May 1984

TEENAGE TRAUMA

Adolescence is a period of transition during which the child goes through the complex and somewhat traumatic process of becoming an adult. It is during this period that he, or she must begin to stand upon their own feet, make their own decisions and accept the responsibility for the results. They must also begin to develop their own philosophy of life. During this process they inevitably come into some conflict with the beliefs and thought habits of the current adult generation.

The severing of the umbilical cord is the first major trauma of the infant, and the necessity of severing the apron strings by the adolescent youth frequently brings about a similar state of discomfort, confusion and apprehension. In neither case is the individual fully conscious of the cause of their trauma, but in each case the reaction of resentment and protest is much the same.

The resentment and protest of the present teenage generation has, however, an even deeper and more significant cause. It stems not only from its own self doubts and insecurity, but from its growing realization of the doubts and insecurity of the entire race!

In February of 1954, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists carried an article by Philip Wylie, internationally known writer, scientist and psychologist, entitled, “Panic, Psychology and the Bomb.” In his description of the effects of the mere existence of nuclear weapons, Wylie said, in part, “Our public is already exhibiting, on a massive scale, a variety of “symptoms” which in clinical psychology, are known to be the results of deeply repressed fear. The defense of the individual assaulted by any fear he cannot or will not face literally, is repression into the unconscious. But the energy of the repressed fear cannot be made to disappear: it must exert itself along some course of action. A person acting by that stratagem acts illogically and irrationally, therefore inappropriately. It has been found that repressed fear may thus be converted into many forms of action (and stasis) to supply an outlet (however inappropriate) that tends to hide from the individual his real fear, and at the same time to give him a sense of having “done something about it.”

Remember that these words were written in 1954, a little more than 30 years ago, and during those years no substantial improvement in international relations has been achieved. Both major powers have stockpiled more than twenty times the number of nuclear devices they possessed when these words were written, and several other nations, (no one knows for certain exactly how many,) have joined the mad race to doomsday!

We now have an adult and a teenage generation, both of which were born and raised under the constant, if tacit, threat of instant annihilation. Is it surprising that some of them react strongly and emotionally against any act or event that may seem to increase the probability of their own extermination? Is it strange that the unconscious expression of their deeply buried fears and long dormant resentment should sometimes take on bizarre and weird forms? On the contrary! It would be even more amazing if they did not!

Understanding the problems of youth may lead to a greater degree of tolerance, but will not, of itself, solve the problems. Before we can begin to work effectively for the future, we must take some specific and successful steps to assure our children, ourselves, and each other, that there will be a future toward which we may dare to look!

(signed) Daniel W. Fry

(hand-written) Cleona’s Corner

Enclosed is a copy of a petition sent to us, and which we both gladly signed and sent in at once. For your own sakes, we hope you will all do the same. We simply cannot allow such a horrendous thing to occur! Do fight EVIL.

Instead of making 25 copies, we had enough printed to go into each Understanding newsletter. It is at times like this that we are so thankful for those of you who do remember that donations are needed for the EXTRA things we do.

Below are two persons of whom we are justly proud, with every good reason! All New Mexico is proud of them. You should be, too, as you are looking at the Committee Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and the Treasurer of the United States.

I personally needed Pete’s help about 4 years ago,(to help someone else,) and talked to him about it while he was here, (he often is!) and it was done and quickly. Dr. Fry has talked with him since on PEACE, and the Area of Mutual Agreement, which Dr. Fry wrote, and Pete appreciates. You might become more aware of Pete Domenici, for this man deserves to be our President in the future. He is that very rare HONEST politician who is extremely intelligent and works hard for the good of all, bless him. (Domenici rhymes with Leonardo Da Vinci)

(P.S. We always vote split ticket, for the man, not the party!)

(signed) Cleona Q. Fry

Treasurer

(Articles photocopied but not shown, are

“Domenici, wins praise of peers”, El Paso, Texas, Monday 16th, 1984

& “Ortega to speak” about Katherine Ortega)