Re: FN#6 :draft#2:monsters and men and mommy

From: Mercedes Monaco
Submit: Post Field Note
VisitDate: 00/00/96
Date: 14 Nov 1996
Time: 18:13:27
Remote Name:


I was some what dissappointed that peoples comments focused on the mommy issue. I've played that game before and know its normal, but in the context of a girl that is displaying highly emotional reactions to everything and seriously believes there is monster after her and is afraid of "him", I think its slightly different. Especially when I tried to leave and she wouldn't let me. Obviously there is an attachment issue here. In speaking briefly with Eugene in class he told me he thought I wasn't clear. Looking back on it, I tried to add somethings to make it more obvious that she was in an extreme emotional state, but its difficult. (I put starts around all the additions I made.) I'd like it if people could give more feedback on the monster thing and her not letting me leave and her interactions with men. I'd especially like to hear from people that interacted with her in the beginning. It would be interesting to hear from Louis because he would try to talk to her and she'd interact with him and then she'd come and tell me she didn't like him in much the same way she did with the guy I mentioned in my events section.

Duanne said:

Iwas there that day and remembered some of the things you talked about. Was she just making a game of being afraid of males, continuing something that she started before you showed up. It sounds like she may have an older brother or classmate that may be terrorizing her, from her comment about her parents, I don't think her father is what is troubling her. I would think that either Silvia is very imaginative about games, since her actions with the mommy game sound to be as intense as the male-monster game. On the other hand, there may be something going on in her personal life that she is having trouble dealing with and is projecting that trouble into her imaginary games.

I felt that Duanne interterpretation was much of what I was leaning to, but I didn't say explicitedly in my fieldnote because I wanted to see if maybe others had thoughts on it.

Jakob said: What is your impression, how Sylvia really felt. Was she showing signs of fear or discomfort when hiding or talking about the monster?

I definately saw signs of discomfort and fear in both situations. I think something is going on with Silvia, I just don't know what.

Ed commented about not knowing the past history and made inferences to what her history may be. I definately agree with his ideas. But what then? If these interactions are stemming from some scarring event in the past, and shes not helped somehow (and I'm not at all suggesting by us) then where does that leave her?

Ed asked: On the flip side, what do you think you have learned from this challenging experience and how do you think it will affect or not your future interactions with kids?

I don't know exactly what I've learned. I was glad in retrospect that I was able to react calmly. When she first told me the moster thing, I seriously thought she was in an abusive situation at home. But just as I thought this she through in the mom and dad protecting her comment. (But she did mention a brother and wouldn't talk about him, so Duanne could have a good guess). I don't think this will change my interactions with kids though.

I still welcome comments even though this is a "final draft".


Mercedes, 21 Silvia, 3 Maurice Louis


Silvia was the only child at Barrios Unidos this day. She was running around teh room and seemed to be looking for attention so I asked her if she wanted to play computer games. She told me she wanted to do a puzzle so I started up the Lion King game. She didn't know how to use a mouse. I tried to show her, but it seemed to b e too difficult for her. After a while I would just ask her to choose what to do and would control the mouse for her.

At one point one of the guys from Barrios Unidos came in and said hi to her. She wouldn't talk to him and when he left **she said she didn't like him, when I asked her why** she said she didn't like it when he said "Hi Silvia". **I asked her why she didn't like it and she said she just didn't like the way he said it. I couldn't understand why she didn't like it. There was nothing strange about the way he said hi, it seemed very nice.** As the day went on I noticed that any time a male would try to interact with her, she would turn away from them and hide somehow. **she sincerely did not want to be interacting with them** One time Maurice came up to her adn she reacted by hiding behind her chair. He left while she was still hiding. After a moment she turned around and said curtly, "What do you want!" But when she turned around only I was there. She looked really surprised and confused and said, "I'm sorrry, I thought you were a boy."

Later we began to play connect four. She seperated all of the peices, taking about twenty for herself and about twelve for me. She put her peices in a bag and told me that those were her peices and these were mine and that we weren't going to play with her peices, but we would share mine. When all of my peices were used, we would just start over. I asked her why we didn't share her peices and she told me we were sharing mine. While we were playing she whispered to me that there was a monster outside (she pointed to the door of the lab) and that we needed to be quiet because he could hear us. (She always referred to the monster as a male). At one point in the day she asked me where the guy with the long hair was. We started talking about Maurice and I asked her some questions about him. She told me she liked Maurice because he made her mad. Suprised, I said, "You like him because he makes you mad?" She said yes and then a monster comes and hits me and beats me and eats me. Very surprised and confused, I asked if she was afraid of the moster and she said yes.***she told me this in a very sincere way and appeared to completely believe what she was telling me.** Then **after some awkward silence** she told me it was ok because her mom and dad would protect her.

After a while she told me that she wanted to play that I was the mommy and she was the little girl. I thought this would change what we were playing, but all that changed was that she called me mommy constantly for the next twenty minutes. "Mommy, its your turn mommy" After a while **(about fifteen minutes)** I began to feel uncomfortable. **There was a high level of emotional intensity in the interactions. I also began to wonder by the way it was going if she forgot it was a game. There were some people in the room at the time that were not with us (everyone from our group had gone home because Silvia was the only child). The people in the room were looking at us strangely*** I asked her if she remembered what my name was. She just stared at me and I told her it was Mercedes. She kept referring to me as mommy. About seven minutes later I asked her again and told her my name again and she said that I was supposed to be the mommy and her the little girl. We continued to play with the connect four game (With our own varying rules). She and I were putting in the peices at the same time and she became **very** upset when one of my peices landed before hers. She turned away, crossed her arms and pouted. **She didn't seem like she was playing. She was visibly upset.** After a few moments she turned around and said**very sincerely, as though she was worried that I wouldn't forgive her.**, "I'm sorry mommy, I'm sorry I got so mad at you."

It came time for me to leave and I told her I had to go to school and she argued with me for a while. I got my stuff together and said bye and started to go but she walked in front of me down the hall, trying to stop me. She stood in front of the front door with her arms spred open saying I couldn't go.**She was very serious in this, if she had her way, I wouldn't leave.** Finally, I just kept telling her I had to go to school and she very reluctantly let me go.


I left feeling very disturbed. There was a lot of strange interactions. I'd like to hear what other people think about it before I feel like I can reflect much on it.


Why did she have such a hard time interacting with guys? What was the monster thing all about? What about the insisting on playing the mommy game? and her not letting me leave?

Please, I'd like lots of feedback on this one.