Sometimes at the dinner table, my mom serves food, but she notices that my eyes close or I smile for no apparent reason, and she throws a curt remark. My mind is not quite there, for a split second, so I make faces. Usually I grin, because the story is sassy or intriguing. But, I don't know I'm doing it, only everyone else can see what goes on with my face. So, the person will be like, "You were staring at me and laughing." I wouldn't have any idea what they're talking about...because the moment was for five seconds. 

My family isn't the first, I've had formative school peers that saw my face, and immediately wonder what's so funny, and most of them didn't want to be my friend, because it looks so very strange. Most people in the norm are usually interactive, exuberant and outspoken, so they find me really weird. They don't understand why I sit there all quietly, and seemingly act like I'm somewhere else. But then, they laugh at me for appearing like a "loner" and wonder if I have friends, or even a man. 

I think that I made everyone a little too uncomfortable. My bad. 

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It's embarrassing for me as well, but I can usually control it once I was aware that I was doing it.  I usually don't let myself get too "involved" in the daydreaming unless I'm by myself, so that helps.

Theaxe said:

I have uttered things to myself. I feel like a schmuck if I'm ever caught. Over the years, I've pretty much taught myself how to keep that part of me in-check, but the odd time, my daydream lines will erupt out of my mouth when I have something important to say. 

Cades said:

I've been told that I talk to myself and make faces as well.  But more like mumbling and usually they can't understand what I'm saying.  Is this normal too?

This may sound sad, but if I got a problem and I want to let it out, I tell my imaginary friends and it sounds like I'm arguing with myself. So my family is always asking what the exorcist sounds and banters are about. I wish that I can tell my family how I feel, but I've been quiet around them for so long, so there's no saying how they'll react. They stopped taking me so seriously, because I don't talk that much. My mom found out years ago that I do MD, and she was very mad about it. She even lost her faith in me and our relationship changed. So if I get myself in deep trouble around work or even in general, she just blames me for it. My dad is the only person in my life who is sticking out for me and supporting my backside. 

I remember a while back in school I lost opportunities to make friends because I was extremely quiet and laughed for nothing. I must've looked so strange on the outside, because all my peers treated me like I was super contagious. I look back and realize I started a daydreaming disorder in junior high. They also pitied me because I was the only student with no friends around me. You can only picture what the experience was like. My name was a familiar mantra for four years. But you know, teenagers. Go figure. 

Then there was the real world. I thought I picked the right career, only to find out 10 years later, I may have took the wrong path. Dad claims that I am a designer, when really I'm not great. I got laid off in several contracts, due to lack of satisfaction with performance and analytical skills. And I wish that I picked something more suitable that will make me feel happy and comfortable. My dad thinks all because he's an architect, I will follow in his foot steps as a designer. But I'll never be as good as he is. I hate to blurt the news and dismay him like that. Reason I picked design in the first place was a fast decision, really. 

Jessica, I read your original post and some of the other comments from you and others. I'm so sorry your family seems very shaming toward you about your daydreaming. I had that too. I live alone now, and it's bliss. I definitely make faces when I daydream! I respond to my daydreams with my whole body spirit and at this point in my life, I largely experience my daydreaming as a beautiful and powerful gift. But the world can be so harsh and judgmental. And especially when I still lived at home with my family, I internalized a lot of shame about it. I read that only 4% of the population can daydream as powerfully as we can, so there are very few people who can understand it. I've also had bad experiences socially as you describe and it seems many of us have. I think we are beautiful though. Sending you hugs. What kinds of things do you most often daydream about if you don't mind me asking? 

Well, it all depends on my mood. I don't MD as I used to. Currently, I daydream that my life is something out of a movie. Genres of suspense, mystery, romance and film noire. My stories are interesting where I'm the character, and in my world, people are far more agreeable around me and actually understand what I'm getting at. They even understand what I'm going through in my own situations. I've had so many fictional relationships than I can count. 

I always struggled to get along with others socially. They get the impression that I'm socially inept, and they instantly conclude that I'm this unfortunate person with no friends and independence, who can't exactly get whatever I want. They even think I'm sort of stupid. Don't get me wrong, but people who I've never met in my life can stand several feet away and can get a hint that's something is not right with me. 

