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Friedjung, J.K. (1924). A Dream of a Child of Six. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:362-363.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:362-363

A Dream of a Child of Six

J. K. Friedjung

Gertrud R., a little girl of six, is the only child of a mixed marriage (father a Jew, mother a Catholic). Physically she is well-developed, but she shows several neuropathic traits. She is difficult to train and timid, and her sleep has been disturbed for a long time; she is lazy in masticating her food and suffers from habitual constipation, which her anxious mother, against my advice, continues to treat with enemas. The mother, who is about forty, allows herself to be tyrannized over by the child, and spoils it utterly. The father, who had previously also been guilty of spoiling it, has for some months suffered much under the waywardness of the child and at these times rates it soundly. With difficulty I had succeeded in putting an end to the child sharing the bedroom of the parents; a short time ago, however, as her parents went out one evening she was allowed as a recompense to sleep once again between them at night.

A few days ago Gertrud contracted catarrhal otitis media of the right ear. On the second day there was already an improvement, the child was without fever in the evening and the ear no longer pained; she complained, however, that she had stomach-ache, 'as if someone were lying upon her belly'. (A week ago she had repeatedly complained of abdominal pains without anything being found on examination.) Next morning I found her very bright; objectively the abdomen was normal, and there was no pain. I asked her unobtrusively whether she had dreamed. 'Yes, often, but horrid things. I can't tell you them.' After some resistance, she said that the horrid thing had been that her mother had disappeared. The spell was now broken, and she told me the dream she had had that night. 'Mother has disappeared, and many biers are standing about. Then someone comes and tries to hit me.'

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