"I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still." Sylvia Plath
Thursday, May 2, 2013
I was spanked and I'm OK...if you call being 40 and acting like a little kid OK...
Back when I used to be a "spanker" I would have told you that I appreciated how my parents punished me so consistently for all wrong-doing. I'd have told you that EVERY time I did something bad I got busted. NO MERCY! Ever! If I got caught I got punished and it was always harsh. Years ago I thought that that had spared me from getting involved in wrong things when I was older and that I "at least" appreciated that about how my parents'd raised me.
No. My parents being consistently punitive with me is not what kept me from "doing bad" in life...it's actually what's kept me from "doing good."
I've done a lot of naughty things in my day. I could fill books about it. I had a time of total unbridled wildness that I'm not proud of.
My parents being harsh with me my whole growing-up years didn't stop me from starting to cuss like a sailor and favor the F word from the time I was in 3rd grade! It didn't stop me from sneaking out of their house to go to parties when I was 15. It didn't stop me from getting pregnant in their basement at age 17. It didn't stop me from punching my boyfriend in the face when I was 18. It didn't stop me from cheating on my boyfriend (father of my baby.) It didn't prevent me from speeding. It didn't prevent me from passing on hills or driving erratically (dangerously.) It didn't even prevent me from driving after drinking alcohol.
And...there is a certain time period in my life in which I will not share pics publicly because I'm afraid of who will recognize me and suddenly realize THAT was me!!! And, guess what? I'd been spanked growing up...and it didn't prevent me from living that 6 months of things of which I now only regret!
I will tell you what it did prevent me from doing, though...
Back in 2009 my family and I all lived in Guatemala and we believed at that time that we were moving to Canada. So, we got this greeeeaaaat idea to spend a whole buncha' money to fly to Florida for 2 weeks for a "Once in a Lifetime" trip to Orlando. (We now live 90 min. from Orlando!)
My mom is a half hour from Orlando so part of that trip was spending a week with her. At one point in our stay I knocked an old picture frame off the wall that had been in my house as a kid as long as I remembered.
It hit the floor and SMASH!! I was horrified!!
I was 40 years old. Standing there looking at this smashed "family heirloom" on the floor. You know what I did with it? I can't even believe, now, looking back that this is what I did but...I took it and put it in a grocery bag...wrapped it up tightly...snuck out to the garage...and put it as far into the bottom of the trash can as I could.
I hid it!
When we moved to FL then in 2011 something compelled me to "confess" what I'd done...She admitted she'd wondered where in the world that thing had gotten to...
I managed to find the same "graphic" as was in the picture and I created a Christmas tree ornament of it for her the following year. I also perused ebay trying to find a replacement to no avail.
I'm at her house and I noticed that in the same place she had a square frame with the same "picture" inside. I asked where she'd gotten it and she told me that she'd come across the pictures in the "Good Will type store" she works in...she said as she spoke, "I sure wish you hadn't thrown the whole thing away I could have at least gotten the picture reframed...I had that on my wall since I was a little girl and I don't even know where it originally came from..."
(she mis-remembered how the pic was in the frame 'cause you can see the pic is ON the glass...)
As soon as she says all that the first question that pops into my head is, "Dara! Why DID you just throw that away!? Why did you hide it?" and of course, the answer followed immediately..."Well, Mom, unfortunately, you simply reaped what you sowed with me. I did what you trained me to do with you."
No! I didn't say that! I kept my mouth shut. That wouldn't have gone over well. But, that's the truth of what happened the day I hid that picture frame. My mom lost something that was dear to her because of how she'd raised me...
My parents consistent punitive parenting of me did nothing to stop me from doing bad things when I was younger...but...what it did do was prevent me from being able to redeem a simple mistake of breaking a picture frame. Over and over I'd not been taught, "You messed up! Oh! Here's how to fix that!" No. I'd been taught, "You messed up! WHACK!"
I was spanked..."the right way"...consistently...and 30 years after the last time I'd actually been hit it prevented me from being able to handle a simple situation like an adult because of how I'd been trained...
I was spanked...and 40 years later...it's obvious that no...I'm not...OK...
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CLICK HERE for a free e-book download of the book by Samuel Martin that shows that spanking/smacking is not Biblical...
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