I was raised in a family that was both loving and, at the same time, abusive. There was physical abuse from my father which left its marks on me, most of which are long in the past and have been healed by the consensual play I've engaged in with Paul and others. The ones that left the most lasting scars have been my mother's anger. Disagreements with her were fraught events. She never argued fairly and would say anything in moments of heated anger, expecting all would be forgotten and forgiven when the moment had passed.
I wasn't like that and would burn inside at the injustice, thinking of what I should have said long after, never feeling good about myself because of the personal attacks. At the same time, politics and religion could be discussed civilly with disagreements encouraged and fair debate encouraged. Needless to say, by the time I reached adulthood, disagreements left me feeling frightened. Even though I would hide that fear and take on issues that mattered to me, I still felt inwardly vulnerable, wanting proof that disagreement wouldn't mean dislike or abuse. For the first few years after I came out in the scene I avoided all disagreements with anyone in the scene, carefully sidestepping issues. This was not easy as we were on Usenet, but I knew with regard to spanking I felt too vulnerable, would be too easily hurt.
Yes, I got past it, kind of. But the discussion this week here and on Indy's site with Ludwig and especially Kaelah has reminded me my childhood is long past. That one can disagree with passion and civility. I appreciated their honesty and their thoughts, even while wishing I could convince them to side with me instead. We're not close friends (really we're more friends of friends) but I didn't feel there was discord or dislike, rather that we were hashing out our positions, looking at the common ground and the disagreements, marking where each point lay and why it was there.
This isn't much of a blog post except to say that's a big deal for me. And I appreciate it.