumed that spanking was a generally useful practice that taught kids to expect consequences to their actions.  It promoted personal responsibility, I was told, and enforced respect.  I fully expected that I would spank my own children (hopefully not often).  I further expected that children who were not spanked would likely be unruly, disrespectful, and lack a sense of responsibility and self-control.

However, as I began to reassess the value of the authoritarian parenting style that I was raised with (which did NOT leave me well-adjusted) I began to confront my perceptions of spanking as well.  What lessons had I really learned from these punishments?  Were the changes it wrought in my behavior actually positive?  Or can I contribute my good behavior primarily to other parenting methods instead?

I clearly recall how the punishment was carried out.  I was informed of my error and I would generally apologize.  My mother would accept my apology, but if the error was severe enough, she would indicate that I was to be spanked as a punishment.  I would be told to fetch  the big wooden spoon from the kitchen and I would go into her bedroom.  She would close the door and tell me that she loved me, but she needed to do this anyway.  I would be told to bend over and she would strike my backside with the spoon.  Generally, I would feel humiliated enough that I would not want to cry in front of her, so I would hold my tears in as long as possible.  However, before long, I would always give in and cry out, and my mother would hit me only one more time before setting the spoon aside and then holding me.  She would tell me again and again that she loved me and calm my tears until I had stopped crying.  The punishment was now over.

By the standards of most spanking advocates, my mother did everything right.  She never left marks or bruising that I was aware of.  I was no longer sore within 5 minutes of the spanking or so.  The punishments were always coupled with loving words and assurances that I still had her affections.  And yet, they did me absolutely no good.  Indeed, they taught me several lessons that were quite counterproductive to my moral and ethical development.

Spanking did not teach me to accept consequences; it taught me to avoid them.

Spanking causes pain and humiliation, but more than anything, it causes a fear and dread.  Most children will avoid that fear at any cost.  Sometimes this meant behaving well to avoid punishments.  But at other times, when I had either misbehaved or simply made a mistake, I learned to try to silence my conscience and hide my misdeed rather than owning up to it.  As a clear testament to this, I recall an incident when I was probably only 4 or 5 years old.  I had just been playing around in the bathroom and somehow ended up getting toilet paper strewn around the floor.  I left the mess behind when I got distracted by something (I was a very absent-minded child) and it was discovered later by my mother.  She called the whole family into the bathroom and asked who had made the mess.  I distinctly recall a pang of fear as I considered the possibility that an admission of guilt could result in a spanking.  I wanted to tell my mother that it was me and to apologize for it, but the fear was too great.  Instead, thinking myself very clever, I asked “what will happen to the person who says they did it?”

"Nothing except they will have to clean it up," she responded.

"Oh, well in that case, I did it."

And there lies the first problem with spanking.  I was fully willing to take responsibility for my mistake and even make it right by cleaning up the mess I had left.  But while the threat of physical pain and humiliation was held over my head, I shut my conscience off and was ready to lie.  And lie I did, about the glass bowl that I broke years later.  I was never found out.

This is not a productive result of a training method that is intended to INCREASE personal responsibility.  Reasonable consequences that allow the child to make up for the mistake that they made are much more likely to be effective.  That leads me to my second lesson.

You can’t make up for your mistakes; you can only suffer for them.

Now, I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of mistakes in real life that cannot be fixed.  Sometimes you just have to deal with the consequences.  But even so, approaching every mistake with this defeatist mindset is a sure way to destroy your life.  A healthy person approaches every mistake with an openness to correcting it, or at least making the best of it.  Anytime we fail at something or harm someone, our response should be to say “I am so sorry… how can I make it better?”

But spanking was a discouragement of this kind of thought, for me.  I was not spanked often, but when I was, it was always a sign that my crime must have been too grievous to make right.  Apologies, offers to fix things, attempts to ease the damage that I had done were useless.  All that was left for me was physical punishment.  Pain would atone for me.  I could not atone for myself.

The last spanking that I can remember occurred when I was probably 9 or 10.  I had gotten distracted while doing my morning chores before school and started goofing off.  Again, absent-mindedness and distraction were common themes in my childhood… and adulthood for that matter.  My mother always required that we start homeschool at precisely 8:00am.  When my goofing off led me to miss that deadline, I was due for punishment.  My mother came upstairs and saw me laughing with my sister while I fidgeted around with the bed I was supposed to be making.  She scolded me angrily and told me that I was already late for school and my bed wasn’t even made yet.  Startled, I apologized, told her I had lost track of the time, apologized some more, and then offered to make my bed faster.  She did tell me to finish making my bed.  And when I was finished, she said, I should come downstairs for a spanking.

That was always a heart-wrenching feeling.  It didn’t matter if I was sorry, or if I promised to do better, or if I made my bed on time for the rest of the week, or if I even offered to make hers for her to make up for it.  I had sinned, and the only proper punishment was physical pain.  Indeed, forgiveness could not be obtained from my mother until she hit me and made me cry.  It seemed unjust to me, but more than anything, it was heartbreaking for a young child.  I truly wanted to make my mother happy and to do right by her.  But, when spankings became involved, there was no way to make it right anymore.  It was only my fate to accept the pain in order to be forgiven and returned to my valued place in the family.  That is a horrible lesson to teach a child.  It is also a dangerous lesson, because…

Spanking teaches children that violence and humiliation can be deserved.

I have never been physically abused by anyone.  I suspect I am quite lucky in this regard.  However, I have physically abused myself.  And when I did, I thought of it as a method of atonement.  Can I trace this mindset reliably back to my parents spanking me?  Perhaps not.  I suspect that many other factors played a greater role in my self-destructive habits, including sheltering and authoritarian principles.  However, I think it is likely that the mindset instilled in my by using spanking as a punishment was a contributing factor.

