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I cried so hard when I found out this disease had a name as I thought I was the only one who did this. For a very long time I've been daydreaming. For about 5 years now I've aided it with pacing to music. I'm emotionally attached to it and the people inside my world. I laugh and I cry because of what I make in my mind. I'd rather be at home pacing than out with other people. I have no motivation. I've tried to get rid of this but it gets worse. How are you meant to fight your imagination? How are you meant to stop it? I know my triggers but I can't stop. I realise now that it has less to do with what is happening in my life now and more to do with addiction. When I tried to force myself to stop, I got headaches, felt anxious and threw up. Regardless of what I try to do to stop it during the day it still comes to me at night while I'm trying to sleep. I can't tell people because of the shame in it. Who wants to tell someone that they walk around their room with music playing pretending they're in a different world? I disgust myself.

It started as a defence mechanism. Something I'd do when things were hard. I was a lonely child, my parents weren't into the idea of me socialising with friends. I spent my childhood at home playing with statues pretending they were real. I pretended my toys were all alive and that I was there 'mother'. I was abused by my parents who favoured my little brother more than me. I'd go to school and was bullied and pushed around by my whole year level. One day they broke my arm. In second grade (when I was seven) I wrote a letter about how I didn't want to be alive anymore. I didn't know what the world 'suicide' meant yet I was suicidal.  As for the names, I heard them all. Half of the school joined in on doing this little hand ritual and saying 'germ lock'. Whilst this has been seen in other schools, it was used in mine to prevent from getting 'Valentina germs'. A single touch of me or anything I owned would give you these awful germs and they were worse than cooties.  They say 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me' to us as 'emotional support' from bullying. I can promise you that, having had a broken arm as a result from bullying, nothing hurts like those words. See my arm is healed and functional. My heart is not. I've lost all my confidence and have became a self conscious wreck. My heart aches and tears come to my eyes every single time I'm reminded of those names. I look at a mirror and fail to see anything but ugly.

In high school the bullying went on but I learnt to bottle it up and daydream instead. As for my home life the violence was still ever present. I eventually learnt to bottle up the times I was choked or punch or stomped on. I bonded better with my mum but my dad was still patronising as ever. One day I found out he was cheating on my mum with a mother of one of my friends. Knowing I knew and she didn't destroyed me. When it came out, my home life was even worse. I won't go into how awful it was but I will say that it got bottled up too. I dealt with the pain through drinking, self harm and daydreaming. One day, that bottle in my head broke. I realised I went from being a top student to a D grade student because of the daydreaming instead of studying. Those painful memories I had been trying to suppress approached me like water from a tap and drowned me. I tried to kill myself. I cried when I found out that this problem is a disease because I feel like I'm not the only one.  I look forward to the day where I can be officially diagnosed like I was depression. A day where I can meet a psychologist who know the treatment for this illness. A day where I can come out to my family and friends as someone suffering from Maladaptive Daydreaming without shame.

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Comment by ShellyBelly on September 25, 2013 at 7:54am

Hello Valentine.

It seems we have a lot in common. I too was bullied mercilessly as a child and as an adult.I have never been able to cope or to heal from it. It's like I'm crippled so I know your pain. I also am a pacer and my iPod is my worst enemy. I don't want to have this anymore and I to wish to see it officially recognized as a disorder.

I was also very moved by your description of how your parents didn't let you go to parties and things. My mom was the same way and I made up for all I wasn't allowed to do in my head. I also struggle with shame and it's very severe. I can't tell and will never tell anyone but a psychiatrist.

Thank you for sharing your story and if you ever need a word of comfort or help, feel free to message me. Welcome and good luck.

Comment by valentinah on September 24, 2013 at 4:53am

I don't like talking about it with people, I don't like feeling weak infront of others.

I always figured if I told someone about my family problems they would have my parents taken away.

I always figured that one day I'd get over it.

It is great to know we're not alone.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Comment by Iris on September 24, 2013 at 4:47am

Welcome, Valentinah!

It is so sad to see what you had to go through. Unconsciously you protected your soul by daydreaming. What else could you have done as a child? You had no power, no knowledge what to do, no friends to support you. Have you taken psychological support to get over the bullying and your problems with your family? Like you I can't force my daydreaming to stop. But I had several months without daydreaming when I worked out my family-problems and my childhood. I tried to feel again what had hurt me or tried to feel what I had surpressed. Like you I had a very lonely childhood. For almost 40 years, until I found this website, I thought I am the only person on the planet with a not-existing world in my head.

It is good to know that we are not alone. 

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