Childhood Getting spanked and striped naked waist down as a kid traumatized me

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
How is pulling a child’s pants down and slapping an other wise private area NOT causing trauma?
In the same way that pulling a child's pants down and even being touched there at the Dr's or being administered a suppository isn't causing trauma. Children don't have that inherent understanding of "private area" that you claim they have. A lot of things can be uncomfortable but that doesn't mean that they're traumatic on a pathological level. (For what it's worth, there are people for whom getting their hair cut just a tad too short feels traumatic -- doesn't mean it actually is)

You keep viewing this through the lense of an adult that's grown up in a society that stigmatizes body parts as well as your own personal trauma.
 

WonderWriter

Confident
I really think it did. It disgusts me thinking about it now and I can’t talk to anyone without feeling like they won’t take me seriously. My dad would make us strip naked waist down for it and go over his lap. ..I think the effects must be worse for a girl or maybe just for me.

He started when I was 3 or 4 and didn’t stop until I was 11 maybe. I remember the last time freaking out because I had pubic hairs and I didn’t want my siblings to see. That time I ended up talking my way out of it luckily. But every other time before that still messed with me. I would worry about it all the time, every action was based on whether or not I would get it.

Also, I started hitting myself at 5 and I started really liking pain. My dad just used his hand but I hit myself with whatever. I would go in my room blast the tv and hide in the closet and do it so no one could hear me. I also would draw pictures of it happening to others, look up the words spank in the dictionary, and play games with my siblings about it. It was like I was obsessed or broken to a point where I fixated on it.

And I was great at hiding it because no one ever noticed or said anything. I even asked my dad to do it twice out of nowhere at 6 or 7 without doing anything bad and of course both times he explained that he only can do that if I did something bad. But it still confuses me of his lack of concern for his daughter asking for that kind of thing and how he continued more years of doing it. Other things I often felt as a kid were intense shame and high self consciousness. I felt like everyone knew. I wasn’t comfortable with my body and It didn’t feel like it was mine completely.

I stopped hitting myself at 12 and traded it for self harm. And I still fantasized getting hurt. I started reading stories about it online and didn’t realize at the time that It was arousing me until I reached college years. I was fine with that though. I accepted that I liked pain and would actively seek out abusive guys and would fantasize them punishing me. sometimes I would get a rise out of them just do they would hit me. I went into a bdsm phase that I once I realized it was just a compulsion to repeat trauma I pulled myself out of it.

At that point I hated myself and wanted it to stop. I hated feeling the way I did and felt alone completely. You can’t just outwardly say getting spanked traumatized me and expect someone to listen. Most people that I told were on anonymous chat sites and used it to their advantage to get off while others would either laugh or deny that getting spanked wasn’t the issue because it happened to them and they’re fine so I must have something wrong with me. So I went back to denying myself and cutting a lot. And it took years and lots of self work to get over it.

Fast forward I thought all the work was done and I was finally normal. I have 2 kids and vowed never to hit them. I never want what happened to me to happen to them and i never want them to feel how I felt. What brought me to this site was when my boyfriend threatened to spank them once. I ended up raging. Once the kids were gone to daycare I screamed at him to the top of my lungs for probably 10 minutes he said that he couldn’t understand what I was saying and I honestly couldn't make sense if I tried. I was just screaming. I knew what I wanted to say in my head but some words were mixed up and I probably just sounded incoherent...I also lost my voice the next day so I know I went to far and over exaggerated the situation. but it was like I snapped and while I was angry at him part of me went away.

I still have no idea where all of that anger came from but maybe it was the traumatized part of me screaming. It scared me and is still confusing me.

I told my boyfriend what my dad did to me and he said he would never do that he just meant 1-2 hits and I felt even more foolish. We agreed to take a break for a bit and we’re back together now but I still can’t tell him things like this bother me. If people even start talking about disciplining their kids that way my blood boils and I have to leave the conversation, I can’t hear kids crying in the stores or tantruming because it triggers me a I freak out that their caretaker will hit them in front of everyone. I try to hide when I’m upset over these things so no one notices but it’s irritating that this still bothers me.

