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Mental trauma from being hit as a child.

(114 Posts)
Melanie Sat 17-Sep-16 17:46:19

I wonder how many of you have deep seated resentment towards your parents. We were, after all, brought up in the spare the rod and spoil the child, generation, at least I was. Both my parents hit me. I wasn’t a naughty child but occasionally displeased them. My mother used to fly off the handle and smack me but it never seemed to hurt much. My father on the other hand first hit me when I was 3 years old. I was having a great time banging the front door knocker and I was told off a few times by my granddad but when my dad opened the door he hauled me in and smacked my legs all the way up the stairs. It stung!

Then after that If I answered back or argued in any way I received a resounding slap across the face, that sent me reeling. I once was slapped for biting my nails!! I never bit my nails again, but I never forgave or forgot either.

If I displeased my mother she would say “Wait until your father gets home” and then when he did he would stand over me. I was paralysed with fear and had no idea what I had done and didn’t know what to say. Then he would smack my legs all around the room. He once clouted me across the head for looking sulky. That was out of the blue because it was just my normal teenage expression, Once he told me if I did something again he would “thrash me to within an inch of my life”. When I grew up and started going out with boys he was a nightmare insisting on times to get in and standing over me in a threatening way demanding to know where I had been.

The last time he actually struck me, I was 17 and I turned my head and got the blow in my eye. I had a black eye. I shouted at him that he had assaulted me and I would call the police to which he replied “Shut up or I’ll black the other one”.

He has been dead many years now and coming to terms with the man who taught me to ride a bike, helped me with my homework, and gave me good advice and consolation on many occasions and also remembering the time he hit me, is very difficult. I was afraid of him. I wanted to love him but couldn’t.

Do other gransnetters have similar childhood memories?

redf8235 Sat 17-Sep-16 17:51:21

So sorry to hear this. Of course he was wrong. It's never happened to me.
Poor little 3 year old girl. I'm sad for you.

Melanie Sat 17-Sep-16 17:54:32

Was I, in fact, an abused child?

harrigran Sat 17-Sep-16 18:01:16

I used to get walloped by my mother just because I was there, I was a very shy child and can't recall being naughty. I was very clumsy and that used to annoy my parents.

BlueBelle Sat 17-Sep-16 18:12:42

This makes me feel very sad Yes you were an abused child Melanie although I suppose it was fairly commonplace in those old dark days when even teachers were able to 'beat' you and the policeman would 'clip you round the ear'
I was lucky in childhood and had a gentle Dad and no one ever hit me, my only problem was as an only child living on a main road I was lonely and shy with no one to play with and didn't come out my shell until I was about 13 or 14 but as regards abuse I was very well looked after by Mum and Dad and my Nan and grandad who had me during the week as mum and dad worked 8 till 6 six days a week We never had much money but they were a caring family My heart goes out to you that you still have these unresolved issues that you can never really offload as your dad is long gone I think that as you had some good times with your dad you will have to concentrate on them and realise he probable raised you as he had been raised and for want of putting it any nicely he didn't really now any better

Jane10 Sat 17-Sep-16 18:16:02

If I was naughty or cheeky my mum would smack me on the palm of my hand with the back of a hairbrush. Quite calm really and accepted as par for the course.
If a really serious infraction Dad would send us to fetch a shoe and he would smack our bottoms with it. It really hurt him more than it hurt us. We used to bring the most awkward shoe for him to grip. We didn't resent it. It was obvious that he was just doing what he thought Dads should do. No anger or impulsivity. All understandable to us and not held against them. The silent treatment from mum however...

KatyK Sat 17-Sep-16 18:16:41

My father was a violent, abusive alcoholic. When I was 11 I started senior school which I hated. I was bullied badly because of my home life and the way I looked. An older girl persuaded me to play truant one day and my father found out and he beat me up quite badly. I had to have a week off school. Incidentally, he never cared less whether I went to school or not. The beating was because he was shown up by the school board man coming to the door.

