The stories I was told were probably lies:
My mother committed suicide.
I was a paskudnyak (a parasite, like a tick or a lice) or I was a choleryeh (which is cholera, a basically incurable, fatal case of diarrhea).
My mother was turning over in her grave to see my behavior.
If I didn’t behave I’d be sent to live in an orphanage or a home for bad girls. There I’d see what it was like to have not enough to eat, and no shoes, and I’d be cold, with not enough blankets at night, and I couldn’t get out of there: there’d be bars on the windows and the doors would be locked.
Then I’d appreciate all I had.
I would have to scrub floors and wash clothes and hang them outside, even in the freezing cold, and there would be no school, and no sleighriding in winter, and no swimming in summer.
And then I’d realize how fortunate I was now.
And my mother committed suicide because she was so unhappy.
And it was all lies.