The thing about MaDD that is most troubling to me is the re-playing of events from my past with me coming out as the winner this time.

It is humiliating to even think that I have such low self-esteem that I need to go over past abuses and it is more bad news that I cannot stop this re-hashing of the past and it is terrible that I act out the part where I strangle or kick the s.o.b. 

Easy to say I have to let go of  the past. Easy to pass judgement on me and tell me I am beating myself up and that I should forgive but the addictive DD behavior continues and if I could stop doing it I would.

It is mortifying to get busted for talking out loud, swearing at someone who isn't there, making movements as if fighting someone. Any counselor can tell me to stop the behavior when I realize I am doing it and to be Mindful and I know they are right and I try to be present and aware of my surroundings. But it is a constant struggle to bring my mind out of my fantasy life into the unhappy real life where I have to live.

I am amazed at the number of people on this website and on the DayDream inBlue group who are day-dreamers. 

I wish that I could convince the marginal ones who could quit that they must stop this terrible habit if they can because it robs us of our life. 

Dr. Eli Somer makes the case that MaDD is co-morbid with other mental problems - i.e. people with this personality trait often have other mental issues. With me I so have much resentment against so many people and against pretty much the world in general that I live with violent thoughts and when people drive badly and do things that are disrespectful to me or to other people or hurt people unnecessarily it triggers me into going into imaginary revenge. 

I have had some small success with Mindfulness, focusing just on breathing. It is a good practice for anyone to do. And maybe I have avoided some episodes of MaDD by being in a space of doing nothing but breathing. Until they come up with a cure that is not worse than the disease or some training camps for us that are affordable and workable that is all I have to work with.

I hope I have not alienated people here by admitting all of this. And I am open to any advice that is practical - just not judgement.

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No judgment should ever be on the content of fantasies, ever. Actions can be judged (sometimes), but not what is in our mind. It's the same about gaming, one cannot judge who likes violent videogames, because it does't neccessary make you a bad person. 

I'm very touched by your words. I understand you've been abused badly. I don't think anything easy can be done to sooth such a pain, for sure it's not like "just let it go". 

But if you are stuck in a circle, daydreaming revenge and feeling sorry to do so, you could try something practical, some real action. You have to find out what helps.

The sense of justice that drives you may be a force to bring you out of your pain. Have you evere thought about actually volonteering in helping others? There are many organizations that need help. Your energy can become positive and healing.

You’re not on your own, I experience this too.

As a child & teen I was abused by my parents every which way. I'm 66 now. I've experienced violent rages most of my life. Mainly against innocent people, just people who happened 2 trigger me. 2 years ago I realized I needed help. Or else I was going to do something that would land me in jail/prison. I'd been diagnosed as bi-polar 15 years before & prescribed meds. But they were the wrong meds. Yes they curbed my rages but caused me 2 sleep 12-18 hours a day. Fortunately my Disability kicked in, so I didn't have to work a 9-5. & had a steady income. But, all of a sudden 2 years ago my rage returned. At a targeted person I felt deserved 2 be removed from this earth. Fortunately my brain told me physical revenge was NOT in my best interest & I sought professional help. I found a local walkin mental clinic, free 2 me & able 2 help me immediately. My psychiatrist re-diagnosed me. Not as bi-polar but as PTSD. & prescribed new medication. I was also offered counseling which I accepted. All services were in person until Covid. Now my sessions are by phone or Zoom. I'm grateful 2 finally be correctly diagnosed, medicated properly and receive therapy from counselors who have also experienced rough lives. I was lucky 2 connect with these mental health services before Covid. I live in a safe home, which helps alot.  & I'm learning 2 assess situations & control my emotions, which leads 2 a more relaxed ME & higher self-esteem.

Thank you for sharing, Jenn,

I am surprised to learn than someone else is going through what I have.

At the same time I am sorry you suffered through this. You got mis-diagnosed, as I did, but it seems like you are in a safe place now. I have a ways to go.

The only source I have for help for my mental and physical conditions has been the VA and they have done a lot of harm to me along with the good. 

Funny when I think that - when I was your age - 7 years ago, living in Thailand, life was so much simpler and more enjoyable. And then a couple years ago it seemed the Rage became so much stronger a factor in my life, and in my MaDD. And I got shocked with the realization I am old. 

Now I am in another new location, with another VA hospital and maybe this time they will take the time to look at me and do the best they can for me.

It is hard to accept that as I stay more in the present, less in fantasy, I get to experience anxiety and confusion, delays, disrespect, people in all their weirdness; the things that people normally learned to deal with in childhood. But I had no right to think that it would be a rose garden here in the real world.

