|Two kinds of childrearing|
|Object presenting||Social conditioning|
The Christ child being offered a small object for Him to freely examine and judge. The petty people treat Him with respect, because He is a Son of their God, so they fear He will send them to burn in Hell forever if they don't treat His Son with kid gloves. The petty people don't dare try to push their pre-judices on Him. Read Luke 2:41-52.
Contrast: The petty people socially conditioning me (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) as a helpless small child. They relentlessly stuff their pre-judices into my helpless mind and body. They know I am not a Son of their God, so they won't get punished for doing it. Indeed, they have been socially conditioned to believe socially conditioning me is the right thing for them to do. They are so lucky that I am not a Son of their God, because if I was, they would have to lay off, even though I have not defecated as many times as they have (i.e.: respect your elders...), to keep from burning in Hell forever.
The Christ child was offered freedom to decide what he felt and thought about things. Take 'em or leave 'em, but you are safe and secure whatever you like. I was offered coercion to conform to belief that things were what my childrearers pre-udiced things were and that I must pre-judice them identically, Or else!. My mother showed she meant business: If I didn't love her she was abandoning me. I could not risk finding out if, like the Abrahamic Deity, she would back off at the last minute; a 5 year old without a safe house to go to is not in a position to risk calling Big Bully's bluff. (She and her lackey -- my father -- won a Pyrrhic victory; I never once called either of them by any term of endearment in my life, although I obediently stopped calling her "Mud" and generally avoided calling either of them by any name.)
I was childreared with zero sense of personal agency. There was nothing I perceived that I could do to improve the situation I was stuck in. This is exemplified by a pathetic memory from one morning during summer recess after most likely the third grade. I wanted to extend my bedroom in the house my parents had [house number forgotten] Hanover Avenue Richmond Virginia (Click here to see the goddamned house). I went out in the too bright sun (I never liked being in the sun) back yard and planted a couple stick in the ground to mark the boundary of my proposed extension. Maybe I tied a string between the stakes I have stuck in the ground. Q: What next? A: [No answer.] Obviously I did not deploy over the building construction equipment or workers to do anything, nor even a shovel. I think I put a few pebbles along the proposed outer wall of my extension into void. A diffferent morning, maybe the following summer, I walked along the row of trees on the bounding the side street (visible in the picture on the attached page) having some kind of thoughts about the meaning of life or something void like that but that went nowhere. Ex nihilo nihil fit, but my mother obsessed fusssed over the uncomfortable clothes she jammed me into for her perfect fit her doll [=me (BMcC[18-11-46-503])] including blouses with necks so tight they almost choked me.
Is there any way I can convey the waste of it all? Waste. Punctuated by being poked at and jerked around. A mother who was insane left all week in that house while my father worked hard "on the road" away from home Monday thru Friday and clueless on the weekends. All that woman had to do all day was look for trouble and, other than immaculate housecleaning such as vacuum cleaning the floors, there was me.
There are two sides to freedom, maybe three. There is freedom from: I needed to not be intruded upon: "Lay off!" But that's not enough. Eliminating problems just leaves what's left, and for me that was not much. I also needed something to be free for: something to want to strive toward. The void needs to be filed. Finally, ther eis the need for safety, what Donald Winnicott called: "The holding environment". Society enables the father to enable the mother to enable the baby. Each layer "holds" the next. I needed to not fear falling into a pit.
Object presenting addresses all three: Mary holds her infant Jesus; she does not smother hover over him. But neither does He have to worry about falling and cracking his skull on pavement. Jesus is free to move around; he is free from, But he is also free for: free to examine the little crystal sphere fhich his mother offers to himas something she thinks might enchant and interest him. He has something to want to explore. I was afraid of falling on the floor while being suffocated and if I got up for air there was nothing there (except, which was not a negative thing, relief).
I needed to be treated with gentleness; that was too much to expect.