Just spankings?
Anon., April 5, 2003

Dear Jordan,

I found your site, quite by accident. Yet, I truly needed to find the letters you posted. Although, it seems that I am a classic 'text-book' example of what can happen when you spank your children, I have managed to avoid hitting/harming my own children. Of course while you already know the importance of your speaking out, some of us, myself for example, are barely even able to really examine the issue as we must. I am going to tell you my story but it is imperative that you provide me anonymity.

Thank you,
and thank you again...

[Name withheld]

I couldn't understand. My father died when I was fifteen, and I was relieved. I loved him but didn't really understand my shameful thinking. At 18, while at college, I started having flashbacks: being two and having food held in my mouth while someone pinched my nose and stroked my neck to get me to swallow. Then the one where my father lost it, and while I was getting ready for bed and was naked, he whipped me with a yard stick and the fact that I wet myself made him angrier. The striking was never formal. Anger, expressed. Hitting me across the side of the head with the yard stick. Clean-the-plate issues. Whipping me with strips of dry wall across my back. All in the name of discipline.

I married someone I thought was protective, oh, and strong. He had a crankiness with other people, but seemed to treat me well. For fourteen years I put up with his tantrums. He didn't hit me; just turned over clothes racks, cleared table tops and fought with everybody else. So I left him.

I remarried someone with danger signs, but I was sure that I was unlovable by then. The seductive good behavior of courtship was window dressing. This man was very perverted and ill. The physical abuse was always a breathe away and escalating. I found counseling to strengthen myself to try to get away. After that my relationships were fearful for me even when there was no danger present.

Recently, my 2nd former husband was charged and convicted on 7 felony counts including those covering the disciplining of a young teenager who thought he was her father. He wasn't. He had her strip and tied her while he spanked her. He videotaped this and kept it with his porno collection. That's where the police found it. Her biological mother testified that the spankings improved her grades.

My mother asked me why I married these two idiots. I said, "Look at the relationship I had with Dad!"

Her response was telling: "Those were just spankings."

My sister and mother stonewalled when I asked about our family. Unquestionably, I have suffered throughout my life. From the first time a boss angrily confronted me and I felt my genital area relax/lose control. It made me panic because of my huge fear reaction to a situation that didn't warrant it. I have never been able yet to get the counseling I need. Its been impossible to talk about all this, even though my 3 university degrees allow me to realize that the suffering continues. Yet, I am overwhelmed by it still.

This is the first time I've ever said it all. And you clearly know how important it is to spread the word, spankings are NEVER "just spankings." I married a paranoid prone to violence and followed it up with a sadist. My therapist said I was too nice.

How did I get that way? Humiliating, destructive 'spanking'. Yes, it made me so nice that my self preservation got in the way! I care for everyone else; never really for myself. I remember being vibrant, friendly, and happy as a small child. Now I am a hermit except for work and my children. My sister and my mother scoffed. But the core of my being was damaged. But in some small fashion, I won. I didn't hit my kids.

Please don't emotionally scar a child. It's a lifetime wound.

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