I’ve been intensely daydreaming consistently when I’m alone for years now. Often, I would repeat gestures, imagine myself in ridiculous settings, etc.
During this long time of my head being in the clouds, I also took time to make room for introspection.
I like to daydream about the same situation: where I am a powerful hero who protects my classmates from harm, before dying a tragic death to self-sacrifice.
The reasons why I think I daydream about this is because of the following reasons:
1. I’ve never had an actual mature adult to guide me in growing up, my mother would constantly emotionally abuse me to the point where I contemplated suicide at an extremely young age. This is when I began to live in my daydreams. It has become a defense mechanism for me in the bleak world I lived as a child. It gave me the dopamine and the bit of hope I needed to not mentally break. Eventually, I got too used to it, and up until now, it has become a constant source of happiness for me and a way to ignore my own reality.
2. I’ve never really had many friends growing up cause I was honestly a weirdo. It made me jealous of people who did have a lot of friends and could express themselves easier in school. This jealous turned into a void of self-esteem issues and the need for validation. Which explains why I see myself as the hero who saves everyone in my dream.
3. Ties in with reason#1. Due to the emotional abuse I suffered, I have always had an internal battle with the idea of freedom. After years of feeling constantly being under strict control and finally getting out of it, it didn’t leave me no scars. I found that I could never say No to people and become a sort of a people pleaser, tying in with reason#2. My shaky up-bringing left me feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere, no secure place to call home. I feel like this is why I want to see myself as powerful— someone who has the courage to finally seek their own happiness without needing other people, the person I’ve always wanted to be.
4. As for why I die a tragic death of a martyr in my dream, perhaps it ties in with my need to be remembered, the need to MATTER. Constantly, I’ve never really felt like my contributions mattered to the world compared to everyone else. This jealousy, comparing myself to others, the need for validation is what most likely sparked the “self-sacrifice” in the dream sequence.
Honestly, maladaptive daydreaming has got me through a lot of shit in my life, but it has gone to a point where I am addicted from the constant happiness it gives me.
Additionally, it has also led me to believe maladaptive daydreaming maybe more of a byproduct of other current/previous mental illness one has experienced.
If your brain gets to used to it, and it feels good, then the brain will cement that action into your head. It’s like a scar that continues to throb years after it’s been healed (i know, i’m making a lot of cheesy methapors but ya get it), and you can’t help but give it an old itch.
I mean, I kind of understand why our brain does this. Why would it let go such a wonderful method to induce happiness simply from just ?
Anyways, this wasn’t really a logical “haha gotcha mental illness, i finally understand you!”, I’m sure it’s different from everyone, even though some will relate to this. Writing this at 1:21 am just seemed like a good idea to make myself feel better.
Your thoughts about why your daydreaming is maladaptive sound pretty accurate. MD often begins as a coping mechanism (for trauma, mental illness, loneliness, etc) that grows out of control and eventually becomes essentially a behavioral addiction like gambling or shopping.
Don't give up what you want most for what you want now.
I am grateful that there is a place like this to learn how to cope with this conundrum and to be able to tell someone what is going on your life without any worries. Thank you again.
It feels refreshing learning that there is a way I can change for the better, that my life can be better, to leave the past in the past and have a better present and future. I’ve learned that happiness is not chased after, but is a result. I believe this is true because the struggle to control daydreams is not pleasant, but once we do, I believe we would feel fulfilled, full of confidence. For now, let’s struggle and win the fight! (Mai goooooosh!! I feel a slight cringe after that sentence)
I’ve never gotten the chance to tell someone my story (other than those in my daydreams *deep ). I think this is because I don’t really have anyone by my side that would take the time to listen and help me with my mental condition. I’m different and that is the reason why I’m alone (why many are alone).
I would usually daydream better ways I could’ve handled certain situations and stories that are interesting to me and usually based on something I thought was cool. The daydreams comfort me and dull my pain through imagining people who care about me and that I care about them. The stories would be as grand as me helping many people to as simple as me being a person who matters to a small, amazing group of people.
I’m a quiet and shy person. I was shaking the whole time while I was typing this post. When I was in preschool, I was treated like I had autism because I was quiet and learned how to walk late. Every day, even during summer, I was forced to write and read during school and at home. My parents left me with my grandmother while they worked. I couldn’t eat or rest if I couldn’t read a book out loud. I was taught that toys were trash and I shouldn’t have one. Sleeping was my escape at the time. I think I matured faster than others at my age. I thought life would get better if my parents were taking care of me, but it feels like I just have roommates who feed and clothe me. When I entered elementary school, I was a follower and alone, someone who copied others to fit in. When I entered middle school, I didn’t have a chance to be a follower, so I was just alone and it always hurt. In my second year of middle school, I realized that I should just accept that I’m alone and stop hurting myself more by trying to attach myself to someone. I can’t rely on my family because I’m different. No one is shy like me and no one looks like me, so I am an outcast and I can’t expect and hope that they can help me. I even told my mom that I wanted to kill myself and that I feel pain, that I might have depression, but my mom just looked at me, patted me on the back, and pretended like she didn’t hear anything.
I’m in high school now. Once I accepted that I was alone, it hurts less but the pain is still there in my chest. My daydreams started increasing though, but I’m going to control them now so I can be happier. I realized that there are so many amazing things in my life. I love music and I love nature.
If anyone needs someone to talk to or just listen, I want to be that someone. I hope that we can be each other’s someone and be less lonely. My email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram: vi_kat_jw_aha (Hopefully it’s ok to leave that info up there)