Surviving Childhood Corporal Punishment

Surviving Childhood Corporal Punishment
Sunday January 29, 2006

From: “Duncan Mcdermott”

Is anyone interested to Correspond with me about Corporal Punishment and its consequences?
I’m a Corporal Punishment Survivor aged 55. Throughout my life I’ve struggled to avoid the acting-out inevitable with this kind of conditioning, sometimes succesfully and sometimes not. I’ve had difficulties with alcohol and have been unable to maintain a stable long-term partnership.I had hundreds of hours of 1 2 1 counselling as well as group work. I studied to become a professional counsellor but was obliged to relinquish this ambition when I discovered that the counselling profession is institutionally resistant to exploration or change in respect of Corporal Punishment issues. I could not bring myself to join a profession which uses clients to act out on whiklst talking earnestly about empathy and ethical responsibilities.
I’m very fond of Alice Miller’s books. They tell me what I already knew but hadn’t realised. if only I had found a way to block my feelings entirely, as most professionals have, I could by now have become a well-paid professionalist jackass.
Would anyone like to correspond with me about this or any other Corporal Punishment issue? For example, the islamic terror currently ravaging humanity has its roots in the islamic terror childhood where beating is common. There is the personal question of how Corporal Punishment continues to affect me, much as I tried to pretend otherwise, forty years after the last beating I sustained. There is the question of how to help Survivors of Corporal Punishment by building a therapeutic understanding which is issue-specific. An issue-specific approach is necessary because there is such a virulent common assumption that Corporal Punishment is legally, contextually or culturally justified and the victim is to blame whereas the Survivor of Sexual Abuse does not suffer this insult, the law at least assumes the Survivor of sexual abuse to be entirely innocent of complicity and the fear that they might be in some way to blame is not thus so grotesquely reinforced. There is the question of how and why the mental health profession utterly fails the Survivor of Corporal Punishment. Anyone have thoughts or feelings about these issues they would like to raise with me?
In the event that mental health professionals might reply to the issues I’ve raised, I ask they do so as equals, without talking down to me. I ask them to avoid their usual pretence of having ‘resolved’ their own Corporal Punishment issues and to make a full and honest disclosure, as I have done, as the first step in reconnecting their blocked feelings.

Duncan McDermott
Corporal Punishment Survivor

AM: Thank you for your honest letter, I hope that many readers of my books will want to exchange their experiences with you. Maybe you can once let us know if my hope was realistic. Your action seems to me necessary, especially in your country, where the politicians still maintain that there exists anything like “reasonable ” beatings, and where they refuse to learn the simplest thing that the child’s brain is use dependent; it means that children learn in the first 3 years of their lives violence and brutality or kindness and love.