I suppose I should tell you about this before I try to push it out of my mind. It shames me to no end. Both because it happened and because I did not see it at the time.
As I said in the last post, I have been having flashbacks all week of our early years. There is one incident in particular that if I could go back in time and change it, I would. No question.
Our son and oldest daughter were both in grade school. We had gone to Mister’s parents house for dinner. I can’t recall what the children did but they had gotten in trouble and Mister wanted to spank them with a belt. My immediate answer was NO!
I never wanted my children spanked with a belt. My step-dad used the buckle end of his belt on us often while I was growing up. My record number of ‘swats’ was 26. He never just smacked our butts. We had to strip down to our under wear for spankings. That belt hit where ever it hit. I still have scars on my back and thighs. I swore that my children would never be hit with a belt. Mister was fully aware of this and the reasons why. He still insisted on using a belt.
When I stood up to him, he took me into the spare bedroom and sat me on the bed. Then he kneeled in front of me and explained that the only way that I would ever trust him not to be like my step-dad was to allow him to use the belt on our children. How could I ever get past my unreasonable fear if I didn’t let him prove to me that he would never hurt our children?
Then, he left the room, shut the door behind him and spanked our children with a belt while I sat shaking and crying on the bed. He then came back to the bedroom and said, “See? You were afraid for nothing. You have to know I wouldn’t hurt them.”
I felt ashamed of myself for not trusting him back then. But now, it’s a different story. He wanted to prove to me that he would not hurt our children by hurting me! By convincing me that I had to allow him to use that belt in order to prove my trust for him. Even though he absolutely knew how much it terrified me.
Now, when I look at it, I see gaslighting. I see him successfully shaming me into silence. I see a confused, weak woman who should have taken that belt right out of his hand. I see him using my childhood against me to make me look and feel crazy for not wanting a belt used on my children.
I hate myself for that. I hate him too.