Trigger Warning!, Uncategorized

Training Using Pain

I teach part-time. I’ve trained many people in the small muscle movements and fine motor skills needed to play music. Here is a memory of some of my early training, followed by a comment on why that was wrong.

I can remember wanting to bolt. I can remember that as soon as my Dad’s hand stopped holding my wind pipe—when he was putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush or getting water to rinse—I’d be out the door and down the hallway. I can remember trying to escape.

I can remember making myself a dead-weight. I can remember holding onto his arm with both my hands and collapsing my knees. I can remember trying to scream and not being able to because my breath was being blocked by his thumb and I couldn’t take air in to scream.

I can remember roaring as soon as he let go and running down the hallway to Mummy and my baby sister. I can remember my Mum saying my Dad’s name in a disapproving voice. I can remember my Mum doing absolutely nothing to stop his ‘training’.

This memory is from after this has been happening for a while. I know this because a 3-year-old in this situation will become completely dysregulated and frantic. They will be utterly unable to follow instructions or comprehend words.

Yet distressed as I was, much as I tried to escape, I opened my mouth for the toothbrush when he choked me. Some part of my mind already knew the drill. If I wanted to breathe, I had to open my mouth.

This tells me he was already planning the abuse that followed. When I was 3 years old, my parents got a mortgage. I won’t go into the story, but the fact that he was already training me before they moved tells me that he planned to pay his mortgage with me before interest rates went to 18%.

I’m so angry. It has had unspeakable effects on my life, and I’m just so, so, so angry. I’m so angry.

Why is this wrong:

It’s wrong because a 3-year-old is an incredibly vulnerable person. The UN Declaration of Rights of the Child says that children need special consideration and care (I’m paraphrasing from memory). Training a 3-year-old to open their mouths when you choke them is contrary to the dignity and humanity of the child. The UN convention says that children have a higher status for protection than adults, but this action puts a child’s life at an adult’s whim.

It’s wrong because there are limits to how much it’s OK to hurt kids (or anyone). Parents have the right to smack kids in Australia so long as they don’t leave bruises. Parents don’t have the right to strangle or choke kids or to cut of their air supply. The reason for this because society safeguards children’s well being because of the amount of damage (and expense) it can cost in later life.

It’s wrong because the power dynamic is inappropriate. There is a power differential between parents and kids. When a parent uses their power to harm their kids and (I believe) enjoys it, that parent in an ideal world forfeits that power. People who harm kids and misuse their power over children consistently and devastatingly shouldn’t get the wonder and pleasure of being around kids.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


By reading this blog, you agree that you read it under your own risk, and Gill’s Practical Bookkeeping is in no way responsible for any harm or prejudice to yourself, your business, or any fictional examples above.

I am not a financial advisor. I do not have an AFSL. I am a chick who likes to read, think, write, and has access to google. You should treat this blog with the same seriousness that you would treat anyone whose main qualification is access to google. This blog is for entertainment purposes only. It’s a little like watching The Good Place for nerds or artists.

Anything you take from this blog is your responsibility. Nothing in this blog, even if you are mentioned by name, address, and telephone number, pertains to your personal situation. Anything you agree with, or disagree with, you are welcome to comment on, but your opinions belong to you. You are responsible for your comments. If they are offensive, I will remove them.

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