More about my intrusive mother

Bradford's hair has to be washed!
The above picture is not me (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) at maybe age 8 years. I cannot draw that well and my ohter(sorry, typo here) did not have any assistants in washing my hair and she did not use a big bucket(another typo), just the bathtub faucet and her two bare hands. She did what she decided to do; I had no protection from her.


Waterboarding lite

My mother was always ready to HELP me like "communist" countries ~help~ dissidents: FOR MY OWN GOOD.

Case study: As a small child I was terrified of getting my hair washed. this was an entirely separate problem form getting it cut, which may have been one of the most terrifying taboos in my ignorant parents' lives, right up there with sex. Nobody ever knewor cared about the hair washing while all of America drummed into my parents' heads that They had to help keep America beautiful by having my hair always cut short: for an American white middle-class boy to have his natural hair was as unthinkable as for a jewish boy to have an intact penis.

Of course my intrusive mother had to add her own little extra to what the barber did, and snip a few hairs here and there when my clueless father returned me from the barbarian shop, to make it look just right to her. Since they had me circumcised even though they were not jews, it's a good thng my mother did not think to snip a little more of my penis to make it too look like she wanted, but maybe the problem there was that sex taboo took precedence over everything.

The trauma of hair washing was all on my mother [bitch]. Uncle Sam probably did not care about how clean my hair was, only about its length and that it didn't have lice or BO. My mother jammed my head under the faucet in the tub to rinse the soap out while I feared drowning / suffocating: waterboarding lite. She did make the concession of allowing me to hold a small wash cloth over my eyse and nose to try to protect my self as best I could. The strong get what they want. the weak take what they get.

What did or did not go through this woman's head? I am not sure how much she thought at all, since I have retained as a residuum of her the phrase in my own mind: "Now let me think." That seems to imply that except after she made this declaration of intent, she did not think (recall Prof. Heidegger's threefold distinction: that in contrast to man whose world is open to Being, animals are world-poor, and inanimate objects are worldless — Where do my parents and later my perp school teachers fit in this taxonomy?).

My mother did not work; she had almost nothing to do all day besides housecleaning while I was at school and my clueless father was "on the road" away from home working hard to "bring home the bacon". She could have thought something like:

"Now let me think. My child is traumatized by getting his hair washed. Is there something I can do to make it better for him? Can I console him and sincerely promise him I won't let him suffocate under the faucet? can I rinse the soap out a different way like maybe pouring the water into a large bottle and letting him sit up in the tub while I ran the rinse water over his head? What all can I try, to make this less stressful for my beloved child? I need to try to talk with him and see if we can come up with any ideas...."

No. This woman was as hell bent on brutalizing me to get my hair washed in the early 1950s, as Mr Joe Biden is to remove Vladimir Putin from the Presidency of Russia in 2023. It was psychotic.

We will never know about this. But as I have previously written, I have 2 data points that may be relevant: I also was traumatized by the doctor using a tongue suppressor to see donw my throat, and also him palpating my abdomen. He never tried to negotiate with me. But all by my own little self, I figured out workable compromises:

I would strain to open my mouth so wide that he would not have need to use the wretched tongue suppressor that I gagged on. It worked. First problem problem solved. Later I figured out the doctor could feel around any place he wanted on my abdomen: PROVIDED HE DID NOT DO ANYTHING SUDDEN OR JERKY. Second problem solved. These two cases show that I was willing to negotiate with them.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *

That America could produce full wheel hubcaps, tailfins and also a mother so clueless is surely a damning condemnation of such a place. When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. When you wish upon a star, as dreamers do. Fate is kind, she brings to those who love, the sweet fulfillment of, their secret longings. Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you through, when you wish upon a star, as dreamers do. But I could not even keep the natural hair on my head, much less have not had them hack off the end of my penis at birth. They were all like United States's neo-conservative foreign policy: They had to have unipolar hegemony, not being being peers in a multipolar world.

I was no big deal. My parents should have had a baby doll, not me, and maybe that's why I am so repulsed by baby dolls because I knew how it feels to be one?

That my mother was what she was was not her fault. It was the fault of a society that could invent the atomc bomb but could not cope with a sensitive little boy wanting to keep the hair that grew by healthy nature on his head. they damned me. Damn them.

Replaying a scene: A Potemkin village

These days (+2023.06.29), I imaginatiely replay situations where, at the time, I failed, which was most of them. Here's one:

6 ounce bottles of Welch's Grape Juice came in little 6-pack cartons. The cartons looked like little buildings: houses and stores. You could send away for a large paper picture that looked like the landscape of a small village, and place your empty cartons on the streets to make up a little town. A Potemkin village if ever there was one, yes?

My warders (aka parents) let me order the plan and I set up my little village on my bedroom floor. It was a large bedroom, one of the two master bedrooms in the house (here).

