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 … [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 … [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...]

Train up a child, in the way he should go

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I remember a time some months ago, when 2 year old Ms Pooky was getting her leg stuck in the bars on the back of the kitchen chairs over and over. No matter how many times I helped her slide her ankle out from where it was wedged between the bars, a few minutes or hours later she would be standing on a chair singing to herself while she leaned over to color or play with play dough, and her foot would slip in-between the bars and slide to where it was stuck, at which point she would erupt in bloodcurdling screams until I came to coach her on how to get her foot loose. I tried to explain how her foot was getting stuck, demonstrated how she should slide her foot up slowly to get it out, and … [Read more...]

Dreams of Defiance

I can hear them in the next room. Dad yanks at his arm, yelling at him and threatening to spank him if he doesn’t do... something? I’m not even sure what he’s in trouble for this time. I cower in the next room, wanting to do something, wanting to save him. I hear the slaps, he starts to cry, Dad shoves him away. Holding my breath, hoping and praying for it to end, maybe if I squeeze myself small enough into this dark corner behind the bookcase... I could just disappear.*************************I stuff more dirty clothes into the wash machine, refusing to look out the window at the dreary sunless day. My sister comes in, long hair pulled back in a pony tail, wearing a long tan skirt and … [Read more...]

The Decision that Changed my Life

We were at a park with our kids. I watched a young mom play in the sprinkler area with her incredibly chubby baby girl. The mom became engrossed in her conversation with another mom, and baby waddled off by herself and reached for the sprinkler, giggling at the feeling of the water against her hand. After a moment, she wandered away from the sprinkler area and down the hill toward the jungle gym. The mother looked up and called to her baby, but baby didn’t even look back, she was intent on reaching the colourful play structure. Mom laughed and excused herself from the conversation and trotted after her baby, catching up with her easily. I felt myself involuntarily tensing, but there were … [Read more...]


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