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RunningHead:FINDINGFISH

FindingFish:AnAnalysisofAntwoneFisher
AaliyahHoliday
UniversityofNorthTexas
SOWK3500

RunningHead:FINDINGFISH

IntegrativeCaseAnalysisPaper
SectionOne:
Thebook
FindingFish:AMemoir
isanautobiographybyAntwoneQuentonFisher
abouthislifejourneygrowingupinanintimidatingenvironment.BornonAugust3,1959,
Fisherwasborninaprisoninstitutiontosinglemother,EvaMaeFisher.Hisfather,Eddie
Elkins,wasshotandkilledtwomonthspriortohisbirth.Notabletotakecareofthechild,Baby
BoyFisher,ashebecameknowninhiscasefiles,wasplacedinthefostercaresystem.The
autobiographyprimarilyfocusonFisherschildhoodwhereheexperiencedsexualabuse,
constantneglect,emotionaldistress,andverbalabusefromthePickettfamily.Afterbeing
thrownoutbyhisfostermother,FisherisplacedinanallboyinstitutioncalledGeorgeJunior
Republic.Fisherisconstantlybeingthrowndownandkickedwithstruggles,yethestillfindsthe
strengthtopraytoGodtolethimseethegoodinhisplans.Whilestrugglingwithhomelessness,
FisherjoinstheNavyandserveswiththemforoverelevenyearsthatheeventuallycallsthe
familyheneverhad.Forceintoadulthoodatanearlyage,thisyoungboysoonhadtolearn
defendhimselffromabuseofrealityandsoonbecameoneofAmericasknownwriter,poet,film
director,andscreenwriter.AntwoneQuentonFisherhasincrediblybeenabletoreachinside
himselftoexplainhisexperienceinawaythatsomanykids,whohavebeenthroughsimilar
situations,stillstruggletoputintowords.
SectionTwo:
ErikEriksonisknownasthefounderofthepsychosocialtheory.Thistheoryconsistsof
eightstagesinthehumandevelopmentthatarespreadacrossthelifespan.Eriksonstatesthat

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thesearepatternedsequencesofstagessurroundingappropriatephysical,emotional,and
cognitivetasksthattheindividualmustmasterinthestruggletoadjusttothedemandsofthe
socialenvironment.Whetherthestageissuccessfullyresolvedornot,theindividualispushedby
bothbiologicalmaturationandsocialdemandsintothenextstage(Ashford&Lecroy,2013).
Thistheorycanbeappliedtotheautobiography
FindingFish
pertainingtoAntwoneFisherslife
journeyforthefirstsixofthesedevelopments.
Infancyandearlychildhood:
Thefirststageofthepsychosocialdevelopmentistrust
versusmistrustwhichoccursfrombirthtoabout18months.Thisstageisnevercompleted,andit
dependsonthequalityofmaternalrelationship.WhenBabyBoyFisherwasborn,hewas
immediatelytakenawayfromhismother,aminorinprison.Fisherwasplacedinthehomeof
Mrs.NellieStrangeasafosterhome.Mrs.StrangeprovidedBabyBoyFisherwithmuchlove
andsecurity,andthesocialworkerreportedthatFisherwasgrowinganddevelopingnicely
(Fisher,2001).BabyBoyFisherwasputintoalovinghomewithMrs.Strange.Thismeantthat
FisherdevelopedalottrustinMrs.Strange.Thesecondstageofdevelopmentisautonomy
versusshameanddoubt.Inthisstage,thechildbeginstodevelopasenseofselfwillandaneed
apersonalindependencearoundtheageoftwoandthree.Fisher(2001)crawlsalloverthe
place,standandwalksholdingontothings,hesayshiandbyebye..."(pg.23).Childrentendto
becomemoreconfidentwhentheyaregiventheirlittlebitofindependence.SinceFisherwas
placedinthefosterhomewithMrs.Strange,BabyBoyFisherhadagreatdevelopmentforthe
firstfewyearsofhislife.
Unfortunately,allwouldnotstaywellwithFisherwhenMrs.Strangebegantofeelmuch
attachedtohim.ShesoonrequestedthatFisherstaywithherbecauseshegrowntolovehimso

