Writing about spanking drums up negative images from my childhood that makes it seem like just yesterday.
Many will remember the early years of computers when our internet connections via telephone lines were painfully slow.
Several years ago researching ‘spanking’ for an article I was working on I came across a website where you could click to listen to the recording of an actual spanking as it had occurred. Out of curiosity I clicked the button to listen and waited for the dial-up connection to load the recording.
My thoughts drifted to my childhood; my parents each had their own methods for whipping. I remembered the shame of those ‘good whippings,’ as they were called and sweat began to bead on my forehead. My chest tightened and I could feel my eyes welling up. Finally unable to go further, I clicked the ‘x’ to close the webpage and I never went back.
Yeah, I remember all those whippings— dodging blows and grabbing things to protect my body.
My reaction surprised me but reaffirmed my need to stay in my Parents Anonymous Group. While I was not hitting or whipping my children, I still carried that awful baggage with me every single day. I still got angry over stupid things, just like Mom. I was also a bit like Dad; I remembered those in my family who spoke of whipping almost as a Biblical duty. Because of how I grew up I was still a danger to my children. I wondered if it would always be that way.
Visiting family or friends with our parents, I wore long sleeves and pants in warm weather to hide marks, or “stripes” as they were called. Like the scarlet letter, it was stark evidence of how bad I must have been.
“If you don’t beat them, they will get out of hand,” was a common phrase I heard many times.
Through the years I thought about waiting for the dial-up to load that day. I thought about my children and my need for them to love me as I loved them. I never wanted my children to hear the crack of a belt or feel the stinging burn it left behind. I didn’t want them to grow up and have memories like mine.
In this fast-paced world we live in I am grateful that one day not too long ago we had that slow connection called dial-up.
By request – Updated from May 30, 2012
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