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Being smacked as a child has caused me long lasting harm

(135 Posts)
Bibijayne Mon 13-Jul-20 21:56:38

Mid-30s. I was smacked a lot as a child. I have ASD. My parents did not smack me.until advised to by a doctor when I was 2 or 3, because I was just naughty and girls can't be autistic.

So smacked I was. A lot. Often very hard. At least once or twice a week at some points.

My parents are mortified now.... Decades later. Admit it was wrong etc.

But it meant I never felt I could go to them with problems as a child and teen. Bullying, say nothing. Sexual assault, say nothing. Eating disorder, say nothing.

And obviously, that has long standing implications for my life as an adult.

As a mum to a toddler now, it's brining a lot back. Especially how I have no good role model memories for dealing with two year old meltdowns. Learning distract, distract, distract. Which works well. But I've found reflecting on those memories is really painful.

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OnePotato2Potato Mon 13-Jul-20 21:59:50

Didn’t want to read and run. Sure somebody will be here with some advice.

Sorry you went through that as a child and that the effects of it are so long lasting. flowers

Merryoldgoat Mon 13-Jul-20 22:00:36

I’m so sorry that happened to you. It was utterly wrong.

Having children is very good at bringing out those difficult memories. I really feel for you OP. flowers

BipolarSunset Mon 13-Jul-20 22:02:03

Hi Op,

I know exactly how you feel. My mum would constantly lash out physically when things didn't go her way. To be honest it's not until I had my DS that I thought about it in detail. I couldn't imagine hitting him at all.

This has strained mine and my mums relationship now to the point we're civil and that's all.

I've been using the way I was bought up as an example of how NOT to bring my DS up and if I am honest I feel he's a much happier kid then I ever was.

Big hugs OP x

BeingATwatItsABingThing Mon 13-Jul-20 22:05:02

I’m sorry that happened to you OP. It was completely unacceptable.

The distraction technique is definitely the way forward. Worked wonders with DD when she was that age.

OoohTheStatsDontLie Mon 13-Jul-20 22:09:19

Hi OP I'm sorry for what you went through. I also feel a bit sorry for your parents as well, smacking was a couple of decades ago seen as totally normal, they were advised by a professional to do it, and they are now sorry. Have you had any therapy to address this?

Bibijayne Mon 13-Jul-20 22:14:15

@OoohTheStatsDontLie

I agree. I don't think they'd ever go for it. It clearly weighs heavy on them and that is without them being aware of the total impact on me. I do think I need to investigate counselling, just to sort out so much stuff in my head.

Surprised so many people think that i'm.wrong to think smacking harmed me though! I'm not blaming my parents, just saying that at 36 I have realised it still bothers me.

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Tootletum Mon 13-Jul-20 22:16:45

Yes, my parents also smacked me a lot as a child. It was pretty normal in the early 80s though. Obviously I've no clue if it made a difference because I don't have a non smacked me to compare it to.

22Giraffes Mon 13-Jul-20 22:17:13

It's so sad that it has caused you to suffer for all these years sadsmacking is vile and has no place as a disciplinary tactic. People who smack their kids have lost control of the situation and had to resort to physical punishment. Sadly you are proof that this can cause trauma years down the line. I really hope you can find a way forward to deal with the pain flowers

Argggghhneedclarity Mon 13-Jul-20 22:19:55

flowers

OoohTheStatsDontLie Mon 13-Jul-20 22:21:33

I think if you now have a child yourself you can't see yourself hitting them as you realise how vulnerable they are and that kind of makes you think about it again in a whole new different way. If it is still bothering you, then it did obviously affect you a lot. I wonder if it was the reasons they were smacking you, which was your ASD so not because of bad behaviour but because of inherently who you are, which obviously you couldn't control and must have seemed very overwhelming and scary and out of your control when you were a child as well as massively unfair.

I was smacked but infrequently, and was generally when I was being really naughty and don't think it affected me but like others have said I guess I'll never know. I am more prone to angry shouting than I want to be with my children so maybe it affected that.

Goodmum1234 Mon 13-Jul-20 22:24:36

I’m sorry this happened to you.

Toddler meltdowns and tantrums are normal. Distraction is great but sometimes just let them safely get in with it. Let them
Know you are there and love them but if you are home and they are screaming etc, just let them.

