Queasy Feeling Inside

by Kimber L

I grew up in a small town in Mississippi where you were either one of the few fortunate families who had money or you were poor like me. I moved there with my mom and stepdad when I was 14. My stepdad was an alcoholic who worked construction and my mother was often depressed and unable to hold down a job. We lived in a small two-bedroom shack outside of town.

My story begins in the 6th grade, I had failed school a couple times so I was one of the older girls in my grade. This school contained grades 6 through 8 and was far more strict than any of the schools I had previously attended. From the very first day, it was evident that the teachers and staff treated the rich kids much differently than they did those who were poor. I learned this the very first day of school.

I was in either second or third period when a girl from a poor family came in about four or five minutes late. The teacher we will call Ms. Morgan called her to her desk and started writing on a pink slip of paper which she handed to the girl. I will never forget what happened next as the girl sounding frightened said "No! Please, it's my fifth time I'll get swats. The teacher didn't care and smirked and asked one of the rich girls to walk her to the office to make sure she gets there.

For the next few days, I noticed a number of students being sent to the office for various reasons and then a few weeks later came my turn. I was in science class when I got a text, I thought my phone was on vibrate but I was wrong. My teacher took my phone and read the text which it was from a girl who I had met on the bus. She asked if she could bum a cigarette after class was over and if I could meet her in the restroom by the lunchroom. I was taken out into the hall and the teacher looked in my purse and found the cigarettes. I was sent to the office for swats for the first time.

I walked into the principal's office not knowing what to expect. I handed him the pink slip which he read then walked outside his office and asked the secretary to come in. He told me to stand up and bend over and grab my ankles then to raise my head and look at a clock that was hanging on the wall in front of me. Through the corner of my eye, I saw him take a large wooden paddle from his desk. As he approached me he said I would only get three swats since this was my first offense. The swats burned and I tried my best not to cry but did anyway.

On my way home from school that day it hurt to remain seated on the bus. That night I thought about what had happened and got a queasy feeling inside at the time of my punishment I had not thought much about it possibly because I was so frightened. That night I replayed everything that had happened in my head and started feeling more and more sick to my stomach. Although I had not been sexually abused it felt like it. The way I was made to bend over and how he rubbed the paddle around on my bottom as I waited for him to strike. I even sensed a tone of pleasure in his voice as he spoke to me while delivering the swats and the smirks from his secretary as she watched. I remember feeling dirty and wanting to take a bath to get clean.

After that first time, it became a weekly ritual that I would be sent to the office for punishment. Looking back now I see a connection between some of the teachers known for sending poor girls to the office for swats and the principal himself along with his secretary who I later found out was his girlfriend of 10 years. Everyone at this school was perverted and sought pleasure in paddling the bottoms of young girls. I noticed that even though boys were far more disobedient they were rarely paddled. Instead they were given after-school detention.

I remained at this school for another two years before my stepdad went to prison and Mom and I moved away to stay with relatives in Iowa. In the time I was there I was paddled on more than 100 occasions and the more it happened the more I felt like they were becoming more and more obvious that the punishment was not for my correction but for their own pleasure.

I am currently seeing a therapist who is using cognitive behavioral therapy to help me work through this time in my life. I know my situation is not as bad as many others on here but I wanted to share my own experience and possibly talk with other survivors of sexual abuse.

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