When I was 23 years old, I came out to my family.  I was already in graduate school on the other side of the Atlantic from my parents.  We spent many hours discussing the topic of homosexuality on the phone, arguing over scriptures and opinions, and often crying over harsh words and cruel remarks.  Despite all of this, I felt compelled to come home for a Summer to try to talk to my parents face-to-face, help them come to terms with my sexual identity, and heal the family wounds.

Instead of offers of peace, however, I was met with militant efforts to fix me.  My access to the internet and phone were restricted, I was shamed into being silent about what was happening, I was harangued and bullied daily by my parents, and I was blamed for “destroying the family”.  I honestly believed every accusation they threw at me, and I began to feel I had made myself too worthless to be redeemed.  I couldn’t make things right.  So, I decided I deserved to be hurt.

I restrained myself from causing too much damage, largely because I didn’t want my family to be able to recognize the marks.  I would kick my shins against the end-table in the living room to raise welts and bruises.  I would scratch at the skin on my stomach, upper thighs, and arms to make myself bleed.  I felt like I deserved to hurt; I deserved violence.  I deserved their humiliation.  I deserved their emotional abuse.  All of it, I deserved.

And why shouldn’t I?  My family had always taught me never to let anyone hurt me, always to respect myself, and always to stand up for myself.  But yet, they crossed those boundaries repeatedly when I was a child.  I was taught that there WERE situations where violence, humiliation, and a lack of self-respect were deserved.  Those were the situations when I had been bad.  I was a bad child.  I deserved pain.  Is it so hard to imagine that these toxic thoughts could have carried over into my adulthood?  Is it possible that I was horrifically susceptible to abuse by my parents because of some of the lessons that corporeal punishment taught me?  I think it is likely.

Let me offer some fundamental pieces of advice.  You should always be honest enough to own up to your mistakes.  You should always try to make those mistakes right.  And you NEVER deserve violence or humiliation… not from anyone else, and not from yourself.  I think most people would agree with the statements above.  But then, if I truly believe these things, why would I advocate for a form of punishment that taught me the opposite?

I do not believe my parents abused me as a child.  They were loving.  They were faithful.  They were gentle.  They were wonderful parents, in many ways.  But their choice to spank me was unwise.  It didn’t ruin me.  It didn’t cause me to become violent or socially repressed or less intelligent.  But it was not healthy.  We need not talk in extremes in order to still condemn a practice that is teaching children unhealthy lessons.  I can do better than the last generation.  I will not spank my children.
I hear a lot of theoretical or ethical arguments about spanking ("it advocates violence" or "if you wouldn't hit an adult you shouldn't hit a child"). All of these arguments are very valid and good, but I find they are ineffective at actually reaching a spanking advocate. Usually, they can always argue "but it works, as long as you do it right." Well, that's why I want to put forth my personal experiences with spanking. My parents "did it right" by all standards I've heard. And it was still wrong for me. Comments welcome, but no attacks. Thank you!
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:iconthegroundedaviator:
TheGroundedAviator Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2015
Heck once it was ok/accepted for husbands too do it on their wives.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2015
True, true.
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:iconthegroundedaviator:
TheGroundedAviator Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2015
Things are so ambiguous.
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:iconchesiregirl:
chesiregirl Featured By Owner May 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Another problem with spanking is that it can open the gateway for severe physical abuse. Take the story of Sylvia Likens, for example. She and her sister Jenny were left in the care of a woman named Gertrude Baniszewski while their parents traveled, and in exchange Mr. Likens was supposed to send Gertrude money. When the first payment was late, Gertrude took her anger out on the children by spanking them with paddles. This later escalated to severe abuse directed towards Sylvia - she was kept naked in the basement and was hit, forced to consume her own urine and feces, and twice made to insert a glass coca cola bottle into her vagina, among other horrors. She eventually died. Earlier, her sister Jenny had tried to tell their older sister, Diana, that they were being punished "too severely" but Diana thought they were just exaggerating...
Too often, the line between spanking and child abuse gets blurred.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
Agreed.  "Spanking" is so poorly defined that it's all but meaningless, and often children are suffering more than parents or other people realize.  Consider the case of Lydia Schatz who was spanked to death with plumbing line as directed by the book (popular in Fundamentalist and homeschooling circles) "To Train Up A Child" by Michael Pearl.  The parents spanked her for hours with breaks in between to pray in order to try to gain her obedience.  The plumbing line left little marks but it was breaking down her muscle tissue.  As the punishment continued, the broken down tissue released toxins that caused her to abruptly go into liver failure and she died.  Her crime was mispronouncing a word.

That book, by the way, is now implicated in the deaths of 3 different children, along with the horrific abuse of hundreds more.  I wish that hell existed just so I could watch the Pearls screaming and burning.  They are not human; they are monsters and they deserve to die without mercy.
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:iconzanybruh:
zanybruh Featured By Owner Edited May 6, 2015
You're lucky. I never got the reassurance of my fathers love. nope, it was always spank spank spank, good bye, you can wallow in pain now. Now, I'm indifferent to my father it didn't help that he always used a belt and is tall as hell(7 foot, I shit you not). Well....that's not the only reason, but it one of a few.
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:iconzanybruh:
zanybruh Featured By Owner May 6, 2015
wow, just finished the whole thing.....I spoke too soon.
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:iconcomixqueen:
comixqueen Featured By Owner Edited Apr 24, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This story strikes a chord with me.
It is...curious to me, I suppose, that your mother would say those things before and after she spanked you. Whenever my mother spanked me, it was always in a state of rage. She always had to wrangle me and restrain me in order to spank me, and she did so very angrily. To my knowledge, I don't remember her ever trying to comfort me after the fact, she usually left me, yelled at me some more, or screamed at me to go to my room. Love was never an emotion I perceived from the.... sessions, shall we call them. Only intense anger on her part and extreme fear on my part.
I was never spanked with a spoon, but there were times where whatever I had done infuriated my mother so that she would pull my pants and underpants down enough to spank me right on my skin. My twin sister got the same treatments whenever she did or said something deemed wrong. (It was always hard to tell what would set our mother off, it still is. She would also do more than just spank us. Pinching, sometimes with a twisting motion involved, also happened, as well as smacking on the face or head, and occasionally being hit hard with an object, usually on the head.)

