Was My China Doll Really Alive or Was I Hallucinating? (TW)

By Char Shields - May 02, 2020


When I was a child, I was given a china doll from my Nanny Bear (named after her big fur coat that she always wore) after she passed away. It lived on my top shelf, opposite my bed. At night, it came alive.

With stiff arms and legs, she would walk up and down the shelf. Too scared to move, too scared to scream, I just stared at her. Afraid that she would climb down the shelf and make her way over to my bed.

Although she didn't walk over to me, a tiny, shaking girl in her bed, she did flash monstrous eyes which would light up a blinding green. Slowly, she would turn her head, a wicked grin spreading across her face. Frozen in a position as if she was about to take another step. She looked into my eyes. Dead. I was paralysed by her green stare.

I didn't get rid of her at first. As she was my nan's, I felt some attachment to her, like I had to love her and keep her. But, man, was she a bitch.

Every night, she would repeat her same old cycle: walk, smile, stare with her green eyes. She wouldn't stop. It wasn't long until I begged my mum to get rid of it. To this day, I have no idea if she threw it away or if it's still hidden somewhere in her attic where she plans her revenge. Come to think of it, I used to hear footsteps up there...

"This was probably just the result of a child's imagination," you may say. And I would agree with you - I was no older than nine years old. However, this wasn't the first or last time something like that happened to me.

When I was even younger, my posters used to come to life. They would come out of the walls, stick their tongues out at me and glare at me. Britney Spears could be a real bitch at two in the morning. My teddies would also come to life, moving around and giving me an evil stare that chilled me to the bone. As I grew older into a teenager, even a young adult, this didn't stop. Maybe I'll talk more in detail in another post, because I could be here all day talking about the shit my brain has put me through.

Hallucinating as a child is a part of my mental health that I'm still yet to understand. Was it just a child's imagination? And if it was, then why did it carry on long into my late teens and early twenties? Even if it was "just" a child's imagination, does that dismiss how terrifying it was?

Mental health issues can affect children too, sometimes for no reason, sometimes if they're going through trauma, which I certainly had my fair share of. I think the danger is overlooking these issues because it teaches children that they shouldn't express their feelings as they're silly.

Sure, in some cases it might just be imagination running wild. But sometimes, it might just be something more serious that turns into a lifetime of suffering. Listen to your children when they tell you they're petrified of things that go bump in the night, comfort them and, if needed, get them help. I'm telling you this from my nine-year-old self's perspective, not a lecturing grown up who has no idea how to raise children. But from someone who was once one.


Until the next time,

Char

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