This post is by a reader called Conundrum #5. Thank you Conundrum!
I would like to think I wasn't beaten for every infraction, but it is difficult for me to be sure in the aftermath of having a leather belt angrily applied to my bare bottom on a regular basis until I was 16 years old. The irony is being liked and approved of has always been my deepest desire. It would have been enough for my mother to have told me she was disappointed in me for me to see the error of my ways.
Because of my sensitivity, whippings left deep emotional scars. I learned to walk on eggshells around Mom. I learned not to act or think independently, because if my opinions or actions were displeasing to my mother, I could be whipped, no matter what my intentions may have been. As an adult, this hampered my ability to take initiative until very recently. I still struggle, but understanding where my struggle comes from has allowed me to get a handle on it.
The effect that most grieves me is that as an adult, my go-to response to a child misbehaving is the thought that they need a “good whipping” to teach them how to behave. In spite of what non-spanking parents (some of whom I know personally) have written about their kids, I am not convinced children can learn to behave without being spanked...which is why I am very glad I do not have children. I have tried to temper my “spanking habit” by saying I would only spank as long as the child was in the single digits, or by saying I would never spank while angry, but I don't trust myself. My not being a parent is a much safer solution.
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