See the website Punishment Hurts Everyone, at http://abusewithanexcuse.com. This is an amazingly brave site with writing and thoughtful insights that might upset those who think that spanking kids is good for them, but for most of us, who know it only traumatizes and harms them, it will be an illuminating page indeed. Check it out! Great stuff here from a man who has put his ideas into practice and never once punished his own children, teens now and well-adjusted and happy to boot. Who’da thunk it could be done? (Well I did, for one, and maybe you too!)
7 thoughts on ““Punishment is Just Abuse with An Excuse””
Teehee, I know what you mean. Money comes in, and lo and behold, I have a room full of…art supplies! 8)
Love you, too,
Girlfriend, I freaking love you. Your reply to my comment gave me goose bumps just now. Thank you so much for the validation!
Sometimes I beat myself up for not being 100% “well.” I get depressed sometimes. I have anxiety sometimes. And, like I’ve already talked about with you, I sometimes have feelings like nothing is real, including me! Depersonalization and dissociation, it’s called. Oh how I hate that feeling. When have that unreal feeling, I really get down on myself, because I think I ought to be all better by now.
I needed your sweet reminder that I really have come a long way. It’s true, isn’t it? I believe reading a lot of good self-help books has helped me the most. When I get a little money, I buy psychology books. If I have any money left over, I buy food. Ha ha, I’m not really that bad, but close. My husband is the same, only he reads novels. We could almost open a library with all the books we have in our house right now.
Alaina, how crazy is that? Imho it is totally crazy, insane, nuts and evil…that’s how crazy it is. I have no other words for it. Except to say that you are amazing and heroic and just effing astonishing to me in your resilience for having survived. What the world and your family dared to put you through, and i suppose your ex-husband counts as family in that sense, just boggles the mind, so it is really no wonder, if you read that punishment is abuse blog, why you followed suit and spanked your own children as you did…the real wonder, and it is truly wonderful, is how and why you managed to turn things around at all after such a lifetime of abuse. It is for that you deserve ultimate credit and you should take it. And i hope you know that and do take credit. As Rilke’s beautiful poem says, “Du must dein Leben andern…” Or in English “You must change your life.” If anyone i have ever met has done just that, you are one shining example. Go for it, woman! You are a star!
I agree with you, Pam. Too bad we are in the minority. I hope your post will help turn that around.
Sadly, I did spank my 3 children. It was what I had been taught was “right.” Now that I am much older and at least a little wiser, I deeply regret ever spanking my kids. My children are all grown now, so it is too late for them. I have apologized to them, for what good that will do. When my granddaughter was expecting 2 years ago, I told her I have come to believe that spanking is wrong. She said she agrees. I hope she never spanks my great-grandson.
Many people in our culture trot out the ancient bible verse about sparing the rod and spoiling the child, as justification for spanking. However, in that same bible you can also find a verse that tells you to stone your son to death if he curses you. Strange how you never hear anyone advocating that.
I know you aren’t religious, Pam, which I fully understand and respect. I was agnostic for many years, although now I am a Christian. However… the bible is not my God. In my opinion, it is simply a collection of books that were written by people. I do like some verses in the bible, and believe that some verses may have been God-inspired. But I do not worship even the verses I like.
When I saw the title of this post, I flashed back to 1970, when I was a new bride. It was my 17th birthday and my (now ex) husband beat me very badly on that day for being selfish enough to suggest that we might celebrate by doing what we had done when we were dating — going out for a hamburger and a milkshake and to see a movie. I had made his birthday a few weeks earlier very special and, crazy me, I had thought he might want to do something nice for my day, as well. Especially since he had the day off, he had just gotten paid, and my suggestion of getting a hamburger and a shake and seeing a movie was something I thought he would enjoy as much as me.
I was smiling with happy anticipation when he slapped and kicked and shoved me, screaming that I was selfish for expecting him to spend his hard-earned money on something so frivolous.
Later that day my mother came by and told me I needed to start being a better wife or else I would lose my wonderful husband. I said, “Mom, he hits me.” She said, “I know he does, and I don’t blame him one bit. The bible says that the husband is the head of the house and the wife must submit to him as unto the Lord. The bible also says that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. So, if you are going to behave like a spoiled child, then you need to be beaten.”
Even after all these years, it makes my blood boil to remember that! Is there any wonder I was agnostic for years? If I hadn’t met some genuinely loving and kind Christians a few years ago, I am sure I would still be anti-Christian.
You know what amazes me, Pam? I was the “crazy” one who had just gotten out of a mental hospital a few months earlier. Just because I had heard voices from age 14 – 16, I was “crazy” and needed to be locked up. It made no difference that I had never hurt anyone, never threatened anyone, nor was I a criminal. I was quiet and shy and very obedient. But once I said that I heard voices, I “had” to be locked up.
Neither my hateful mother nor my violent ex-husband were ever locked up for being “crazy.” They never heard any voices, you see, so therefore they were perfectly sane.
How crazy is that?
This is once again a great job by you. You are correct punishment does not help, only in the moment the child learns to hide their true selves and it creates shame
the art looks great too.
Thanks, Pam! First time anyone’s done that for me. And now I’ll read your blog . . . it looks slick. I need to figure WP out better . . .