I've been thinking more about the spanking/abuse thing, and realized a big source of my discomfort in talking with people about it.
It's not just the association between spanking and abuse. (Although I was pleased to read yesterday about legislation in California that would make spanking young children a criminal offense!)
It's that the people I know who can accept spanking between consenting adults see it as something sexual, and I agree with their belief that my young parts should definitely not be having sex. So if they are getting spanked, and spanking is either sexual or abusive, then what we're doing is wrong no matter how you look at it.
And the thing is, it's definitely the younger parts who need spanking. Not all, or even most of them. But one of the little kids, and a couple of the teens, really feel better if they get spanked occasionally, and it helps them to feel safe, and to cope with their feelings, and to let go of feeling bad about having done bad things.
There are also a couple of adult parts who feel much better, and are better able to let go of guilt over having done things that I shouldn't have (or, more often, forgotten to do things that I should do!), if I get a spanking.
And, of course, there is the adult part who likes spankings as foreplay.
Okay, so I've lost where I was going. I think it's mostly that there's still a lot of struggle with perception, and it becomes harder as I think about the different ways that I expect people to think about spanking. My friends that I'd talk about this with might be kink-friendly, but they tend to hold pretty strong views about how children should be treated. And I agree with them, kind of. Children shouldn't be spanked... and yet, I know from deep personal experience that I have some children and teens inside me who really do need to be spanked, and so I have a lot of confusion about the best way to deal with that.
On the other hand, my doubt and confusion aren't stopping me from requesting, or W. from giving, the occasional spanking. Neither are the doubt and confusion keeping those spankings from helping me to feel more centered and at peace. So there is that.