“Fear comes with imagination, it’s a penalty, it’s the price of imagination.”-Thomas Harris
Did you ever face a problem where your child is suddenly afraid to stay in a room all alone?They are only comfortable when they have someone around them?Well this is about my 4 year old daughter.To start from the beginning we have just shifted countries and started a new life here.Surely our little one is grappling with the changes.However it was only after about 4 months of our stay that some new behaviour symptoms began to surface in her.She has started expressing intense fear of things.Initially we had put her bed in our room so that she could feel secure next to me.However she started getting up and waking me up at nights rather timidly mostly teary asking me why the door of the room is not closed.She would be quiet inconsolable saying something was lurking there in the shadows.Despite all our vain attempts to calm her somehow her fear would not recede.So we began closing doors.
It did not end.One night I remember waking up with her crying that ‘someone’ is standing in the room.All our efforts to convince her that it was nothing but a shadow failed.She was quiet hysterical about it and deeply convinced of her suspicions.It was only when I got up and switched on the light that she relaxed.However I was alarmed.Situation was getting dismally aggravated.She would be in any part of the house as long as one parent was there with her or she would not hesitate to ditch her favourite T.V show or any activity that she was doing.She refused to even go to the loo unescorted. If I told her I was busy she would reply,”I will wait till you finish Mama.”I must mention that she is also learning to cope with an addition to the family.Now to my surprise she is totally cool if her baby brother is in the room.Once I even overheard a conversation which went like this-
“Dont worry new baby ,I am not going to leave you.”
“Goo GOO Ga Ga”
“I will save you from the monsters.God will also save you.”
Now whenever we go out she is quiet adamant about taking her teddy friend along with her which I would not usually mind but the one is quiet an old raggedy one.Although we are totally cool about it.
Now to deal with all the chaos in my own life I decided to pick a few books for those rare peaceful times.I really wanted to read the much hyped ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins.So when I came across this book I simply grabbed it.
TGOTT is a psychological thriller,with a first person narrative style.We hear the story through three different female characters in the book-Rachel,Megan and Anna.The story begins with a narrative by the eponymous,Rachel Watson who everyday travels by train from Ashbury to Euston at 8.04 and back by the train which leaves at 5.56.Now Rachel is as told to her by her mom is blessed with an ‘overactive’ imagination.During her journey,the train stops at a faulty signal about halfway through the journey almost everyday.It is there that she enjoys looking at one of the many houses along the rail tracks which is inhabited by a couple whom she names Jason and Jess..It is on one such course that she notices something about them which was out of the usual and immediately after which something transpires.The primary reason behind why she gets involved was because she was an alcohol addict,had just undergone a failed marriage and also been fired from her job.For her getting involved into it was a way to feel important.
The story unfolds slowly ,bit by bit making the book quiet unputdownable.Be prepared to be distracted from whatever work you have at hand.It took me about 2 days to finish this novel of about 493 pages.Just the urge to know a little more about the multi-layered story kept me going.
Talking of characters ,it would be difficult to decide which character was more twisted.Every character in the book is either a drunkard , pervert ,husband snatcher,cheater or plain liar.Each portraying to be something they are not.The writer places numerous red herrings at regular intervals.The book is full of suspense and carefully guarded secrets.However midway for someone seeking to get answers it may begin to get tedious.I would not hesitate to draw comparisons of it with an american T.V drama of the 90’s called twin peaks as it also was based on similar premises and had some twisted characters of its own as well although the latter was tinged with supernatural and surrealism as well.
If you are a fan of suspense thrillers and enjoy the likes of Gone Girl then this book is for you.
Now talking about the problem of my overly imaginative girl I did my own homework and even discussed it with a therapist.What I learnt thereon was-
1.At around the age of 4 children are developing a hyper active imagination due to which they often begin to imagine threats to themselves of the unknown.
2.One cannot reprimand them for their fears as it will only aggravate their problem as their fears are very much real so just play along with them.
3.They sometimes draw strength from some toy or stuff , they like to carry around.So that is perfectly normal.
4.To monitor her T.V viewing habits,thats where she is getting most of her ideas from.
5.Their is no way you can talk them out of the fear so just let time take its own course.
Certainly I do not stress about it too much.Although at times I get really furious when she acts too paranoid about it but I try my best to keep calm and if I am unable to do so I try to make it up by cuddling her later.It really is not such a ‘monster’ of a problem after all.I shall let time change her,hopefully for the better.