Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Where to begin?....my life as a whole has been more like a washing machine of emotion with everything continuously tumbling round and round seemingly without end. One emotion rolls immediately into the next. One minute I'm happy, the next I am sad, then I am lonely, then I love nothing more than being alone.
Admittedly, I don't remember much about my childhood, only that it was warm and safe. Everything was new, places and experiences were exciting. I can roughly remember the smell of play school, the paints, the modelling clay. I can also remember a little bit of my first school. One of the things that still makes me smile is how popular I was with girls, I had a group of about 7 all to myself lol of course I was way too young for all of that stuff at the time. Yet at the same time however, I probably had a far stronger friendship with all of them than could be expected of someone my age. I was happy and carefree; I maintain that naivety is such a precious gift when you are young.
So what went wrong for me? There is no doubt about it that carefree, confident, happy character I once was is all but a shadow now, oh I doubt that I can get close to that place again...but I don't think it will ever be quiet the same as my view on the world and people now is marred hugely. The day it all went wrong for me was when I come back from an introductory day to my secondary school. I was nervous and excited and eager to get home and tell my mum and dad how I had got on. Except when I came home, mum and dad weren't happy. Mum was sat at the top of the stairs with her head in her hands, crying uncontrollably. Dad tried his best to comfort her, they wouldn't tell me for a good 3 hours at least what was going on. They finally opened up and told me that my grandmother had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it was terminal.
Something inside my 11 year old mind, failed to register it for a long time. I was so close to my nan. Whenever there was a risk of me losing confidence, be it the typical playground pecking order, or not doing so well in class, my nan was there. My mum used to take me round there and I would sit on her lap and tell her what was going on and she would reassure me and make me feel safe. Make it ok to be me, reassure me that not every one in this world succeeds all of the time and that I was amazing just for being myself and being the best that I could be. She was my rock and my source of strength, she was meant to last forever. She was too good of a person to suffer such a terrible illness and it couldn't be cured...WHY!?
All these thoughts exactly, were going round and round in my head. The innocent side of me thought that my nan was going to be ok, that she would last forever. However, the side of me that was starting to mature knew that when people died, they didn't wake up ever again. This inner conflict caused me distress on a level I couldn't handle. I started secondary school shortly after my nan died and I was already a world apart from that young care free person just a year or so ago. I didn't want to be at school, the pain was too sharp, too distracting, so I withdrew into myself. It wasn't long before I lost my friends, they all found other people to be around and disowned me in a sense. My status within my group of childhood friends eventually became that of a plus one, an option that they could take or leave until I rarely saw them even though I tried.Eventually, I gave up because trying just resulted in them rejecting me and tearing into me or not defending me any more, like they used to in school.
There was this one guy that took an instant disliking to me, I had to be paired with him and a lifelong friend. I suggested a question to a questionnaire and he replied with something along the lines of "how about we have the question you are a ******* ****** instead and everyone will tick I agree", I was shocked more than anything else. Looking to my closest friend who I'd known since play school for support, I was met with laughter in agreement, I felt hugely betrayed. This was just one of many occasions where they didn't bother any more. I was left open to everyone, vulnerable and they knew it.
It's like they could sense the pain that was bleeding out of me, I was still grieving so much even though I tried to hide it and make an effort. It didn't stop them though from swarming around me like sharks. One person decided to get daring and try and hit me most where it hurt. He told me it was my fault, that I made my nan die, I just felt numb with shock to even react, I wasn't even a year into secondary school and I was already laying down and taking it. I was often laughed out of class in tears, anything they could use they would, the fact I had an eating disorder and was very thin, my shoes my mum bought, anything and everything. A couple of the teachers even had a go. One laughed at me for not understanding a question and got everyone to laugh at me, I felt so insignificant and even now I'm scared of asking questions in class in case the same thing happens. Another one laughed at me a couple of years later because by this point I was trembling just going up in front of the class, speeches were hell. One of the students saw me naked when I was getting changed and told everyone about it. It was a torrent of suffering, each day in school offered something new they would try. They often used sexual jokes as a form of bullying which could explain why I myself flirt a lot, possibly as a defensive mechanism?Avoiding it all didn't seem to work either because being out of school with a virus led to one person gleefully telling everyone that I had 3 months left to live.
