Phoebe is an imaginative and sensitive little girl, easily offended by her parents’ statements and remarks and the meanness of her classmates. She will run out of the room, or away from them, in an attempt to be alone with her thoughts and feelings, and insists on believing things that are true to her, even if no one else cares about them. She is upset when the girls mock her American Doll sticker in her locker, and at the idea that one of them has ‘stabbed’ their own doll through the eyes. She is a little shy and insecure unless she is working on the play, where she begs the teacher for another chance to read Alice, since she wants to play her so badly. She both treasures that story for herself, and in the connection it gives her to her mother, who is writing a book about Wonderland. She also does not like the “no questions, no talking” rule in class, since she has so many things to say. When sent to a therapist, however, she is quiet, interested that she can say whatever she likes, but unable to put her feelings into words and merely looks at him. When a friend asks her why she cares so much about something, she says “just because.” When a cruel child paints “faggot” on the back of Jamie’s cloak, she takes his hand to show her solidarity. She has magical thinking and a big imagination, deeply resonates with her highly abstract drama teacher and loves her whimsical flights of fancy. She talks about how her life feels like constantly standing on the edge of a roof and wanting to jump off—every day, and that she feels like she is running fast to “stay in the same place.” She loves Wonderland, because it is less “fixed” and makes more sense to her desire to have some change, uncertainty, and freedom in her life. She does not like rules or structure, and wishes her life was different. She invents invisible friends, wonders if she should “feel more hope” at ten years old, and knows that her drama teacher allowed the principle to take her away so that the students would keep going on their own. Phoebe copies what she sees, to emulate it—such a spinning around and around like the ballerina, and saying if she had that beautiful a dress, she would never take it off “in the hope of someday becoming that person.” She relates all things back to what others have told her (about how to keep herself from being “fired”), translating her mother into the Red Queen inside her head, etc. Phoebe does not want to be in charge until she sees the other children tearing apart everything she loves most, then she insists on doing something about it and directing them, but also telling them to make the decisions themselves (which is what she loves about her drama teacher). She can, however, be blunt about her feelings under stress—thanks in part to her Tourette syndrome. She has blunt thoughts and feelings about other people that she shares (angry about not getting candy on Halloween, she tells the woman who gave it to her that raisins suck, and “you’re fat!”). She often screams at people to go away, leave her alone, and “stay away,” or to “STOP.”

Enneagram: 9w1 sp/so

Phoebe absolutely detests any kind of conflict, and reacts badly when she feels pressured or attacked. She doesn’t like other kids chasing at her, screaming at her, accusing her of doing anything wrong, or pushing her around. She becomes so overwhelmed when chaos breaks out at the dress rehearsal and the other kids become riotous and destructive that she tells them to stop. She feels pressured by being “it” in a game of tag and cannot do it anymore, because it makes her feel too anxious. She will isolate herself, in an attempt to feel more in harmony with her own feelings, and avoid telling the truth to her parents out of fear of condemnation (such as when she bruises her knees on the stairs due to her OCD). Phoebe is horrified at the idea that she might have said the wrong thing, or implied something she did not mean, about her beloved teacher. She is easily overwhelmed by life, but also wants to do the right thing. Blurting out mean thoughts or her harsh feelings makes her feel bad, because it isn’t kind. She wishes she wasn’t inclined to spit at people when she gets upset, and doesn’t like to think that she’s a bad girl, so it gives her great relief to have a diagnosis and understand what’s happening inside her head.