Planet Waves

Are You My Mother?

An 8th House Aquarius Moon Memoir

By Eric Francis Coppolino | Published Aug. 7, 2018

WHEN I WAS AN ONLY CHILD, my mom used to read to me from a book, called Are You My Mother? We had the bilingual English-French edition, so I would get to hear it in both languages. Tu es ma mere?

It was about a baby bird who fell out of the nest, landed with a little thump on the ground, and set about a quest of finding his mother. He roams around and asks everyone he meets: a dog, a cat, a chicken, a cow: Are you my mother?

Finally, he gets to a steam shovel, and asks the enormous piece of machinery: Are you my mother? He's picked up in the scoop of the machine and the story ends when he's deposited back into his nest high in a tree, where his mother is waiting for him. It's interesting that she didn't go out looking for him, with her bird's eye view. But at least he got home safely.

Planet Waves

I still have my original copy of this book; somehow it made it through twenty-five moves and my mother's purge of my belongings soon after I left for university. It's my oldest possession, except for my body.

This book tells the story of my childhood, and is accurate except for being deposited by divine intervention back into the family nest. Soon after my brother was born, my mother developed ulcerative colitis. This began a phase of being cared for by many women: my grandmother, many housekeepers, student nurses and babysitters; and most significantly, by my Aunt Josie, who was my Godmother in the Roman Catholic tradition. And with each of these women, there was a touch of: Are you my mother?

To this day, I am adept at finding adoptive parents to hang out with and give me a little feeling of home. My father is still a loving parent. Though my mother did what she could to vilify him, she never turned me against him. I recognize that he's always done what he could to be dependable, and a good parent, which has included growing up along with me.

Aquarius Moon, in the 8th House

The events of the spring and summer of 2018, covered in the series Wicked Game, coincide with a unprecedented astrological event for me: Mars making three passes over my Aquarius Moon. Given the Moon's association to mother in astrology, this is going to bring out something about her.

Coupled with an eclipse of the Moon conjunct retrograde Mars (the total lunar eclipse on July 27, 2018), one might surmise we would really get a close look at the dynamics underlying my relationship with my mother: something never before revealed.

Planet Waves
A look at my 8th house. The purple glyph is Vesta and the green one is Pholus, which is at the Moon-Saturn midpoint. This places a strong emphasis on the influence of past generations, as Pholus goes back to the influence of the great grandparents and beyond.

No previous Mars retrograde in Aquarius has ever made contact with my Moon before, so this is a first-time astrological event, which you can expect to come with unprecedented events in the physical world. I'll describe these events in summary form in a little while. First, I want to describe my Moon astrologically, and then tell you a bit about my mother, as I knew her when I was a teenager.

First, my Moon is in the 8th house. The first time we get a translation of this house's meaning into English (in 1647, by William Lilly), it's summed up as "Death, dowry, the substance of the bride, &c." The 8th is associated with dowry and inheritance: the transfer of resources from one person to another. What is in this house, you share with others; the Moon is one's physical body, and one's needs; this becomes a collective resource, particularly placed, as it is, in Aquarius, the sign of groups (and to a real degree, of intellect).

In contemporary psychological astrology, the 8th is the house of sex (whether of the marriage bed, or clandestine), death and transformation. It's a great placement for the Moon to create someone who can handle a crisis. You want your EMT or search and rescue team leader to have this placement. If nuclear war breaks out, go to the home of the nearest person with an 8th house Moon. The 8th is also the house of "the sex you need" as opposed to "the sex you want." It's also "the sex you owe someone," such as a spouse.

The Moon is used by many astrologers as a primary significator describing the chart owner's mother. Let's give that a try, as if we don't know who she is.

Planet Waves
My mother Camille in July 1960, age 19. Her Moon is in Capricorn. Her mother had a Capricorn Sun.

Aquarius Moon, used to suss out the mother, describes a quirky woman, who is a bit emotionally detached. She strives to be friendly. She has an independent streak, but can also be conformist, particularly to her family. She's involved with a lot of people, and would appear to have a lot of lovers.

Aquarius Moon is not exactly maternal -- typically, it's way too chilly, if it's describing a woman; but other chart factors may bestow warmth, if accessed. This Moon at its best has a friendly cast, seeking social experiences, and social connections, and being curious about people. It's a little more like an aunt than a mom. None of this is guaranteed, and there are darker and lighter ways to express any placement. Given the 8th house, remember, she's in a nonstop process of crisis and transformation.