I don’t want to go to a therapist about this because I don’t think they will take me seriously either. I’m scared my trauma is laughable but I hoped posting this would help to get it off my chest and it did. Comments are welcome, and I’ll try to be okay with advise or criticism. It would also be nice to know I’m not alone because I feel like I am most of the time.
My heart aches for you! There is nothing laughable about that at all. My father worked nights, and a few times he pulled my pants down and beat me out of bed. There is nothing funny about being violated and beaten as a child. Because our nervous system is developing, any kind of trauma can stunt healthy development. Be proud of yourself for the work you’ve already done, and seek out a good trauma therapist. I’ve been in therapy since January, and I am glad that I sought help. It will take time to heal, but my therapy has given me a better understanding of my anxiety and triggers. Good luck, Friend. 🤗
 

Breathe

Learning
You’ll need to learn to use the right words, then.

- Timeout is NOT being locked in a basement for a week, without food, water, a toilet, or heat in the winter.

- Spanking is NOT being beaten, whipped, or sexually molested.

- A goodnight kiss is NOT oral rape, or grooming for future sexual assault.

People talk about timeouts, spanking, goodnight kisses, etc. as normal parts of everyday life... because they ARE normal parts of everyday life. Applied fairly, rationally, with both good intent and results. Because they are NOT abuse & neglect. Not even in the same universe as abuse and neglect.

You can continue to get mad at the rest of the world talking about how their fair and reasoned discipline (timeouts, spanking, etc.) were beneficial to them & their lives... or you could learn to use the words the rest of the world understands to be very different -& not even in the same universe- as fair and reasoned discipline (Abuse, beaten, whipped, flogged, sexually molested, etc.).

I know goodnight kisses & timeouts weren’t on your list, I’m hoping that they provide a good example of common ways abusers disguise their abuse (by using innocent ways to describe vile & violent acts against their kids)... that are hopefully not as charged as the word “spanking”.
Your advice about this was super helpful to me about my post about a year ago, having to do with a traumatic event in which a baby sitter spanked me, but really he beat me. Albeit he performed it as a spanking, it was a beating. A sharp spank is nowhere near the same thing as a beating. And the perpetrator of abuse isn’t thinking about your well being the way a healthy parent or caregiver is. And I really hope this OP pays attention to your response as well.
 

Breathe

Learning
In the same way that pulling a child's pants down and even being touched there at the Dr's or being administered a suppository isn't causing trauma. Children don't have that inherent understanding of "private area" that you claim they have. A lot of things can be uncomfortable but that doesn't mean that they're traumatic on a pathological level. (For what it's worth, there are people for whom getting their hair cut just a tad too short feels traumatic -- doesn't mean it actually is)

You keep viewing this through the lense of an adult that's grown up in a society that stigmatizes body parts as well as your own personal trauma.
That’s pure bull. You’re dismissing the op’s expression that they were traumatized by these events because YOU don’t believe they should be traumatized. If they say they were traumatized then they were, and it doesn’t matter if you see it that way. In fact that tells me that you don’t empathize with the child’s experience. Also the science is *very clear* that even open hand spanking of 1-2 slaps over time is harmful. There are many many studies on this and I am not spouting misinformation.
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
That’s pure bull. You’re dismissing the op’s expression that they were traumatized by these events because YOU don’t believe they should be traumatized. If they say they were traumatized then they were, and it doesn’t matter if you see it that way.

Read again. In fact, re-read the entire thread.

Spanking in and of itself is not traumatic.
Being bare-butted as a child in and of itself is not traumatic.
Spanking and/or stripping naked in the context of other ongoing abuse, dysregulated family life, ... may very well be.
Spanking, being called such, but just as a disguise for physical abuse (i.e. beating)... may very well be.

Big difference.

And since we're in a PTSD forum it's implied that "trauma" is used in the context of "potentially PTSD-causing trauma".

You keep changing your arguments. One time you claim it's because the child has to "strip naked and expose their private parts" that's supposed to be the traumatic part. Then you cite studies that say the mere act of spanking itself is harmful.

For the record: I do not condone spanking. But I also don't support pathologizing just about everything that, albeit maybe generally questionable, is considered 'normal'.
 
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