Hello everyone

I simply cannot believe that I have stumbled on this term which I find unbelievably liberating.

I am a British artist and retired graphic designer of 74. Since I was four years old I have invented secret, fictional characters in huge quantities and spent hours each day fine tuning and developing these 'people'. They have evolved to create an enormous soap opera or saga of which I have chronologically several versions of, but always with the same plus new characters. Often I returned to a different decade and remember with clarity what stage I was actually 'at' with my saga. For example in the 1960's it was the fictional university crowd. Consequently, my long term memory is exceptional due to being able to remember these periods of fantasy and how it related to my real experiences.

I was an unwanted baby and the wrong gender according to my mother. My elder sister was the favourite throughout the extended family and I always felt an outsider. This still applies.

I came from a comfortable, upper middle class, professional background and materially my needs were well met. Nevertheless, I always felt a huge emotional void, a sense of desolation and loss.

My parents thought I was rather slow and maybe deaf, and I stared into space.

Reality felt meaningless which was compensated by my extremely gratifying inner world, where I could tap into my innate skills like numeracy, music and the visual arts.

The trauma of first attending primary school was one of the triggers and I had a minor breakdown, ages five. At eight I was send away to boarding school and still dream about having to return after a family outing 60 years on, a symptom of the profound, negative effect it had on my development.

After a year at school my daydreaming became pathological. My ideal female emerged at this time out of a word obsession, and I created a huge world of people for her to function in. Throughout my life this ideal female has mostly remained the most central, significant person.  

At boarding school 26 fictional girls had emerged and over time, some of my real class of 1963 were superimposed on these characters. So I had two parallel worlds, which took it in turns to dominate. 

My fantasies are like watching a film, with I the creator but not in it as myself. Until I was 16 all my characters were female with men insidiously creeping in later.

Some of my school work was compromised as a consequence. I often wondered how I sustained this double existence, as my relationships with peers was not too remote or disconnected.

My most important characters were alter-egos and  versions of myself, parents and friends.

The content became progressively detailed, their families, appearance, age with birth dates,height, interests and most of all the intense relationships with each other, many of which was bisexual.

I also indulged in mantras of their private, special names. At night especially, I spent hours daydreaming and it was frequently after 2 a.m. before sleeping.

Much of my sexuality has been displaced into my fantasy life and my real sexual relationships were inadequate. I am married, but the physical side has never been good. I never had children and feel this was a chicken and egg situation. My career as a graphic designer was hampered by my low self esteem. However I know I am very talented in a range of visual arts and have diplomas and a degrees in these disciplines.I still produce my artwork. When real lie was stimulating and enriching, my daydreaming became sidelined, sometimes for months or years on end. However it never disappeared and soon returned after a personal trauma to unravel and work through the painful processes.

What I could write goes way beyond the scope of this blog. But I sum up with this statement I wrote for a self published photo book.

There is still an non-integrated, split off part of me, which is unresolved and conflicting. If I divulged its content, its magic would dissipate, its excitement vanish.

It comprises an elaborate inner world of over 200 characters, some alter egos created in early childhood. Owing to its intense gratification, I have never been able to let it go.

For reasons I fail to comprehend, but born out of fear and shame, this alternate world has to remain deep within the twilight niches of my psyche and few know of its existence. I am aware that its sexual connotations relate to an overriding feeling of an internal bete noire. Its existence is the backbone of my functioning daily life, a trade-off for past psychological pain. 

Its presence allows me to fully escape from reality to fantasy at the push-button switch of a radio station. Within it, creativity is given free reign. But I do not see it as a prison sentence as it is mostly more under control nowadays, and I get by practicing my art and have developed reasonable friendship. But I have never been truly happy or reached full potential as a rounded personality.

Have I been leading life as a lie?

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Welcome, Sally Amanda.

It is nice to hear from people of a more mature age living with MD. The majority of people who come in the communities are very young as, I think, there is an age when you start worrying: you are 21,23, 25... your life should have started already but something is off. And you keep dreaming about another life. And these people often start to feel the danger of compulsive daydreaming when they can't keep up with University steps.

But MD has been all around all the time. Speaking with people I have found many, in online communities and in real life, with MD. And there are descriptions of it in literature. 

So... no, you are not alone. 

No, your life wasn't a lie.

It was your life and it is only you that can decide its hidden meaning.

There is one. You are a rounded personality in yourself, as anyone is complete.

Anyone is complete, male or female or other, whatever social class we come from, whatever country, we are part of the universe, we decide for ourselves, but we are hungry for love and acceptance. That scar hurts forever. The balance we create in our life should not be judged.

I would love to see your artwork, I'm passionate about arts and we have art groups in here which need to be reviveded!

