Posts Tagged suicide

Robert’s story: Childhood smacking led to attempted suicide

May 26, 2009

When I was about three years of age, I was molested. As a result, when I was smacked by my parents, the pain stimulated me sexually. As time progressed, the continued childhood discipline smacking with the pain and humiliation associated with it caused me to become sexually attractive to the pain. I began to self-harm. The resulting intense shame, secrecy and anxiety surrounding this addictive behaviour became very long-term. Later in life it led to two suicide attempts.

I now put the shame where it appropriately belongs – at the feet of those who sexually molested and smacked me in my childhood and at the feet of individuals who still believe it is OK to smack children.

I am able to inflict high levels of pain on myself as ‘sexual stimulation’ resulting from childhood conditioning caused by being smacked. This conditioning is now managed by ongoing medical support to prevent actual self-harm.

I suffer from life-long debilitating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting from the treatment I received as a child.

I disclose my real life story because smacking children as was legal under [the old] Section 59 is still considered ‘harmless’. This mindset has the real potential to put many children at risk – as it did to me. My life has been irreparably damaged by the smacking culture in my childhood.

I have witnessed many other sufferers deal with the psychological impact resulting from childhood smacking during many group psychotherapy sessions over the years.

Robert [not his real name]

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

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