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much.Itwasatoughsituation,butFisherwassoonswitchedfosterhomeswiththePicketts.As
describedin
FindingFish
,FisherwasmanipulatedintoleavinghisfosterhomewithMrs.
Strangebyluringhimwithartsupplies.ItwasanupsettingchangeforyoungFishertobeina
differentsetting.Allthrough[Fishers]casefiles,everybodyalwaysseemedtobeslipping
away,inonesenseoranother(Fisher,2001,pg.27).FromthatmomentheenteredthePickett
fosterhome,allthebuildingoftrustandautonomywassuddenlytorndownandtookaturnfor
theworstfortherestofBabyBoyFisherslife.
Preschool:
Thethirdstageofdevelopmentisinitiativeversusguilt.Occurringbetween
theagesofthreeandfive,childrenbegintoassertthemselves,interactwithotherchildren,and
helpdevelopcreativity(McLeod,2008).FishernewfosterhomewiththePickettswasnotas
lovelyaslivingwithMrs.NellieStrange.Thoughtheylivedareligiouslifestyle,MizzPickett
wasverycruelanduncaringtowardsFisherandtheotherfosterchildren.EverychanceMizz
Picketgot,shewouldverballyabuseFisherandcriticizehimovereverything.MizzPicketwas
alsoinconsistentwithrewards.OnyoungFishersfirstHalloween,hewasexcitedthathegotto
gooutwiththeotherkidsfortrickortreating.Whenhereturnedhome,MizzPickettssortedthe
candybetweenthewastebasketandametalbox.MuchtooyoungFisherssurprise,Mizz
PickettslamsthelidshutonthemetalboxandslapsonaMasterlock....Hereithits[Fisher]she
aintgonnaletushavenone.Illgiveyasomeuhdisherecandywhenyoudeservesomeofuh
disherecandy...notuntil(Fisher,2001,pg.54).DespiteFisherseffortstobeagoodchild,
MizzPickettneverrewardshimwiththepromisedcandyfromHalloween.Thiscoldhearted
actioncausesotherripplesinyoungFisherslife.

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MizzPicketisnttheonlyadultthattreatshimbad.WhenWillendababysitsyoung
Fisher,sheforceshimtosexualactivitiesonher.Formanyyears,youngFishersufferedfrom
Willendasconstantsexualabuse.Fisher(2001,pg.47)statesanditwasntreallythefearofher
punishingmethatkeptmefromtellinganyoneallthoseyears.ItwastheunspeakableshameI
feltaboutwhatwentonwithherinthebasement,andmyunspeakableshamethatmaybeitwas
myfault.FisherwasinconstantfearofWillendaalongwithanyotheradults.Helostalltrustof
othersfromthatmoment,anditcausedFishertobecomeareservedlittleboyformostofhislife.
SchoolAge:
Thefourthstageofdevelopmentisindustryversusinferiority.Betweenthe
agesofsixthrougheleven,childrenbegintofeelsuccessfulatabilitiesthathavewiththe
encouragementofothersincludingfamily.Thechildnowfeelstheneedtowinapprovalby
demonstratingspecificcompetenciesthatarevaluedbysociety,andbegintodevelopasenseof
prideintheiraccomplishments.Ifthechildisrestricted,thentheybegintofeelinferior,doubting
hisownabilities,andthereforemaynotreachhisorherpotential(McLeod,2008.)Throughout
BabyboyFisherslife,MizzPickettneversawhimashuman.Mostoftime,youngFishwould
avoidgettingwhippingsbecausehewasgoodboy.DespiteFishersgoodbehavior,MizzPickett
sawhimashoodlumthatalwayscausedhertroubleandreportedthisfalselyaccusedbad
behaviortohissocialworkers.Soon,anotherboyenteredthefosterhomenamedKeith.Keith
wasyounglighttanskinboy.MizzPicketttreated[Keith]likevisitingroyalty.Inthisworld
wherebeforeIthoughteveryonewasblack,,,Keithnowrepresentedsomethinginbetween.And
themessageIgotfromthisspecialtreatmentwasthatbeinglightskinnedmadehimbetter
(Fisher,2001,pg.70).FisherbegantofeelinferiorcomparedtoKeithwhenLizzie,oneofMizz
Pickettstwindaughters,startedteasinghimabouthisskincolor....Itdrippedofawfulloathing

