Thursday, September 23, 2010

8.37a: My Biography in Relation to Childraising to Adulthood

My Biography in Relation to Child-raising to Adulthood

I (Dr Edward Stim) was born 10 January 1933 in New York City of parents whose ethnicity was eastern European Jewish, 1st generation Americans. My father became an accountant and then a lawyer before I was born. My mother was always a housewife, as was usual in the period and location and ethnicity of the period 1933 to 1952. Then I went barmy (London Cockney slang for "crazy") and left home to join the Army. Now (April 2018) I am age 85 with mind unusually well intact, which means I recall well from the early 1940s and partially from 1936.  Also, although I have been expatriate in Tokyo, Japan, since the early 1980s, I have closely kept in touch with my old north Bronx NYC neighborhood to the extent of living there intermittently from 1995 till 2012. So there I have witnessed the many changes from the 1940s to 2010s. From a child-raising standpoint this is very useful especially when the child-raising environment is changing so rapidly and radically, as it has been; also from a sociological standpoint because conclusions may be drawn about the affects of population density, ethnicity changes, and general increase in economic power of segments of the population.

First Phase: Earliest memories 1936 to 1940. Early childhood memories are interesting from a neuro-developmental standpoint; especially in my case because from 1941 I have nearly perfect memory of my past. My very earliest memory is being in an infant playpen at home and I clearly see it but nothing else about it is recalled. Some event must have stuck in my mind to keep the first memory intact. Several other memories are related to stressful sudden events: falling off a seesaw in the park and hitting my head and my brother Joe carrying me home, being taken to Bronx Park in a baby carriage by my brother Allen and noting 2 lovers in the bushes (Details of the lovemaking not recalled but I recognized them as lovers), sitting on my brother's shoulders (Which brother unclear) on the north side of a Parkway (a green wide east-west strip of park) in a crowd of other onlookers watching where a construction worker had fallen to his death (This in the 1930s period of apartment house constructions there).  

Continuous Memory from 1941: It dates from remembering the radio announcement in my living room of Japan's Pearl harbor Honolulu attack on the afternoon 7 December 1941. This striking event starts my good memory that continues to present. 
The Wartime 1940s was a period in NYC (and other big cities in USA) where boys had good socialization on the streets as members of gangs that wore distinctive jackets. Quite a difference from today where the streets are too dangerous for a child and gangs are destructive forces.
Sports then for a child consisted of actual hands-on as well as viewing the professional leagues. The no television forced us kids to actually pay more attention to the sport like baseball or football. We were more physically active than kids are today. Also the lack of TV and computers made us kids more interested in educational hobbies like stamp collecting, tropical fish, jigsaw puzzles, reading.
  We learned sexuality on the streets. But there was a negative aspect to this kind of sexual learning. It needed parental input which most children then did not get in USA in the wartime 1940s. What I mean by that is I later suffered from a lack of learning my limits as a young man and also how to control my destructive aspects of sex - factors that could have been better controlled with wise experienced parental input. I do not blame my parents for their hands-off attitude related to sexual education of child; at that time it was the norm.

Skipping to my restless period - stress & storm that started about age 16 probably also related to changes of puberty.

 Childhood Ends 22 October 1952 when I run away from home and join the US Army during the Korean War .
I noted warning signs of the stress & storm adolescent period by age 15 when I was getting into fights over girls and becoming too aggressively sexual and then, at age 17, I almost enlisted in the U.S. Navy going as far as taking their enlistment physical exam and at the last minute changing my mind. I was a freshman (1st year) in University then on pre-medical school course suggested by my father but I was influenced by the example of writers successes like Ernest Hemingway into thinking I wanted to become a famous writer. With better mentoring my keepers could have headed off my impulsive running away better. But I had no guidance and on 21 October 1952 I ran away to the US Army (after having well prepared the runaway). 

The Affect of 3-year Enlisted Man's Army Experience on My Subsequent Life  Several important personal characteristics of mine - making things neat and general cleanliness, ability to follow discipline and a sense of order, and the importance of goals in personal living - were acquired by my 3 years in the Army as lower ranked private and non commissioned officer (cf. "commissioned officer", from lieutenant on up). Additionally, the experience among the lowest and lower ranks freed me of the corrupting influence that the elitism of being a commissioned officer brings and gave me a democratic fellow- feeling. Then I got oversea travel and living, in my case nearly 2 years in Occupied Japan 1954 and 1955 (Post the 1952 peace treaty but Japan still essentially an occupied country). This gave me of an international viewpoint and acted upon other influences (My father's cosmopolitan Europeanism) to free me of nationalism and patriotism. Then I got my Japanese wife and her previous family with children and then our own 2 children that gave me the experience of a parent of mixed race, mixed nationality children.

Post US Army from 1955: It is interesting here the influence of my father's wanting me to become a medical doctor, a wish that I was aware of from early adolescence and started with his getting me a chemistry set at my age 10. Although he was not forceful about it, I felt it as an uncomfortable pressure to resist because of my desire to become another Ernest Hemingway and much of my running away to the Army came from that. But once I had married my Japanese wife and was being discharged from the Army I realized that a career as a medical doctor might be the best way I could spend my future in Japan (It turned out exactly correct) and suddenly my father's desire and his ability to smooth my way to satisfying it looked good and so I followed that path.

Concerning parental influence from childhood, my mother influenced me to be health conscious about what I ate and drank and, surprisingly, although she was not a bug about it this caring for my own health has become a major motif in my subsequent life to this very moment and is the source of my Physician's Notebooks
Still on my parents, at the time, in childhood, I was moderately contemptuous of my parents: my father because he was a European who spoke English with an accent and my mother because she was a middle-age almost 2 generations away from me, non university educated person.

