Re-post: A Mama’s Journey

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This was originally published June of 2011. I've also included an excerpt from a post I wrote the year before that. Words can't fully explain how life-changing it was for me to begin to see my children as people, not sinful rebellious little beings I must force into compliance. Recognizing that how I was parenting was wrong, forced me to acknowledge that how I was parented had harmed me. My desire to parent my children gently, was the fuel that pushed me to get into counseling and get help for the first time. It's hard to believe it's been 5 years since I began the journey of Gentle Parenting.  I recently found an old list of “important goals” that I wanted to achieve in parenting. … [Read more...]

Re-Post: Rights of a Child

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This post was originally published August 2011. It was part of my reaction to Michael Farris' creating a "parent's rights" amendment and proposing to amend our constitution. It was a big realization for me that the parent is not sacred, that they do not always know what is best for their child, and sometimes they need help. It helped me to take a step toward freedom from the weight of my parents expectations of me, and also help me be less afraid of acknowledging my own shortcomings as a parent, and be less afraid to get help and learn more. Several months ago, my mom was spouting off against the government and Child Protective Services in a phone conversation, saying that they should never … [Read more...]

Breaking the Silence

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Cynthia Jeub telling her story brings up a lot for me. Memories. Memories of hiding in small dark places with my hands clamped firmly over my ears to try to block out the screams of a sibling who was being "disciplined." Being isolated, and truly having no one to tell, no one to turn to for help. Memories of fear and shame and rage. Nightmares. Dreams where it all happens over again. That sick feeling in my stomach over not being able to help, change the circumstances, sick from fear. Heart racing, waking up in a sweat. Waking up and still feeling tired after long night. Regret. That I didn't say something then. That I didn't know what was happening to me and my siblings was abusive. … [Read more...]

Brave New Life: Part 6: Never the same, and that’s OK

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This post is part of a seven part series. To start with the introduction click here.We went to visit for the first time about a year after coming out, it had been almost 2 years since I had seen any of my younger siblings. It was so scary, knowing that just your existence caused so much drama makes it really nerve-wracking  to voluntarily hang out. It makes you second guess each thing you say or do, worrying that something could inadvertently offend or enrage people who have to work so hard to tolerate you. On the other hand, you just want to relax and be yourself, and not try to be something you’re not just to keep the peace. The words from my mom about love mattering more than who was r … [Read more...]

Spanking and Unconditional Love

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I wrote in several of my childhood journals that I would never spank my kids. The shame and frustration I had experienced was enough to convince me it was ineffective and harmful. But somehow by the time I was an adult I had changed my position again. Part of my reason was the major denial of any issues in my childhood. I felt like acknowledging painful things from my past would be a betrayal of my parents, and I loved them and wanted to be loyal to them. So I continued to pretend that nothing had ever been wrong, and tried to prove that to myself.  I was also a very conservative Christian, and every parenting book I read was written from that punitive perspective. One of them was “To Train u … [Read more...]

It really wasn’t that long ago

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Does this look familiar to you? I remember seeing Lucy get spanked by Ricki, and I didn't even grow up with a television, so it must have been in the few episodes I saw as a kid. It was always treated as humorous, with Lucy making faces and the audience laughing. I never witnessed a fully adult woman get spanked in real life, but scenes like this didn't shock me. Lucy was "bad" and Ricki was reacting to her badness by teaching her a lesson, showing her her proper place. I didn't think it was strange that the show never featured Lucy spanking Ricki for laughs. I remember seeing The Quiet Man with John  Wayne and Maureen O Hara where he drags his wife for several miles and … [Read more...]


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