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mixedwithdelightthat[Antwone]wassolowastobenothing.Itmade[him]feelthatbeing
darkaschocolatewastheworstdisgrace...and[he]startedtohate[his]darkskin(Fisher,2001,
pg.70).NomatterwhatBabyBoyFisherdid,nooneseemedtorecognizehimasahuman.This
continuedpsychologicalmistreatmentledFishertohavelowselfesteem.Itwasntuntilhisteens
yearsthathewillchangehislifearound.
Adolescence:
Thefifthstageofdevelopmentisidentityversusroleconfusion.Duringthis
stageofpubertythatoccursuntiltheageof18,thechildseeksagreaterneedforindependence
andstarttowonderabouttheirfuture.Socialinteractionsbecomemoreimportantinthisstage
becausethechilditinfluenceshowtheyactandthink(McLeod,2008).Unfortunatelyforyoung
Fisher,MizzPickettstartedtobecomemoreharmfulthantowardshim.Shebroughthimdownin
anywayshecould.WhenFisherstartedtoshowresistancetowardsMizzPickett,shekicked
Fisheroutofherhouse.At16,Fisherfinallybrokeawayfromthehypocriticalandmanipulative
handsofthePickettshouseholdandfoundhimselfattheGeorgeJuniorRepublic,aprivatemale
institutionthatofferedchildcarefacilitieslocatedinGroveCity,Pennsylvania.Itwasherethat
Fisherstartedtobeindependentinaminorsense.Hestillwenttoschool,buthewasableto
makehisschedulewithouttheoverbearingnoiseMizzPickettbreathingoverhim.Accordingto
Fisher,whenhewenttoGeorgeJunior[he]begantosetstringentrulesfor[himself],manyof
whichweretolastalifetime.Inthisunexpectedway,GeorgeJuniorgave[him]thechanceto
becomeaparentto[himself](2001,pg.232).FisherwasabletograduatefromGeorgeJunior
beforehis18thbirthday.Beingawardofthestate,Fisherhadtomakeastablemeansfor
himself.Unfortunately,thelastfewyearsofadolescencewashardashefoundhimselfhomeless.

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YoungAdulthood:
Thesixthstageofdevelopmentintimacyversusisolation.Thisstage
occursbetweentheagesof19through40.Theprimemissioninthispartofthedevelopmentis
tofindintimateandlongtermcommitmentswithpeopleotherthanthefamily.Thisinvolves
findinglove.InAntwoneFisherscase,hehasnotexperiencedanadequateamountofloveor
commitmentsincehewaslivingwithMrs.NellieStrange.AccordingtoErikson,thepeoplethat
avoidrelationshipsandcommitmentcanleadtoisolation,loneliness,anddepression(McLeod,
2008).Fisherwasstrugglingwithbeinghomelessthelastfewyearsofhisadolescentyears.He
wouldoccasionallybumpintooldclassmatesandsleepontheircouchesforafewweeks.Then
ononenormaldaywhileFishercrossedthestreet,aNavypostercaughthisattention.Sincehe
hadnootheroptions,FisherjoinedtheNavyandsailedwiththemforover11years.
WhilebeingintheNavy,Fisherencounteredalotofpeoplethatwerepartofhiscrew
thathelpedhimthroughhispaststruggles.OneexampleisChiefLott.ChiefLottwasoneof
Fisherscommandingofficers.ThroughoutNavytraining,ChiefLottwouldmakeFisherspeak
upignoringthefactthatFisherwasverysoftspoken.EventhoughChiefLottwasverytoughon
him,FisherrealizedthatChiefLottwastryingridFisherofhisownburdenandhelpwithhis
communicationskills(Fisher,2001,pg.277).LateroninFisherslife,hewasabletoexperience
love,maintainajobasasecurityguard,andfindcontactwithhisrealfamilyfromCleveland.
Fisherwasalsoabletogetclosurefromhisbirthmother.
Section3:
AfterreadingAntwoneFisherslifestory,itseemstomethattherewassignificant
improvementinhisyoungadulthood.BylookingthroughthePersonInEnvironment

