My Parents Spanked Me & It Still Hurts Me Now

wooden spoonSo there's a new study out linking spanking to mental disorders. "Individuals who are physically punished have an increased likelihood of having mental health disorders," say the researchers. "NO SHIT," seyz I. And I should know. I have loads of experience in getting spanked. Years of it. I have a Ph.D. in Advanced Ass-Whuppings.

Now, despite what my friends will tell you I don't actually have a mental disorder. But I remember the trauma of those Mommy Dearest-style spankings. My siblings and I STILL talk about them. Sometimes we joke -- but there's a reason my sister refuses to keep a wooden spoon in her kitchen. And it's not because she doesn't like to cook.


I can make excuses for my mom. She was overwhelmed with so many little kids. She was always pregnant (she had several miscarriages). Spanking was just what Mexican-American families did when she was growing up. And she's a perfectionist who held tightly to an ideal of what an upright, American family home should look like. No wonder she was always losing it!

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Because of spanking, I grew up to be a tense, nervous person person who was always afraid of making mistakes -- and you know what happens when you're afraid of making mistakes? You make a lot of mistakes. And then there was the randomness of physical punishment as I experienced it. We just never knew what kind of mood Mom was in, and that can end up making you feel a lot less secure in your home and in your attachments to your parents and eventually other people in your life. It's taken me years to get over that. What an awesome legacy -- thanks, spanking!

So maybe I don't have a drinking problem. Maybe I don't need Zoloft to get through the day. But as long as I can remember how spanking made me feel I'll never, ever spank my own son. And drawing the line between "appropriate" spanking and whackadoodle spanking just seems like bullshit hair splitting to me. Everyone who defends spanking claims they do it the "right" way -- but apparently an awful lot of spanking parents are causing some harm anyway.

If spanking were a pharmaceutical it would come with a big ol' warning. Here's a handy list of disorders spanking puts your kids at higher risk for:

  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Anxiety
  • Alcohol abuse or dependence
  • Drug abuse or dependence

Think of it this way: Spare the rod, spare the expensive therapy sessions later on.

What do you think of this newly-revealed link between mental disorders and spanking?


Image via anathea/Flickr


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