The Persuasion of Punishment

“Why didn’t you tell somebody if your abuse was so bad?” These clever folks speak to you about something they know nothing of – being a child of severe sexual, physical and psychological abuse.

Do they not understand the fear that was instilled into my little being? Not only was my body pierced by the blunt force trauma of rape at three, I was ruled through punishment the rest of my time with him.

I did, however, learn to be a good prisoner to minimize punishment’s sting.

My father wore leather belts. His favorite was the kind of leather belt with metal rivets in it. They left your skin welted and often drew blood.

He was so deliberate in the way he administered punishment that it sits with me today. Any slight infraction in his kingdom brought swift and immediate judgment.

As as child, I had chlamydia, a result of the rapes I had endured over the years. This bacteria left me with a very funky smell. When I was about 8 or 9, my brother and I were playing. I laughingly called out to him, “If you don’t stop, I’ll give you a whiff of my crotch. My father heard. He called my name and told me to go up to his room and wait for him.

It was time to receive my punishment from him. I had stepped out of line. These weren’t rules that dad spoke, these were rules he just implemented. He never brought his belt to you quickly, you had to wait for it. Sometimes he left you waiting for hours.

Finally, he opened the door to his bedroom, came in slowly and removed his belt from his pant loops. As he always did, he told me to take down my pants and underwear, exposing my bare behind. Then, the licks started in. They stung but what hurt worst was the message to my little being.

It was as if his actions yelled to me that I was bad and broken and in need of his repair.

You don’t tell when you come from places like this. Are people serious when they believe that we had that ability then?

Successful processing of traumatic memories allows you to say, “The traumatic event happened, it happened to me, and it is over now.”

The complex ptsd workbook, arielle schwarts, pHd

But I can tell my story now. All of it.

4 thoughts on “The Persuasion of Punishment

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