THRILL AND DRILL
At around age two or three, around 1955, when we were living rue Carnot in Annecy, with my sister Veronique newly born, I had already rebelled against my mother’s authoritarian, military regime. I guess she understood that I had an innate sense of freedom and self respect that made me reluctant or rebellious and she didn't like it. I remember how obedient my sisters were. I had the perception that they had already been made compliant, that an essential part of their being had been cut off. There was something terrifying about their docility. I wanted to urge them to revolt, but I felt powerless.
Still I manifested my free spirit in a way that everybody remembers: it was around Christmas time and there was the ritual of kneeling every evening in front of the creche to pray to “le Petit Jesus”. But I didn’t want to do it, I considered it an infringement on my freedom, besides I didn’t see why this baby was so important that we had to kneel for twenty minutes in front of his grimy plaster representation and parrot imposed words. What about us? Weren’t we almost babies? We were very young! We were alive, no like him! We were her own children! Why weren’t we more important to my mother than him? Why did we have to suffer on our knees for him? I felt degraded and instead of submitting and kneeling next to my three sisters, I focused my attention at the other end of the scene, which was three pairs of pink, irresistible bare little feet, sole up, and I tickled them to show my disapproval, hoping that this act of dissent would be forgiven on account of my young age. So my sisters were forced to jump and giggle. Sacrilege!
It was during this two or three year period that we lived there, that my mother took me to Dr. Capron to have my molars drilled. Maybe he had worked for the Gestapo under the Occupation of France by the Nazis so it was all in a day’s work for him to torture a two year old girl.
Contrary to what my mother said when I questioned her about it in my 40's, it did not happen several years later when I had my adult teeth and we were living in the country side 3 kilometers from Annecy. How do I know? Because we walked to the dentist. How do I know that we walked? Because it was the only time we walked hand in hand and I loved that, it was a thrill. Because it was the only time we were alone together. So I remember the episode, er, episodes as an exception because of that.
So we walked, in silence I remember, ten to fifteen minutes to the Rue Royale, and an overpowering smell of clove greeted us at the bottom of the stairs and we walked to the second floor. We waited in an empty waiting room because, as I have realized many years later, we always went after regular work hours then were called to the torture chamber. I looked at the dentist's leg pump a pedal to raise the seat to its highest position. I saw his leg pedaling up and down in a vigorous movement, and when the seat couldn't go any higher I climbed on the chair, was ordered to open my mouth, wide. Dr Capron reached for one of the two drills. There was the slow one, that had an articulated arm with a round belt that I could see moving along the apparatus when the dentist pushed on the pedal with his foot, and there was the fast one with a flexible. The fast one was a breeze, I could hardly feel it, but the slow one, that was the real meanie: as soon as the drill touched one of my teeth, I felt like a train was passing through my head with a roar of metal because the vibrations of the drill made my entire skull vibrate through bone conduction. I felt bumps and grinds against my teeth and though it didn't hurt it was terrifying and very unpleasant, giving me the sensation of a bumpy ride.
Raped, overwhelmed, terrified, I arched my body so that only my feet and the back of my head touched the chair AND I held my hand out to mom for her to hold. Then we walked back to the apartment hand in hand in silence. I thought it was over for good, a one-time thing, but I was wrong. Neither the dentist nor my mother ever told me anything regarding my teeth, what was wrong with them, if I had to go back, if so how many times. What I think now, in August 2003, is that they didn’t know either. It all depended on whether I had learned my lesson. My mother expected me to make a connection between my “bad” behavior and the torture, and since there were in all four or five torture sessions, I surmise that I didn’t make the connection. The NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT didn’t take, the BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION THROUGH TRAUMA-BASED MIND CONTROL didn’t produce the expected results.
To begin with, I didn’t do anything that I felt was “bad”, like the things my sisters did to me. I never sought revenge, never retaliated, never schemed. I was just trying to live my life, discover the world, learn, experiment, play. My sense of freedom was innate and I didn’t perceive myself yet as fundamentally defective, therefore it was impossible for me to make the connection between my behavior and the torture. Even though there were clashes between me and my parents about my behavior, I considered my behavior good and my parents good. To make the connection between my behavior and the torture I would have had to know:
1) that the torture was ordered by my mother,
2) and that she wanted me to alter my behavior from good to bad, which was inconceivable since in my view she was good. Moreover, since she was torturing me under the cloak of legitimate dental treatment it was impossible for me to link these two things. And if I had actually made the connection, then I would have lost my reason to protect myself from this knowledge of her horrendous betrayal. But maybe, MAYBE, at a very deep level in my subconscious I did make the connection. COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. Beautiful, adored mother/evil, sadistic child-torturing witch. The seeds of very serious mental disease were sown. Schizophrenia? DID? Maybe she wanted me to have a dissociative disorder if she was really into mind control. I have read that this mental condition is a prerequisite to make a good mind control victim that can be used in all kinds of criminal activities (assassin, drug courier, prostitute to the heads of states, spy...) And that mind-control experiments have been made by the states since the 40's.
So the first “treatment” didn’t take and one day, out of the blue, she told me that I had to go to the dentist again. There was the thrill of walking hand in hand with her, mingled with the terror of the drill, the horrible smell, the anguish while watching which drill Dr Capron was going to use, the infernal roar and vibration in my head, the futile attempt to escape by arching my body, and then the meager consolation of holding my mother’s hand on the way back.
After the second time I lived in dread of the next time. Would there be a next time? If so when? Mom didn’t say and I daren’t ask.