To think that is just a dream. 

I wish you luck and I hope we can keep in touch.

Jenn Taylor said:

As a child & teen I was abused by my parents every which way. I'm 66 now. I've experienced violent rages most of my life. Mainly against innocent people, just people who happened 2 trigger me. 2 years ago I realized I needed help. Or else I was going to do something that would land me in jail/prison. I'd been diagnosed as bi-polar 15 years before & prescribed meds. But they were the wrong meds. Yes they curbed my rages but caused me 2 sleep 12-18 hours a day. Fortunately my Disability kicked in, so I didn't have to work a 9-5. & had a steady income. But, all of a sudden 2 years ago my rage returned. At a targeted person I felt deserved 2 be removed from this earth. Fortunately my brain told me physical revenge was NOT in my best interest & I sought professional help. I found a local walkin mental clinic, free 2 me & able 2 help me immediately. My psychiatrist re-diagnosed me. Not as bi-polar but as PTSD. & prescribed new medication. I was also offered counseling which I accepted. All services were in person until Covid. Now my sessions are by phone or Zoom. I'm grateful 2 finally be correctly diagnosed, medicated properly and receive therapy from counselors who have also experienced rough lives. I was lucky 2 connect with these mental health services before Covid. I live in a safe home, which helps alot.  & I'm learning 2 assess situations & control my emotions, which leads 2 a more relaxed ME & higher self-esteem.

It seems as if this is your way of coping or taking control of something you had loss of control over.

In my past, my father and brother were the first people to make me go hide into my maladaptive daydreaming. Today, as an adult, they never appear in one single daydream. I have removed them from my life and only allow people I truly want to see in my daydreams instead. I have control over that. I didn't have control of it growing up.

Sometimes people tend to do the opposite of something to control what they once couldn't. For example, if a man never wanted his wife to cut her hair throughout their marriage, but then they split up - she may cut her hair to free herself of that control. 

We use our daydreams as a form of coping and soothing during the times we struggle with our lack of control in real life.

I really don't think you're alone on this one. Many people daydream unpleasant things to find resolution within something they can control. If you come to realize it, perhaps that is the first step in managing your feelings about moving forward. Good luck! :)

Daniel,

You're definitely not alone in this. I am plagued by daydreams in which I am either a perpetrator or a victim of violent abuse. Revenge fantasies are some of my most intrusive as well. They disturb me greatly, and I wonder if I am a bad person, but I've learned that a lot of MDers have similar fantasies and that they're our way of processing trauma and gaining a sense of control over our experiences.  

Melanie,

Thank you sharing this. It is almost impossible for me to believe there are other people who go through this "revenge fantasies" thing.

But as a way of processing trauma I cannot accept that. I do not feel that this has helped me to process the past. It is more like regurgitating and re-eating something that is sickening. It is certainly bad for my health in some ways: it gets my heart racing and blood pressure way up; upsets my stomach sometimes; it leads me (rarely) to hurt myself by slamming my fist at something or throwing something and breaking it; if I get busted - if someone hears me talking, swearing or acting out the motions of fighting someone or sees it on my face - then I am mortified. Then I wish I was dead.

I would much rather - if I could - stop this behavior completely and focus on the present and let go and accept the hurt and injustice. 

That would allow me to look forward possibly to better things happening and possibly to have more control over what happens in my real life.

I believe it would be better to live with the anxieties of everyday disappointments and go on than to escape into MaDD, sort of like addicts go to their drugs and alcohol. 

I have read in some of my psychological books that some people cut themselves and I think my revenge fantasies are little better than that for helping to escape from a bad situation and the memories of bad events and afterwards you have to deal with the results.

I think to just live with the experience, even though it is so depressing, would be better. 

Daniel,

You're absolutely right. I should have clarified: MD is a very ineffective way to deal with trauma or any other circumstances in life. I certainly believed at one point that MD was helping me process and cope with negative situations, but ultimately MD made my circumstances and quality of life much worse. I agree, it would have been much healthier to live with our experiences, feel our feelings, and accept the disappointments of reality we cannot change. I know I'd be a more well-adjusted adult if I had. 

As for the physical sensations your MD causes, I understand what you're going through. My daydreams often raise my blood pressure, fill me with tension, upset my stomach, send me into rages, and sometimes give me full blown panic attacks. It would be so much better if we could stop this behavior. 

