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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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:iconswanseagirl:
SwanseaGirl Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2016  New Deviant
A friend of mine has always said that the more parents use this sort of punishment, the more harm it will do to the kids in the future, my friend has became a dark shadow of his former happy and enjoyable self. 32, he still feels he was a accadentle birth and would take the path down to killing himself than accept his childhood or help...
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2016
I'm very sorry to hear that.  I hope that he can find help some day.
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:iconswanseagirl:
SwanseaGirl Featured By Owner 4 days ago  New Deviant
Though we may not be able to see the future, we do see who our friends and family will become through their actions. My friend, is a loyal and caring friend, he would do anything to keep friendships he may make along the way, and believe a change in the way kids are dealt with would make for the better. And, I hope he dose too.
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:iconheyitsdonnie:
HeyitsDonnie Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I generally believe in spanking but I'm super picky about it. Like, there are kids nowadays I see who are SO misbehaved and super bratty that I feel like a tap on the butt would get their attention XD

So, in a way, I do agree with your points... even tho I still think that spanking could be used ON RARE OCCASSIONS. It's really difficult to explain exactly when to use the spanking., i'm not saying that you HAVE to or that its necessary..but I believe it all really depends on the situation, such as kids deliberately doing something dangerous that risks their lives after being warned many times, AND depending on the child. Some children really can learn to behave well with just a simple scolding while others...requires a little "kick" haha xD

I mean, that story about you losing track of time in making your bed/doing morning chores ...well, I personally think that a spanking was NOT necessary there, especially since you were 9-10 years old...though you were old enough to know that tardiness isn't acceptable but you were also still young enough to get easily distracted and fool around...so I think making you deal with the consequence of trying to do your work on a short time limit or even reducing your break time to make up for the time you missed would be punishable enough xD

I was spanked as a kid...my family are latinos XD ....and my mom is very old fashioned, she was raised in 50s/60s so obviously she has old traditions. As I'm sure you're aware, no parents are perfect, they will make wrong choices and will make mistakes. So obviously, there were times where my mom spanked me and even as a kid...I thought they were  stupid or invalid/unfair reasons. Sure enough, it did made me avoid being open with her and did made me hide my misdoings to avoid getting my ass beaten. So like I said, I do agree with you in that department.

But there were times where the spanking did teach me. Like when I was 11 or 12 and was going thru the 'i hate the world' phase, I disrespected my mom by indicating that she was stupid and even tho she kept warning me to watch what I say, I kept on going and getting more aggressive/disrespectful until she smacked my mouth hard.  That's when I knew I was going too far.

But my mom didn't ALWAYS spank me. When I was  6, I stole a toy and got caught by my mom. She made me confess to the clerk and then when we went home she showed me stories and news articles about thieves and what happens to them and how mistrusting it is. ...eeehhh....I continued stealin. xD BUT I STOPPED WHEN I REACHED 13 .I'm not bad...I swear.

All in all, we all have different opinions. Your points were interesting and they were excellent points so it did made me think more about it. As I said before, depending on the situation and child, spanking could be used but shouldn't be the first or only option. I would love to have kids one day, but even before reading your article I never really considered spanking my own children if I ever had any. But keeping your points in mind, I would definitely think about other methods. I probably am sounding super contradicting and/or confusing. It's a pretty difficult topic to discuss.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016
It is a complicated topic and I agree that different circumstances lead to different results.  I'm glad you're thinking about it and I support you making your own decisions with all the information you can get!
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:iconkaritbb:
KariTBB Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2015  Student General Artist
You've raised some interesting points. I generally believe in spanking though I think it is rarely ever necessary (I've made the best experiences with asking nicely rather than ordering something). But you've made me think here and there. I still believe there are situations where a spanking is the safer option but what you said should is relevant.

