top of page

Another Problem Solved (PTSD in kids)

“Aaagh!” Timmy sat up in bed shaking, he knew he had shouted out in his nightmare and he hoped that his mum hadn’t heard.

That horrid dream where the crash happened crept up on him every night, it didn’t matter what he did it always came back. At least he hadn’t disturbed his mum this time although he could still hear her crying in her bedroom.

He looked at his cartoon alarm clock that his dad had bought him, it was only twenty past three and he knew he would find it hard to get back to sleep again, he had to go to school in the morning. He lay there, listening to his mum’s sobs until he felt the tears run down his own face and finally cried himself back to sleep.

The alarm woke him back up and he dragged himself down the stairs where mum had put his breakfast on the table, at least she had stopped putting out plates for his dad and Chloe but she still looked so sad. Poor mum, she had been in hospital when they told her that both dad and Chloe had died and he couldn’t even hold her hand because he was in the children’s ward at the time.

Now people had said that it was time that he went back to school and then things would get back to normal. Mum had agreed, but he could tell that she was frightened to let him go and had rung the school to tell them what had happened.

They put their coats on and shut the front door behind them, mum had put some sun glasses on to stop people seeing her red eyes and she held his hand so tight that it started hurting. She didn’t want to let go at the gate, but Miss Davies was waiting there for him and took Timmy’s hand from his mum and walked him into the school.

She helped him off with his coat, but Timmy was seven and thought she was making too much fuss and when she had asked him how he was he had replied that he was all right. He looked round the cloakroom and saw the baby class hanging their coats and sighed as he saw Chloe’s empty peg.

Miss Davies had noticed this but thought it was wiser not to say anything. His friends were pleased to see Timmy back, but really all they wanted to know was about the crash and all the things that had happened to him.

Timmy walked away from them and sat right at the back of the class all by himself, he didn’t want to tell anyone about what had happened that day; he was frightened he might cry and then they would laugh at him.

During that day and the next one, Miss Davies got more worried about him as he did not mix in with the other children and stayed by himself, even at dinner time when his best friend had saved him a place at the table.

She looked for his mum as the children left school, but she usually just grabbed Timmy’s hand and rushed off not talking to anyone. This was getting worrying and she could see that Timmy was not sleeping very well as he had got big black rings round his eyes and he was not learning as well as he used to.

Timmy walked home with his mum and sighed as he saw that the breakfast things were still where they were when he had gone to school, he knew mum missed dad and Chloe but he didn’t know what she was doing all day.

Mum gave him his tea and he helped her by clearing the table and wiping up for her, mum hadn’t eaten anything again and he didn’t know what to do, he was only seven after all. Mum wasn’t talking to anybody and was taking lots of pills from the doctor and drinking lots of tea, he had tried making her a sandwich but she had left it on the plate and sipped her tea instead.

The next day, Miss Davies noticed that he had got the same shirt on as the day before and Timmy looked so tired that she was really worried and what made it worse was when little Bobby had dropped a pile of books on the floor and Timmy had jumped up and gone white. There was really something wrong there and when, at break time, she had asked him how he was, Timmy had just looked at her and run away into the far end of the playground.

Miss Davies sat in the class room at break time and stared at her computer, she was really worried about the boy and then she remembered the thing that they were trying out in the school about kids being hurt or bullied or in trouble and pressed the button which showed a sad face for children who needed special help.

As soon as she pressed it a funny little green creature popped up beside her and looked at her, she didn’t know what to say, but the creature spoke. “You must be a teacher because you can see me, my name is CABBY and you pressed that button, what’s up?”

Miss Davies explained all about Timmy and his mum and the car accident which had killed his dad and his sister and how it seemed to be affecting Timmy.

“Poor little fellow, let me go and find him and we will talk tonight after school, Miss Davies.”

Miss Davies nodded, she really wasn’t sure what had happened there, but the funny green creature looked just like the picture on the icon she had pressed, she sniffed her cup of coffee and scratched her head, no she hadn’t anything naughty to drink!

CABBY wandered out into the playground and found Timmy sitting by himself at the bottom and sat down beside him and just reached out and held his hand and looked at the little sad face that stared back at him.

CABBY smiled and said “Hello, Timmy”

Timmy tried to get up and run but the funny looking thing still held his hand and the hand felt friendly – but what about ‘Stranger Danger’? CABBY smiled and told him that Miss Davies had sent him out to find him and that he was safe and if Timmy was worried they could go back into the classroom and speak to her.

The bell went and the creature who told Timmy his name was CABBY walked beside him in to the school and all the class stared and Timmy didn’t feel scared because CABBY made him feel safe. Miss Davies introduced CABBY as Timmy’s special friend because he was so sad about the accident and needed to have someone to help him.

Timmy set to work on his writing lesson but suddenly there was a loud noise as a desk lid slammed down and he jumped and started shaking, but CABBY just reached over and held his hand and spoke quietly to him. “It’s all right Timmy, nothing is going to hurt you, but I think you need to tell me all about it”

Timmy shook his head, he was frightened that he would cry and be laughed at, so CABBY just sat quietly beside him and calmed him down.

After school CABBY sat with Miss Davies and they talked about Timmy and his mum and CABBY decided that he would go round to the house and see what was happening, and he could see that neither Timmy nor his mum were coping very well and were both very unhappy and all the doctor had done was dish out some pills to mum.

When Timmy went to bed, CABBY sat on the bed beside him and spoke to him, telling Timmy that he knew about the accident and that he thought Timmy was trying too hard to be brave, but it was making him sad.

Timmy nodded but felt that he couldn’t say anything because he didn’t want to upset mum, so CABBY decided that he needed a special doctor to talk to him who knew all about little boys and their problems, so the next morning he popped into school early and told Miss Davies who listened to what CABBY said and agreed with him.

She spoke to the headmaster who rang a special doctor to come in to school to talk to Timmy, the doctor came in the next day and instead of doing art, Timmy was taken to speak to him. Timmy was not happy to talk about it all, but the doctor persuaded him to tell him.

CABBY sat outside the room and when Timmy came out, the doctor walked him back to the class and spoke quietly to Miss Davies.

The next day, Miss Davies asked Timmy’s mum to come in to the school to talk to her and introduced her to this doctor who took mum to the same room that he had spoken to Timmy in and talked to Timmy’s mum. Miss Davies told CABBY what was happening and he smiled and went to sit beside Timmy as he wrote his spellings out.

A couple of weeks went by and CABBY saw Timmy and his mum walking to school, mum had taken off the sun glasses and although she looked sad still, she didn’t seem as bad as she had been and when Timmy saw CABBY he ran up to him and flung his arms round him and smiled.

Miss Davies was looking out the window and she smiled as well, that button had really worked and Timmy was getting back to how he had been before it all happened and she knew that all she had to do in future was press that button and she told her class all about the button and what to do.

Timmy smiled as he sat next to his best friend and turned to look at CABBY sitting at the back who grinned and disappeared.

by James Cox at Doggy Tales

bottom of page