Anthropophobia- The fear of people (This one I entirely understand! We can be quite a scary species....especially if you are a chicken!)
And then he went to tell this story:
What he actually said: "Others are people of infamy. Like the psychotic mother who took the life of her son when the voices told her to kill him. As we often did at the legal rights center when I was there, we took her case. Not because she was innocent, she was not. But because it was the right thing to do. She was a human being. The most obvious of lepers: a decrepit sinner, who had stabbed her son more than one hundred times."*
What I heard: And the psychotic mother, having gone off her meds, brutally murdered her son when the voices in her head told her to kill him. And she took a knife, a machete perhaps, and stabbed him, over and over, 100 times, watching the warm blood slowing oozing from his body......(etc etc, you get my point.)
What Aidan heard: Your parents have voices in their heads, Aidan. Evil voices that tell them to do bad things. I am one of them and I am telling them to get rid of you. Yes, YOU! Whatever you do, do NOT EVER. GO. TO. SLEEP. AGAIN! BWAH HA HA HA HA!
"Yes, Aidan, it was true. But you do not need to worry. Dad and I are not going to kill you.....we put in far too much time, effort and energy raising you to do something like that," I said, teasingly, trying to make light of it.
"But why did she do it?" he wanted to know, ignoring my ridiculous attempt at humor. So what did I do? I immediately took a different approach at comforting him by launching into a ten minute lesson on the nature of Schizophrenia. You know, to my nine year old....(Seriously, who DOES that?)