I, too, learned to lie to get out of trouble and avoid responsibility for my actions. I, too, saw my mistakes as "the end of the world" (still do) and would spend more time and effort wound up with anxiety and despair about them than actually working to fix or overcome them. I, too, lived with the notion that if I was bad, I must deserve physical pain as punishment.
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:iconzanybruh:
zanybruh Featured By Owner May 6, 2015
I feel your pain. my father was much like your mother. The only things spanking gave me was all the ideals expressed in the article here, and a fetish. I was already fucked in the head to begin with, thanks dad. you taught me well. -_- 
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015
I'm very sorry you had to deal with that sort of abuse, and I hope you are in a safer and better place now.  I'm glad that you shared your story here.  The amazing thing, to me, is that the results of parents who spank in anger and those who spank "lovingly" are both rather similar.  I think what you describe is definitely much more fear than I felt, but this is probably partly because I was not attacked nearly as often as you were.  However, the avoidance of responsibility, the obsession over mistakes, the self-destructive mindsets are all rather similar.  I think this supports the assertion that there is no right way to hit a child.  Violence against children, whether done calmly and rationally, or in rage and passion, is still wrong.
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:iconwarstub:
Warstub Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2015
Thank you for writing and posting this. As a teacher I fully agree with you. You can see the result of spanking first-hand with disruptive students, and even with students who aren't disruptive and have been spanked, they learn to avoid rather than deal with.

"Enforcement is the refuge of the weak who need to push their will over others."
warstub.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09…
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015
It's a tragedy that so many parents think that violence against children is a good answer to their problems.  But that's how most of us were taught and raised, so it's hard to break out of that paradigm.
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:iconwyrmsroost:
WyrmsRoost Featured By Owner Edited Apr 19, 2015  Student General Artist
I'm not in "book writing" mode today, so no long confession stories from me on the topic. XD But there are a couple things I would like to share.

Living with my mom was tough, because you never knew if something you did or something she just plain didn't like, whether or not you did it, would send her into a tirade. I tried giving honest answers when she asked why I had done something I did, but whenever I spoke up she would only get more angry, it didn't matter what I said. So I learned to keep quiet and never answer her questions, because the punishment for silence was never as bad as the punishment for anything I said.

One incident that struck me to the core that I'll never forget or forgive my mom for is the day she was spanking me for one of my usual transgressions, and she decided that she didn't like the fact that I cried during spankings (no shit, I was a child and they hurt, pain=tears) so she spanked me harder for crying and didn't let up on the spanking until I was silent.

I was beaten for crying. I learned then that nobody cared about my pain and suffering, and that if I had a problem I needed to withdraw into myself and suffer through it alone, and in complete silence. I couldn't risk my mom finding out hat I would often cry at night, so I learned to cry almost completely silently.

:( My childhood sucked, man.

Also, pertaining to your story, anybody who'll reject someone purely based on their sexual orientation is scum. I find gender to be mostly irrelevant when the topic of love pops up. :D People are naturally attracted to what they happen to be attracted to, it's no use punishing people for things as deeply ingrained in their nature as sexual orientation is.

Who/what I fuck isn't the business of anyone besides the ones I'm fucking anyways. #rebel 
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015
Thank you for sharing what you did.  I'm sorry about what you went through, but I'm glad you've come out of it and you seem like a great, strong person.  I intend to do so much better for my own kid/kids.
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:iconinannaeloah:
InannaEloah Featured By Owner Edited Apr 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for posting this.

My parents spanked me until I was about 12, and though they weren't abusive about that in particular, they were abusive in other ways, most of which were psychological in nature.  My parents' most common tactics included gaslighting, changing the rules around on a whim, passive-aggression, making orders that sounded like suggestions, and making a mountain out of a molehill on a regular basis.

I ended up doing self-harm (slapping myself upside the head, specifically) well into my 30's.  I have never gotten along with either of my parents since I left their house, and it's gotten to the point now where I literally am terrified of them ever finding out where I live.  I actually hate my parents because of some of the horrible things they did to me.  I can even think of a couple of times when they literally tried to kill me, the latest one happening just after I turned 40.  I try not to dwell on this stuff very long, because I begin to relive everything, so enough about all that.

Anyway, my parents were actually quite civil when it came to spanking, which is ironic given all the nasty other stuff they did to me.  Mother was kinda wild with the wooden spoon, and my step-father was far more reasonable in the use of his belt, but the only lessons any of their punishments taught me was that might makes right, that I deserved to be severely harmed for minor offenses, and that standing up for myself was always the worst sin I could ever commit.

Perhaps the biggest irony of my childhood is that my parents always lamented the fact that I never stood up to bullies.  It's ironic because these are the same people who wouldn't let me protect my own face when my step-father raised his hand to strike me alongside the head.  That particular abusive behavior taught me perhaps the most important lesson of my life: authority figures are not automatically worthy of respect or trust.  Fear, yes.  Respect and/or trust, no.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015
Honestly, emotional abuse can be just as bad or worse than physical in many cases.  Punitive parents are not good for the development of healthy adults.  Studies have shown this, stories can confirm it, and I just hope I can get a few people to listen and realize this before they harm their own kids.  I'm glad that you've gotten away from all of that and I'm sorry for your experiences.  Thanks for sharing with me!
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:iconinannaeloah:
InannaEloah Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome. 
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:iconleccathufurvicael:
LeccathuFurvicael Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015
Holy crap.... you are so amazingly eloquent, it makes my skin crawl. The points you have made all strike a deep chord in me, and I can relate to them on a level that I didn't think was even there originally. Your exploration into the future consequences of those past incidences of spanking is just chilling to me, as I feel very similarly in my own conditioned responses in life; avoiding responsibility and fessing up, even if the transgression was innocent, self-defeating behavior (which has limited my potential for growth in a lot of ways, sabotaging my own efforts to progress without even thinking about it), and feeling that violence and humiliation, punishment, is deserved. In all honesty, I was certainly one of those kids that became violent when truly desperate, or when I knew I could get away with it, finding a dark pleasure in lashing out at others, to give them what I had been given myself.