One last thing -- my Moon is conjunct the asteroid Vesta. This is the asteroid of service. At its most basic, Vesta is a devoted, even tireless worker. She has a self-sacrificing quality, which must be guarded carefully lest it turn to the experience of living in a world of resentment: of always serving others, and not oneself. Yet with Vesta so prominent, that's an essential level of relating to existence. One lives to serve and had best make peace with that.

One last thought about the role of Vesta in my life. One purpose of this asteroid is to describe “holding space.” I hold space in the 8th house for collective discussions of matters of that place in the chart. It’s like I have a fire going there, to warm up what what is otherwise a dark and forbidden discussion, and in the spirit of Vesta, I tend that fire around the clock.

The Moon also describes the child's experience of mother, and the mother's impact on the child. In the case of the Aquarius Moon, that would describe a group of mothers: my Godmother, grandmother, and all those nurses, maids and babysitters. Or borrowing a bit from Gilbert and Sullivan, my sisters, cousins and aunts.

My Mother's Father

Before we get to the woman herself, let's consider a bit about her father, who factors into this story prominently.

She got married, like many women of her era, to get out of her father's house. It was seen as the only way out. At the time there were also the beatniks, who, disagreeing with their parents' way of life, would just leave home and stick out their thumb and go somewhere, such as California. My mom was not that type, so she got married instead. That did not improve things much for her.

She told me she knew she made a mistake marrying her first husband, and my father, when she was on her honeymoon.

Her father, Jim, was a short, suspicious Sicilian man. He had high blood pressure and was quick to anger. He was famously cheap. My grandma Mary, his wife, had a blunt quality to her speech, and was always generous with tales of her agony in marriage.

Planet Waves
My maternal grandparents, Mary and Jim, July 1962, on Long Island,where traditionally they had summer homes. These had names, like Shalimar, and Hacienda.

One night they were out on the boardwalk somewhere, and she asked him to buy her an ice cream cone. It cost 25 cents. The next week, when she got her grocery allowance, which was $20 a week for the whole family, he gave her $19.75. He had deducted the quarter for the ice cream cone -- from the whole family's budget. She said that never once in the course of her marriage did she ever see his paycheck.

Once when I was little, maybe five or six, my Christmas gift from him consisted of a nearly finished roll of toilet paper. When I unrolled it, five $1 bills came out, one at a time. I thought it was a great joke, and $5 was a lot of money at the time. I'm not sure the other adults thought it was so funny. It's mean for a kid to unwrap his Christmas gift and find toilet paper.

Skip ahead a bit to when I was about 12. One summer night, we were visiting my grandparents, all huddled in my grandparents' bedroom, which was the only room that was air-conditioned, or rather, where my grandfather would allow the air conditioner to be turned on. I went out to the kitchen to get a glass of water, and he followed me, and watched me as I took a class from the cupboard, filled it with water and had a drink. Years later, another relative explained that the reason he followed me was to make sure I didn't steal anything, such as a spoon.

My grandfather was a draftsman. He was ambidextrous and could write in impeccable block lettering with either hand. He was also a thief. He had a basement room filled with slowly decaying pads, erasers, notebooks, paper, pencils, pens, compasses, and various other supplies he had stolen from the places he worked as a draftsman, which were many, as he could never hold a job for long.

This was a secret room, which I only glimpsed in once or twice. There was a workbench with shelves above it, filled with stacks and stacks of supplies pilfered from various architectural and design firms over the decades.

Planet Waves
My grandmother Mary and her two daughters, Camille and Joan, in Brooklyn, early 1950s. The secret room was off of the garage, to the left. This is a weird photo.

One of his talents was being a pathological liar. By that I mean that if you asked him what time it was, he would lie by five minutes, just because he could.

According to my grandmother, he always had an erection. She was a tailor, and told me that she would make him custom suit jackets that hung well below his waistline to conceal this fact, such as when he was riding the subway.

Though he seemed to be internationally renowned for hating children, he always treated me with as much or more respect as I ever saw him treat anyone. I never thought of him as a bad guy, just as a little strange. I didn't really relate to him, and I hated the way his breath always smelled of wine (to this day, I cannot stand the smell of wine on someone's breath).

I don't recall ever feeling angry or resentful toward him, but I was aware that everyone else did. When he died, my mother's husband Ron said that till now, he'd never been to a funeral where it seemed like everyone wanted to throw rocks at the coffin.

