Joan Didion, in her formidable memoir The Year of Magical Thinking describes the way she thought in the year after her husband's sudden death as I was thinking as small children think, as if my thoughts or wishes had the power to reverse the narrative, change the outcome. In my case this disordered thinking had been covert, noticed I think by no one else, hidden even from me, but it had been, in retrospect, both urgent and constant. Didion, of course, was grieving for her husband, and her magical thinking, although not entirely conscious, was that she could actually bring him back. Today was the second day of Sophie having quite a few seizures, certainly far more than the few to none that she'd had in the previous two weeks. I heard her thump onto the floor in her room just a few moments ago, and when I stood up and ran to her bedroom, I knew that she was probably seizing, had probably stood up from her bed and then gone down like a tree, felled. I picked her up off the floor and comforted her, changed her diaper for the fifth time and pulled the covers over her. I felt bitter and not a little angry, wondered if she'd eaten anything off or whether she was having an allergic reaction to something or other. I went over the day -- the last two days -- and wondered if she was having a delayed reaction to the cold she'd been struggling with for a week. I even, for a moment, thought that she might be reacting to me. Don't assure me that this is not so. There have probably been hundreds of times in the last near-twenty years that I've thought it -- wondered if the core, the reason for Sophie's seizures lay in me, in my literal cells. It occurs to me that this is a sort of magical thinking -- a black magical thinking, the subversion of magical thinking. The power to reverse the narrative is beyond my grasp, and if I don't stop grasping, trying to figure out why, why, why, the outcome won't be changed.
This black magical thinking is childlike, near primitive, actually, and definitely urgent and constant.