Before I read the story I thought it was impossible for such atrocious things to happen in the 21st Century.
By now you are desperate to know what I am talking about.
A journalist from the Tampa Bay Times, Lane DeGregory, published the incredible story of Dani. I would like to credit DeGregory for the article, and attribute it as the source of my information.
Dani’s story is one of absolute heartbreak- and at the same time of incredible hope. This 9-year-old girl spent her formative years living in extreme neglect- so much so that she was described as a feral child. A feral child living in the 21st Century!
This little girl was discovered:
on a torn, mouldy mattress on the floor. She was curled on her side, long legs tucked into her emaciated chest. Her ribs and collarbone jutted out; one skinny arm was slung over her face; her black hair was matted, crawling with lice. Insect bites, rashes and sores pocked her skin. Though she looked old enough to be in school, she was naked – except for a swollen diaper.
Dani was severely malnourished and incapable of looking after herself- she couldn’t even chew or swallow food. As time went on it became clear that Dani didn’t even know how to make a sound, she couldn’t speak! This is such a horrifying fact, and is testament to the appalling conditions in which she was brought up.
The details of Dani’s recovery and how she has grown are extraordinary. Today a loving family has adopted her. She is undergoing speech therapy- not able to actually use her voice yet, but she is able to communicate. She is no longer in nappies, and her parents have given her a glow-worm to sleep with- so she will never be alone in the dark again.
You may be wondering why I am writing this article as anger management specialist. Well, as part of Dani’s development her parents had this to say:
She is learning to push buttons on a speaking board, to use symbols to show when she wants a book or when she’s angry. She’s learning it’s okay to be angry: You can deal with those feelings without biting your own hands.
The very crux of understanding anger is that it is a base feeling that everyone feels- anger is a primary feeling. When I get new clients the first thing that I cover with them is that anger is not something to hide, or that is unhealthy. People are ashamed of their anger, and some believe that they don’t get angry. Dani is an example that it is ok to be angry- it is just about dealing with it in a healthy way.
A past participant had this to say after attending one of my courses:
Mike Fisher’s intensive training programme has enabled me to accept my anger as a natural, biological response to the circumstances presented to me. But further, and more significantly, I have learned how to express my anger in a healthy rather than a destructive way, and I carry this work forward
with my clients. There is, in my opinion, too much stigma attached to anger. Anger is a feeling that is equally as valuable as other feelings such as happiness and sadness. The problem for our society is one of inappropriate expressions of anger, often experienced or viewed as explosive anger.
Anger is often considered to be something bad, wrong or inappropriate rather than a legitimate response to certain situations. Anger has been around for thousands of years and pondered by many philosophers. It is a fundamental aspect of the human condition.
Learn how to embrace your anger in a positive way!