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Where wild minds come to rest

Out on a drive the other day my eight year old daughter starting telling me about this world that she made up in her head. It included characters, storylines and lots of bright, vibrant details. She said she goes there every morning and every night. Naturally my heart sank and it terrified me. I didn't make it into a big detail, but it was something I was completely unprepared for. I am hoping that it's "normal" daydreaming for a kid, and not my kind that will follow her throughout her life, and hold her back the way mine has held me back.

It was something I had never thought about, the possibility that I could "pass it on", or maybe I haven't, maybe if she does have it then it's just a co-incidence.

Anyway I told her that it was ok, she was pretty happy about it so I didn't want to jump all over it and give her issues about it. I just told her to always enjoy real life as well, and try to not let it take over the things that you do in the real world.

I'm not a doctor, or a therapist, or anyone remotely qualified to give her advice on how to handle it, despite having had it for 27 years I obviously haven't learnt to control it so can't really help her as such.

I will have to monitor how she progresses, she's a smart, happy, friendly little thing so hopefully if she has MD this won't change much...?!

She said that when she was five she told herself that would tell me in four years, this year she is nine so she decided to tell me. The fact that she reasoned that out in her head at age five suggests that maybe even back then at such a young age she knew it was something different, and knew that maybe it was something to be worried about, that maybe I would disapprove.

I already have guilt over the fact that I have been "absent" most her life due to my own MD. As a parent we all want better for out kids than what we had. I want to give her the world, but not my world of MD.

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Comment by The1andonlyAbber on June 3, 2014 at 7:07pm
I don't think you should worry about it yet. Most kids have intricate imaginary worlds. If you catch her staring off into space for hours, or not doing anything in her free time that doesn't directly relate to her imaginary world, THEN it would probably be something to be concerned about.

Keep in mind that she is 8 years old. Most 8-year-olds imagine things (it would probably be a bad sign if a kid DIDN'T), but that doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't a problem. My MD was actually at its worst when I was 8. My parents shrugged it off as "this is just because she's so smart and creative", not knowing how much I was suffering.

It sounds like your daughter's OK, though.
Comment by Nico Lilly on February 4, 2011 at 1:26pm
Thanks guys, hopefully she will develop coping skills and positive ways to use her MD. A big issue for me right now is trying to always stay present and aware enough to really see what's going on with her. My own MD makes it so hard to stay focused, but she is certainly an extra incentive to get this under control. It's such a self-absorbed condition to have! Makes it hard to put others first which creates so much guilt. I'm trying though, and hopefully one day she will understand.
Comment by Cordellia Amethyste Rose on February 2, 2011 at 5:26pm
I agree.  The imagination is a very powerful tool.  With the proper guidance (and you're in a great place to give it to her because you really understand) this can be a great thing.  She's so lucky to have a mom who understands.
Comment by Tila on January 31, 2011 at 8:08pm

Hey Nico! Your post made me think about my mom, who is a fiction writer.....

 Almost every night, she would sit by herself in the living room playing blues and jazz (on a cd player- its not like she sat there playing a saxophone, Lol). I remember her telling me that she thought about "her characters" while she listened to the music. I know she was referring to the characters from the book she was writing at the time, but I suspect there's more to it than that.

After all, I've only told two people about my over-active imaginary life......why should she tell me about hers? 

 

Comment by Nico Lilly on January 29, 2011 at 2:12pm

I hope so! I wanted to be a writer, but could never get all this amazing material in my head down onto paper! I could just never capture it right. But my girl is very creative, she's good at art and her dad is a musician so I am hoping she will inherit some creative skills that will take her places. If she can maintain focus, which is what I hope to teach her.

Thanks again, you are a honey :o)

Comment by Cordellia Amethyste Rose on January 29, 2011 at 1:18am
...........and what a wonderful thing for you to share!  A lot of what helps fight the addiction part of this.......form what I've noticed, at least, is just being able to get out of our heads for awhile.  If she can talk about this with you and get respect and encouragement........then not only might she not get stuck in her own head, but she can turn this into something great & useful.  It might just end up being something really creative and not a necessary escape.  She could be a writer!
Comment by Nico Lilly on January 29, 2011 at 1:01am

Thanks Cordellia, it's nice to get some support (in general too not just with this issue). That's very true, if I had had a relationship with my mother where I felt I could share things like that without judgement then maybe things would have been very different for me. I told her that I do it too, so we could talk openly about it.

It gave me such a fright, looking back at my own life from that age onwards. I would never want that for her...but you're right, history doesn't need to repeat itself in this case.

Comment by Cordellia Amethyste Rose on January 29, 2011 at 12:54am
Sounds like your daughter is a very smart, sweet, creative girl who's capable of reasoning well beyond her age.  I think your response sounds perfect.  If she can manage it and enjoy the creativity without becoming addicted, then perhaps she can really grow up living the best of both worlds.  Hang in there.  It doesn't have to be bad for everyone.  You can help her do this.  She's lucky to have someone who understands!

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