I was the first male-bodied person to come along, since him. When the women who had endured him raised me, they sought to make me the very antithesis to what he had been to them. And into that mix, they packed all their grief and rage.

Broken Windows, Traffic Accidents and Clamshells

Most of what I remember about my mother is from a phase of my life after she got divorced. That happened in 1973, and soon after my father moved to Manhattan, my mother bought a house in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn. We moved from the inner city to the edge of the city, near a waterfront of Jamaica Bay, near the beach and near Sheepshead Bay. This time in my life spanned from 4th through 12th grades, skipping the 8th -- late 1973 through late 1981.

She went through about 10 boyfriends during this time. Our family got to know each of them, and then within two or three months, she would split up with each without any notice. I grew attached to each of them and never got to say goodbye to any. There was always some terminal infraction that led to the breakup. Sometimes she would say what it was.

Planet Waves
Photo of my neighborhood in Marine Park, Brooklyn, where I lived from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s. We were one block from the water and a block from the park.

One man she dismissed, she said, because he ate a banana and made the uncouth error of leaving the peel in an ashtray. Nobody was ever classy enough for her.

About the banana peel, most people would say she was going too far. She made it sound like she was being reasonable. The ashtray! But he could have left it on the floor, or between the couch cushions, or thrown it at her. At least the ashtray is a place designed to leave refuse. (She was sanctimonious about her smoking, and then became a world-champion Smokenders saleswoman.)

She was fond of calling men peasants, before she became a women's libber in the mid-1970s and then they were all male chauvinist pigs. This, despite the fact that my father's child support checks arrived like clockwork, and he never missed one of his weekends, picking us up and dropping us off on time.

There were a few distinctive elements of this time in our lives.

She came home from work no fewer than five times having crashed her car. Maybe it was more like 10. In any event, we were on a first-name basis with the guy who did her bodywork, in Brownsville, Brooklyn -- a guy named Otis, who could magically re-sculpt her little Datsun 1200 (her first new car) back into its original shape no matter how many times she was hit or drove into something. Finally, she totaled it, and got a new car, which she crashed a few times. She was in the "assigned risk" category as a result, and paid very high insurance rates. But at least she could get insurance; she certainly used it enough times.

Then there were the broken windows. One night, someone threw a rock through our living room window. It was a large casement with many panes of glass, from the days before picture windows. She had the window fixed. Then it happened again. And again. Once, the rock-thrower hit a blown glass vent window, which was more expensive than an ordinary pane of glass, and had to be special-ordered for $40, which seemed like a fortune at the time. It was like eight pizzas.

As the family's natural-born detective, I tried to discern a pattern, and tracked the dates and times of the events. I also kept count of the total, which was 23. The broken windows went on for years, and she never let on that she had a clue who was doing it. It was always some mystery person. Imagine what she must have said or done to someone to get that kind of response out of him.

Once she dated someone who was involved in the leadership of my Boy Scout troop, who was also a U.S. treasury agent. After she broke up with him, she was audited by the I.R.S. every year for many years.

Then there was the "foreign objects in food" thing. They would flock to her. If someone made a two-gallon pot of clam chowder, she would get the one fragment of clamshell, and it would break her dental work, which would be followed by the drama of repeated dental visits.

Planet Waves
Carole and my mother were best friends growing up. She was at my parents’ wedding.

Growing up, whatever happens with parents has a way of seeming normal. All of these things were a way of life for her and consequently for me. There was always a crisis, and it was always focused on her.

Her role as super-victim also included being a mother, which she was clear with me robbed her of her ability to develop her singing talent. As a junior high school student, she had the female lead in a university production of H.M.S. Pinafore, at the time when her best friend was Carole Klein, who would become Carole King. I was aware that Carole had kids, and that didn't stop her from being one of the great rock stars of the 1970s and one of the great woman rock stars of all time.

My mother was not into being a mom. I did everything I could to help, and only wanted her to be happy. I could cook, so I did that often. For years, we would talk every night in her bedroom, and I would listen to her problems, and tell her about my life. I felt like the one person she could really talk to, and I cherished that role because it gave me some value to her.

Her lack of interest in parenting worked for me one particular way: I had enormous freedom to travel. I went into Manhattan frequently, by myself or with friends. I discovered Amtrak, and visited friends in Providence and Philadelphia often. By the time I was 18, I had covered the Eastern Seaboard from Washington, D.C. to Montreal by bicycle. Aquarius Moon loves freedom and independence.