* * *
I wrote earlier that “I had the perception that they had already been made compliant, that an essential part of their being had been cut off. There was something terrifying about their docility.” This proves that they were already little zombies, they were already mind controlled. I also wrote that my mother used them as weapons against me. So they tormented me BECAUSE they were mind-controlled. And I wonder whether my mother didn’t tell them the truth about what was going on at the dentist’s, and then they saw how traumatized I was when I came back and the following days, and they knew it was true, so that they were TERRORIZED INTO COMPLIANCE: they knew that if they didn’t carry out mom’s orders a similar fate would await them. They knew that the only way for them to avoid that fate was to harm me. They saw how it made mommy happy when they tormented their little sister. They wanted mommy’s love and approval, not the torture. So they surrendered their free will, their conscience, a part of their mind so that they wouldn’t be nagged by this question: “How come I have to torment my little sister to be loved by my mother?” The answer to which they couldn’t face. They were so afraid that all it took for them to obey was, who knows, a frown maybe, this fear-inducing vertical corrugation between mom’s penciled eyebrows when she was displeased... I remember how I constantly scrutinized her facial expressions to know whether I could relax or should tense up so my sisters must have done the same.
If this hypothesis is correct then I was used as an example, a convincing proof that mommy DID torture bad, wilful little girls. But if you obeyed without asking questions, then you were safe. In that case, my sisters had been traumatized I don’t know how, when I was a baby or before I was born, and traumatized again by witnessing the effects that the torture had on me. For it is well known that witnessing torture (or its effects) is a traumatic experience.
* * *
Yes, there were four or five torture sessions with Dr. Capron. But wait! You don’t think this is all my mother asked him to do, do you? How naive can you be? No! There were two more things.
The second thing was the MOCKERY: because I arched my body on the chair while he raped my mouth and tortured me, Dr Capron derided me by calling me “la pile electrique”, the electric battery. Why did he call me that? Because I knew what it was. My father sold them in his appliance store. I knew you needed one of those for the pocket lamps to work, because I had a small lamp but I never had a battery. How did Dr. Capron know that I knew what a battery was? Because my mother told him of course! It was she who told him to mock me, so I would be ashamed and would not dare to complain. Shaming me to silence me, that’s one of her favorite cover-up methods. She did it again not long ago in July 2003 when I spent a few days at her house. She wanted me to take down my website and I fought back, so she said, her voice dripping with contempt “Oh! Look at you, poor little victim! You’re all wrapped up in this culture of victimhood my poor girl. It’s very trendy, I know.” And I had no rejoinder.
The third thing Dr. Gestapo did to me was I think the most evil of all three. When my adult molars grew out I saw tiny black holes, like pinpricks, on the sides of my molars. At close inspection they were not just on the surface but went inside the tooth. These teeth with the pinpricks, the molars, suddenly broke apart in large chunks and I saw that the inside of these teeth was all rotten, all black. When I opened my mouth there was a lot black and it was disheartening. I was the only one of my parents’ children or at school with dental problems. All my schoolmates had perfect, healthy teeth but when I opened my mouth a lot of black was visible. Every year we had a medical check-up at school and I dreaded the moment when the nurse would ask me to open my mouth. Surely, she would order dental treatment, which I abhorred. But no! Year after year she would say “Dents soignées”, which means “Teeth treated” as if there was nothing to worry about. I was relieved that she didn’t order me to go to the dentist but at the same time I knew that the problem was getting worse and that when came the day of reckoning there would be hell to pay. My mother had made it clear that she didn’t want to hear about it. She didn’t say so explicitly of course, she only had to abstain from replying, affect this closed, stern expression and rigid body posture and I got the message. I didn’t dare to complain even when I had terrible toothaches.
The memory of my early childhood experience at the dentist never left me. Like a few other traumatic events of my life (the gang rape in 72, the injury I caused someone in 76, the purse snatching in 86) and a few others, it was in a special file in my head called UNEXPLAINED. I knew my mind was working to make sense of these events even without conscious effort on my part. Still it didn’t hurt to ask a few questions.
Once in 1994 I asked my dentist Dr Herbin if he saw a lot of two year olds. He said he saw a few, that sweet drinks drunk from a baby bottle or a sippy cup caused decay of the front teeth. That didn’t match my case at all and I kept wondering why my mother had taken me to the dentist when I was two or three.
Could there be a connection between these early sessions and my lifelong dental problems? Supposing there was a good reason to treat my baby teeth, how come my parents had denied me dental care in my teens when I needed it so badly?
At yet another dentist’s office (Dr Meena Shah, at 94th street on Columbus Avenue, NYC 10025)I saw a large color drawing of a child’s head in profile showing the baby teeth without roots and the germs of the adult teeth just underneath, growing and pushing their way up.
Why were the pinpricks on my molars ALREADY THERE when the teeth came out? Why did the outwardly healthy teeth with the pinpricks
break apart in huge chunks to reveal that the inside was completely rotten? Why did the dentist say that my teeth rotted FROM THE INSIDE OUT and that he had NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE? Was there a connection between these unusual events and my unusual early treatments at Dr. Gestapo?
I’m going to paraphrase Arthur Conan Doyle speaking through Sherlock Holmes. He says that when all the hypotheses but one have been eliminated, the one that remains, even though it appears farfetched and hard to believe, is the correct interpretation, the truth of the issue.
The truth of the issue is that, when I was two or three years old in 1955 or thereabout, Dr. Gestapo, ok, Dr. Andre Capron, a dentist in Annecy, Haute Savoie, upon request and payment by Claire de Nève Picart my mother, drilled into the germs of my adult molars and deposited a decay-producing agent therein.
So that was the third thing they, mom and the dentist Dr Capron of Rue Royale in Annecy, did to me.
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