My name is Ben. I was born in 1971 and spent a lot of my childhood in the foster care system until I was finally adopted at the age of 11 by a wonderful family. I felt very lucky to have been adopted at an older age like I was.
If my memory is correct, I was in three different foster homes before being adopted. One of those homes was the Turner family [name changed – Ed]. Mr and Mrs Turner were probably in their 30s at the time and they had one daughter of their own, Stephanie, who was a year older than me. I went to live with the Turners when I was eight years old and lived there about 18 months.
The Turners weren’t mean people, but they apparently had it in their heads that any boy in the foster care system was inherently a ‘bad egg’. They were convinced that I was in need of regular strict discipline. Now, I should mention that I was not an unruly child. In fact, I was a very shy and quiet boy who looked quite a bit like Opie Taylor from the Andy Griffith Show (pictured right) – an innocent, red haired, freckle faced kid.
I quickly found out that discipline for me in the Turner household would be in the form a leather belt. Now, to be fair, these were not harsh whippings. I would call them spankings with a belt. As best as I can remember they never resulted in welts or bruises, just plenty of stinging redness.
If I did something that the Turners deemed a punishable offence, I would be ordered upstairs to their bedroom to ‘get ready for your punishment’. Getting ready meant I had to retrieve the belt from the top dresser drawer and put it on the bed. Then I had to pull down my pants and underwear all the way to my ankles and lie face down over the side of the bed.
After five or ten minutes of waiting like that, Mr and Mrs Turner would finally enter the bedroom and close the door. There wouldn’t be any discussion or lecture. Mrs Turner would sit on the bed next to me and tell me to put my hands out in front. She would then grab hold of my wrists so I wouldn’t be able to reach back and protect my bare butt.
Mr Turner doubled up the belt and Mrs Turner would say: “This is what happens to little boys who don’t behave in this house.” Then Mr Turner would give me the belt on my bare butt. It was slow and methodical, giving me enough time to fully register the pain of each stroke. I would be screaming and crying almost immediately. I was never given a certain number of strokes – the spanking would end when my foster parents felt it was enough.
These punishment spankings happened about once every week or two. I rarely ever did anything to really warrant the belt, but the Turners used it on me for even minor infractions, such as forgetting to take my shoes off after coming inside.
However, in addition to these punishment spankings I also received what the Turners called ‘reminder spankings’. These happened every Sunday evening and their purpose was to ‘remind’ me to behave in school that week and to keep up with my school work.
Every Sunday evening, some time after dinner, I would be sent upstairs to take my shower and get ready for bed. After showering and putting on my pyjamas, I would have to go back downstairs and tell Mr and Mrs Turner that I was ready. Sometimes they would be finishing up a chore and would tell me to go to their bedroom and get ready, which meant being over the side of their bed with my pants pulled down and the belt waiting on the bedspread.
However, most of the time the Turners would escort me up to their bedroom. On these occasions Mr Turner would retrieve the belt from the dresser while Mrs Turner led me over to the bed and put me over the side of it. Then she would tug my pyjama bottoms and underpants down to my ankles, sit on the bed and grab my wrists in the usual way. Although my foster parents never announced or counted the number of strokes, I soon realised I that would get a dozen licks with the belt on my bare butt on Sundays.
As I mentioned before, I was a very shy and quiet boy, as well as very modest. During those first few months with the Turners, the pain of those spankings was matched by the embarrassment of it as well. Having to pull down my pants in front of two adults I barely knew was quite shameful.
In addition, from time to time the Turners would have company over on Sundays. These were the most dreaded of all my spankings from them – having to go downstairs after my shower into the living room or dining room and tell Mr and Mrs Turner, in front of company, that I was ready for my spanking was mortifying.
Mrs Turner would usually excuse herself and Mr Turner by saying something like: “We’ll be back down in five minutes– unfortunately, Ben is getting the belt tonight before bedtime.” The utter embarrassment would turn my face red. And once upstairs in their bedroom, I felt sure that even with the door closed, everyone downstairs would surely hear me getting the belt and would be able to tell I was getting on my bare bottom, which made it all the more shameful. The only mercy was I didn’t have to go back downstairs and face them, as I was put to bed right after the spanking.