I'm stuck at home with my parents in a pandemic lockdown, where I can't see friends (can be very boring). I spend all my time in a studio working on pastel paintings, and my mind just wonders. My parents are strict and will not let me go, unless I can earn my independence, which is hard to say in these times. My dad constantly is demanding that I work hard to fly the coop, by biting the bullet for a full-time job. So I am feeling very nervous about it. Frankly, I wish that I can live in my own place, because I had it with their expectations. 


I remember moving into my very first apartment...by myself. No roommates. Nobody. This was dangerous.

As a child and teen, I always felt so interrupted all the time. My parents constantly called out for me or burst into my room for such nonsense reasons all the time. I could have been in my bedroom for ten minutes reading a book, and my mom would just open the door to say, "What are you doing?" She seemed to have a warden-like mentality when it came to me. If my parents went out, or it was late at night when they both slept, I could freely daydream without fearing being caught moving around.

Moving into my own place was certainly blissful. But as I mentioned, dangerous. It basically was the start of the problem becoming worse. I knew daydreaming as much as I was was not normal, and not healthy, but at that point in my life - being alone - it allowed me to daydream without worrying about how long I'd be at it for.

With how problematic it can be, I think this could be a topic on its own actually. 

Amanda said:

I live alone now, and it's bliss.

I don't have helicopter parents. Though, when I was a kid, mom didn't allow me to leave the house without her permission, and until I was twelve, she held my hands to school and places. Whereas other parents let their kids run a muck. She did this with me until I was eighteen! She had no idea about my daydream life until I was 24. And once she found out, talked me out of ever being successful at any career, except for my artwork. It doesn't bother her if I lived in her house until she passes and I inherit it. My dad is the total opposite, he wants me to get out soon. And I'm under pressure as jobs these days are hard to come by. It's actually getting kind of scary. It's unforeseeable where I'll wind up in the new year. I'm in a challenging career, and I might just get a job that's irrelevant to my degree. 
I blame it on my daydreaming that my future turned out downhill, so I'm mad at myself. How can I do that? Everybody knows you have to work really hard and concentrate.

How old were you when moving out, by the way? I'm 34, but it's embarrassing. I feel like I screwed up good. 

Oh how interesting! Your daydreams I mean. And it's wonderful that you paint. It's so isolating feeling misunderstood. I've had several office jobs - some of them were really awful, but the one I have now really allows me a lot of flexibility. The work itself isn't necessarily something I'm passionate about, but it allows me independence and because it's flexible it allows me to daydream a lot. I hope you can find a good fit for yourself. 

Jessica Ballantyne said:

Well, it all depends on my mood. I don't MD as I used to. Currently, I daydream that my life is something out of a movie. Genres of suspense, mystery, romance and film noire. My stories are interesting where I'm the character, and in my world, people are far more agreeable around me and actually understand what I'm getting at. They even understand what I'm going through in my own situations. I've had so many fictional relationships than I can count. 

I always struggled to get along with others socially. They get the impression that I'm socially inept, and they instantly conclude that I'm this unfortunate person with no friends and independence, who can't exactly get whatever I want. They even think I'm sort of stupid. Don't get me wrong, but people who I've never met in my life can stand several feet away and can get a hint that's something is not right with me. 

I'm stuck at home with my parents in a pandemic lockdown, where I can't see friends (can be very boring). I spend all my time in a studio working on pastel paintings, and my mind just wonders. My parents are strict and will not let me go, unless I can earn my independence, which is hard to say in these times. My dad constantly is demanding that I work hard to fly the coop, by biting the bullet for a full-time job. So I am feeling very nervous about it. Frankly, I wish that I can live in my own place, because I had it with their expectations. 


Yeah, I wish that I can find that job I'd want to keep for years. COVID is making things so difficult. So far I found a freelance role. 

Amanda said:

Oh how interesting! Your daydreams I mean. And it's wonderful that you paint. It's so isolating feeling misunderstood. I've had several office jobs - some of them were really awful, but the one I have now really allows me a lot of flexibility. The work itself isn't necessarily something I'm passionate about, but it allows me independence and because it's flexible it allows me to daydream a lot. I hope you can find a good fit for yourself. 

Jessica Ballantyne said:

Well, it all depends on my mood. I don't MD as I used to. Currently, I daydream that my life is something out of a movie. Genres of suspense, mystery, romance and film noire. My stories are interesting where I'm the character, and in my world, people are far more agreeable around me and actually understand what I'm getting at. They even understand what I'm going through in my own situations. I've had so many fictional relationships than I can count. 