Also during these years, I learned how to write, edit and design publications. My high school was progressive and awarded students many adult privileges. I took advantage of all of them, including editing the school's social science journal, and working as a paid assistant in the off-campus typesetting and design shop where production happened.

A Facebook Bullying Campaign | See official statement here

In April 2018, I became the subject of a Facebook bullying campaign by known political actors. It started as one post, and then grew into a full-on harassment campaign, fraudulently disguised as "Me Too" activism. None of the allegations were serious, in that none involved rape, alcohol, drugs, inappropriate touching or the abuse of professional power. Yet they were insidious, in the classic style of innuendo and attempted destruction of reputation.

Planet Waves
My official bio at the Daily News.

The Facebook campaign consisted mostly of name-calling, which you can read about in the second article in my series, called The Nature of the Beast.

This was happening in a very small community, where I was well known as a writer, and where it was also well known that I have a worldwide reputation. I had recently been profiled by The New York Times, and had landed a gig writing daily for the New York Daily News.

There's one other salient fact: I write about sex and relationships. I was published for over 22 years in a local arts magazine, writing about a full diversity of subject matter, including polyamory, jealousy, bisexuality, masturbation, consent, what it means to be a man, and also describing my artwork, which largely consisted of photographing women gazing into mirrors.

The accusations went on and on, driven mainly by four women, one of whom I knew briefly in the early 1990s, and three of whom I don’t know at all, but who were well aware of who I am. At their hands, I was fired from two long-held freelance writing jobs, a new radio job, and I was removed from the faculty of a conference, where I was scheduled to teach writing. Unsuccessful attempts were made to get me fired from Hearst Corporation and the Daily News.

Dark Figment of Their Imagination

Many have noted that I was having the shadow material of these women projected onto me. I was like the dark figment of their imagination, manifesting in a hundred different nightmares. Their descriptions of someone they claim is me are summarized in The Nature of the Beast.

The person they were describing had no one M.O., but rather any one would suit. He could manifest in any form as the archetypal toxic male: abuser, manipulator, womanizer, pervert, letch, creep, seducer, romancer, misogynist, masturbator, rock star abusing his power on hapless groupies, or generic influential white male who should move over and make room for minorities to have his job: whatever jumped out of the inkblot pattern.

This is one situation where the concept of an archetype really works: a living, shape-shifting concept contained within the perceiver and in the collective, someone that can manifest to them in any form. They claimed I was this person.

Additionally, it has been said, over and over, that any facet of my life was merely a prop to facilitate my misconduct, for example: my work as an environmental investigative reporter; writing poetry; writing emails; my ability to read tarot cards; my talent as an astrologer, which it turned out (in their opinion) wasn't so great after all; my love of being outside in nature; my photography; my work in the field of sexual healing. (I am surprised that my music was not dragged in; after all, every man who picks up an electric guitar just is in it for the chicks. However, if they did that, they would also have to call Me Too on every rock star camped out in the hills around Woodstock.)

All of these personal qualities, they said, were merely used for the purpose of pursuing women. I was called a false feminist a number of times. I was called a fake "new ager," which casts my spiritual life in a negative light. In their minds, no matter what I do, I do it to get laid -- although to them, in their made-up version of my life, this never seems to happen.

Most peculiar among these supposed M.O.s was an instance where someone claimed that asking to meet someone's dog was construed as sexual abuse of the dog's owner: the most harmless, polite, innocent desire: to visit with a dog. This one fact is especially telling, since many kids, both boys and girls, are interested in dogs, and one could hardly imagine anything more grounded in ordinary life, less worthy of a crisis.

A Picture of a Sexually Emergent Boy

Usually, sexual abuse happens irrespective of someone's talent or profession. Nobody called Harvey Weinstein a bad movie producer. In fact everyone agreed that he was an amazing movie producer, who helped create some of the most amazing films of our lifetimes. Nobody said that Matt Lauer was a bad morning show host.

Rather, those "coming forward" clearly described the ways they felt those men had hurt them. In the Facebook and later newspaper campaign against me, mixed in with all the claims alleged of misogyny, abuse and being friendly to animals, were ongoing, nonstop personal attacks on the talents I've developed and shared with my community.

Planet Waves
Me at about age 13, in a photo by my dad, when I was running for junior high school class president. I never ran for political office again.

Nearly every major article or discussion began with someone asserting that they did not like something I had written. There have been repeated statements of resentment -- which go back years -- that my horoscope column was the most popular feature in a local magazine, more popular than the political sections.

