For me, as the only boy of three kids, I got it all the time. My Mom would decide to whip me with a branch off the cherry tree while my Dad stood in front daring me to cry. If I did, I got his leather belt across the face. If I didn't answer fast enough to suit him, he would throw a shoe across the room, more than once bloodying my nose. I came to know the back of their hands quite well also. Since we were dirt poor and couldn't afford a big enough house, I always slept on the living room sofa. My Mom would sometimes wait until I was asleep and slip quietly outside. Then, she would scratch the window screens to wake me up, all just to scare me.
At 17, she tried to hit me for the last time. I blocked the swing and shoved her down on the sofa telling her she was never going to touch me again. She never did. At 18, after High School, I came in from working all day and as usual, my Dad was drunk. He decided my younger sister was in need of a beating and tried to. I was already in a tired bad mood and stopped him cold in his tracks. He then turned on me and decided he was going to kick me out, after a manly beating. I lost it completely and fists started flying. The neighbors actually called the police, who didn't do anything. The fact that I whupped him must have really shocked him, but I didn't care. I moved out the next day and have been on my own ever since. As soon as I was out, I contacted a Lawyer and had my sister removed from that house too.
The next time I saw my parents was when I was 21 and had completed my first tour in Vietnam. Then, and only then, was the first, last and only time my Dad ever hugged me. But, was he hugging me or the uniform? I returned to Vietnam and when finished there, came back to the states and was married, then off to Germany and started my family. We never did resolve anything and they are both dead now.
While rasing my daughters, though, I was bound and determined they never expereinced anything like I did and treated them as I always wished I had been. There was discipline, but it was adminitsred lovingly and today, both have told me they enjoyed their childhood. A few years ago, they wanted to know more about my childhood, since I rarely had talked about it to them. I opened up and told them the whole gorey story and they were shocked.
To those of us who survived abuse, you don't have to pass it along. All the enjoyment I had as a Dad more than made up for the way my parents did me as a child.