How did I get by? I honestly do not know. Very much the same way I've been getting by now. I made it up as I went along, threw myself into education because that all I had left that one shred of escape. It was either that or suicide, thankfully I chose that. I left with fantastic grades which is a huge consolation. I decided to go onto sixth form, which sounds so crazy but I was too traumatised to go anywhere else, better the devil you know right?
I left with a mixture of grades and not so good grades. It was this point now where it was evident I wasn't coping in the wider world so good. I may not have seen the people since but the damage they left was evident. I began to rely on a combination of things as release for my internal conflict. I started to rely on a fantasy world where people respected me where I meant something to someone, even if they weren't real. I also developed a sexual addiction which I'm struggling to overcome, because It's the only time when I feel worth something, when I can have a shred of gratification and really feel good in myself. However, It has its downsides as I appear needy and drive people away by being too flirtatious but its a defence mechanism or a by product of what's happened I swear by it. Deep down as well I just want to be loved, to have that deeper desire fulfilled. I also began to rely on alcohol too which dragged me down further. With a mixture of mood swings, strong panic attacks, strong sexual addiction and compulsive daydreaming I was convinced I'd lost it. I went to a psychiatrist convinced I had bipolar and kept telling them I wanted to die. Strangely though aside from prescribing me some anti anxieties and diagnosing me with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, nothing else was done. Eventually I wasn't seeing them no more and was taken off the meds after a short space of time.
I had to go on welfare just to cope because I was too much of a wreck for employment. This led to me falling out with some members of my family who had jobs and just didn't understand, I was also dragged through court to argue my case which was so scary. I just wanted to lay down and die, I'd seen enough.
Then everything changed....
My daydreams increased hugely, I felt safe and inspired by the strength I was getting from them. I soon realised I was turning it in on myself so through whatever means, I guess one day I just snapped. I took up karate which was so scary at first but such good fun, I took up driving and am soon to be going for my theory test. It scary as hell but im getting there. The proudest moment of my life however, was when I went skydiving. Suddenly I have started living for myself. I went back to college on an access course and am on target to go to university to study clinical psychology in September. It is my hope to help improve understanding, acceptance and support of mental health so that people can hopefully not go through half the stuff I did and if they do, offer them some support to counter the destructive thoughts and behaviours.
I get on with people so much better in college now but sadly some shreds of my past still remain. They are more acquaintances than friends because I am still very socially awkward. I still have panic attacks but day dream loads though, which in 'insanity', actually keeps me 'sane'. Also, thankfully I don't drink as heavily any more. I still suffer with hypersexuality but I guess its going to take a while to conquer and build meaningful relationships when I'm so addicted to toxic ones.
but you know what they say, one step at a time....
Wow I am glad some of you have drawn inspiration from this and that it has started a discussion :) From my perspective it has certainly helped me get to where I am today. MD has given my mind depth and creativity most determinately. I can think outside the box and be imaginative in a practical way which will certainly benefit me in psychology. I think It can be a gift if its harnessed most definitely :)
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read it and comment on it, I am so grateful. x
to The1andonlyAbber: How is it an advantage? Can i use it to help me find a career. I am a college student who has no idea what i want to do because my MD has confused me on what I am able to do and not the MD me.
mt life is kinda like yours but I was bullied for 7 years or so when I was in elementary until it stopped but it left me scared and fragile..So I created my own world. I though it was ok to do so but I was wrong.
i like this a lot. i'm glad you were able to trade your bad habits for a not-so-bad one.
what a fantastic story! Bravo Aaron. More power to you.
I think that fact that you visualizing a better version of yourself helped you through that rough phase is very encouraging. You know that saying 'if you dream it you can do it'? It should now be 'if you can daydream it, you can do it'.
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