I grew up in a household where, while I actually don't remember spanking as a frequent occurrence (might be blocking those memories out, not sure), one had to walk on eggshells to appease my father. I learned to avoid situations where I was to be responsible for an act, just so I could avoid the punishment should that responsibility be executed incorrectly. My father was very very poor at giving directions, and when he wanted me or my sisters to do something, he would not teach us; he would just say, 'get it done'; he set us up for failure most times, just because we were meant to figure out how to execute the task to his standards by pure intuition and prior knowledge. And I learned to be afraid to ask him how to do something, because he would become very, very angry and frustrated. I would interpret that to mean that I wasn't smart enough to read his mind or able to execute the task flawlessly to his expectations on the first go. These tasks would range from everyday chores, to helping him fixing machinery, to sanding buoys, to using tools properly, to executing larger tasks on our own with only his initial command to go on, and too much fear to ask further on how to do what he asked properly.

He would mostly instill obedience by screaming out threats, screaming out shame, through sheer fear-inducing presence and display (he is a very tall and physically capable person, hardened by hard work and a lifetime of abuse and physical pain himself), sometimes throwing things at me, and one time kicking in the bottom panel of a hardwood, very thick door out of blind rage. He was, and still is, frankly terrifying when he is angry, and the constant threat of that impending anger seeped into my very being, sculpting the behaviors I work to shift today.

The worse thing is, none of my sisters or I would know when a tirade would strike, or what would set him off. It could be a chore that we hadn't yet gotten to, but were about to start with all honesty in the next minute, or a task that was actually done just fine a few days ago, but would be deemed inadequate today. He would scream at us for two hours straight in blind rage even if it were a minor transgression, and violence was never far away, even if we weren't physically hurt (sometimes we were).

I remember the point where I finally broke and gave in to his constant questions of 'why did you do this/not do that/make things hard for your mother and the family', where I began to reply out of sheer exasperation, through choking sobs, 'because I'm stupid, lazy, and need to learn better, and should know better.' I thought that this was the response my dad wanted, because I thought that that was the truth that he was trying to get out of me. I had gotten to the point of truly believing my answer, and had wanted to say it in the past, but was often too scared to even reply, fearing that whatever answer I gave would not suffice. And trust me, this answer didn't suffice either - it only made him more angry, because he thought me to be better than that. He wanted a specific answer, such as 'The bowl broke because I was trying to put too many away at once and they toppled out of my arms' (true story), though I never felt that those answers were the ones he wanted, because he would always still be really angry afterward, and never gave me full closure on the incident. His anger would just dissipate, and leave me feeling like it was just bubbling under the surface for another accident to trigger. And he was only trying to do what he knew to do to help discipline me and my sisters - he was asking 'why did you do this' in the way any other parent might, but through a terrifically horrifying filter of rage and frustration.

Wow...I wasn't expecting to type so much here. Your story truly struck a note with me, and I cannot thank you enough for writing what you have. It speaks so many volumes....so many volumes. Thank you. :heart: You have inadvertently helped me begin to identify and work through my own issues through sharing your own experiences. Your words are indispensable. :heart: Thank you.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015
I'm glad that it could help, and I'm very sorry for the abuse you suffered.  I'm glad that you came and shared this with me.  I'm hoping that more and more people will listen and start to recognize that the punitive paradigm that many people assume is necessary for parenting is not healthy.  Your story is valuable and I'm glad you took the time to write it down.  :)  All the best to you!
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:iconrachelbaby374:
RachelBaby374 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014
THANK. YOU!!! I'm currently writing a blog post on this very topic, and i would love to hear your input once I finish it!! 
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014
Just shoot me a message when you finish it and I'll be happy to read.  :)
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:iconlet-it-lie:
Let-it-lie Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014
I congratulate you on this. There is another reason; one that relates to the final paragraph. Spanking can be sexual abuse.
A large majority of sadists/masochists were subjected to corporal punishment as children; it could potentially cause those particular kinks. I belong in the minority in that I was not; I have never been hit as punishment before. I only found out that these things happened through being a masochist anyway, and ever since I have been fuming about it. I hope that it will be banned one day; in America as well as completely in England (and everywhere else). Thank you for having the bravery to write this. As I myself prove, even if these problems weren't caused by cp, spanking is completely unnecessary in the bringing up of children; it simply causes unnecessary pain for the child.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014
Yes, I have had a couple of people mention that spanking was sexual for them.  I am less familiar with this since, of all of the people I know who were spanked, I do not know any who suffered it as sexual abuse.  I've no doubt it could be, however, since the primary goal of spanking is to cause pain and humiliation.  Regardless, this is not something that should be considered appropriate for children to suffer.

I also hope that it will eventually be banned.  There are other ways to parent which have been proven to be more effective.
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:iconllirbwerdnadivad:
llirbwerdnadivad Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
:clap::hug:
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:iconkkflyer:
kkflyer Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013
Wow a lot to think about?!


