I was born on a cold rainy autumn day in mid-Norway in 1965. I’m not sure this has anything to do with how I turned out, but it is a fact it wasn’t the nicest of days.
My mother is originally from Eslov in southern Sweden and my dad from Stavanger in Norway. They met when they both worked at Oslo University Hospital. Dad was a trauma surgeon and was teaching there as well, and mom was a surgical/theatre nurse at the same hospital. They were both interested in charity work and were linked to a French organisation that send out surgical teams to war zones, earthquakes, famines etc. I can remember that we (my older sister and brother) and I were shipped off to our aunt whenever they needed to go to some place in Africa or Asia, although they always returned home after 4 to 6 weeks.
This was normal for me until I was 8 years old. That’s when they took on a long-term assignment in Chad in Africa, and it was decided that my older sister and brother would move semi-permanently to my Aunt Sonia, mom’s sister. However, my siblings were so much older than me so she felt they were fine with her, but I was only 8 and she didn’t feel she would have enough time for me. That’s the explanation I got anyway. However, my best friend Petter, who lived 5 minutes from me, had lovely parents and I did know them since I could hardly walk. Somehow, my parents managed to convince them, and sort out the financial aspect, that I could come and live with them. I guess I should say I was devastated to lose my parents for such long time, but I can’t even remember crying. I was so excited that I could live with my best friend, and his parents and older brother were already like an extra family to me. I would also receive a phone call every week from my parents, so I didn’t feel abandoned.
My de-facto foster family was Petter, my best friend, his big brother Karsten, his dad Magne and mother Anita. I still don’t know what they actually agreed with my parents, but the way it turned out was that I was treated like any child in the family, did not feel singled out or different in any way, and I am still very grateful to them for that. However, they did one thing that I became acutely aware of almost instantly. When it came to discipline and correction, it was obviously agreed that Anita would be the one dealing with me, and their dad would deal with Karsten and Bengt.
In fact, I can’t remember one single time when Magne lay as much as a hand on me or slapped me in any way. His wife, Anita, really taught me what it meant to go over her knee with my bare bottom in the air.
Not that it was any news to me. I don’t know what you have heard about Scandinavia and their anti-spanking laws, but that did not affect my or Petter’s parents. I was spanked by my mom and dad for as long as I can remember. Not very often, but if I did something wilfully that I knew was wrong, I would end up over mom’s knee or the arm of the sofa, if it was dad’s turn to discipline me. So, it was not new to me to have to go over the knee for a bare bottom spanking even after moving in with my best friend.
However, there were clear differences for me. It was hard the first few times to have to so totally submit to someone who was not my mom or dad, but it soon turned into not wanting to be spanked full-stop, rather than it was Anita’s knee I had to go over.
Also, there was a whole ritual, for lack of a better word, before Anita spanked me. At home, mom or dad just pulled down my jeans or shorts and started to spank, but with Anita it was different. With Anita, she would tell me I was to be spanked. This later turned into ‘the look’ which made me aware what I was supposed to do. I had to go to my room that I shared with Petter and bare myself from waist down. Jeans, shorts, underpants, it all had to come right off. I could keep my socks on if I happened to be wearing any. I then had to go through the flat to the kitchen or the TV room where Anita would sit waiting for me.
She would have me stand right in front of her where she sat. She always leaned forward so her face was never more than perhaps a few inches from mine, so that I would even hear if she was whispering. I can even remember the smell of her breath, and it always smelled of toothpaste. She would then explain to me calmly and in a low but clear voice, why she needed to spank me. When she was convinced I understood, she took my arm or hand and gently made me turn so that I now stood to the right of her. She would let my hand or arm go and just slap herself on her lap twice, with both her hands, meaning it was time for me to go over her knee.
At this point, my emotions used to take over, and I was already crying by the time I laid myself over her lap, even before one single spank. It took almost a year before I knew exactly how she wanted me over her knee, but then I became an expert and could lay myself instantly into the correct position. She did not want my feet or legs to touch the floor, so they were always dangling. She wanted my bare bottom right up, almost in the middle of her lap. This made my head fall over the other side of her lap, so I could always see my sorry feet dangle on the other side.
For some reason, by the time I was in place correctly over her lap, she always waited quietly what felt like half an hour, but in reality wasn’t more than perhaps a minute or two. I don’t know if it was to collect herself, or to make me acutely aware what would soon happen, but I can remember those minutes so vividly. I remember I sometimes could feel a bit of a draft over my bare bottom. When the waiting was over, I felt her resting her right hand on my bottom for just a few seconds, or I could hear and feel her stretch to the table to fetch the brush, depending on what I had done, and then rest the cold wood on my bottom for a few seconds, before my ordeal started.
Both my mom and dad had a rather ‘there-and-then’ attitude to spanking, so they spanked randomly until they felt I had enough. Anita was much more methodical with her smacks on my bottom. I don’t know why, but I always wanted to be brave and not cry, but the tears usually came even before the first smack. I also wanted to count the smacks to myself. Anita did not want any chatter during spanking, but I never got to more than 8 or 10 spanks before the pain became much more acute than my wish to count. She accepted crying and even the occasional shout out, as well as the moments created by reflexes, but she hated it if I tried to get out of position deliberately. I can remember twice doing it just to see if I could get out of the situation, but her response was to focus the spanking on the upper legs instead of the bottom, and that taught me not to do that again!
