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The curious case of the dog in the nighttime

The curious case of the dog in the nighttime

The curious case of the dog in the nighttime

By Dr. Gail S. Goodman

When I was about three, I fell asleep while my parents talked. They were arguing about the dog, so I must have been listening. I woke up and said, “I don’t care! I don’t want to live with that dog!”

My mother said, “You’ll get over it when you’re older.”

“No! I’m not ever getting over it!” I wailed.

I started to cry, and my father put me back in bed. The next day he told me I was making everything up. I thought, “Well, he wouldn’t have put me back in bed if I wasn’t lying.”

As I got older, I figured out what he meant. I was not listening when he and my mother were talking about the dog, because I was busy worrying about whether it would be nice to live with the dog. I did not get over it, so now I am getting older.

When I was a young girl, I had two big dogs, a black Lab, who was older, and a golden retriever who was younger. I wanted both dogs. My mother wanted me to get the golden because the dog could “do tricks” and I could learn to walk him. My father wanted to buy a new dog for us.

I liked the Lab, but I did not want to walk the golden retriever. I also did not like the idea of not getting the golden retriever. “Mom,” I pleaded, “I want a dog, but I don’t want to walk the golden. I want to do tricks, like the Lab.”

“You’ll get over it,” my mother said. “He can’t do tricks like the Lab, and if you get a dog you’ll have to walk him.”

“I don’t want a dog that I have to walk!”

I was not listening, so I did not get over it.

I was an anxious child, so I always wanted to be the center of attention. I knew my parents were very concerned about me. I was not like my younger sister, who was happy and quiet. She had no problems. I worried all the time. I always felt that my parents were trying to make me happy, but I wanted to have all the attention for myself.

I am not angry about what happened then. I am angry about how I still feel, even now.

The fact is, I am still the center of attention, and now I want attention.

I can’t even say what my problem is. I think it is “fear.” I just feel fearful that someone might come along and want to know more about me than I want to tell them. I also feel anxious when I feel that I’m not the center of attention, and that makes me feel like I’m not important. I know that what I’m saying sounds so childish, but it is the way I feel.

I am a very private person. I do not want people to know what I’m thinking or what I’m feeling. But I feel I can’t hide what I’m thinking or feeling from my family.

I don’t know why I don’t just get over this feeling.

I have trouble feeling happy or calm. I have a lot of energy, but I don’t know where to put it. I have so much going on in my head that I can’t even think about what I’m feeling.

Sometimes I cry, but I don’t know if it’s for me or my dog.

I feel guilty if I’m not listening to my parents. If they start to talk about something, I have a feeling that they want me to listen to what they’re saying, and I don’t want to do that. I feel like they are depending on me to listen to them and understand them. But I can’t do it, and I think that I don’t care about what they are saying.

It’s embarrassing if I have to leave the room when my parents are talking. It’s embarrassing that I can’t follow what they are talking about. I feel ashamed if I’m not paying attention to them, even if it is something I don’t understand.

Even though I feel guilty, I’m still not paying attention to my parents. I feel like I’m trying to please them, but I don’t want to do what they want.

I have trouble getting to sleep. Sometimes I just lie there, feeling afraid of what might be happening in my head. I wonder what my thoughts are about, and if they are all bad.

Sometimes I will go to my mother and ask, “What are you thinking?” She will say, “I was thinking about you, and that I love you.” I think, “Oh, that’s nice!”

I try to make sense of my thoughts. When I do, I tell my mother that I love her too, and I go to sleep.

I feel better. I feel like I’m getting over it. But I still feel like I’m missing something.

What happens if I do get over it, if I’m not afraid that people are thinking bad things about me, if I’m not afraid that I’m not listening to my parents, if I don’t have to be embarrassed when I can’t follow what my parents are talking about? What will happen? I can’t know that.

I am trying to figure


Watch the video: Book Summary: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (January 2022).