Child N approached me and shared that he or she was having dark thoughts. In asking what that meant, it was described as thoughts about death and hurting others violently. Child N explained that it was something that crossed the mind but would never be acted upon. As a matter of fact, Child N wanted to understand the reason that it happens, how the mind works, and if it was wrong to express it to others. This is a child whose friends also have some of the same dark thoughts and wanted to talk to me about it as well. It takes a lot of courage and strength to admit when you think differently, and to talk about it to a professional.
And it is different...
Why? Because the majority of people do not think about harming others. Sharing these periodic thoughts although controlled, warrants strong conversations about them. When I teach at universities, I have shared with students that people walk around us daily who are plagued with disregard for other people. These symptoms begin in childhood but cannot be diagnosed until adolescence or adulthood. At times they can lessen with age pending early interventions and control over the symptoms.
Child N described those thoughts as dark which was disturbing to me. This is also a child who can see dark angels, but has not yet admitted to it. This is not a "silent child," but when the topic of seeing ghosts or checking for visual hallucinations arose, Child N's silence and deep gaze into my eyes was my evidence. I gave Child N the same eye contact for a long period of time, then we discussed "the gaze."
I knew that this was another Nebulous Child.
I did not ask Child N if he or she could see ghosts. This is not a common question for me to ask children, nor was it the right time to talk to Child N about it. You see, Child N was feeling me out to determine if I was a safe person to disclose his or her thoughts and feelings. Believe me, I wanted to ask because there are not a lot of children and teens who tell you that they have dark thoughts - only. Usually, there is a ghost or two in the story based upon my experiences, lol. My plan is to wait until Child N is ready to discuss his or her abilities. I am taking this route because Child N needs more rapport and trust established. With some people in general, those qualities are not instantly gained. You almost need to prove yourself worthy of it, and that is what I plan to do with Child N. However, I did press Child N about the dark thoughts for obvious reasons. For example,
How often do you have these thoughts?
Any plans to act upon these thoughts?
In the past, I met clients who had this line of thinking who also told me how they control them. The chosen methods were typically unhealthy and I cannot share them publicly. Kids are starting to read my blogs, and I am not planting any ideas or seeds in your heads kids!! You know me! Nevertheless, the unhealthy behaviors contained their actions. As a therapist at the time, It was difficult to know that dark thoughts were kept at bay because of unhealthy behaviors (insert slap on the head emoji). treating them These children and teens took a long time to work with, but I enjoyed it. Lots of learning!
Child N's thought were not a threat to harm. There was no cause for action at the time of our conversation. Actually, Child N wanted to know more about why they happened. It was interpreted as a random thought by Child N. He or she wanted to better understand why the thoughts happened, and explained "I will never do something like that to anyone - ever." I understood and we discussed it. Child N learned about when I would need to breach confidentiality and the reasons. I was impressed with this child's enthusiasm to learn. Learning is exactly what we did too. We sat talking candidly about those thoughts to determine what we needed to do to decrease them, even if they were harmless ones. Nonetheless,
There was a problem.
It was me. I could not get over Child N's deep stares into my eyes regarding the conversation about seeing ghosts. It was bothering me especially given when I know about dark angels. It just felt like Child N wanted to share something with me. In order to help with the rapport, I shared with Child N that I dealt with many children who could see ghosts, and I owned website where I write about their experiences. I told Child N that it was ok to have a conversation with me about what "dark" meant and how it impacted his or her thoughts and feelings. There was a big sigh from Child N which was a good sign to me. I think that meant relief and the freedom to just talk without feeling scared or judged.
Child N hesitated...
It reminded of the way that Child B used to hesitate in our 1st few encounters not knowing how I would react to learning about the ability to see ghosts. Child N however, thought that by telling me more about the dark thoughts, that he or she would be hospitalized. Child N was savvy enough to learn on his or her own that some Psychologists are doctors can hospitalize people. Well, Child N was correct but that fear warranted an entire explanation about the role of the Psychologist in schools. Admittedly, that reservation was the opposite of what I thought it was, but we worked through it. The lesson here was to be patient with children and unravel their reservations with time without assumptions. I am still a work in progress!
I'll keep you posted as to whether or not Child N can see ghosts or not, and if his or her friends can see them as well. Remember, there are a group of children who have dark thoughts and they are all planning to talk to me about them. A group of children with dark thoughts or considering anything dark gives me pause. Remember kiddos,
Dark angels are not your friends kids!
We have a lot to discuss, about this topic so get ready.