I can relate. Sometimes I also imagine myself punching one of the bullies I met in high school, or a really stupid and mean coworker. Normally my daydreams are not like that, but it happens from time to time. I also recreate past conversations when I didn't say what I wanted to say. All I can hope is that someday I find the words right there in the right moment when I need to say them.

I wish you the best! It isn't always easy to cope with the past, but I'm sure you will find your way :)

Yes, I agree that finding the right words to say at the right time is the right way to go. 

And now, as adults, it seems the best we can do is to be calm under stress and maybe allow the right response to come, make a mature decision to hit back at the offender or decide then in the moment to drop it because it really was not worth it - but not chicken out - and then respond properly. And then accept the consequences of our action or non-action. And not add it to the load of resentments that we are carrying.

Sort of like learning to walk when we are adults. 

I wish you luck to. I hope we can give each other support.
Blanca Margatroid said:

I can relate. Sometimes I also imagine myself punching one of the bullies I met in high school, or a really stupid and mean coworker. Normally my daydreams are not like that, but it happens from time to time. I also recreate past conversations when I didn't say what I wanted to say. All I can hope is that someday I find the words right there in the right moment when I need to say them.

I wish you the best! It isn't always easy to cope with the past, but I'm sure you will find your way :)

I'm in therapy 4 PTSD, Dialectic Behavior Therapy, dealing with anger and my violent tendencies. I'm learning (in person b4 Covid, by Zoom now) that not all personal encounters r abusive. I'm learning 2 assess whether an encounter is physically/emotionally/mentally dangerous or not, finding that most are not immediately dangerous.  The more non-threatening people I encounter, the more progress I make. My weekly therapist teaches me normal-people reactions 2 my situations. The more my conflicts, the more I'm learning 2 respond calmly, 2 take the time 2 gather facts & respond reasonably. People still scare me, family and strangers, but I'm learning 2 stand tall and appear unafraid.

This evening,as I was doing some business stuff online I fell into the "revenge fantasies" - as Melanie termed it - behavior when I thought ahead to talking to a bank officer. There I am, typing away an email to a businessperson about making a business deal. It is as simple as can be: I am a Vietnam veteran, old, single, with a disability income from the VA and I want to buy a house. So, the realtors have been bothering me with phone calls and text messages and they want to manipulate me and make me dance to their tunes. They want to degrade me because I don't know finances and they believe the measure of a human being's worth is in her credit score.  And I believe people who think that way have sold their souls to the devil. 

My Uncle Sam does VA loans to people like me. I know that I do not have many years left to live and that it does not matter that I will die before I can re-pay the loan - because the bank or the government will take back the property anyway when I check out.  And the mortgage payments will be less than what is costs to rent a place in the meantime.

But I will have to go through talking to bank officers and I foresee them humiliating me - talking down to me like I am retarded, degrading me for not knowing this stuff, asking stupid, impertinent, personal questions ... and I respond by saying "That is none of your d**n business..... I am not going to answer that.... the U.S. government is guaranteeing this so what is your problem??...." Then I am acting out yelling at the antagonist, pointing my finger at him, though I know it is rude and offensive. And he has to try to dominate me and I won't back down and I threaten to kick his a**,  people in the bank are shocked and are thinking of calling the police....

Then I calm down and worry that someone in my friend's house has heard me. My friend has busted me before; driving her car; she has asked me why I am shaking my head or what I am mumbling about. She knows about my MaDD and she accepts that it is just the way I am and this sh*t is not pathological.

It is disappointing that after a couple days of being relatively present and coming back to reality regularly by focusing on breathing, I fell into this violent fantasizing - triggered by something good that I was looking forward to. It is like I have been screwed so much in the past, humiliated all my life and deep down I believe they are going to find some excuse to cheat me out of this thing too. 

I am trying to follow my Buddhist practices to be detached and let go of ego and not project negative thinking. I did not do very well this time. 

 

Jenn Taylor said:

I'm in therapy 4 PTSD, Dialectic Behavior Therapy, dealing with anger and my violent tendencies. I'm learning (in person b4 Covid, by Zoom now) that not all personal encounters r abusive. I'm learning 2 assess whether an encounter is physically/emotionally/mentally dangerous or not, finding that most are not immediately dangerous.  The more non-threatening people I encounter, the more progress I make. My weekly therapist teaches me normal-people reactions 2 my situations. The more my conflicts, the more I'm learning 2 respond calmly, 2 take the time 2 gather facts & respond reasonably. People still scare me, family and strangers, but I'm learning 2 stand tall and appear unafraid.

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