Her loving dad spanked her one time. Sexual trauma lasted the rest of her life.
[JK: This week, in response to this article (http://slate.me/YVgX2R), I’ve received dozens of emails from people who felt sexually traumatized by childhood spankings. One brave woman has given me permission to anonymously share her story. Her words have not been edited. The only change I made was to redact her name.]
Subject: You just saved me.
Dear Ms. Keenan,
You just revolutionized my life.
When I was 7 years old, my dad lost his temper with me and spanked me—and because he lost his temper, he hit me very, very, very hard. I had never been spanked before. My dad was not a bad man at all; he loved me very much. He also never spanked me again. Sadly, that one time did a great deal of damage.
My best friend knows this. She also knows I have had a spanking fetish (that I can’t engage in at all) since I was five years old. (It started with a dream.) So she sent me your two articles on spanking.
I read the one about not using spanking as a punishment first. Learning about the physical aspects—such as the nerve tracks and the artery in the butt/groin—caused a profound revelation in me.
My entire life, I have carried about 40% of the markers of a rape victim—uh, survivor—but I have never been raped. As a result of this great mystery, of my inability to explain or make connections, no therapist has ever been able to help me.
But now I finally, finally, finally understand what happened. Or rather I understand what my body experienced.
So as thousands of people (no doubt) rain hate mail/comments/tweets upon you, please know this: You just enabled one suffering adult to finally make the right connection to go get help and take back her life.
So thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
[JK: When I asked if I could share her letter with you all, she replied:]
I agree that my story is something others need to read. They need to consider it, and they need to consider it because they can’t know what sexual elements their children have been born with. Scientists have proven that infants experience sexual arousal. Male fetuses get erections in the womb. Sexuality is not something that kicks in at age 11 or 12. We are born with it intact and functioning. And so what may be “just a spanking” to a child with certain preferences will never be “just a spanking” to a child like me. My body experienced that as sexual violence. Not my mind. But our body memories are just as powerful, and I have suffered greatly as a result.
You can quote me on all of that, too. I have a B.A. in psychology, so I’m not just spouting off.
So yes, you may quote my email. If it even makes one parent change his/her mind, it is worth it.
[JK: I couldn’t have put it better myself.]