Hello Valaria

Regretfully somehow my long reply has got deleted. I am finding this site rather complex to negotiate and do not know what is the true difference between Blog, Forum, Chat and responding under a Group heading.

Many thanks for your reply. There will always be stigma attached to seniors but I am the same person with similar fantasies to those I had 50 years ago. My profile shot is recent. I feel, look and act much as always, only the chronological age has changed. But people feel they cannot relate, as the image of someone in advancing years is steriotyped.

I am sending you a few examples of my work. I have been drawing, painting and sculpting on and off for over 40 years and have produced hundreds of images. I find art a distraction from fantasizing in addition to a way of sublimating it, making it more acceptable with tantalizing snippets within my work. People can make their own interpretations, usually incorrect.

I find art is a way of telling the world who I am without the difficulty and pain of expressing it verbally. Often the viewers ask why I painted this or that image? As they are multilayered, just as I am, I am comfortable giving one version of the answer, though it may not be the complete truth.

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Hello, Sally Amanda.
I loved your comment !!! I have only 4 months of contact with this new community that can give the name to weighs that I have for years (today I am 28) !!! Nice to see that all of us human beings are looking for answers !!! Success and light for you !!!
I really enjoyed seeing your art !!!

What triggered my MDD was being unable to fit into social crowds. I was always the oddball out. I had an amazing expressive gift and a flourishing imagination, but I always found myself in trouble when somebody easily found out I was someplace else and not observing my real awakening environment. They often carried on brashly, and took me as deaf and stupid. The boys tended to shout and blare at me so hoarsely and loudly, and the girls reacted on me as if I were making a baneful mistake. *Pardon my language. I live in the western continent.* We Canadians overreact on even the smallest matters in life. So we're not exactly modest. But I felt as if I didn't belong in any form of crowd, and was so jealous of others who could easily make circles of friends, maintain relationships and date people. I wasn't much of a social butterfly, rather very silent and introvert (as boring as you can get). I'd find myself surrounded by people who were super outgoing, chatty, boisterous, exuberant and hyper interactive. Meanwhile, I just sat there like a log, barely uttering a word, and secretly living an alternative life in an imaginary place. My daydreams would start to get funny, so I'd start laughing my head off at inappropriate moments in front of my classmates and teachers. My grades suffered to a degree, because I payed more attention to my daydreams, instead of the subjects being taught in class. My daydreams weren't so much intricate and full of vivid detail, like a comic book. Rather, they were distorted and insipid story plots based on TV and movie characters who I had crushes on and they didn't make any sense. They were mainly all about friends and relationships that I didn't have in real life. 

When it came down to getting ready for college, I wasn't mentally ready to make the next big step. I preferred to take an extra year of secondary school, before deciding on a university. But no, my dad wanted me to get into something immediately, and wisely select a career that will make a lot of money. Trouble is at 18, I wasn't ready to grow up. I went to an art & design college, but took my daydream world with me into life—for every folk and passerby to see that I was in happy land. Some of my colleagues were noticing signs of laughter and wondered what was so funny. Unfortunately, being in a state of MDD, I had problems thinking clearly about what career to agree on. So after taking two years of fine art and crafts, I decided to jump into graphic design, without making sure I was going to be successful by trying a few courses. After taking up the program, and getting my degree, my dad asked me about starting a business, in which I choked and preferred to work for an organization or agency. I really should've instantly returned to college to get a second career opinion just in case, but I just wanted to work for a while. Sadly, I wasn't successful in the graphic design industry, had several contracts that didn't survive, and kept hitting the job boards over and over. Ten years have past, and I'm still struggling financially, having no idea where to go next. 

If I hadn't been doing MDD, I probably would've had a much better life today. I might've had experienced a few relationships and seen interesting new places. Unfortunately, my mom got a hold of my feather brained ways and she was like a big stone in my path. She convinced herself that I can't perceive in the world six feet away from me and will get fired in any job, due to my daydreams, and that I struggle in relationships, as people feel that I'm not with them, mentally and emotionally. I was so scared when she told me all this. Now being 34, I still live with her today, underemployed and knocking on wood that I will get a second chance, even after 20 years of MDD. Hopefully, I will begin a relationship with someone who can understand this is the way I am. 

Hello Sally Amanda,

 I am also over 70 and also am a lifetime daydreamer. Your post is so interesting to me and I like your artwork.  Very atmospheric.

 I also was married with an unsatisfactory sexual life, also did not have children.  Probably just as well, I suspect.

So much of what you say finds echos in my life.

‘Covid restrictions has caused my daydreaming to be stronger as I have so little in person interaction now. During my life it has ebbed and flowed depending on the flow of my real life. 

Daydreams started very young, probably around ages 5 or 6. The dreams evolved along with my life experiences.