I always struggled to get along with others socially. They get the impression that I'm socially inept, and they instantly conclude that I'm this unfortunate person with no friends and independence, who can't exactly get whatever I want. They even think I'm sort of stupid. Don't get me wrong, but people who I've never met in my life can stand several feet away and can get a hint that's something is not right with me. 

I'm stuck at home with my parents in a pandemic lockdown, where I can't see friends (can be very boring). I spend all my time in a studio working on pastel paintings, and my mind just wonders. My parents are strict and will not let me go, unless I can earn my independence, which is hard to say in these times. My dad constantly is demanding that I work hard to fly the coop, by biting the bullet for a full-time job. So I am feeling very nervous about it. Frankly, I wish that I can live in my own place, because I had it with their expectations. 


I hear you. We have a really difficult world to navigate. The first time I lived alone I was daydreaming like 100% of the time I wasn't in class (grad school) and even in class I would daydream a lot. I still had a fair amount of shame about it then, but now I live alone and I don't feel like my daydreaming is a problem anymore even though I do it quite a lot still. Maybe between 70% and 90% of the time. There's an ebb and flow to it. I decided to see it as an opportunity and see what I can get from it. Turns out I can get a TON of good things from it, but I also have a very flexible and understanding workplace right now. That in a lot of ways makes it easier for me to see it as an opportunity that I can plumb and explore. And actually there were times living with people that made my daydreaming worse in a way I didn't love, or rather, it made it more necessary because my environment was too inhospitable. I wish there was more understanding and resources for people like us . . . 

Theaxe said:

I remember moving into my very first apartment...by myself. No roommates. Nobody. This was dangerous.

As a child and teen, I always felt so interrupted all the time. My parents constantly called out for me or burst into my room for such nonsense reasons all the time. I could have been in my bedroom for ten minutes reading a book, and my mom would just open the door to say, "What are you doing?" She seemed to have a warden-like mentality when it came to me. If my parents went out, or it was late at night when they both slept, I could freely daydream without fearing being caught moving around.

Moving into my own place was certainly blissful. But as I mentioned, dangerous. It basically was the start of the problem becoming worse. I knew daydreaming as much as I was was not normal, and not healthy, but at that point in my life - being alone - it allowed me to daydream without worrying about how long I'd be at it for.

With how problematic it can be, I think this could be a topic on its own actually. 

Amanda said:

I live alone now, and it's bliss.

I can't get away with daydreaming where I come from. I can't say if I show it or my disorder makes it look very evident. I hear of you people being able to conceal MD. Trouble is that I can't. I think people pick it up when I don't listen and watch. I happen to grab people's attention that I'm socially awkward. Whereas people who are social make it noticeable. So there is no way I'd be caught dead doing MD that much. I am a very quiet and introverted person, so it causes a big stir amongst people I'm with. That way, it attracts more attention, so whenever my eyes stare off...shut, flicker, whatever, it will get caught! Even when I look wide awake and aware of my environment, I might forget something, or it will slip, so another person will be like "Your somewhere else! or "Pay attention sweetie." It got so embarrassing that I had to stop. I realized I'm not those kind of people who can disguise MD. Even after I did quite MD, my family still retorts "another planet." 

I do have Asperger Syndrome, so does that mean MD just makes it double the trouble? I'm still haunted by all the problems I faced from when I was a child. I think people were seeing things, and I was off on the moon, so I found it hard to detect that someone was judging me, and passing it on. Kids will be kids. But I've seen adults do it too. It makes me wonder when life goes back to normal, will I get smacked in the face with these future events? 

Oh, you know I'm autistic. I think a lot of people with asperger's or autism are also avid daydreamers. For a while a lot of my friends would call me "space cadet" because they could tell I was always floating off or because I would miss a lot of a conversation. Some of them were being judgy, and I'm not friends with those people anymore. But some of them meant it in an affectionate way, but it's hard to tell the difference sometimes. My friends now, and I really only have two, but I'm making more now because I joined a little group of ADHD/Autistic people that meets once a week. It's only for 6 weeks, but I think I will be in touch with them for longer. I think they will become friends. I hope so! Anyway, I imagine it must be really painful and tiring to have to police yourself so much all the time. I've had to do that more in the past and it takes a lot of energy. We all deserve to be able to be our full and real self without fear of being shamed or criticized. If we hung out, I would mind at all if you spaced out or talked to people I couldn't see. <3