Medical School and Postgrad Experiences
Coming out of the army in 1955, I finished my final year of university and under my father's advice applied to a medical school. He was willing to pay for it but it turned out he didn't need to because I won a test-taking state scholarship and also had the GI Bill (The government paying for one's education after serving in armed forces). But he did exert his influence to get me accepted into the medical school. So, in retrospect I think, I was very lucky. The 4 years of medical school was fun, educative and started me on science and medical career. In the Slim Novel 15 tells about my medical school experience and how it affected me. 

Postmedical school Major Behavioral Change
As I ended medical school, I decided my wife and children should go back to Sapporo, (Her home town) Japan while I continued postgraduate education in NY area. My reasoning for this was that my wife, who was 17 years older than I and who had several children from previous marriage in Japan and an old mother who was taken care of them, would be able to manage her Japanese family better. Also I wanted my 2 children to get an experience of being Japanese. In retrospect, my decision came from my real desire to start living an unmarried existence. However, it had a number of good effects for my wife's family and for my children.

The period of shifting between New York and Sapporo/Tokyo Japan encompassed 1960 to 1968. During that time I first spent several summers in Sapporo and then a 2-year period in Tokyo and got a Japanese medical license and in New York City started postgraduate residencies in Ob/Gyn and General Surgery. From 1968 to 1970 I completed my residencies and opened an office in Bronx NY

Women's Health Care Experience: While in Japan in 1965 as an employed physician at the International Clinic Tokyo I got involved with women from USA seeking low cost abortion in Tokyo and learned about the technique and noted how desperate the women were to get abortion. Back in NYC in 1970 my finishing Ob-Gyn residency training coincided with the first legal abortions in New York and it became a magnet for women all over USA, as Japan had been in 1968. From 1970 to 76 I specialized in women's health care running an abortion clinic. It was very corrupting because too soon to too much fame and too much money. In 1976 I opted out of that life and it meant a great disturbance for myself, my wife and children.
  As with disordered, uncontrolled sexuality, which also was much involved in this period, I could have greatly benefited by a wise mentor or early teaching in a good philosophy of life to learn how to handle and not to overvalue money. This a difficult proposition now; because, in our society, almost everyone can be (and is being) corrupted by the power of money as we see with almost every celebrity (buying 15-bedroom houses for multimillion US dollars for the celebrity and his wife and child) or even normal persons who suddenly come into a lot of money, or else look at the unbelievably high prices that multimillionaires and billionaires are paying for works of art that by traditional standards should have almost no value at all.
    By "In our society, almost everyone can be corrupted by the power of money" I am referring to the fact that capitalism, the economic system under which most of the world is living today, dictates that the basic philosophy is everyone for himself and devil take the hindmost to those at the bottom of society's heap. (And increasingly those of us in the middle class) Thus the now outrageously high costs of basic living - rents or housing prices, living care especially in old age - are purely the individual's responsibility, and the costs of other necessary services like medical care and even food are not subsidized by the society for the individual's benefit, as they were under the communist economic system in the USSR (Communist Russia from 1918 to 1990) Thus, especially because of the outrageous costs of basic living now, cash money assumes an unusually high value in an individual's mind constantly causing the individual to be a slave to getting it and to massively overspend it when one succeeds in accumulating a cash surplus (cf. the gigantic costs of housing in Tokyo or NYC, the fantastically inflated costs or artworks today because of too many multimillionaires for whom $1,000 is like a 10-cent piece used to be in 1940s USA, and the occurrence of the billionaire, a phenomenon never seen before 1960, even among monarchy). This sets the example for the ordinary man or woman to get crazy with their spending once they come into big money. For this reason parents or mentors today have got to teach a more healthy philosophy of life than it used to be to their students.

 Out of this experience I decided to try to accumulate a so called "nest egg" of cash surplus unencumbered by loans or tricky investments that I could depend on to solve my lifetime money problem. And it turned out by age 70 I succeeded at that. But it would have been better to have understood the money problem earlier in my life and succeeded at it earlier.  So we must all deal with the problem capitalism gives us in return for its promises a crazy individual affluence which only lead to disordered styles and shortened lifespans

My Years in the Wilderness 1976 to 1982 with first wife's death: During this period I put my wife back in Sapporo and my children were becoming young adults. And I was working in hospitals or clinics in a very disordered way. A very unhealthy dangerous period for me.

In 1983 I succeeded in landing a job in Tokyo as Ob-Gyn doctor at the 7th Day Adventist Hospital. Actually it was the fruition of my original plan to work and live in Japan as M.D. and came about because I had obtained a Japanese medical license in 1966. It was the start of a now 3+ decades period in Tokyo practicing as a physician: first at the SDA Hospital, then at the International Clinic and from 1990 running my own private hotel call practice in Tokyo.

From 1983 until year 2000 I did a hotel visit medical business in Tokyo. This accumulated much money but was dangerous for me and for the patients I supposedly serviced because that of medical care was not good (Hotel patients should best consult nearby emergency rooms rather than private doctor visits)

In Year 2003  I started my present assistance to the travel insurance companies in Tokyo and settled down to my present stable life, for the first time no longer being a slave to money and allowing my mind to develop. It is unfortunate that it took so long in my life (To age 70, for many a completed life with death) but I am thankful that I got through in reasonably good health.

To immediately read on to the next chapter, click  8.38 Child Medical care/Pediatric Self Help

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