Wednesday, 23 June 2010


I’ve been reading the story of a boy who grew up an only child, in a household where his parents ignored him, and were indifferent to his concerns. The main emotion they seemed to express was irritation at the way he impinged on their lives.

The boy had no friends: at school he was considered a massive under-achiever, despite being of high intelligence and quick wit. His main interactions, apart from with teachers, were with a bully who beat him mercilessly; and with a girl towards whom he expressed himself in the only way he could: with hostility, aggression and anti-social behaviour. Typical behaviour, in fact, for an abused child, but there was no evidence he was ever actively abused.

Instead, he was ignored. He did what any introspective, isolated child would do: he invented an imaginary friend. His imaginative life became a substitute for the real world, thus exacerbating his isolation. In his daydreams, he’s a spaceman or a dinosaur, both of whom live in a world without (other) humans. His imaginary friend is a wild animal, not a person.

What chance does such a child have? What sort of adult do you suppose this child would grow up into? Perhaps the answer lies here:


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