I liked my little village and wanted it to stay there ("object constancy"?). My mother was a fanatical housecleaner. My little village had to go so she could vacuum clean the floor under it. I felt helpless. My feelings did not matter. I acquired a lifelong determination to protect things I value. Do not touch my books or anything else I value!

It was like "urban renewal". My little village went the way of all flesh even though I had no clue about "the flesh" but that is another problem. What might I have done?

I could have stood up in front of my mother and stared direct in her face and told her that while he had power to do anything to me that she whimed, I did not like either it or her for being a bully. And then made her directly command me to give up my little village to prove she was a heartless bully. Maybe it would have resulted in me being punished (but how could they have punished me? "Wait until your father comes home!"). But maybe she would have come to her senses. As it was, she got away with it without having to confront what she was and was doing. She and my father exercised absolute power over me, and I had no control over anything. So I probably did he right thing to just yield without protesting, to avoid getting punished.

One scholar has called childrearing: "the dark continent of childhood". In 1950's middle class America, the divine right of kings was still unchallenged in the home, or in other words, as one tv show had it: "Father knows best." That is not necessarily true (and,as one Rolling Stones song said: mother has her little helper to help her get throug her day sometimes, too). The title of Akira Kurosawa's movie about the Japanese mafia: "The bad sleep well."

If I had it to do over again I would have conducted psychological warfare against the colonial occupying regime: they were planting toxic introjects in my little head because their parents had done it to them, so I would try a flanking action and attack theirs from the rear: I would try to make them feel guilty about what they were doing to me.

Different topic: Occasionally they eould tell me they might put me in a hospital becuse I did not weigh enough. I was very thin-boned and skinny, but they could have embraced and cherished me and protcted my fragile body. (Aside which I may have mentioned elsewhere: As an adult, once I went to a spa for old communists and one of the guests [jewish] said I looked like I had come out of Auschwitz. One of the few honest compliments I've ever received, unlike "A" grades from dolt teachers in school.)

What did they not think sending me to an all-male body-contact athletics (football, lacrosse) school?

As clueless as my parents were, they must have known that I might like to have a girl or didn't they? Were they really that dense? Did they think that because my mother had no bounderies, I needed male influence therapy, instead of fixing her? That I would benefit from macho male role modelling? A jock school (I was athletics-aversive). If they ideated this way, it didn't work. At least they didn't send me to McDonough School which was stil semi-military and the boys wore cadet uniforms.

I was "shy". Great help for finding female companionship, right? Maybe since I had a bright mind they really believed I would never have, need or want to have sex hormones?[1] Or, as said above, that I had too much female influence (I did generally urinate sitting down on the toilet "like a girl"). They did realize that I had an digestive tract because they fed me and when I did not defecate to my mother's approval, my father stuck an anal enema syringe up my little asshole and squirted soapy liguid inside me.

They were not so "out of it" that they did not understand that persons have alimentary canals, although they were probably as ashamed of ("in denial about"?) defecating as about sex. What was wrong with them? What was wrong with the social surround they lived in and tried to conform to and make me conform to? What they deserved was for me commit suicide and leave them a note thanking them for having made life not worth living. "Huh? We don't understand. We gave him everything. Something must have been wrong with him."

On the other hand there was my clueless father

I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) find both my parents impossible to make sense of. How did the world produce such people? As said, my mother would have done better with a baby doll than with a real baby. But my father was different. He functioned very well in the business world. He was a "paint salesman extraordinaire" as one of his "men" said to me. "His men": he was a great sales manager, too. In business he even showed some imagination, one day bringing home something remarkable: An automobile repair shop had for many years been testing out paint colors by brushing a small sample on one particular wood panel, so it had built up hundreds of layers of all different colors like technicolor tree rings. My father had the sedimentary block cut into slices which he gave out to a few special customers and brought one home. He may have had an I.Q. of 120, which would have been exceptional "where he came from".

Copulation is for reproduction only, but we gotta do it.We're farmers, you know.

But he didn't have a clue when it came to living. I seem to recall he told me that in the war, in the Army Air Corps (which it has been pointed out to me was an "elite service" even if he was just an enlisted man, not an officer), they gave the men a ration of whisky after a flight to help them relax. My father said he gave his away (he was a generous person). I would guess if somebody had a magazine with pictures of naked ladies in it he would have looked away. He did occsionally drag me to Presbyterian church on Sunday mornings but I doubt he understood anything about the Christian or any other religion beyond that people went to church on Sunday morning.

Since I am here, I infer my parents copulated — somehow. Their "sex life" (Huh?) would probably have made Grant Wood's American Gothic look "racy". I now deduce my mother menstruated because there was some sort of pads in the bathroom closet that I didn't know about. As Samuel F.B. Morse's famous first telegraph message of 1944(Why not?) said: "What hath God wrought?"

