Thursday, 1 October 2015

Trigger warning: physical abuse

The only person who knows all of the following is MrB, and my therapists (of whom, there have been many). I'm writing it out, so I can see how abnormal it was, so I can give myself the credit I deserve for who I am today.

If you think my story may upset you, then please don't read it. I'm writing for catharsis, not for hits.

My earliest memories of physical cruelty at the hands of my mother were when I was 5, she would smack my hand when I got a word wrong, rubbed my face in my own soggy bedsheets (i wet the bed until about 6 years old) and threw a glass of cold water over me once when I was having a tantrum about a beetle drive at school.

How on earth I developed a love of reading I do not know, as for the glass of water...well my mum never has forgiven me for telling my teacher and then her calling social services.

Once her and my dad split up (angrily and acrimoniously), she then had babies in quick succession. She smacked us when we were 'naughty', I probably was a trying little girl at times (we all were, I'd bet!), because I wanted to know about the world.

The woman lost control of her temper incredibly quickly, she began to just hit us around the head with her hand . I say 'just' because she was too bloody lazy to bother leg smacking anymore.

I remember a pretty bad incident, where I was bathing my two baby brothers, aged 2 and 3 (ish) I was 9 or 10. They were splashing (as toddlers do) and I was playing with them and encouraging it (as a child would). when my mum bothered to come and check on us, the floor was soaked. She repeatedly hit me around the head in a cramped bathroom. I cowered under the sink, my head ricocheted off the sink pedestal. [I am almost crying as I write this].

This continued forever, 'all parents smack' I thought, and it became part of the way I 'parented' my tiny brothers and sisters. I'd smack their thigh, and then feel wracked with guilt, always seeking a cold compress (we mark easily in my family!!).

Once, my mum became obsessively worried about bruises on my body. For why, I have no fucking clue, but she became obsessed with having to 'check me' for marks. Wtaf?? This culminated in an incredibly painful, shaming evening, where I was basically emotionally blackmailed to strip off so my mum could check me for bruises. With my step dad present. Wtaf? I was barely 12 at the time, and the disgusting shame of that moment lives on within me...I cannot get rid of it. 21 years later. I was already a shy child, I didn't like to wear strappy dresses, as they made me feel on show. I still cannot wear low cut tops, as I feel that my body should be covered.

As a parent, I promise that I will never smack my children, I cannot deal with the guilt form shouting, let alone physical violence.

My mum smacked me, and I am not alright. I won't judge other parents for a smack on the legs if they feel it's needed, what they do is their business. However, making them afraid of me, allowing them to see me lose control in such a terrifying and damaging way is no ok. At. All.

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