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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013
I hope so!
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:iconwalpurgisak:
WalpurgisAk Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
I've been on the fence on this subject for a long time, partly because I've known for a very long while that it it veeeeery unlikely I'll have kids; but it only took the first paragraph of this to make me agree with you!
A very strong and coherent argument!
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
Wow, really?  I'm glad that it left an impact.  =)  I am quite encouraged that you have settled your mind on this issue.  I hope more people do the same!
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:icongaubrini:
gaubrini Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
I absolutely agree with you. This was very well written. Punishment only made me spiteful and develop negative feelings toward all other people, instead of actually thinking about whatever happened or how it affected others.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
Yeah... I feel like that is the unintended consequence.
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:iconthe-diesis:
The-Diesis Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

This is a great argument! My story is similar, I was no abused and I love my parents. But I to have a memory of lying to avoid spanking I also do recall saying something along the lines of this to my mother after "running away" in reality I walked home from school without telling anyone what I planned

 

She dealed out her punishment of taking stuff away and making me write a 5 page paper about why going some were without telling someone is not a good idea. A some point she said something along the lines of "What if you had been hurt?!" Now being upset that she didn't 'understand' that I was trying to be responsible I replied "I'm in trouble both ways right? So obviously if something bad happened to me it would be my punishment. Its not that different is it? One way I get this, the other way I would get that." To me my logic was sound, its just a different punishment you get one or the other. I distinctly remember my mother suddenly going crazy with comments like "how could you say that?! Its not the same!" I being 12 could not comprehend this and even though a few days after saying it I realized that maybe I shouldn't have said that it still made since to me. My regret was more of; causing my mother to start another rant.

 

But I still supported spanking. I was a A, B student, focused, typically quiet, liked veggies and fruits,  for all intents I was a well mannered child. So I of course looked at children who were not spanked and how unruly they were, F,C,Ds messing around in class and so very loud. That was the difference I saw in them, they were not spanked. I was not yet wise enough to understand that I was that way because at a young age I was never sat in front of a tv and told to be quite and then left alone with no interaction, I was not permitted to listen to vulgar music, I was rather insolated from other children that might have been bad influences, and I lived with people who loved veggies and reading and all of that.

 

My point being that this took me down my rather limited memory lane and I just had to fav this because of how true it is.

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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Wow... I do think it's important that you said something like that to your mom.  It really isn't that different... if pain and violence is used and punishment, how is a child supposed to really see a difference?  I also assumed that my good behavior was a result of spanking and didn't consider that maybe there were a lot of other aspects of my upbringing that led to good behavior and spanking had nothing to do with it.
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:iconfennecphotography:
FennecPhotography Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I haven't spoken to you in forever! ='(

So, I have to admit that your title alone left a bad impression upon me. I went into the article with a very negative opinion of what I thought I would encounter. To be honest though, this is by far the best argument I have ever seen against it. It's definitely changed the way I've thought about spanking. Yet, I'm sure I will still end up using it in certain situations. Although I went into the article with a negative impression, I finished quite impressed. You should totally write more when you have time. =]

I hope you're doing well! <3
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
I'm glad your impression of the article improved!  =P  I've seen a lot of people make arguments against spanking on ethical and moral principles and, while I think they have merit, I also understand that they often make generalizations and are, at least, left purely in the realm of the hypothetical.  Often it seems these arguments just attempt to demonize users of corporeal punishment by simplifying it down to "why would a parent hurt their child?"  Well, of course, most parents that spank are hurting their children superficially, but if it was done for a good and useful purpose, that would not be such a bad thing.  Thus, I don't really care to focus on arguments like that.  Instead, I wanted to bring up what sort of lessons it taught me, even when it was done "right"... that is, according to all of the correct guidelines and coupled with professions of love and such.  I don't have to have been "scarred for life" or anything in order to still feel that it was not useful or healthy for me.  I'm glad that my discussion of it felt, therefore, more respectful and reasonable than many I've heard.

I haven't seen you in forever either!  I'm about to go read your journal so that I know what's up in your life.  In my life, I'm sitting around on the couch having a lazy day, since Chels is gone for the weekend to see her folks.  I have a job right now teaching Math at a career college, and my tutoring is kicking back in now that that Summer is over, so at least I finally have a little extra paycheck on the side.  I'm also preparing to apply to gradschools and retake the Physics GRE in hopes of getting into a PhD program next year.  I'm both excited and a little nervous.  My problem is, I'm having a hard time finding schools to apply to.  It's so frustrating, because I found a program I really, really love in Montana, but I'm not willing to attend school there for potentially 5 years when their laws prohibit any form of marriage or union.  I can hold off on the piece of paper for a while when it's just Chels and me, but within 5 years, I might want to have a family.  I'm just not willing to have kids involved if I don't have legal protections in case anything happened.  So, basically, I'm in the position of "go to the school of your choice or have a family in the next 5 years, but you can't do both."  It kinda sucks.  Right now, that's leaving me with one option: University of New Hampshire.  I'm still looking, but haven't scared anything else up yet.  =(

On the bright side, I'm still planning to propose.  I've started working on designing a ring, and if I can get it made by the last weekend in August (big if) I will probably propose then since we're going together to our favorite spot to spend the weekend.  It is a little island off the coast of NC that you can get to on a little ferry.  There are no cars or anything else... you just hike over the island to get to the beach carrying anything you need with you.  As such, there's hardly anyone there, and the place is just so beautiful and wild.  I'd love to ask her there.  We'll see if that works out.

Things with my family are a little not great.  I haven't seen them since May, which is fine with me.  They have been asking to see me since then though.  They asked if we could plan a day-meeting somewhere in between their place and mine, so that neither of us has to make the full drive and we could just hang out somewhere for a day or so.  I was quite agreeable to this and went ahead and offered a date (this weekend) and told them a good place to meet.  And then, all of the sudden, they decided they didn't want to because of "several reasons".  They now want to go on vacation to the beach somewhere, and they want to spend the night, so they want to do it after labor day prices go back down.  They are inviting me along if I want to go, but after this month, I can't until October because of GRE and other things I have going on this coming month.  It stung a little since I thought the whole point was for us to be able to see each other, but whatever.  I guess that makes things easier for me.  So, probably I'll go see them sometime in October and I am going to have to set an ultimatum for them if I've proposed to Chelsey by then: they need to stop expecting me to censor her out of my life if they want to continue to have a relationship with me.  I dunno how well that's going to go over.  I'm bracing myself for perhaps losing them altogether, but at this point, we don't really have a relationship anyway.  On the other hand, if they start wanting to make a better effort then I might have to deal with them more, and that's going to be stressful.  Still, the discussion needs to happen.  I'm not going to edit my partner out of conversation for the rest of my life; that's just childish and stupid.

