Monday, May 21, 2012

Spanking and a black eye at the happiest place on earth: Why we say no 'spank you'!

"Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way." -Dalai Lama XIV

My opinions on spanking were established early in life.
I can remember the last time my father spanked me...
We were at Disney World, "The Happiest Place on Earth" on "vacation".  My siblings and I lived with my father for most of our youth, and my grandmother lived with us and cared for us as well. This particular instance my father was travelling and interviewing for work. The details are a bit vague but I will tell you that the travelling progressed until we had driven a U-Haul into Utah and enrolled in school from a motel room. (by Christmas we had a beautiful home and my father's career was flourishing) But... at this juncture of our journey we were still convinced we were on "vacation"... and what child would know any differently when we were at Disney?
I speculate that the driving and travels created tension between my sister and I. I even went as far as to call her a "Dumbo" after she got off her elephant ride. When Mickey Mouse called our hotel room to invite us to breakfast SHE got to talk to him, and I was SO JEALOUS.  If you can get a vibe of my state of mind, I was the slightly neglected, very sensitve middle child who had been cooped up in a car and possibly exposed to adult stress...
I don't even really remember what I did or said to my sister... but boy did I "learn my lesson"...
The spanking took place in the hotel room, I can remember doing the cover my butt with my hands and when that becomes too painful squrim technique, and the Squirm landed me with a black eye.
My shiner sure put a damper of the family vacation, we had some videos from the trip, but  no photos. My dad realized that SPANKING IS VIOLENCE but any kid being hit could tell you that. I was spanked most likley due to his stress and inabiltiy to cope with my specific needs properly.

Years later, we moved into my mothers home and embarked on years of various types of abuse. The first 24 hours my sister endured (she hadn't lived with our mom from the age of 6 months until age 7) she was hit twice, for the cantelope in the trash can and jelly sandels on the couch.
My sister was spoiled by my grandmother at my father's house, and was never reqired to eat anything that wasnt cheesy or sugary. There was an immediate role reversal when we arrived at moms, and now I was favored and she was abused daily. We were physically, mentally, emotionally, religously abused and my sister was also force fed and tortured with food.

Eventually, my sister told the DARE officer at her school "My mom hurts me." and showed him a scar on her knee. My dad drove from out of state to pick up the following day, and we were escorted by police to collect our things in black trashbags while she screamed and tried to get the officer to take his shoes off in her home. I have seen her once since then, 12 years ago, but I talk to her on the phone sometimes and try to help her through.

After landing back at my fathers, we rebelled against the regime we had lived under for so long. As young teens we did what anybody would do, we went PUNK... then GOTH.
My dad was ill-prepared to deal with his punked-out teens, and worked constantly, and much like the prior years we were left to fend for ourselves.
Angsty, fighting for identity and detoxing from abuse our interpersonal relationships suffered. 

We were never taught accountability, as we recall we have been violent to each other well into our teen years.

Before we ever lived with my mother my bother was 8 and I was 7 he choked me after I beat him in a video game. I was further repromanded for winning, since it wasn't a proper girl thing to do by my granny... same ages my sister threw a dumbell on my leg, I can still recall that pain. As teens my bother used his "hammer fists" against our thighs, I threw a phone at my sisters head, she ripped a necklace off my neck cutting me. I would pin her to the floor and watch her struggle. She fought like a "wild banchee". I would say "cunt punt" and kick her accordingly. I slapped her for turining off my computer mid-email. I spit and kicked my brother in the face. All three of us also were prone to self mutliation. My sister used to pick this same scab over and over when she would get into  trouble and has a scar on her arm still. Later she also was found stashing hair she pulled out on the side of the bed, and got beat for that too The  three of us also  did  "ice burns" which was ice and salt burning your skin, for fun though. Then into our teen years my sister and I did cutting with razors and fingernails and things of the sort, another way of trying to express anger,pain, whatever we were feeling. My brother by then was praticing more of a mental downward spiral type burning and cutting phase, which is still doing to this day among other self destructing behaviors that keep him from maintaining healthy relationships with hiself and others.

Whatever lesson about our personal interactions I was being taught at Disney World didn't translate.

 My father was hit by his grandmother, and resents it. My mother was severley abused and required to clean and cook and raise her siblings . She was hit with extension cords, vaccum hoses, and endured some form of kneeling on wet rice and corn on tile or in the tub puishment.

Dad was spanked, and he spanked, Mom was abused, so she did too. We were taught to hurt eachother as a means of dealing with human fault and error also.

We have experienced a wide range of dicipline (or lack thereof) and abuse. From casual spankings to full blown tell my DARE officer abuse. In retrospect, my father's spankings were no better than my mother's high-heel beatings. I remember my parent's rage more than the pain.
My dad is the one who agknowledges the violence of spanking when my mother still sees no fault.

That's the problem with spanking, its a act of violence and inherently anger-filled. I don't beleive spanking can be emotionless. Who can hit their child without emotion? I can't think of hitting or a child without feeling an emotion...
Don't tell children you hit them out of love either, thats hypocrisy!

My brother is a schizophrenic now, studies have shown violence and trauma are triggers.
My sister has fibromyalgia, which is a widespread pain condition often found in women who were abused.
Abuse even found its way into my love life.

But now we draw the line. No hitting, ever. We practice attachment parenting. We practice non-violence.

We love the peaceful parenting facebook page for support and ideas for raising a child non violently.
There are also plenty of studies to back up  non violent parenting as a better, healthier choice for everyone involved.
Drmomma really has the best article on spanking and we encourage every parent to read it, even if your currently spanking to get a further knowledge on the subject. Blindly spanking your children without knowing the reprucissions is dangerous and  not fair to them.  Praciticng passed on traditions from prior generations without using todays knowledge is  dangerous. Examples being cirucumsion, smoking and drinking during pregnancy(but 1 in 5 white women smoke while pregnant still), arranged marragies, lead paint, gender get it. We could have easily continued the cycle of abuse, but we came out on the other side as happy and strong women, sisters, mothers, and friends. We also maintain healthy relationships with our children, father, and eachother.

Science and pshycology are on our side. Whats on pro spanking/ physical discilpines side?
"World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion." Dalai Lama XIV

1 comment:

  1. There's no other place in society where someone can ... smack another person. So why should we be able to do this to children? Let's just enjoy the Fantasy Rides in Disney.