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ClassificationModel,Icanbreakdownthesocial,environmental,mental,andphysicalhealth
functioning.
WhilelivingwithPicketts,Fisherbecameashyandreservedboyformostofhislifedue
tothedifferenttypesofabuse.ManypeoplethatwereinvolvedinFishersleftalmostallthe
timeincludingthesocialworkers.Fromthis,Fisherwasabletomaintainastableand
functioningrelationshipthatinvolvedtrustwithanyone.Whenhejoinedthenavy,his
commandingofficerChiefLottwasabletogetFisheroutofhissoftspokenburdentroubles.
FisherneverreallyheldaromanticrelationshipuntilhewasplacedinJapanfornavalbase.
TherehewasinvolvedwithaJapanesewoman.Leavinghisfirstlove,Fisherhadmany
connectionswithhisNavycrew.
Forenvironmentalfunctioning,FisherwasintheNavyfor11years.Manyofhiscrew
membersdidnotlikegoingoverseasbecausetheyfamiliesathome.Fisherwouldwillingly
volunteerhimselftogooverseastoreplacethembecauseFisherdidnothaveanyonewaitingfor
himathome.AfterexperiencinghomelessnessandtheabusivehouseholdofthePicketts,the
Navybasewasliketohim,andFisherlovedbeingatseatoseethewholeworld.
Fisherstrugglewithhismentalhealthovertheyears.Whilehewasinvolvedwiththe
Navy,Fisherhadviolentbehaviorswheneversomeonesaidordidanythingthathedidnotlike.
Heevenwentthroughrapidmoodswingsandsufferedfromdepression.Fishereventuallymet
withtheonboardpsychiatristLieutenantCommanderWilliamswherehetoldWilliamsabout
hislifestory.Slowlyandwithtime,Fisherwasabletocontrolhisviolentmoodsmostoftime,
buthecouldntescapetheemptyfeelingofnotknowingwhohewasandwhohewouldbeinthe
futureifhedidntknow.

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SinceFisherwasactivelyinvolvedintheNavyforover11years,itcanbeconcludedthat
Fisherwasphysicallywellinhisyoungadulthood.Thereisnoindicationinthebookofany,ajor
injuriesthatpreventedFisherfrombefullyfunctional.
SectionFour:
AntwoneQuentonFisherhasexperiencedaveryroughlifewithabuse,abandonment,
andhomelessness.Despitealloftheseobstacles,Fishermanagedtocomeouttopintheend.He
stooduptoWillendaandMizzPicketttodominanthimselfagainsttheabuse.JoiningtheNavy
gaveAntwoneFishertheimprovedselfesteemandindependenceheneededinhislife.Itiswise
tosaythatthosehardshipsbuilthimupandmadehimintoanevenstrongerperson.
Itisimportantforafosterfamilytomentorandteachachildhowtheworldfunctionsand
howtofititwithit.ThePickettsdidnotteachorcareforAntwoneFisherinthisway.The
familylefthimwithasenseoffearandmistrustwhichworsenedtheeffectsofbeingseparated
fromhisbirthmother.AntwoneFisherisarolemodelforeveryonethathasgonethroughthe
fostercaresystem,butalsoforhumansthatcanempathizehimthroughhislifejourney.

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References
Ashford,J.B.&Lecroy,C.W.(2013),
HumanBehaviorinaSocialEnvironment:A
MultidimensionalPerspective.
Brooks/ColeCengageLearningPublishingCo.
McLeod,S.(2008).SimplyPsychology.Retrievedfrom
http://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik
Erikson.html
Fisher,A.Q.(2001).
FindingFish.
NewYork,NewYorkHarperCollinsPublishing