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DS (6) horrid dream that his dad died because I cut him with scissors :(

(7 Posts)
Windycastle Thu 21-Mar-13 11:45:26

The worst bit (if it can get worse) is that apparently his dad wanted me to do it and his younger brother was watching (obv all in the dream).

Poor DS, how bloody horrible. He seems fine now and off to school ok (he came into bed with me afterwards and stayed all night, which never happens). DP is sleeping in spare room at moment, we are currently going to relate for issues we are having. We are trying really hard to keep our troubles from the DC, but I am guessing this has to be related.

Have given him lots of love this morning, and both DP and I have reassured him nothing like that would ever happen, but it has knocked me sideways a bit.

Should I be analysing this dream for meaning and helping DS to work it out? How do I do this and who could help me with this - school? Or is there more to it in terms of mental health?

Bit more background:

He is sensitive and a thinker (like me) - previous comment about friends leaving him out "shutting the door and leaving him to blow away on the wind"; and a stage last year when he said he wanted to hurry up and grow old so he could die (I feel terrible about this, think because I was shouting a lot at bedtimes at the time, no excuse but short fused due to anaemia through blood loss, and DP working away a lot, have worked very hard since to curb this).

He has previously had a dream where a snake came into his bed and bit him in the ankle, which he is adamant he felt actual pain. He still needs reassurance when he remembers it, that it wasn't real. He also has said he can see coloured light bubbles in the dark which float about and are friendly, sometimes he sees them in the day time, he says he thinks they are there to look after him.

We do have family history of MH problems (blood relative with paranoid schizophrenia on maternal side (my sis) and depression on both sides in extended family (and myself previously).

On the plus side he is generally a bright, loving and happy child with great cognition/comprehension, imagination and sense of humour; friendships are fine now, just had parents evening where agreed good progress and notable pride taken in his work. He is very vocal, says how he feels, talks about everything that goes on for him, stands up for himself and any "injustice" he sees. He is a bit short fused and does still have tantrums (probably like both his parents, if I am honest).

I am very, very alert to owning our behaviour and ALWAYS make sure any outbursts are appropriately dealt with, talked about and apologies made. DP needs to get more on board with recognising this, which is why I've suggested we do relate, although he is seeing it as my problem because I have been lacking energy, for him and a social life.

Bloody hell, now I have written all this down it feels really serious. I need to raise this don't I? Who to? GP or school first? Or relate session later?

Or am I reading too much into this because I am always looking out for worrying things? Just remembered I maybe scared DS a bit by telling him he had to be careful not to splash the light in the bathroom as it could make the lightbulb shatter - perhaps it was simply this that triggered the dream and I am oversensitive myself at mo (dealing with sad news yesterday about friend's child I helped care for and bonded with when tiny, not likely to see them again).

Sorry this is epic and waffley, please help me gain some clarity here!

Selks Thu 21-Mar-13 12:03:05

You're reading too much into it. A bad dream is not on it's own an indicator of mental health problems.
Your answer is in your post - you and DH are having relationship problems and your DS is feeling a bit anxious - naturally enough.
I would advise against over focussing on the dream. Dreams are merely ways of processing what is happening / has happened in life. Just reassure your DS that it is normal for people to have disturbing dreams if they are a bit worried about something, then don't focus on the dream but let him know that it is ok for him to talk about or ask questions about things that he might be worried about.
It is certainly not grounds to go to your GP unless he is getting severely distressed by frightening dreams on a regular basis.
Disclaimer - I'm a CAMHS practitioner. Hope that helps.

Selks Thu 21-Mar-13 12:04:29

"I am always looking out for worrying things".... sounds like finding some ways to manage your own anxiety might be helpful.

Windycastle Thu 21-Mar-13 12:10:34

Thank you Selks that's reassuring. I have recently started on citalapram for pms - thinking this might be increased anxiety due to that and an emotional trigger for me yesterday....

Do you mind if I ask about the coloured light bubbles though - is this normal too?

Thanks again smile

Selks Thu 21-Mar-13 22:14:35

Hi Windy, glad my post has served to reassure you a little.

re the 'coloured light bubbles' - that could just mean that your child is imaginative and has realised that by describing experiencing 'unusual' things happening to them it guarantees getting your attention. Children are experts at getting attention from their parents - that's an entirely natural and normal thing to do - and will learn to do it by doing the things that their parents pay attention to. So if you become worried and focus on the 'odd' or 'worrying' things that your DS does he is likely to say more of the same kind of thing.

Or it could relate to him trying to describe something entirely innocuous that he has experienced such as sometimes when we close our eyes we can see spots or patterns and this is just the cells in our eyes responding to the sudden darkness. Children of his age can be extremely imaginative and descriptive.

Either way it is nothing to be alarmed about.

Him saying that he 'wished he could hurry up and get old so that he can die' is a bit more concerning as it indicates that he wasn't happy at the time, but you realised correctly that it was probably to do with the strained atmosphere at home due to the stresses you and your DH were under - but please don't feel guilty about that, you're clearly a good and loving mother and all families go through periods of stresses and strains.

As I say, you are clearly a really good Mum, and all I can suggest is to try to relax a little and cut yourself and DS a little slack....and don't worry about the imaginative stuff that he comes out with - it's best to keep focussed on the bigger picture and his overall wellbeing while letting him know it's ok to say if he is worried about something. He has a great imagination - why not try channelling it into creative play such as imaginative games and making up stories etc smile

Sorry, that was long!! grin (And I used the word imaginative waaaaay too many times blush)

Windycastle Fri 22-Mar-13 18:45:49

Thank you Selks, I really appreciate the time you've taken to post outside your day job smile

Apparently I have absorbed a bit of secondary ptsd from a parent I've been supporting (according to relate counsellor). I can see clearly today how anxiety driven my post was blush and this does flare up from time to time. But I can't actually express how much I appreciate having a professional take on things without the guilt of an unnecessary visit on the NHS - a bonus I wasn't expecting.

Yay to MN.

Selks Sat 23-Mar-13 00:31:55

You're welcome! grin

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