Life Style

“I kept a deep anguish”: when the punishments of childhood leave traces



► “This black room scared me very much”

Genevieve, 71 years old

“When I was little, my parents locked me in a dark room as a punishment. It was a small storage room in our apartment, without a window, which scared me very much. When I was angry, I was locked in for maybe 5 or 10 minutes to calm me down. I kept a deep anguish of the dark and the night. This punishment marked me, even as an adult. One should not provoke such fears in one’s children. I have never reproduced this with mine! “

► “I keep a deep feeling of injustice”

Marc, 48 years old

“I was brought up by loving, supportive parents. But my dad got out of hand at a time in his life that I guess was going to be complicated. When he came home from work, unable to stand the incessant arguments with my older brother, he would take off his belt and hit me on the back with it. It lasted a year and a half when I entered college. At that time, my brother kept bothering me and I broke his toys in retaliation. My father couldn’t bear to have his belongings damaged and would run after me to punish me while my brother went into hiding.

→ MAINTENANCE. “The school abolished corporal punishment long before the family”

Not long ago, my father apologized for this lack of judgment. But I still have, at my age, a deep feeling of anger, revolt and injustice. I also recently discussed it with my brother, who apologized for not having the courage to intervene. “

► “A whole year of punishment”

Jean Claude, 74 years old

“When I was 13, my mother saw fit to send me to boarding school to punish me for my bad grades. I was there for a year and it was the worst year of my life. I ran away twice and scrambled home. In this boarding school, I was deprived of all freedom.

→ READ. The boarding school is gaining ground

I couldn’t see my friends anymore, I couldn’t go to my music lessons anymore. It did not have the desired effect at all because, there, my grades did not improve. I ended up going home, changing schools and it finally worked better for me in high school. “

► “I never dared to talk about it”

Christelle, 43 years

“In CE2, I had a particularly severe teacher. I can still see her short hair and her very unpleasant face. She wasn’t yelling at us but had cold anger. Above all, he regularly clapped students’ hands with an iron ruler. As I had good grades, I thought I would escape it but one day, because of a poorly kept notebook, she asked me to put my hands flat on my desk and then tapped on it with her ruler. Not gently, really to hurt. I never dared to tell my parents about it, because I thought she had the right to do this to us. This period marked me. She is the only mistress whose name I have remembered. I even remember the exact spot where our classroom was because I was afraid to go. I learned from a childhood friend that this teacher had finally stopped practicing and had been interned in a psychiatric hospital. At least ten years after this episode… ”

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