Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Why am I not enough?
I talked about the bible. And she even agreed that God never mandated spanking. I felt affirmed, hopeful that just maybe she would listen. Maybe i could save my baby sisters and brothers. Maybe they would just stop.
I shared my research in detail. Science suggests that ALL spanking is dangerous. There is no "right way" to spank. Even the bible is against it.
I told her about the sexual effects of spanking. About how even the gentlest of spankings can lead to permanent sexual damage and confusion. Children can Subconsciously link sexual feelings with violence and degradation.
"That's not accurate. Children can link those things even if they're not spanked"
"Because of our culture! The media!"
I pressed on. I risked it. I told her about me. About how even normal everyday spankings, the ones that never left a bruise, were terrible for me. My feelings of self hatred were birthed on the floor in the bathroom, waiting for mom to come with the spanking spoon. How my earliest experiences with my sexuality revolved around pain, around violence, around shame. It was hard for me to say, SO hard, but i just kept thinking of my sister: So much like me. Too much like me....
"The bible teaches us gentleness. And respect. It is a basic human right to NOT be hit."
She became immediately defensive.
"Oh so you think I'm a violent parent? You're saying i don't respect my kids?"
"I know you only did what you thought was right, but now I'm giving you new information. Every person in America has the right to not be hit except children. If children are people too, i think they should have the same rights"
She told me this was just a knee jerk reaction.
"Just because your dad messed up a few times your freaking out and going in the exact opposite direction. Everybody does this. You'll understand someday when you're a parent"
"Mom, I've done the research. That just doesn't make sense"
"Well you've obviously been brainwashed"
"NO MOM! YOU BRAINWASHED ME!"
My heart was sinking. Fast.
She rambled on, using all the old HSLDA rhetoric I've heard so many times. I know that argument backwards. I've changed my mind because now I've finally seen the rest of the facts. I've seen how i am affected. I only said something because i cant stand the thought of my siblings having to feel the way that i feel.
"You're obviously having issues, Sarah. I think you need to take this to God"
I was crying now. Desperate for her to hear me, begging her to not shut down on me.
"I have mom. I have! Listen to me please. I understand if you don't believe the research. Interpret the bible however you want to, but can you please just ignore all that for a moment and HEAR me? I am your daughter and spanking HURT me. So why wont you just stop?!"
I was sobbing, shaking, pleading.
"Why is that not enough?"
In the silence that followed, I let my heart believe that she had heard me. That a 25-year-old mistake could not be stronger than my mother's love. I had bared my soul. I had begged her. She had no choice but to listen, right?
Wrong. She spoke again. Bitter. Angry. Sarcastic.
"Well I'm so sorry I ruined your life, Sarah. Obviously we just hate you right? is that what you wanted to hear me say?"
She continued, but i could no longer speak. Choked by tears, I whispered that i had to go and hung up the phone. My heart is still breaking at this fresh memory.
I am your daughter and you hurt me. Even if you never hit me, just making me stand, bent over your knee, would have been too much. Even if i didn't have any evidence, I am LIVING proof that your method didn't work. So why don't you just stop? Why is my word, my pain, my HEART, still not enough for you?
(By the way, this all took place just last night. I am still reeling from the shock. I am so disappointed, I don't even know what to say)