Thank you so much to Chelsea and to everyone else who shared thier stories with me. You have made a difference. Not only in my life, but in the lives of the parents and former victims who will read your brave and powerful words.
Years later he told me that spanking “worked” on me; it created the desired behavior change. He couldn’t deal with spanking my sister, however, as she would hold it against him for weeks. I just gave in. Or appeared to.
What he didn’t know is that I gave in because I was unsure of his love. Deep inside I could see that he harbored contempt for me; I was afraid he might send me to military school, or something of that sort.
Another thing he didn’t know is that his efforts to control me caused me to develop a very sneaky and secretive side. I knew how and when to sneak things into the house, and where to hide them, and I learned how to say one thing and do another. I learned to tell myself that the things I did weren’t bad, but I should not get caught, should not reveal myself.
I used to hide comics against my belly, under the shirt, held in place by an arm that was carrying something else to attract any attention. Up in my room I found a place to stash them that went undiscovered for years. It was natural for me to apply these same tricks to pornography when that became interesting to me.
For me, a culture of control and punishment led to a culture of concealment. My relationship with my parents, while in many important ways very warm, still lacks the depths of utter trust, revelation, and unconditional love.
For my child, on the other hand, there was no need to hide. The worst that would happen was that we would appeal to his own moral sense, and he would have to understand that he had caused harm. Now that he’s grown, he and I talk about any and every thing, and I believe he feels my love in every part of his soul. He is amazingly happy.
But there’s more: I feel his total love as well, in every part of my soul.
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