Jessica Ballantyne said:

What triggered my MDD was being unable to fit into social crowds. I was always the oddball out. I had an amazing expressive gift and a flourishing imagination, but I always found myself in trouble when somebody easily found out I was someplace else and not observing my real awakening environment. They often carried on brashly, and took me as deaf and stupid. The boys tended to shout and blare at me so hoarsely and loudly, and the girls reacted on me as if I were making a baneful mistake. *Pardon my language. I live in the western continent.* We Canadians overreact on even the smallest matters in life. So we're not exactly modest. But I felt as if I didn't belong in any form of crowd, and was so jealous of others who could easily make circles of friends, maintain relationships and date people. I wasn't much of a social butterfly, rather very silent and introvert (as boring as you can get). I'd find myself surrounded by people who were super outgoing, chatty, boisterous, exuberant and hyper interactive. Meanwhile, I just sat there like a log, barely uttering a word, and secretly living an alternative life in an imaginary place. My daydreams would start to get funny, so I'd start laughing my head off at inappropriate moments in front of my classmates and teachers. My grades suffered to a degree, because I payed more attention to my daydreams, instead of the subjects being taught in class. My daydreams weren't so much intricate and full of vivid detail, like a comic book. Rather, they were distorted and insipid story plots based on TV and movie characters who I had crushes on and they didn't make any sense. They were mainly all about friends and relationships that I didn't have in real life. 

When it came down to getting ready for college, I wasn't mentally ready to make the next big step. I preferred to take an extra year of secondary school, before deciding on a university. But no, my dad wanted me to get into something immediately, and wisely select a career that will make a lot of money. Trouble is at 18, I wasn't ready to grow up. I went to an art & design college, but took my daydream world with me into life—for every folk and passerby to see that I was in happy land. Some of my colleagues were noticing signs of laughter and wondered what was so funny. Unfortunately, being in a state of MDD, I had problems thinking clearly about what career to agree on. So after taking two years of fine art and crafts, I decided to jump into graphic design, without making sure I was going to be successful by trying a few courses. After taking up the program, and getting my degree, my dad asked me about starting a business, in which I choked and preferred to work for an organization or agency. I really should've instantly returned to college to get a second career opinion just in case, but I just wanted to work for a while. Sadly, I wasn't successful in the graphic design industry, had several contracts that didn't survive, and kept hitting the job boards over and over. Ten years have past, and I'm still struggling financially, having no idea where to go next. 

If I hadn't been doing MDD, I probably would've had a much better life today. I might've had experienced a few relationships and seen interesting new places. Unfortunately, my mom got a hold of my feather brained ways and she was like a big stone in my path. She convinced herself that I can't perceive in the world six feet away from me and will get fired in any job, due to my daydreams, and that I struggle in relationships, as people feel that I'm not with them, mentally and emotionally. I was so scared when she told me all this. Now being 34, I still live with her today, underemployed and knocking on wood that I will get a second chance, even after 20 years of MDD. Hopefully, I will begin a relationship with someone who can understand this is the way I am. 



Martha M said:

Hello Sally Amanda,

 I am also over 70 and also am a lifetime daydreamer. Your post is so interesting to me and I like your artwork.  Very atmospheric.

 I also was married with an unsatisfactory sexual life, also did not have children.  Probably just as well, I suspect.

So much of what you say finds echos in my life.

‘Covid restrictions has caused my daydreaming to be stronger as I have so little in person interaction now. During my life it has ebbed and flowed depending on the flow of my real life. 

Daydreams started very young, probably around ages 5 or 6. The dreams evolved along with my life experiences.

I love your artworks! Multilayered is interesting. When you watch them, you can't focus only on one single thing, you must switch off your rational brain and open your feelings. Art can speak directly through the unconscious mind.

Sally Amanda Bodecott said:

Hello Valaria

Regretfully somehow my long reply has got deleted. I am finding this site rather complex to negotiate and do not know what is the true difference between Blog, Forum, Chat and responding under a Group heading.

Many thanks for your reply. There will always be stigma attached to seniors but I am the same person with similar fantasies to those I had 50 years ago. My profile shot is recent. I feel, look and act much as always, only the chronological age has changed. But people feel they cannot relate, as the image of someone in advancing years is steriotyped.

I am sending you a few examples of my work. I have been drawing, painting and sculpting on and off for over 40 years and have produced hundreds of images. I find art a distraction from fantasizing in addition to a way of sublimating it, making it more acceptable with tantalizing snippets within my work. People can make their own interpretations, usually incorrect.

I find art is a way of telling the world who I am without the difficulty and pain of expressing it verbally. Often the viewers ask why I painted this or that image? As they are multilayered, just as I am, I am comfortable giving one version of the answer, though it may not be the complete truth.

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