Anyway, that's what's up in my life.  I hope you're also well!  I'm going to go read your journal now.  All the best!
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:iconfennecphotography:
FennecPhotography Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I was certainly spanked plenty as a young child, but I don't think it was ever done improperly. But I can definitely relate to the part about it just making someone better at avoiding punishment for something, I became quite talented at hiding or covering things up. There are some instances though where I think spanking was the most effective punishment than anything else would have been. Such as a child throwing a fit in public like over a toy they want or because they don't want to go somewhere. I think in that instance a spanking may be the quickest and most effective method, it's not like it is teaching the kid to hide anything, just teaching them not to be a little pain in public. =P Or if you have an idea for something in that situation, I'm certainly interested in knowing it. Oh, and if a child is being mean/abusive to an animal. Sure you can ground them, make them do extra work, or something like that, but it could also be beneficial to make them realize how the pain they were inflicting feels. Any thoughts on that?

I'm glad to know that you and Chels are still together, and am still excited that you are planning on proposing! It seems like forever ago that you mentioned wanting to. I'm currently working on designing a custom ring as well, and if you find a place that is willing to make one and are satisfied with it, please let me know. Oh! And a completely random thing I thought of: Remember the picture of you in the pirate costume with the donuts? I just laughed remembering that I absolutely had to look at it again. And I just now thought to see if I could find a picture of you and Chels and must say that you are both very pretty.  =]

Hopefully all goes will with interacting with your family. My mother seems to be doing her damnedest to piss me off and push me away. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother trying to keep her in my life. Other than her, things are going quite well. I started dating a girl named Megan in January, I knew her from high school and we just happened to start talking again, really liked being together, and decided to give things a try. She is 100% less drama and 100% more mature than the last girlfriend. Actually, this coming Thursday her and I are planning to drive from WI to OH to my mom's place so I can pick up some more clothing and stuff I need. That should be an adventure.

Well, I guess that is all for now. I'm currently stressin' the hell out over having to write a 1 page essay on "Why I want to be an Army officer." Not fun.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Hmm... as far as acting up in public, Chels apparently told me that her parents would just remove her from the scene.  Generally, this was at a restaurant or something like that, so it meant that she didn't get her tasty dinner.  She very quickly learned to behave.  Clearly this was quite inconvenient for the parent that had to remove her and wait around outside while the rest of the family ate, but it solved the problem in a hurry!  I can understand where you're coming from with hurting an animal.  However, I'd be worried that spanking the child could cause more bitterness and violence towards the animal, just better hidden.  If the injury was done out of ignorance on the child's part, I would not expect punishment might not be necessary... just an explanation of what appropriate behavior is.  If the child was hurting the animal on purpose, I would be much more concerned, but I definitely wouldn't spank.  After all, injuring animals can be a sign of antisocial behavior and I can only imagine corporeal punishment would make that worse.  That's my opinions anyway.

Designing a custom ring?  Oh, I can help you with that!  You can have Chelsey make it!  She does a ton of custom work.  I wish I had photos of the very wide range of it that she does (she only seems to have one men's ring up here right now...), but you can start by looking here: www.etsy.com/shop/shiningdarkl… Hopefully soon I will be able to update her website with a nice gallery of all of the work she's done, not just the ones currently for sale.  If you want examples of something more specific, just let me know.  You can contact her through Etsy and ask about designing whatever you want and for a price quote.  She will do up some little sketches for you, get your approval on one, and make it.  If you're interested, tell her I sent you.  =)

Thank you for the compliment!  I need to get some more pictures of us.  There are pitifully few, and it's a little awkward with facebook because people might flip shit if they see us together but... I'm past the point of giving a damn anymore.  I don't do much on facebook lately except argue with some of my old homeschooling peers, haha!  It's quite entertaining.

I'm glad to hear you're with someone new that you really like.  Your old girlfriend sounded like a pain in the ass (no offense, but she did...) so I'm happy that you've found someone less passive-aggressive and more mature.  Good luck with the whole seeing your mother thing.  My mom just emailed me asking when she can call me.  I'm thinking "umm... can you not?"  Ugh.  I just don't like dealing with the family.  Good luck with the paper.  I hope it turns out well!  Write back when you get a chance!
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:iconfennecphotography:
FennecPhotography Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I'll be damned if I would ever give up a good meal just to remove a kid from a situation. I like my food too much. =P As for the animal part it didn't quite come across as I was thinking. Not really sure how to explain it.

The ring that I'm thinking of would most likely be an engagement and wedding ring combination. When the two parts are joined together they would form a heart around the center stone. She has some neat stuff on there. For the ring I would either go with white gold or standard gold with a diamond as the main stone. Or, if for some reason I wouldn't go that route, I have an uncut ruby that I would like to sometime get cut into a heart shape and put on a ring.

No need to thank me, you're both beautiful and shouldn't be afraid to hide it. =] The only time I spend on facebook is just to see if I have any messages or notifications, otherwise I'm never online for extended periods. I just keep it to keep in touch with people I care about and to keep tabs on a few individuals as well.

The old girlfriend certainly was a pain and more trouble than she was worth. I was just too blind to see it for so long. But I'm happy now and Megan doesn't try to play any games or do anything that irritates, annoys, or angers me. My mom should be working for the majority of the time I'll be there, and it is more of a trip to pick up stuff I need than to visit anyone. Hopefully it goes well then, but we'll have to see. And if you mother and e-mail, why not just tell her that is the best way to communicate, that you're usually too busy for calls? That is what I would try.

