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Angst

By: Dr. Harris Stratyner, Ph.D.

Dr. Harris Stratyner, Ph.D., vice president of Caron Treatment Center and clinical director of the New York region, is internationally known for developing and implementing the groundbreaking clinical model of "Carefrontation," a treatment approach that doesn't shame or blame the patient. It recognizes addiction as a disease and stresses each individual's responsibility to work with healthcare providers to reach the goal of complete abstinence.  

A simple story of a 6-year-old

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Dec 21, 2012

Once upon a time there was a six-year-old little girl named Alexandra. Alexandra had huge hazel green eyes and always had her hair up like Audrey Hepburn. Many wondered how such a little girl born in the late 1980s knew of Audrey Hepburn, but I can assure you she did.

Alexandra always liked to follow her father around the house and yard. She would enter her father's study while he was writing a paper and gab away at him until his mind was full of the thoughts of a six-year-old and he could no longer write the latest study he was engaged in working on.

One day in the winter's chill, Alexandra's father went out in the yard to fetch some wood for the fireplace. Alexandra always was attached at the hip to her father so he really did not notice her when he gathered a piece of wood and as he went to place it on the cloth carrier accidentally hit Alexandra in the eye with one log!

The father was so sorry as he had not realized she was behind him. (Perhaps his mind was preoccupied with one of his studies.)

Let’s get back to the story.

The father gathered Alexandra in his arms and ran to the house to fetch some ice for her quickly blackening eye. Alexandra had so many tears and the father and mother felt so bad as they explained to Alexandra that it was an accident.

Now, in this land there was a shop called Bloomingdales, and as the father's guilt for giving Alexandra a black eye was growing by leaps and bounds (even though it was an accident), he took Alexandra and the mother to buy Alexandra a very expensive coat that was red, warm and comforting. Alexandra really had wanted this coat and hoped that the great Santa Claus would bring it to her, but the father insisted that the jolly old elf might not get around to it. He too might have been busy working on a paper like the father, and so it was wise that the father purchase it.

The sales lady at the great department store was grandmotherly and sweet to Alexandra—that is how most people were to Alexandra who appeared to be a great ballerina in a six-year-old's skin. The father thought to himself—was it Alexandra's charm that made the clerk so friendly or the commission on the expensive coat?

When the sales lady said to Alexandra: "You must be a wonderful little girl to have a mother and father love you so much to purchase you such an expensive gift," Alexandra replied: "It is because my daddy hit me in the eye with a piece of wood!" The father and mother quickly explained the accident that had occurred, as they saw the flush come upon her face and her mouth drop open.

This story is about a little girl of six, and the accident that happened and the love that made a father and mother purchase her a very expensive gift that would turn her tears into a smile. This is the type of story that we all have about our children when they were, are, or are about to turn six—a sweet tale about the things we remember and the happy but funny endings they have because of something the little one says or does.

This is the type of story that we tell for years on end that brings a smile to all our faces as we recall the sales woman's shock at the little girl innocently stating that her daddy hit her in the eye with a piece of wood— that is, until the mother and father were able to explain the accident and resultant father's guilt.

Until last Friday, this was my most frequent memory of the age of six— now that is all gone. For the people of Newtown, Conn., our country, and the world I close today's blog with the words of Tiny Tim: "God bless us, every one!"

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