That aside though, your family's reaction to your coming out is out of the question. And I also believe the harsh reaction you experienced would have led you to self harm, even if they had not spanked you. If someone you love suddenly makes you feel like a piece of trash, you'll break, no matter how they treated you before. It is a no-go and something no parent should ever do to their child. I hope that they realized that it isn't their buisness who you are and that you can live more peacefully now...
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2015
Hi!  Thanks for the comment and for thinking on this.  I agree, my family's reaction was pretty terrible.  I am living more peacefully now, although that is because they decided to cut me out of their life completely (to be fair, it was at least partly a mutual decision since I was tired of their constant attempts to "fix" me and refusal to respect my requests that they stop.)  It's a shame that it comes to this, but sometimes you have to look out for yourself.  All the best!
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:iconsabellie:
Sabellie Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2015
You need to talk to someone I know, he's a self-harmer and has made it clear he has suicidal thoughts. 
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2015
If he needs support, he's always welcome to message me.  However, the best thing for him is to have support from his friends and a mental health professional.  I'm hoping for all the best for your friend.
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:iconsabellie:
Sabellie Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2015
He's been through the whole lot, but I'll try and get him to message you. 
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:icondarksiderdarmoset:
DarksiderDarmoset Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2015  Student Digital Artist
You'll like it when you're older
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2015
Uh, how much older?
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:iconlibrarian-of-hell:
librarian-of-hell Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Don't have kids. Problem solved.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015
Fair.  I plan to adopt, so it's relevant to me.
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:iconlibrarian-of-hell:
librarian-of-hell Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Well that's better than breeding irresponsibly. I know I'd be a terrible parent because i have emotions, so there.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015
Haha!  I certainly don't think that anyone is obligated to parent.  If someone feels they would not parent well, should not parent, or simply doesn't want to parent, then they shouldn't.  Sure is better than becoming a parent with no forethought and then fucking your kid up.  All the agreement here.
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:iconlibrarian-of-hell:
librarian-of-hell Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
:iconfacebooklikeplz:
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:icondarksiderdarmoset:
DarksiderDarmoset Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Spanking is like broccoli. You hate it as a kid, but enjoy it as an adult =)
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:iconnathaliathepony:
Nathaliathepony Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh lol that made me laugh so hard :D
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:iconthegroundedaviator:
TheGroundedAviator Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2015
The double standards of life.
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:iconsupersmurgger:
SuperSmurgger Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
When a man hits a woman, it is called "domestic violence". When a woman hits a man, it is called "domestic violence". When a human hits another human, it is called "assault". When a man hits an animal, it is called "animal abuse". When a child hits an adult, it is called "rebellion, violence or unacceptable behavior". When a child hits a child, he is called "violent, abusive, hyperactive or agressive attitude" [...] But when an adult hits an cild, it is called...DISCIPLINE. We call it education, we call it upbringing, we call it LOVE.

Error 404 : logic not found.

I was raised without spanking and STILL, I also suffer from this mysterious post-traumatic psychological condition called RESPECT for others as well ! No violence in my childhood and I turned out perfectly fine. Spanking is not education, spanking is not discipline, spanking is not LOVE. I am not going to say that it is abuse, because some people were raised with spanking and are as OK as I am. I even heard stories about children who deliberatly chose to be spanked, because they thought it was better from them...but ONLY for them. But that apart, spanking is not good parenting. This method should never be imposed on children who could be raised by other means. It does not teach them well and does not show them that being punished is the part of a loving process. Spanking is not love, it is violence, it is spanking.

You sir restored some faith of mine in humanity with this post, thank you for that ! :heart:
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2015
I'm glad you found it encouraging!  I agree with your assessment and I have determined that I will raise my kid without violence.  We can break that cycle.
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:iconsupersmurgger:
SuperSmurgger Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like to talk about those subjects ; a few people dare to publicly affirm and advocate their desire for change. And I'm still lucky ! Here in France, people are an overwhelming majority of pro-spanking guys. But their "spanking" still is way less horrible than what I've heard of in the USA or other parts of the world...
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2015
"Spanking" is such a broad term, too.  Some people view it as one light swat with a hand, over clothes.  For others, it means repeatedly striking the child's naked body with an implement until the child is subdued.  I think all forms of striking are bad, but I also think it's a problem that we allow people to define almost any form of violent discipline as "spanking", thus freeing them from criticism or even causing people to congratulate them for their parenting!
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:iconsupersmurgger:
SuperSmurgger Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was not raised with violence, and the only form of "spanking" I received was your first definition, the light swats over clothed bottom by hand. And I agree with you, spanking is too broad to be precisely supervised by the law.

But I think the real problem is the lack of common sense. I can hardly tolerate people who give light swats, but I don't think it will kill the child (although I persist in thinking that there are other ways ; a parent who needs to hit has failed in his task). However, I do NOT understand who some parents can just bend their kids over the knees in a humiliating position, drop their pants and beat the hell out of them. Some of them don't even hug or comfort afterwards, it disgusts me.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2015
Agreed, I think all violent parenting is unethical and less-than-ideal, but my opinion on it ranges from disagreement to horror and disgust.
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:iconsupersmurgger:
SuperSmurgger Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Spanking in "french style" results in disagreement for me. Spanking in other more-violent styles stirr horror and disgust.
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:icondarksiderdarmoset:
DarksiderDarmoset Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist
When you're an adult, you'll come to like it =)
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015
Lol I am an adult.  And I'm not a big fan, but my wife is kind of into it...
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:icondarksiderdarmoset:
DarksiderDarmoset Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist
If your wife is into it, you know what you must do. 
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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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: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  Professional 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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:iconwyrmsroost:
WyrmsRoost Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2015  Professional General Artist
<3
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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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