Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jamie, Clara, Carolese, Mia, and Elizabeth

Who are these people?

They are people who live in my child's head. In the kitchen this morning she was having a conversation with "Mia". She was discussing with Mia how her day should go and what she'd like to do. Apparently Mia had some ideas too because she was telling Mia they would have to wait until after school to do the things Mia wanted to do. 

I asked her about Mia. Mia is a girl in her class at school. Mia liked Beth so much that she decided to move into Beth's head. Mia still lives with her parents and goes to school. Both "aspects" of Mia are real. Beth went on to describe Carolese who is another girl Beth knows from school. Same situation. Clara is from the Nutcracker ballet. Clara moved in also. Beth said that both Clara in her head and Clara in the Nutcracker are real. The problem with that is that Clara is a make believe character in both situations.

Jamie. We've heard about Jamie before. When Beth was three years old she talked about Jamie a lot. She didn't really have any pretend play skills, but we figured Jamie was an imaginary friend and left it at that. We assumed Jamie went away when we didn't hear more about her, but apparently Jamie never left. Elizabeth is her, but not her. 

Confused yet?

Yeah, me too.

I asked a lot of questions. Gently. When she became defensive I assure her that I believe her and just want to understand. She was open, she answered as best she could and explained as best she could. She talked about how she doesnt want her teacher or her friends to know and I told her she doesn't have to tell them. I reminded her that I love her more than life and would always believe her and she can tell me, daddy, and grammy anything. 

She took all that in. Silently. And then...

"Mama, you know my brain works differently than everyone else's." 

Of course I knew that. That's kinda how I explained autism to her. I told her that.

"No Mommy, I mean my brain has advanced technology. Technology no one else has."

She wasn't able to explain that.

Soon after this her daddy woke up and she decided she was going to tell him about Mia, Clara, Jamie, Carolese, and Elizabeth.

Except she suddenly became silent.

"You tell him, Mama, I forgot."

I prompted without leading. She mumbled out their names. We talked about how we will always believe her and support her. She started dancing around like a weight had been lifted off of her and went off to school. 

Without her backpack.

Did she make it all up? Was her imagination in overdrive? Does that even matter? Regardless... it became in-your-face clear this morning that she's unable to separate pretend from real (I quizzed her using book characters and TV characters).

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