OH! And since you brought up the paper, I might end up not even doing it. Less than an hour ago I received the acceptance e-mail from the WI Department of Corrections saying that I have been selected to continue through the Correction Officer selection process. The next steps will be medical (Sept. 10) and physical (Sept. 11) testing. So that just made my night. I'm basically guaranteed admittance. So yeah, I'm happy. =P
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
Sweet!  Congratulations on your acceptance!  I'm very happy for you!

If you are interested, you should definitely email her about the engagement/wedding band.  She's done engagement/wedding combos before, and I'm sure she could tell you better than I could what it would take to make what you want, what sized stone you might want, what the price range would be, etc.  When the ring is separated, what would it look like?  I'm curious.  Would the stone be in the V part of the heart on the engagement ring, and then the wedding band would have the double-humped part?  Also, do you plan to give it to someone soon?  =)

Yeah, I would also generally think that saying "email is the best contact method" would be best... except that I've only said that a million times by now.  >__<  They generally accept it for a while and then start pressing with "well, if you're schedule is better now, how about we set up a time to call?"  I rebuff again and, in a little while, they start questioning again about "when can I call you?" like they didn't hear me.  I'm frustrated as hell by it because it feels so passive-aggressive to me.  Like "we know she doesn't want to talk, but let's just keep bringing it up innocently until we eventually wear her down."  I guess it's sorta working.  I don't mind talking to them sometimes, but only if I know exactly what we're going to talk about, so I can be sure the conversation won't derail.  It's less stressful for me that way.  I'd rather just email.  Also, if I'm talking on Skype, I have to be in another room from Chelsey or they might freak out if they see her.  It's stupid as fuck.  Oh, look!  She wrote me back saying "I just want to call because I miss you and want to talk to you sometimes, so I guess I'll just call you whenever and see."  *sigh*  She clearly isn't leaving the option of NOT calling open.  Well, I'll tell her to give me HER schedule so that I can call at a time that is good for me.  This also means I'll be prepared and doing things on my terms, and thus will not be as stressed out about it.

Alright, I'd better head to Chels' work to grab lunch before I have tutoring!  I'll catch you again later!
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:iconfennecphotography:
FennecPhotography Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks, but I still have to pass the medical and the physical. The medical worries me a bit. The cardiologist I saw for the Army did an echocardiogram of my heart and found that I have too much tissue on one of my valves. This is resulting in leakage and excess friction and in 5-10 years will need corrective surgery. Until then I have to get it checked every year, which is a $2,500+ test. I wasn't very thrilled to hear any of that. But, the Army said that none of it is disqualifying and they would still be interested in enlisting me. I am just hoping that the DOC says the same thing.

I'm still working on the separation details for the ring. Even when separated I want the engagement portion to look nice and not as though it is incomplete. I'm not exactly positive which section would hold the stone though. Every time I think I have something, I change my mind again.

I definitely know how you feel about the family issue. Megan met my mother and father a week ago. I would be content to never see my father again, and my mother is working on pissing me off beyond repair as well. Eh, family.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
Oof, that sounds scary.  Corrective surgery?  I have a heart murmur as well, but mine is completely innocent and I've had it since birth.  It doesn't decrease my performance at all.  I guess I'm lucky.  Well, hopefully the DOC is okay with it.  If the Army is, I'd think the DOC would be?  But I don't know.  I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.  When will you hear about it?

Heheh, yeah, it took me about 3 months to come up with a design I actually liked for that ring I just had made.  I kept drawing things and thinking "that's kinda cool, but it's also kinda stupid" and then repeating (apart from the many times I drew something that was just awful).  It's tough when you're trying to design jewelry for a jewelry designer!  I'm sure she could have made something even better, but I wanted it to be something I made (after getting a feel for what she likes) because she admitted that she really didn't know what she'd want in an engagement ring either.  I think she will prefer not having the decision on her part.  I suppose a lot of girls would rather make that choice themselves, but not Chels, heehee.

Good for Megan for surviving meeting the family.  Things with my mom are going okay, I guess.  I've talked to her a couple of times and she really wants to get together and discuss all the shit that went down two Summers ago that pretty much destroyed my family relationship.  She also wants to know why I never want to come home or see them for very long.  I am happy to give her answers, but she doesn't like them very much.  I suppose it must hurt to hear your daughter tell you that she doesn't feel safe in your house and she doesn't feel safe spending too much time with you and she still gets fucking night-terrors for a week or two before she comes to visit you because the thought of it is just so fucking stressful.  But you know... I don't feel bad.  Because I'm the one that ended up all fucked up thanks to them, and if they want to know the truth, I'm not going to pretend.  Actually, I welcome a chance to talk it over with her because it irritates me that she thinks that "there's no way we could have known to do any different" which is utter bullshit.  I'm sorry, but if your kid tells you "I need you to please take me to the doctor because I'm having strong suicidal urges that are getting hard to control" that's a BIG-ASS RED FLAG that you should try your best not to make things worse... not say "oh, it's spiritual oppression because of The Gay" and keep on doing what you're doing.  I'm pretty sure that officially makes them ineligible to play the ignorance card.  Maybe something productive can come out of the conversation.  It might help me get past some of my bitterness at least.  I have forgiven most of what happened, but I'm still bitter and angry.  And I still don't trust them for a second.

Anyway, I am going to get ready to head out to the beach!  Chels and I are going to a little remote island that you can only get to by ferry or boat, with no cars or buildings or anything (besides a bathroom facility).  It's always pretty private and absolutely beautiful.  I'm going to propose sometime down there.  Gotta figure out how to hide the ring though!  Haha!  I'm excited.  It's a real treat for us to get out and do something fun these days.  I can't wait!
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(1 Reply)
:iconmajicfrog:
majicfrog Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013
An interesting assessment.

Personally, I see a use in spanking, but only in a very narrow set of circumstances.

