Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Medical Tyranny of my Upbringing

I grew up in an Italian-American Jewish household. Sunday meals were all day affairs at the dining room table and if you didn't eat something my mother took offense and let it be known in front of everyone. When I became a vegetarian at age 13 my mother said "You don't love me!" The family was photographed incessantly and the framed family portraits were on display in the house. The family critiqued us relentlessly. "You look fat in this picture!" My sister would say. "You have jowls" my mother would say, another reason to not love me. If I ate too much or not enough I was damned and she called the doctor (the police!). The gastro battle was fought at the table and in doctors offices. Gastroenterologist visits with GI series were annual at the very least, starting at age 4, and psychiatrists were twice a week. Who paid for all of this? My father who worked in the MADMEN advertising world of big money and glitzy images.