I used to make a cuppa to keep calm and observe my amazing child going through this normal
Developmental stage. But always hugged and calmly talked through afterwards.
Good luck and be proud that your child is confident enough to show his her full emotions and trust that you will let them x

Bibijayne Mon 13-Jul-20 22:25:45

Thanks @OoohTheStatsDontLie I think that's it. I was smacked for just being me it often felt. Which made me feel ashamed of who I was.

For example - I was very clumsy as a child for example. I once tripped and fell into a mirrored fitted wardrobe door and it cracked. I was smacked for not paying attention and carelessness. I was 5.

I didn't like to be be held or hugged. I'd be told off and smacked if I shied away from extended family/ family friends who wanted to eat hug me.

I would be smacked for being insolent if I didn't respond to a hello/ someone talking to me if I didn't realise they were talking to me. And so on.

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Bibijayne Mon 13-Jul-20 22:26:00

*bear hug even

OP’s posts: |
DramaAlpaca Mon 13-Jul-20 22:26:21

I'm sorry you went through that flowers

Bibijayne Mon 13-Jul-20 22:26:34

Thanks you @Goodmum1234

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BeingATwatItsABingThing Mon 13-Jul-20 22:28:10

Bibijayne

Thanks @OoohTheStatsDontLie I think that's it. I was smacked for just being me it often felt. Which made me feel ashamed of who I was.

For example - I was very clumsy as a child for example. I once tripped and fell into a mirrored fitted wardrobe door and it cracked. I was smacked for not paying attention and carelessness. I was 5.

I didn't like to be be held or hugged. I'd be told off and smacked if I shied away from extended family/ family friends who wanted to eat hug me.

I would be smacked for being insolent if I didn't respond to a hello/ someone talking to me if I didn't realise they were talking to me. And so on.

None of these reasons are even slightly acceptable things to punish a child for.

MaxNormal Mon 13-Jul-20 22:28:34

I don't think smacking was normal a couple of decades ago.

Bibijayne Mon 13-Jul-20 22:29:24

@Tootletum I few to may have badly explained myself. I'm still getting upset about being smacked. Lots now, because my child is the same age when I started to get smacked. If that makes sense? I can't speak for others experiences and agree smacking in the 80s and early 90s was fairly normal. Though I am glad it is not now. Not a criticism of our parents generation, we have more support and advice on other ways to deal with tantrums and children in general now. For a start, there are forums like this where we can chat to 1000s of others about what works and their experiences.

OP’s posts: |
Bibijayne Mon 13-Jul-20 22:36:15

Thank you for the kind messages and input. I think I really need to chat to a counsellor. Just to understand some things. Odd, but also great how being a mum really brings things to the forefront of your mind!?

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Haggardy Mon 13-Jul-20 22:39:03

I was smacked a lot by my mother in the 70s and early 80s - it's my strongest memory of my relationship with her. I was well looked after in other ways but now at 50 & faced with being her only family support in her old age I can't even begin to unpick my feelings about it.

Tootletum Mon 13-Jul-20 22:41:27

@Bibijayne yes, I'm upset by it too, but not specifically the smacking. Sometimes, when my mum did it, it seemed reasonable because I'd been doing something specifically " naughty". I don't particularly resent that, it was of it's time. My father however, haha...if he'd had a bad day at work, we'd get dragged across the floor, hit across the face, told we were stupid and would fail at everything. And yet most of the time, he was lovely. It was like a red demon turned up in his heart from time to time.

Bibijayne Mon 13-Jul-20 22:45:33

@Haggardy flowers it's hard.

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ShebaShimmyShake Mon 13-Jul-20 22:46:16

My parents say being smacked didn't do them any harm. They're both fucked up, so I disagree. They used to tell me I wasn't harmed by it either but did shut up after I made it very clear to them that I very much was and it made me literally hate them. The phrase "try it now and see what happens" might have made an appearance.

It has no place in a loving and decent home. I'm amazed by how many people still think it's acceptable. Shit parenting.

RedPandaMama Mon 13-Jul-20 22:48:08

I can relate OP and just want to say I'm so sorry you went through this too flowers

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