The first is the child's age. I haven't completely determined this one, but there is a narrow developmental age at which spanking is effective; the child must be old enough to connect the punishment with the crime but young enough that alternate punishments are less effective. 

The second is that the spanking must be an IMMEDIATE consequence to improper behavior, but it must not be done in anger. Immediacy, I think, counteracts your issue on lying; if only wrongs that are directly observed are punished in this particular manner, it decreases this effect. That being said, the child could still just attempt to do planned crimes unobserved, but any sort of punishment results in attempted avoidance. 

I tend to think of childcare for younger children as similar to taking care of dogs. Similar attention spans, anyway. When my dog misbehaves, I may shove him lightly, squirt him with some water, ignore him when he's misbehaving for attention, or put him in a minute-long time out if it's a particularly egregious offense. These work because it immediately links the negative behavior with the punishment, but the punishment is not so severe or long-term that its negative effects outweigh the positive effects of the punishment.

Then again, this is all just my pointless thoughts, as I do not plan on having children so young that they can't understand right-and-wrong without carrot-and-stick. If I ever do have kids, I'm adopting some older ones. I cannot stand taking care of small children.

Age 9 or 10 is a little old for spanking. I think I would stop at 5 or 6, maybe, depending on the child's mental development. Like I said- a very narrow window. Ages 2-6, perhaps. Again, though, I am inexperienced with children, and I imagine it would depend a lot on the child.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
I do agree with you that spanking only when the child is "caught in the act" is probably a good way to prevent some of the avoidance of responsibility.  However, it comes with its own set of problems, particularly if there is more than one child in the house.  For example, if one sibling is better at subterfuge and the other is more impulsive with his/her wrongdoing, the impulsive one would be punished with corporeal punishment while the other would be punished in other ways.  Even if he/she does not misbehave more, the impulsive child could likely feel less-loved or like they cannot measure up to their sibling.  As such, this tactic may mitigate some of the problem, but it might create others.  It would be very situation-specific, I suppose.

However, the problem with teaching children that they cannot atone for or fix their mistakes, and the problem of "deserving violence" still remain.  I do not think that spanking is necessarily HORRIBLE in every circumstance, but I do believe that there is always a better way... one that holds less risks to the child's well-being and future sense of self.
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:iconmajicfrog:
majicfrog Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
Ahh, multiple children I had not accounted for. Therein does lie an issue, if there are multiple children of similar ages especially. Perhaps you are right. There likely are better ways, but such better ways are difficult... hence why many parents still use corporeal punishment, or, perhaps even worse nowadays, do not discipline their children at all or teach them how to behave. 
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
I think you've just hit the nail on the head.  Parenting is a long, exhausting, complicated job, so it's not surprising that some parents want or need to take an easy way out.  This might include corporeal punishment or, like you said, failing to teach their children how to behave at all.  It also includes things like screaming/getting emotional at children, neglecting children, sitting children in front of a TV instead of helping them find ways to entertain themselves, etc.  Corporeal punishment isn't necessarily the worst of these... but it's part of the same problem, I think.  It's easier to spank than to try to come up with consequences that will be appropriate and explain them to the child.  In addition, many parents hope that spanking will scare their child out of further misbehavior, thus saving them time.  This promising shortcut, I think, is tempting to many who don't realize the possible negative outcomes that it might have.  After all, raising children is not just about getting by from day to day (although sometimes I'm sure it feels like it! lol!)  It's about raising children to be capable adults.  With that goal in mind, both corporeal punishment and lack of punishment, I think, are very negative.

Thanks a ton for reading and commenting!
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:icononlyalittlekraken:
OnlyALittleKraken Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a very intelligent, considered and valid piece of work, and effectively written too. A+
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013
Why, thank you for your kind comment!  =)
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:icondrsabir:
DrSabir Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Physical violence is not the solution to a lot of things. You said you are not violent today, but did you ever had a phase were you just felt the need to hurt people around you, feeling like you should have the right to do it too? Did you ever want to simply turn around and punch your mom instead of getting the spanking? Because my mom tried to punish me with "violence" (it was not abuse) sometimes but I had very weird reaction to that. She tried grabbing my ear, but I would not move until she panics because my ear was not very well, same thing with everything she tried, I was just waiting for her to give up, smilin', talkin', like nothing is happening. So she never tried again XD But that was my way to defend myself, did you have a certain way to defend yourself?
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013
I didn't really ever have a violent phase... or at least I never acted out on it.  I am a rather physical person, so at times I do really want to punch things or people if I'm pissed off enough.  I've always had a level enough head to avoid it though.  I didn't actually have any way of defending myself against the spankings; I trusted my mother enough (and also felt that there was no hope of escape) that I would just take it.  The most I would do would be to try not to cry, but she would not stop until I did (which, to be fair, never took terribly long).  I do remember feeling like I wanted to run, with all of my instincts telling me to flee.  But I never did.  Being homeschooled and always being in the home, my parents were sort of inevitable in my mind.  There was no escaping them, there was no authority over them, and there was no life outside of them.  I think that has a lot to do with why I never, ever tried to resist.

Haha, your method of resisting makes me chuckle.  Glad she got the message to give up!
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:icondrsabir:
DrSabir Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Woah... I could never be at home everyday, every hour of each day, forever with my parents o.o It would make me panic. Well it's a great thing that you never use violence against anything, you could get in trouble or even worse, you could lose the fight. Good thing you're an adult now and they can't do it anymore XD and it's great that you're against it, no one really deserve a spank, it's just humiliation.

Well she had to give up, if she would have make a routine out of it she would look stupid today, since I'm taller and stronger, I would not feel a damn thing XD
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013
Yeah, I don't think that homeschooling has to be a bad thing, but it can be sort of oppressive.  At the very least, you don't realize how much you've absorbed your parents method of thought until you get out of there because, at the time, it's all you know.  I was pretty brainwashed and ignorant about a lot of things until I was 18 and went to college.
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