Monday, June 25, 2012

Still Crying: Childhood Memories


(This post was originally published on my old blog: Enigma. I am re-posting it here to kick off the "Still Crying" project)

I couldn't stop crying. That was the problem. I was hot and cold all over, shaking and crying so hard i couldn't breathe. My skin was stinging, throbbing from the punishment that started almost an hour ago. My chest rose and fell in sharp jerky motions with each hickup, with each choking breath i tried to take. "control yourself" he said softly. His voice was sad, almost gentle. Almost.
He was so disappointed in me. I knew it, and now time was running out again. "Are you going to stop?" His grip tightened on my arm. Panic surged through my body, threatening more tears, I bit down on my lip. "God please make me stop! Help me control myself!" My mind screamed out to God, but nothing happened. No sense of calm. I should have expected this, God doesn't answer bad 6-year-olds. My little body shuddered and i started to sob again. Failure. Dad pulled me back over his knee and hit me three times with a wooden spoon. Pain blossomed up the back of my legs, my bottom. I cried. Loud. I was completely unable to control myself and i was dizzy from trying. Dad clamped his hand over my mouth. "silence" he hissed. Now he was frustrated as well as disappointed. What was wrong with me? Why was i too weak to just say "yes sir" and shut my mouth?
My foggy little mind understood why this was happening. I needed to learn to be silent when i was punished and Daddy was helping me. If i was allowed to be loud and mellow dramatic, the neighbors might get the wrong idea and tell the cops that we were being abused. The cops weren't Christians, and they wouldn't understand. They might get a judge to split up our family, and it would be all my fault. Daddy was just protecting our family. I mustered all my strength and stood very still. I sucked in as much air as i could, held my breath and waited. "are you going to control yourself now?" I nodded. Not too fast. "Do you understand why i had to spank you?" I'd forgotten actually, but I nodded anyway. I was running out of air. "Are you sorry?" I nodded again, waited. My vision began to go dark around the edges. I didn't dare draw a breath and ruin this long awaited silence. "Alright, come here" My father took me in his arms and I slowly let out my breath. It was over now. My body was still shaking but my lips were clamped shut. "What do you say Sarah?" he asked. Still no gentleness in his voice, but the anger was gone. I cautiously opened my mouth, terrified that my body would betray me again. I wiped the tears and snot away with the back of my hand and whispered: "Thank You"

14 comments:

  1. Sarah..

    speechless.

    I am simply speechless.

    Braveheart for sharing your story. Thankyou for reposting.

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  2. Wow. I am not even sure what to say, but my heart broke a little in reading this encounter. {{hugs}}

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  3. That's insane. I don't see how it could be seen as anything other than torture.

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  4. It's not spanking, it's HITTING. No-one should hit a child.

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    1. Spanking is hitting a child on a private part. All hitting is wrong. My little girl is 6 and if anyone ever tried to touch her on her buttocks there would be hell to pay.

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    2. I wish I could thumbs up this reply.

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    3. I'm a couple years late to this thread, I see (just discovered this post linked from an article in another blog I was reading), but in addition to saying how much my heart breaks for the author of this article as a child (as well as for myself as a child), I want to say a resounding YES to these comments here. No one has a right to hit a child - I once saw an interview with Michael Pearl where he said he doesn't use the word "hitting" when it comes to physical punishment, because he thinks it's somehow different. Well, I personally avoid using the "s-word", mainly because just speaking it brings up the feelings of humiliation, degradation, and terror, but also because it is BULLS**T to pretend like giving "hitting" a different name suddenly means it is not abuse. And I am thoroughly convinced that this kind of punishment is not only physically, psychologically, and emotionally abusive, but outright sexually abusive as well. Like movingon says, it is hitting a child on a private part. It is violating the body in an area that, when the child is older (and hopefully not before), will become associated with sexual interaction. I am always kind of dumbfounded that these things aren't talked about more, and aren't obvious to anyone who takes a moment to think it through. But I am interested in the comment from another "Anonymous" below about all the intimacy and sexual issues that have lingered - I can absolutely relate. So WHY do most people not seem to recognize this, and why do we allow this kind of horrifying, sexually-charged and sexually-devastating abuse to continue happening to our smallest, most innocent, most vulnerable citizens?

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  5. This way of raising a child is dangerous for so many reasons. It is even dangerous for the parents, because one day they may pull out the paddle or whatever and find a knife stuck in their belly before they have time to react. Or a pair of steely hands wrappεd around their neck.

    Obviously, for a child to be able to do that calmly and automatically, they must intensively condition into themselves a mentality that even a black belt in karate would find scary to deal with. But once it's done, God help anyone who so much as raises their voice at them. Even decades later as an adult.

    The experience of holding another person's life in one's hands, the knowledge that it could happen again without one's conscious choice, is even scarier than being abused. And in the absence of a way to undo that training, the only responsible thing to do is live alone. Remain single and absolutely never have children.

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  6. Dear God...

    I went to hug my son and tell him how much I love him.

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  7. this is giving me flash backs. I don't know if that's good or bad.

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  8. This story makes me sick. I hope and pray that you will find peace. I wish I could just grab and run away with you. How can any parent do something like this?

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  9. http://her.joshandrosemary.com/blog/why-weve-chosen-not-to-spank/ Well I'm more determined than ever-

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  10. Spanking is hitting. Hitting is abuse. I wish I could take that little girl in my arms, run away with her, hug her and protect her forever. But no one did. No one was there. All of us failed. I am sorry.

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  11. I still struggle with physical intimacy. I either have no boundaries and sleep with partners immediately-thinking if I let them use or abuse me at least its my choice. I was in a 10 year physically and emotionally abusive relationship and I truly believe the reason I so willingly put up with it for so long was because of the terrible relationship with my mother. I too became good at lying and manipulating. ive also noticed now that I have crossed that line into real love and trust with my partner I struggle to have sex with him. I dont want to do something that I associate with spanking and abuse. I hate being naked, I hate being touched. it makes my stomach hurt at times.
    Another issue I have always faced is sleep difficulties. my mom always warned me when I went to bed I would receive my spanking for what Idid wrong that day. I would beg and plead-so sick with fear I couldnt eat all day. it has made me associate any evening rituals with spanking and fear. I also experienced sexual arousal at the thought of this in my teen and adult life. followed by immediate disgust.
    unfortunately I dont know how to move past this. I try to block out yge memories but then they haunt me as nightmares.

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