Saturday, March 15, 2014

Do You Hit Your Kids?


Woody's intrigued by the sentiment expressed here.
When people say "I was spanked/hit as a kid, and I turned out alright, I wanna ask: Compared to what? How do you know?
There seems to be the implication that, unless the "memerist' had been beaten as a child, he (presumably) would NOT have developed the "psychological condition known as 'respect for others'."
Does does it mean that if "your" parents had NOT beaten "you, you'd" now have NO 'respect' for others?
I don't know how "I turned out," or even if I did, but I was beaten when I was young. A lot.
My mother laid into me at every opportunity, hard, with her open hand to my face, mainly. Slaps. Any occasion on which I disappointed expectations or did any damage to anything, I caught hell for it, got slapped.
I got slapped around if I came home with grass-stains on my pants. I got slapped around if I broke a plate. I got slapped around for bad grades. I got slapped around for breaking a tooth (which were ALL things I got slapped around for).
I made a game of it, eventually.
I had no way to not be struck, if the mood took her, so I made it a point, eventually, to take it without showing any emotion. Stoically.
She required me to stand and take it. I couldn't raise a hand to deflect a blow. I had to just endure it.
This went on for about 8 years, starting right after I recovered from polio, and continuing until I was old enough to spend most of my life away from the house, at age 16 or so.
I know now she was driven effectively crazy by the effects of the steroids she was taking for a serious, debilitating medical condition. It was prednisone, which now has a bad reputation, but then was in wide use. Knowing about it LATER made my eventually being able to understand easier, but it had no effect on my experience at the time.
She could wail on me with all the crazed ferocity she could muster, and I took it, without so much as a flinch or a whimper. I would NOT weep.
It took a long time to get past that one.
And, though I cared for her carefully and lovingly as she was dying, I didn't weep at her death, either.

This Be the Verse, by Philip Larkin
They fuck you up, yer mum and dad.
They do not mean to, but they do.
They take all the faults they had,
And add some special, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By folks on old-style hats and coats
Who half the time were sloppy stern
And half at one another's throats.
Life hands on misery to man;
It deepens like the ocean's shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.