However, Anita had a system in her spankings, and I soon understood how she did it. First smack was always very hard and in the middle of the bottom. I guess it was to get my whole attention, although she would not have had to worry; I was fully aware where I was and what was happening. Then she started rhythmically to spank left side of the bottom 3 times, right side of the bottom 3 times and then 3 in the middle, before doing left side and right side again and so on. It did not take long for the bottom to be on fire that way. She never spanked a specific amount of smacks, but used an egg timer that she set to 3 or 4 minutes, and on 3 occasions that I can remember, she set it to 5 minutes. While over her lap, I could not wait to hear the brumming noise of the egg timer, knowing that my ordeal was over, for that time anyway.
To be over the knee and have smacks raining down on my bare bottom was excruciating and impossible to understand if you have never been in that situation. It felt like hours over that knee, although it was only a few minutes, and I just wanted the egg timer to finally making its noise. The first minute was bad because all the emotions of why I ended up over the knee were going around my head, as well as the embarrassment of the situation. However, after the first minute of spanking it was all about the pain. By then I had lost any inkling of embarrassment laying there bare bottomed. The second minute was the rising pain of having smacks raining down on an already sore bottom, and no let up. When the 3rd minute started, I didn’t know what to do with myself. My arms that had been so obediently in front of me, away from the spanking, but now by default wanted to protect my sore bottom. Anita just grabbed the arm, and I was stuck in the situation and could not do anything about anything, apart from being there and take what was coming to me. If the timer was set to 3 minutes, it was over when it went off, but if I had another minute to go. I only remember that minute and not being able to feel the individual smacks, but they all felt like one single long pain that never recovered or let off. I have never felt so completely vulnerable in my life as I felt during that 4th minute over Anita’s lap.
It was always based on how many minutes I was going to be spanked, but it was also a question of severity in the spanks. She spanked ‘normal’ and ‘hard’ depending on what I had done, but sometimes I got the wooden brush, and that was for really bad things I had done. I was basically a good boy and rarely deserved such treatment, but there were times I had that wood landing with force on my sore bottom. It wasn’t a normal hair brush but an oval clothing brush, and boy could that hurt!
I stayed with Anita from age 8 until two weeks after my 12th birthday, and then my parents went away to another place when I was 13 and they didn’t return properly until I was 15. They usually did return for 2 or 3 weeks around Christmas every year, and sometimes a few weeks during summer too, but I felt, and still feel, that Anita was the person who was there for me all the time, and did care and love me. I still feel that she is my mother more than my biological mom. I know that might sound odd, but that’s how I feel.
When my real parents did come home for a few weeks, and the 5 of us moved back into the flat, it was like time had stood still. And when it came to discipline, just because my parents were home didn’t mean I could get away with things. How should I put it? My real mom did not forget how to discipline me.
My grandparents never disciplined me and, apart from Anita and my parents, there was only one other person who had the right to have discussions with me; that was Aunt Sonia. She was my mom’s sister and my older brother and sister lived with her when my parents were away. They were so much more older than me, so I don’t think Sonia ever disciplined them, not with spankings anyway, but when I went to her and stayed with them for two weeks every summer and over Easter, she always found a reason to put me over the knee. Yes, really. Found a reason! I don’t know if she was worried what would happen if she didn’t show who was in charge, or if there was any other reason. Even if I hated the spankings I got from Anita, I always knew why I was spanked, and there would be a reason, even if I didn’t like it. Mom’s and dad’s spankings were also logical, but not always without emotions. They might have been tired or irritated at something unrelated, but Sonia, well, it felt like she decided at a specific time that I should be spanked, and then she just found whatever strange reason for it, and over her knee I went.
I remember a few strange reasons Sonia gave as reason for putting me over her knee:
Spencer, you had a dirty kit after having played football (soccer) all afternoon! What did she expect? And my personal ‘favourite’: Spencer, you went to the bathroom in the middle of the night when you should have been sleeping! Even my big brother, who always found it funny when I was going to be spanked, had a problem understanding that one.
So, has having these experiences messed me up? I can’t really answer that. First, I never felt I was abused in any way. This is how most of my friends were brought up too. OK, I had more spankings than most, but at the time it was normal for me, even if I never, ever, liked being spanked. I hated it over everything else. I never felt that my parents or Anita didn’t love me, and did it all for my own good. However, I am not so sure about Sonia, but it wasn’t often I stayed with her.
Anita sometimes had me doing corner-time before and or after my spankings, but only in the small home office they had. She took me there after the spanking, or put me there before it, so that I was left alone to think and no one could see me. My parents sometimes had me stand in the corner too, but that was always in my room or in private. However, Sonia liked (?) to see me in the corner in her TV room, and that I hated almost as much as the spanking, because my sister and brother could see me and that was humiliating, and I felt that was wrong.
I know there is an inconsistency here. With Anita, I had to go to my room and bare myself from the waist down and then go through the flat to her in the kitchen or the TV room, and I could, and did, meet other people on the way, like my friend, his brother, or even Magne, but for some reason that just didn’t bother me. I was too occupied in myself about what was about to happen, so if someone in that family saw me half-naked, it didn’t bother me. I don’t know why. Sometimes I had to do some corner time in the small home office as I mentioned before, but I was always alone in there while in the corner.
I moved permanently back with my parents when I was 15, but I always missed living with Magne, Anita, Karsten and Petter. I still feel they are my real family.