Jessica Ballantyne said:

I can't get away with daydreaming where I come from. I can't say if I show it or my disorder makes it look very evident. I hear of you people being able to conceal MD. Trouble is that I can't. I think people pick it up when I don't listen and watch. I happen to grab people's attention that I'm socially awkward. Whereas people who are social make it noticeable. So there is no way I'd be caught dead doing MD that much. I am a very quiet and introverted person, so it causes a big stir amongst people I'm with. That way, it attracts more attention, so whenever my eyes stare off...shut, flicker, whatever, it will get caught! Even when I look wide awake and aware of my environment, I might forget something, or it will slip, so another person will be like "Your somewhere else! or "Pay attention sweetie." It got so embarrassing that I had to stop. I realized I'm not those kind of people who can disguise MD. Even after I did quite MD, my family still retorts "another planet." 

I do have Asperger Syndrome, so does that mean MD just makes it double the trouble? I'm still haunted by all the problems I faced from when I was a child. I think people were seeing things, and I was off on the moon, so I found it hard to detect that someone was judging me, and passing it on. Kids will be kids. But I've seen adults do it too. It makes me wonder when life goes back to normal, will I get smacked in the face with these future events? 

I scarcely have friends, well I don't socialize and it's coronavirus, which smells. I do have a best friend since sophomore year, but we don't talk and hang out much. She's busy working and doing stuff. So I have to make new friends now. 

I'm not the dreamer I used to be. I'm nervous that I'm out of work and trying to convince dad I can support myself someday. It's a very long story. I can't believe we're still doing this in my 30's. What a joke. Of course, I never got together with a man, but it's harder for us autistics and aspy's. Sad fact in life. 

I'm still working towards finding my ideal job, and it's sort of working. I have a magazine publishing project coming up. For me, that's a chance of a lifetime. I've done so much mediocre crap before this. Sometimes it takes years of patience and experience to finally reach your goal. 

My dreams taught me to not give up on my ambitions. When you want things that much, they will eventually happen, it does take years of patience and fall on your face. I got humiliated and put to shame so many times. But it's all worth it in the end. 

I heard of celebrities who started out broke or homeless, working in jobs they don't like and look where they are now. 



Amanda said:

Oh, you know I'm autistic. I think a lot of people with asperger's or autism are also avid daydreamers. For a while a lot of my friends would call me "space cadet" because they could tell I was always floating off or because I would miss a lot of a conversation. Some of them were being judgy, and I'm not friends with those people anymore. But some of them meant it in an affectionate way, but it's hard to tell the difference sometimes. My friends now, and I really only have two, but I'm making more now because I joined a little group of ADHD/Autistic people that meets once a week. It's only for 6 weeks, but I think I will be in touch with them for longer. I think they will become friends. I hope so! Anyway, I imagine it must be really painful and tiring to have to police yourself so much all the time. I've had to do that more in the past and it takes a lot of energy. We all deserve to be able to be our full and real self without fear of being shamed or criticized. If we hung out, I would mind at all if you spaced out or talked to people I couldn't see. <3

Jessica Ballantyne said:

I can't get away with daydreaming where I come from. I can't say if I show it or my disorder makes it look very evident. I hear of you people being able to conceal MD. Trouble is that I can't. I think people pick it up when I don't listen and watch. I happen to grab people's attention that I'm socially awkward. Whereas people who are social make it noticeable. So there is no way I'd be caught dead doing MD that much. I am a very quiet and introverted person, so it causes a big stir amongst people I'm with. That way, it attracts more attention, so whenever my eyes stare off...shut, flicker, whatever, it will get caught! Even when I look wide awake and aware of my environment, I might forget something, or it will slip, so another person will be like "Your somewhere else! or "Pay attention sweetie." It got so embarrassing that I had to stop. I realized I'm not those kind of people who can disguise MD. Even after I did quite MD, my family still retorts "another planet." 

I do have Asperger Syndrome, so does that mean MD just makes it double the trouble? I'm still haunted by all the problems I faced from when I was a child. I think people were seeing things, and I was off on the moon, so I found it hard to detect that someone was judging me, and passing it on. Kids will be kids. But I've seen adults do it too. It makes me wonder when life goes back to normal, will I get smacked in the face with these future events? 

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