Let's set that aside for a moment, and consider these accusations a kind of dream or collective hallucination. When you boil down all these rumors, the essence is a picture of someone who is sexual. The actions described are not so much abusive but rather depict someone interested in and curious about women. But the only way for that to get traction is to pack it in the language and memes of victimhood.

As many have noted, none of the wildly diverse claims (most of which have no "victim") are illegal or coercive. Taken in the worst possible light, counting them as a dream, they describe someone immature, perhaps with undeveloped boundaries, who is either precocious or inappropriate in public. They don't describe someone from whom society needs to be protected (such as a rapist who works the local bars in a college town at 3 am). All the conduct described is in the realm of what could easily be "corrected," in a kid or an adult, if anyone cared to.

Among writers, they were not describing Henry Miller or Ernest Hemingway or Norman Mailer. Rather, one notable feature about the person described is that he could be a virgin. There is no claim of sex with, or sexual touching of, a woman. This man in their minds doesn't have actual lovers. The effect is to infantilize the person they are describing: to cast him as a perpetually sexually immature boy, though one who is being held down, or not allowed to mature. In fact, his desire to mature, and his biological imperative to do so, is the essence of his alleged violation: showing interest in the opposite sex.

Mother-Child Shadow Dynamics

Most of the people involved in this campaign are mothers. Let's think of the allegedly misbehaved person as a child, and the women as his collective mother. The whole event has a distinct parent-child dynamic, in the political structure and the tone, and I want to make explicit the mother-child dynamic and its results.

In addition to representing mother, the Moon in a natal chart is the child self, which later manifests as the core personality, as the kid within, as physical and emotional needs, and as who and what feels like home. The Moon is the "original landscape," as Freud poetically described the mother's body. So the Moon represents some merger of mother, child and the contemporary person, and something inherent in that relationship. The Moon is the intersection of the mother-child dynamic.

Planet Waves
Me at three months old.

When transits happen, they introduce energy that can bring out something hidden in the natal placement. And as I've said, Mars has been retrograding over my Moon.

Mars, named for the Roman god of war, is about desire, focused intention, anger, aggression, assertiveness and violence, whether verbal or physical. It really does not blend well with the Moon in any configuration. Retrograde, it's about the past. In essence, the sensitive Moon is under attack from something driven by old anger. The Moon cannot attack Mars. That would be like a lake attacking a volcano.

But the Moon can conceal things; you might think of it as a veil. Shadow material in depth psychology is anything that is repressed, hidden from view, or denied. Often this material is along the guilt-fear spectrum. The Moon can conceal many hidden dynamics with the chart owner's mother.

In our society and others, many facets of Mars are veiled in shadow, because Mars represents sexual desire, and also the desire to kill. Combine the two and you can get something that's unbalanced, aggressive and toxic.

From the standpoint of Jungian psychology, as I understand it, the only shadow material that matters is one's own. The shadow that others project onto someone is a secondary matter; one's own shadow is a primary matter. So I'm going to do something in this article that I would probably never do with a client, which is, for the sake of discussion, to take all of these accusations and all of these women as representing my own material: as a dream that I am dreaming, or as something that I contain, however it came to me.

We are talking about my 8th house Moon here, and the 8th is the house of inheritance and what is shared through legacy. These are likely to be family skeletons that have been passed down to me through the generations. Other factors in my chart support this possibility.

The 8th is sexual, on the most compelling level: the deep need to merge and connect. Yet I've seen that a strong 8th is more likely to produce prey than predator. People with a strong 8th tend to exude sexuality that others then pick up on, like a scent, and latch onto. The 8th is what we have available, however others perceive that -- whether through incessant approaches by potential partners, or someone following a young person with a strong 8th down the street.

This is easy enough to see with me, even beyond my physical and psychic presence. One way I use my 8th house Aquarius Moon is as a sex writer and sex teacher, devoting my work to the greatest good, in the humanitarian style of Aquarius. I make my knowledge available. I have a way of making sexual ideas and feelings seem as natural as they are, and I have an ability to share this, as an author and workshop facilitator. I have not been shy in offering my ideas to the world.

Planet Waves
Cleanup workers outside Bliss Residence Hall at SUNY New Paltz, January 1992, after a PCB transformer exploded and burned Dec. 28, 1991.

(I also cover issues related to mass poisoning incidents and corporate fraud, both very 8th house material as well, as the 8th relates to secrets and death, and Aquarius relates to groups.)

