Well, Lizzie shared this one with me too. She’s concerned that you’re going to get in trouble with your new guardians. She asked me to give you a pet talk and advice on getting along with strict parents. I guess my first piece of advice would be to not call them by their first name, even in a letter. You never know when they might find it. Given Burke’s low tolerance for disrespect, I’d be real careful. Ask them if you can call them Aunt Ruth and Uncle Burke. At any rate in this letter I’ll give you my reactions to each piece of the letter. My words will be in bold.
I feel like you're the only person I can talk to about this stuff, I hope you don't mind! Well, I know you don't. But anyways...thank you for always listening to me! It was soooo good to see you last week at Grandpa's! I wish we could have had some time alone to talk...it's weird that we didn't. You'd think that everyone would understand that we need time alone.
So...the last time we talked about the spanking issue was when Ruth took me shopping for a wooden spoon. Ugh. I'm still so embarassed about that! A few more things have happened since then...including the fact that she gave me a spanking. My first spanking. Oh my gosh Lizzie, it was horrible! More horrible than I thought it would be. It hurt a lot...and it was so embarassing. But I'll tell you about that later.
The day after we went shopping for the spoon Ruth and Burke asked me to meet with them in the den after supper. They had my "spoon" (although I swear, it's more like a hokcey stick---just kidding...sort of) with them, and a piece of paper. I sat down with them on the couch and they showed me the paper. It was a HUGE list of rules! Okay, I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything but I think that I'm a pretty good person! I don't think I need all of these rules, they're so childish! Some of them include not swearing....and my personal favourite, "not taking the Lord's name in vain," I have to go to church with them EVERY Sunday AND go to Bible study (what's that about?), I have to obey them always, I can't skip any classes or do anything illegal. I have to set a good example for the girls, and not ever talk back to Ruth and Burke. I have to do chores every day before anything else when I get home from school, I have to do my homework and always get above a B in school. I don't like that last one. Mom and Dad always told us that trying our best is good enough. What about math? It doesn't matter how much I study, I might still never get a B! That kind of scares me.
I sympathize with you Alana but only because this is all new to you. If you were raised by Ruth and Burke or my mom, you’d regard this as second nature. That isn’t to say you’d like it or try to figure out ways around it. But you’d talk about it with more respect and hopefully more understanding, especially the one on obedience.
You remind me of my sister Cathy. She’s always complaining about how I always try to obey Mom’s rules and defend her strictness. I feel for Cathy; following strict rules is harder for her. Especially the one about always staying in the house till Mom comes home.
Regarding school grades, Lizzie tells me that you’re really smart and with effort you can be a straight A student. I’m like that too and I sometimes actually like studying. Well, what I really like is reading and sometimes I read a novel when I should be doing homework. Mom says she can’t tell when I’m doing that so she just goes on the results. Simply put, I’m capable of being an ‘A’ student so if I’m not, it’s because I’m not applying myself. On my progress reports, I am allowed up to one B plus. Any more “curved” grades and it’s over Mom’s lap for some “tutoring.” My sister Cathy is required to get all B’s except for one C+.
I was a bit unclear on your grades. Are you required to get at least a ‘B’ or above a ‘B’. Does that apply to all grades? Did you discuss your math issue with Ruth? What did she say? My Mom came up with a few techniques to help me prepare better for tests. You may not like them but they worked for me and Cathy. Mom would pretest me and if I didn’t perform well enough, I’d get a spanking. Then I would have to retake the pretest. It was always harder than the real test so I usually did very well the next day. It took a lot of time on Mom’s part but she was devoted to us and often stayed up late preparing those pre tests.
So after going through the rules with me and making sure I understood them, we talked about consequences.
"We don't want you to be scared of us, but we want it to be clear that you are to listen to us all the time. If we tell you to do something, you have to do it." Burke said. Ya know Lizzie, I never liked him did I? We used to talk about how he acted like a dictator. Well, we had no idea!
"And it's important to us that you follow our rules for your own safety and well-being, and also for Hannah and Rachel's. They've always adored you Alana, and if you set a good example for them, it'll made things a lot easier." Ruth said.
"If you break any of the rules on this list, you'll be spanked," Burke said. "It could be by Ruth or myself depending on the severity, and who's home at the time. Most of the time you'll be punished in private, either in your room, our room, or here in the den. But I'm warning you, if you do something either with the girls, or that we feel should be an example for the girls, you'll be punished in the living room, and they'll be watching. You know about the wooden spoon and the strap, so I don't have to explain that. You will always be spanked bare-bottom, no questions asked. It will hurt, it will be unpleasant, but we strongly believe that it will make you a better person in the end." Burke said. My resentment of him growing by the second.
I know it’s hard for you but listening to your description, I think Burke is right. Spankings motivate you to be a better person. As for it always being bare bottom, I don’t think it’s necessary. Perhaps you can ask Ruth if with you being 14, you can at least keep your panties on when Burke is punishing you. Their girls are young and they may not realize that pulling down your pants or lifting your dress is often sufficient. My Mom is trict but she usually only pulls down our panties for disobedience or repeated offenses. Spankings for school grades or chores are almost always over our panties. Talk to her and let me know what she says.
"Do you have any questions?" Ruth asked.
"Um...no, I don't think so." I whispered. I was a little bit shocked and overwhelmed by all of this and didn't have much to say. To be honest Lizzie, I was too scared to object to anything. Wouldn't you be?
So nothing more happened that night. But I've become so much more aware to the things going on in this house! For example, at dinner tonight Rachel didn't finish her meal and then got upset and a little bit mouthy about not getting desert. Burke looked at her, so seriously, and told her to go to her room. She looked scared, and complied without one complaint. A few minutes later he went upstairs and then a few minutes later we could hear crying. That sort of thing has happened before, but I just thought he was yelling at her or lecturing her. Now I know that she got a spanking. Poor little Rachel. They're such sweet girls!
I’ll bet she didn’t have to get too mouthy either.
Another thing that happened...last night we were all sitting in the Living room watching tv. You know how Hannah has that beautiful long blond hair...well, it was a little bit messy. I mean really, what 7 year old who has spend the entire day running around, has perfect hair? Well Burke got upset and told her to go brush it. She said that she wanted to wait for the commercial, and he said that that was fine, she could go up to her room instead. And she did! Immediately. She must have known she was going to get a spanking because she was crying a little. And then Burke went up. He must have left the door open because we could hear everything! He lectured her about obedience and asked her what God thinks about little girls obeying their parents. She responded with some answer about honoring your parents that no 7 year old would have come up with on their own, and then he spanked her. I think he only used his hand though, thank goodness. It's clear that we have to do exactly what Ruth and Burke say when they say it. It really scares me Lizzie. I guess I'll adapt though. It'll be okay.
Have you asked the girls how they feel about the strict rules? They’ve been living with them all their life. Do you know how many spanks he gave her? Did Rachel try to cuddle with you for comfort while you listened to the awful sounds from upstairs? Did Ruth’s expression show sympathy, satisfaction or a bit of both?
I have to go, I was told to do my homework, so if I get caught writing this letter I'm sure I'll be in trouble. I'll write to you tomorrow about my spanking...not that I want to remember it!
Love you always,