My first childhood memory was of my mother brushing my hair in our small bathroom on Long Island. I was seated on the edge of the tub while she worked the brush through my unruly curls. My mother was clearly upset, something I could easily pick up on even as a small child by the way she was yanking on my hair. I stayed quiet.
My mother, on the other hand, was not quiet at all. She began yelling insults into the hallway, directed at my dad who was out of sight. I never heard his replies or saw him peek his head into the bathroom to check on me, I just continued to wince at the pain as my hair was pulled and tried to become as small as possible.
Finally, my mother stopped yelling. She wound my long hair around her hand and yanked it back, forcing my…
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