GillT57 Sat 17-Sep-16 18:50:14

Such sad stories, and so different from the way most of us raised our own children, hopefully. I once smacked my 2 year old son on his bare backside as he got out of the bathroom as we were rushed for time, I was pregnant and tired. No excuse whatsoever. He was shocked into silence, as was I. I have never, ever raised my hand to him again and run over that scene in my darkest hours. One thing that is guaranteed to flame my fire, is stupid, ignorant people who claim they were chastised as children and it 'never did them any harm'. Yes, it did. Hitting anyone is assault, and hitting someone you are supposed to love, care for and nurture is beyond belief. I know times were different, but they certainly were not necessarily better as these posters have bravely said. Katyk and melanie your best revenge for a dreadful childhood is to have grown up into the caring people you have become, and stopping the perpetuation of the cruelty you endured. flowers

Jalima Sat 17-Sep-16 18:54:07

Oh dear, reading these makes me feel very sad

I never had a smack as a child from my parents, although I did get hit with a ruler by a nasty headmistress.

Greyduster Sat 17-Sep-16 18:59:05

My mother certainly didn't spare the rod. She needed very little excuse to lash out. She also drank which made her worse. My father never laid a finger on me.

SueDonim Sat 17-Sep-16 19:04:29

My mother smacked us when we were young. It certainly didn't make me a better person and it did cause harm in terms of resentfullness and fear.

Melanie that would certainly be abusive behaviour today. sad Have you had any talking therapy to try and come to terms with it? That might lay some demons to rest. flowers

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 17-Sep-16 19:14:37

I don't believe that abusive upbringings need to make any difference to the adult. We are all capable of getting over it.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 17-Sep-16 19:15:00

That includes the different kinds of abuse.

Ana Sat 17-Sep-16 19:21:39

I think our childhood experience does affect us as adults, whether it was good or bad. It must do, surely?

That doesn't mean we can't overcome mistreatment or abuse, although sometimes, in extreme cases, it must be very difficult.

joannapiano Sat 17-Sep-16 19:27:27

I was regularly "punished" by being beaten with a stick, mainly by my father, I was a very nervous, shy child. My mum told everyone how difficult I was.
I have had a happy life since I left home at 18.
But it has been hard getting over it. I had counselling when my dad died a few years ago.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 17-Sep-16 19:34:52

Can't agree Ana. Once we are adult, we can put it behind us.

SueDonim Sat 17-Sep-16 19:36:00

Maybe everyone is able to 'get over it' if they've had an abusive childhood but lots of people would need help to get here. When I think of the lives a few of my school friends endured, it's a miracle they weren't insane by the time they grew up.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 17-Sep-16 19:37:52

I think too much dwelling on the past is inclined to go on in people's lives. Maybe too much self-pity?

Jane10 Sat 17-Sep-16 19:43:32

That's a bit harsh jings. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes...

Christinefrance Sat 17-Sep-16 19:45:46

Being ill treated/abused does not make one a stronger person always. Some people can deal with it for others it's just too difficult. We all have different thresholds, you are lucky to be a strong person Jinglebellsfrock.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 17-Sep-16 19:51:57

I have walked enough miles in my own shoes thank you jane10. I do not need to walk in anyone else's to know what I am talking about.

I am not especially strong. Certainly no stronger than the majority.

grannylyn65 Sat 17-Sep-16 19:54:30

My stepfather beat me nearly every day.

Ana Sat 17-Sep-16 19:57:52

jingl, I remember, but I do think that those of us who have overcome difficult pasts sometimes overestimate the capacity of everyone to do the same.

People are all different - although these days it does seem to be the thing to blame one's parents for everything (Philip Larkin, anyone?) I will admit.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 17-Sep-16 19:58:01

I'm sorry to hear that grannylyn65. Truly sorry.

Luckygirl Sat 17-Sep-16 19:58:59

I was smacked by both my parents; my Mum usually when she was pre-menstrual - she was Jekyll and Hyde and hard for a child to keep up with. I do not know how these instances have altered me as an adult - we can never know who we would have been under other circumstances. But I certainly do feel the absence of overt love from both of them, as I do feel that to some extent the ability to share love is something you learn as a child. I would have preferred a different upbringing, but we cannot choose. I was delighted to get away from home at 17 - a bit sad really as I do think they both loved their children, but just lacked the equipment to make that plain.

As you can imagine, my children heard the message loud and clear. Even when they were naughty I would say "It's a good thing we love you!"

I did smack one of my children once - it is engraved on my memory - but she can't remember it!