Living in a split level house on a full acre lawn was The Ameridan Dream, so that's what they did, even though my mother could not drive an automobile so she was a prisioner in the place all week while my father was away working "on the road" (In an in-town house she could have walked to stores, etc. I remember riding ona streetcar to go shopping downtown with her when we did earlier live in an in-town house — she could handle that).

So when a [fill in the blank] with a masters degree from Johns Hopkins University who acted like he might have come over on the Mayflower (not the Mayflower Madam) told them his "preparatory" school would prepare me (for what?) by subjecting to a gender apartheid [fill in the blank] pedagogy, they were as naive, i.e.: as awed, as teenage girls swooning over some rock singer.

They had "come from nothing' but were determined to "better" themselves, and all they knew was advetising. So they were easy suckers for this imitation Harrow School Head Master wannabee.

They came from nothing but I would go to "a good school", and they paid good money for it. Mr. Middleton, the Headmaster, gave me a bunch of multiple choice tests and i did well enough to be accepted, like he had pulled a rabbit out of a hat (he probably would have "accepted" any kid whose mommy and daddy could pay the tuition to his 2nd-rate place)! The road to hell is paved with good intentions, so it is said; My cliueless parents were part of the Interstate Highway system. Clueless is the only word for them.

They meant well. Like maybe Donald Trump sincerely believed that injecting Clorox or shining ultraviolet light inside the body might cure Covid-19. I distinctly remember an interstate when I was a child that my parents would drive a short distance on to get to my grandmother's house. We would get off at the last exit. A few feet beyond that the pavement ended abruptly; I have no idea if it was ever finished. There was a sign there saying that was where it ended for now. My parents ended whree they ended, too: I was the biggest part of their The American Dream, which I had no interest in whatever except I did not want it/them always hurting me more.

Suppose somebody had said to me: "Well, Bradford, you don't like what we do for you, so go do what you want!"?

"What men are willing to put up with depends on what they are able to look forward to." (Arnold Hauser)

That would not have been good enough. Of course I did not want the Them intruding on me and hurting me, but that should have been a given. But if I had been free to do what I wanted that would have been pathetic because they never showed me anything I might want to do or have. I whould have sat on a chair in an empty room with nothing to do but at least not being harmed by the Them: my parents and teachers who would not leave me in peace.

I needed both freedom from and also freedom for. I needed to be offered things that might appeal to me to want to do, not appeal to them to ideate I should want to do because they ideated I should want to do them, The pediatrician-psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott called this "object presenting" (see here). Had I known things I wanted to do then giving me the freedom to do them whould have been great.

Their crimes of comission were legion, starting with cutting off the end of my little penis as a newborn, and then all the haircuts and other oppression. All they had to do in these cases was to do nothing instead of doing harm. But even more consequential were their crimes of omission: Depriving me of awareness thet there could be anything in life that would appeal to me. I didn't even fully realize how much they did not appeal to me, I was so ignoranced by them. They could have started by promising me I would never be tested again and that they would not abandon me even if they did not like what I would do. And they should have added that because they had no clue what I might like and were totally incompetent to raise not just rear me, I would have to try to figure that out for myself. But that is expecting far too much of them. Ring them up and nobody's home.

Trying to remember more precisely The Abandonment Threat play

Floorplan of house at 2114 Northland Road:


I was probably 5 years old, not younger than 4 nor older than 6. I recall very little of this event. I had taken to calling my mother: "mud", and this not because I could not speak articulately. It seems my mother and father did not like this.

The scene: My mother was walking toward the front door holding a little suitcase in one hand. I forget if the door was open. My father told me that she was leaving, permanently, because I had called her "mud". He told me I had to tell her I loved her and mean it, and then she would not leave.

She did not leave so I must have said the required text. Maybe I cried, I don't remember.

These two people were not malevolent; they just did not know any other way to deal with the situation when their child did not do what they wanted the child to do, than to threaten and punish. That's the world they csme from.

So from about age 5 years I knew from example that if I displeased my parents my mother might abandon me. I never thought about what my father would have done about me without her. I was always contectually afraid of being abandoned. The reason I avoided "tough" courses in school was to avoid being abandoned due to having failed to do something they wanted me to do. They wanted "A" grades but did not understand about any subject, just the letter on the line on the report card.



  1. Abandonment play
  2. Father threateing me for shaming him a barbership over razor on neck tantrum
  3. Rinsiing hair in baths
  4. Time mother washed my hair in kitchen sink and jammed it under the faucet
  5. Enemas
  6. Abandoning m to the nurse with the stel needle in the middle of the inside of my arm.
  7. Father not taking me to dermatologist to get mole removed.

St Paul's School

  1. &th grade English teacher threatening me for not writing script
  2. Inquisitorial proceeding about having written "FUCK" in condensation on school buw window
  3. Burriss Young's ancient history class "make an ancient object" assignment
+2024.06.26 v137
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  1. I am pleased to report they never got any grandchildren out of me and if the human species goes extinct because of that, so much the better. There will be people around to feed my pet cat until she dies.
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