Childhood memories
By B. G.
September 20, 2006

Dear B. G.,

I read your sad and deeply moving account of your experiences as a child. Your story should be read by all those parents who are at risk of being deceived by imposters who, pretending to be agents of God, instruct parents to beat their children. This is a shame and a mockery. It is the worst crime imaginable. We must try to educate parents so that they will recognize and reject crazy advice when they hear it, and will refuse to damage their innocent, defenseless children in the name of religion. I hope your story will help. I will correct a few typos and show it to you before posting. Thank you for writing.

Jordan Riak

Hi. This has been a struggle for me to write. Please keep me anonymous if you decide to show this. It is my aim to help others who struggle with these kinds of memories. I am writing this with my daughter present, and in fact am using her e-mail. I have recently shared these memories with her when she inquired as to why she was never spanked.

I grew up in the late 70's and early 80's in rural Pennsylvania. My parents considered themselves devout Christians, and were firm believers in spanking. My mom was very strict, and kept a paddle on our living room wall. Rarely a week of my life in that house went by when my rear end didn't feel it. From as early as I can remember, until my late teens, her procedure was pretty much the same. Pants and underwear to the floor, elbows on the couch, and an endless succession of swats. She wouldn't stop spanking until I was past the point of tears, and just taking each hit with a whimper. This would leave my bottom purple. To make matters worse, it was usually done in the family room, with my dad and little sister present as an audience. To this day my sister and I cannot talk about the spankings we received in each other's presence.

My father rarely spanked us, but when he did it was brutal. We would be taken to the barn, which meant the belt. This happened to me about twice a year from ages 8-18. The procedure was the same. A trip to the barn with dad meant removing clothes, including underwear, and bending over an old saw horse. To this day I remember the humiliation as a teenager, bent over, naked in front of my dad. The beltings that he gave were beyond what any normal bottom could stand. The welts generally lasted 3-4 days.

My parents were very open in our small country church about the punishments they gave, and they were commended for it. Many of our friends got the same. It was said to be the right way to "beat the devil out of children."

To this day I rarely speak with my parents. I do not allow my children to be alone with them. I cannot look my dad in they eye. I remember him as the one who exposed my private areas as a teenager as he whipped me until I urinated. That happened on several occasions. My mom and I aren't much closer. I can't shake the memory of seeing my little sister beaten. I wake up about one night per week from a nightmare about being a 9, 13, 17 or 18 year old girl again and being taken by my father to the barn.

My advice to parents is this: NEVER listen to any pastor or minister who distorts the Word of God and makes it an excuse for tormenting your children.

B. G


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