Think of Mars going over my Moon three times as cutting something open, and revealing something behind the lunar veil. Additionally, an eclipse of the Moon, conjunct retrograde Mars, can reveal the concealed anger that's behind the veil, mostly likely mother's anger, and that from previous generations.

Mars in this context also describes a split ripped open in my community or my family, which are closely related in our era of "family of choice."

Personally, I am close to my Moon, in that I am close to my kid self. I have the sign Cancer rising, ruled by the Moon, so I identify with it. My Moon is the place that I often "come from." My personality is childlike in that I am in love with the wonder of the world, which is why I'm an artist and a writer.

I am friendly to everyone I meet, I am interested in every dog, and I'm surprised when anyone is unfriendly to me. I respond to most women with a touch of awe and reverence, like a five-year-old child responding to a mysteriously beautiful teenager.

Mothers and an Allegedly Misbehaved Child

So, now for the question: how are these mothers responding to someone they perceive as a misbehaved child? Particularly as one they perceive as emerging into his nascent sexuality?

Certainly not with compassion. When they claim something is wrong, there is no instinct to correct or educate, only to humiliate and viciously punish -- in public. In their world, there should be nowhere for this child to turn for safety, and there is no woman who loves him or would ever care for him.

They call him a predator, yet stalk him to the degree that there seems to be no safe place on Earth, not even his own bedroom.

To infantilize a man is to see him as a child and strip him of his dignity. One way to do this, particularly in the United States, is to take away his vocation, his livelihood and his ability to support his family. This is the core purpose in the lives of most men, who tend not to have the most fulfilling relationships with women. Yet if an American man is lucky, he likes to go to work, and takes satisfaction from it.

And so not only should a sexually emergent boy be punished through humiliation, the man he represents should be cut off from his purpose, his calling, his food supply, and his means of involvement in his community.

They are doing this to a person whose primary work function is to support women spiritually and emotionally, and to feed them creatively -- and someone who employs predominantly women. It's an attack, by extension, on all of those women, and all who assist. Those close to me all have, in some way, taken a significant measure of abuse or suffered a loss as a result of this attack, if only by having their relationship with me intruded upon. I include in this group my readers, who trusted me as their teacher, who they presumed was a civilized guy.

To publicly humiliate someone, and publicly strip away his means of self-support and his ability to support his family, is vicious, brutal, disproportionate punishment, considering that the accusation at the center of this situation involves someone who claimed to have had a consensual sexual encounter, which she will not describe, nor provide the proof that she claims to have.

This kind of treatment can, by its nature, leave no room for compassion; no room for asking, "How can we help this man be a better person?" That is not the intent. The intent is to strip him of his manhood, and then kill the child within, at minimum spiritually, and possibly physically. This would be accomplished by driving a person to suicide, which has happened many times during internet trolling campaigns before.

There is no logic or rationality to it, the same as you might expect in the midst of a mass shooting. It's just all in, anything goes, take your turn. The rules are off.

The mothers who are doing this perceive the person they're doing it to as a child, and speak of him as a child, with no rights of an adult man, including the right to defend himself; if he gets an attorney, that's just more evidence of being an abuser and a member of the patriarchy. If he speaks on his own behalf, he's a narcissist.

As in a child abuse situation, to stand up for one's rights or one's humanity is taken as a personal attack on the abuser, and as additional evidence of "guilt," and is punished accordingly.

I have often wondered, as I've gone through this ordeal: how do these women treat their own children? I will ask directly: Do you flog or humiliate them in the supermarket or playground, in front of others, for minor infractions of parental rules?

Do you threaten your children with excommunication from the family, or leave them out in the cold overnight to prove that it's possible? Do you threaten to withhold food, or actually starve the child, or keep him up all night, and even make him go without rest for months on end? Do you recognize this is a bona fide torture method?

Most significantly, how do (or did) you respond to the early signs that your child is a sexual being? With information, love and support, by ignoring them, or with punishment, rage and repression? Has Child Protective Services ever paid a visit to your door?  You cannot divide your character. How you treat me is likely to be how you treat other people.

Now I have a question, to any woman who has been involved in this attack: Are you my mother?

Are you the expression of her rage, her judgment, her hatred of men, of her father and my father? Are you the expression of her pain and resentment, and her disdain of children? Are you the eternal victim, of your entire existence, and of anyone male? Are you blaming me for everything bad that's ever happened to you, for all of your pain, and for all of your unfulfilled needs?

That is a lot to lay on a child, or someone that you're trying to make into one.  ++

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