I like it when I can talk to my Dad and I know he’s really listening. I often try to talk, but most of the time he just says yeah yeah or OK time for bed or I told you to ….and I know that I can’t say what I want to say because I’ll get into trouble.

I often find it hard to go to sleep I get the riggles and although both my sisters have fallen asleep and everything is quiet and we’ve said our prayers, when I close my eyes I think of bad things and so I get up and come slowly out to where Mum and Dad are and mumble with my chin on my chest that I’m having bad dreams.

Sometimes Mum says come here darling and she gives me a long cuddle and then a big kiss and tells me to go to the toilet – AGAIN – always to the toilet – and hop into bed. Sometimes she comes in and tucks me in after that. Sometimes she just leaves me to go myself. Other times Mum or Dad say….GO TO BED AND DON’T GET UP AGAIN… no kiss no kind words…so I hang my head and shoulders as low as I can and scrape the tops of my feet along the carpet hoping they’ll see my need. But on those occasions I NEVER GET THAT…ONLY MORE go to bed YELLED FROM ANOTHER ROOM. So when my Dad stops and listens I grow big and fill up with good feeling and let him know what’s really going on inside my head.

One of these times I got up and made my way down the hallway where Dad yelled at me to get back to bed….and my reaction must have pulled some kindness out because he then said in a gentler voice, unless you need to go to the ‘toilet’!…I just went back to bed but I was howling…my sisters were asleep and Dad followed me …he was gentle and asked what was up.

I said I was having bad dreams and he said.. “I’ve told you about how to get rid of the bad thoughts. They’re not real…It’s your choice”. I replied that I’d been trying to have good thoughts and he said don’t have any thoughts…good or bad…which was a bit confusing. I pleaded that this was a bad one and I really couldn’t get rid of it. So Dad asked me to tell him what was bothering me and I started to sob my heart out. I managed to blubber between sobs that I didn’t want Mum to go away and never come back…

Sometimes when Mum’s angry and we’re not doing what she wants and everyone is sobbing and howling and crying and you can see Mums’ blood pressure go up. She gets a hard stony, unhappy look on her face and then she usually starts to yell or tells us to go away or just sits on a chair and says ‘if you want a nice mummy you’d better go somewhere else and find one’…..or if she’s really furious ….steaming….and usually when Dad’s around she sometimes says ‘I’m leaving’ and never coming back’.

Dad’s answer to this is always the same…’you’d miss us’ …and Mums’ is unfortunately the same tooo. ‘Oh no I wouldn’t.. you can send me pictures of the children as they grow up so I can see how they turn out.’

And we all look at her and the clouds start moving over my face as I imagine life without her. I often think it’s because of me and because I’m bad….It’s too confusing to understand because as I start to cry Mum looks at me in her kindest way that I love so much and says in her most loving voice ‘I would never leave you..’ often Dad adds ‘yeah kids Mum’s only joking.’ I never get that joke and I can’t really believe she won’t go because she says she will so often. ‘Go and find a new mummy’ and ‘I’m leaving. If my passports gone you know where I’ll be’. I don’t, but I think she thinks Dad will know.

Anyway I remembered this night that she could go away and never come back and it was really making me sad. Then Dad came in and asked and he said Mum would never leave us by her own choice….I didn’t feel better …he continued you never know when someone will have to go away though, and you can’t change that. I was still crying a lot and these words weren’t making me feel any better because all I could hear was that Mum could go away any time and never come back and I didn’t want her to. And that’s when I know Dad could really hear me because he found a way to make me feel better and forget about Mum going away.

There is a man who stands beside the motorway and we pass him most days on our way to school. We’ve nick-named him Ickle Ronnie….we borrowed that from a part of the first Harry Potter book where Ron’s brothers were making fun of him; and it was around this time that we were reading the book that we started noticing our Ickle Ronnie…so that’s how he got his name. Ickle Ronnie is always dressed in the same clothes…leather pants, t-shirt, leather jacket and a bandana. He just stands and watches the motorway traffic. Whenever we see him we toot and he does something like lift an arm into the air or something to show he’s heard. He doesn’t know who’s beeping. Sometimes he’s there and sometimes not .

So Dad said ideas in your head are like cars going down a motorway. Some cars are fast, some slow, some are trucks some vans, some red some cool….Imagine if Ickle Ronnie got sad because he saw a car he really liked go past and he wanted to have it but he knew he’d never see that car again…he’d be sad all the time. He knows that he just has to watch the cars go by and not get attached to any of them. It’s like thoughts in your head . They’re like the cars going past on the motorway and its your choice if you try to hold onto one…just watch them and let them go.

After that I did feel a lot better and I went to sleep. Most of all I loved it because Dad heard me and he gave me some of himself!



Joined November 2008

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