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My First Memory

My First Memory

This book does not claim to be a collection of facts, but of my memories or recollections that I accept as truth.  Memories are unique and special to the individual who has them.  Dr. Seuss stated that “You never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”  There are events in my life that I wish I could recall and a few that I wish could not.  Here are my truths and reflections on what happened.

Let's start at the very beginning.  My memories begin with anger. For instance, in my very first memory, I was fuming mad at my mom and grandmother for teasing me.  I was very young, and I started threatening and screaming at both adults "I am going to run away!”  This was not a normal tone of voice. It was an ear-piercing shriek from the pits of hell.  I remember my mother and grandmother with smiles on their faces as they are being threatened by a three-year-old. Then they said it.  "Go ahead. Go ahead and run away!"

Next thing I remember I was charging out the front door and jumping down the steps to freedom.  I was serious. Well as serious as an angry three-year-old can be.  I ran down the sidewalk, opened the gate to the yard, and proceeded to run down the block of houses.  Knowing that I had succeeded and made my point, I turned around to look and see if they cared that I had followed through with my threat.

However, when I turned around, there was one problem.  The homes were shot-gun houses, painted red, and I didn't know which house was ours because they all looked similar.  I remember the fear that came over me as I stood there lost.  It wasn't like anything that I had ever felt before.  I was frozen and couldn't take another step.  I started crying uncontrollably, and then I saw them.  My mom and grandmother were both poking their heads out the door.  They were grinning and laughing at my actions.  I remember how I reacted to the laughing and I made myself feel distraught.  Later I would understand that this action was a catalyst to turn fear into anger and anger into rage.  I turned around knowing I was defeated and then headed back towards the house growling like a hurt and wounded animal.

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The Relationship Between Anger and Fear

Anger and fear are two powerful emotions that often go hand in hand. While anger is commonly perceived as a response to external stimuli or frustrating situations, it can also be seen as a reaction to an underlying fear. There is a connection between anger and fear, and anger can serve as a protective response to perceived threats.

Anger is an emotion that can manifest in various forms, ranging from mild irritation to intense rage. We make ourselves angry by a perceived injustice, violation of personal boundaries, or frustration. However, beneath the surface, anger can often be traced back to an underlying fear.

Fear is a fundamental emotion that is hardwired into human beings as a survival mechanism. It alerts us to potential dangers and triggers the "fight or flight" response. When faced with a perceived threat, the body releases adrenaline, which prepares us to either confront or escape the danger. In the context of anger, fear acts as a catalyst, prompting the individual to respond assertively or aggressively.

Anger, in many cases, can be seen as a defense mechanism triggered by fear. When an individual feels threatened or vulnerable, anger may arise as a way to assert dominance, protect oneself, or regain a sense of control. It can act as a shield to mask underlying feelings of fear or vulnerability. By expressing anger, individuals may feel more empowered and less exposed to potential harm.

A person diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, who has a fear of abandonment, may respond with anger when they perceive a loved one pulling away. The anger serves as a defense mechanism to mask their fear of rejection and maintain control over the situation.

While anger is often seen as a standalone emotion, it is important to recognize its connection to fear. Anger can be viewed as a response to underlying fears, serving as a protective mechanism in various situations. By understanding this relationship, we can gain insight into our emotional responses and develop healthier ways to address our fears.