Validation, Emotional Attachment, and Daydreams

I didn't receive the type of validation and attention that children should receive. I don't think many of us did.  It caused me in my teens and early 20s to struggle for an acceptance and validation that cannot be found outside of one's parents. I think it's an issue many people struggle with, whether or not they have daydreams. 

What makes it interesting enough for me to post about it though is how these issues are affecting my daydreams. My assistant manager at my job is, in short, the greatest person I have at my job. I love my whole team and department, and I would go to bat for any of them. But if he gets promoted to department manager at another store, I'm transferring. He has your back through everything. He'll help you when you need it the most, makes sure you understand your position, re-trains you when necessary, asks you questions, takes an interest in your life, and just generally is an awesome person and manager.  

That's all good and well, but I take any hint of emotional connection like that, and I run with it. Thus, daydreaming content is born. It is my fiance's theory that my manager is standing in the gap for what I always wished for consistently in my father--validation of my emotions and feelings, attention, acknowledgement of what I do and say, bonding with me. What's worse, I did used to have that with my father, but it wasn't reliable. The stranger part of all this, and I must preface this with a trigger warning/general warning, but my daydreaming content about the manager is sexual. I don't know how he could both fulfill an emotional need of mine that stands in the place of my own father AND also become someone I'm sexually attracted to, but it kind of concerns me. I've had sexual daydreams about other people in authority positions over me before, but I never connected the whole father/emotional validation part. A little creepy, and baffling.

Oh, and real funny today: I accidentally called him dad today, and we had a good laugh about that. He's not even old enough to be my father.

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Comment by ashlee on April 29, 2014 at 11:47pm

my mother smothered me with love, told me im beautiful , but didnt really give me the confidence i need or listen to me properly. i guess.
I got SO mad at her yesterday. I told her a few days ago how my cousin told me i had a moustache and it made me upset. she bought me this stupid olay hair removal creme like a year ago but i barley sue it because i told her it burns my skin and makes it bumpy. and stuff and she had the nerve to say to me "you do kinda have a little you still have that olay cream???" i actually walked out of the store. maybe i was being over dramatic but...seriously??

ANYWAY. and when i would cry and stuff over depression/anxiety she would try to be there for me, but she would say things like "you dont have anxiety. anxiety is when you cant leave your house cause your too afraid yo talk to people. your not depressed because you have a family and a nice house and a good life, you have no reason to be depressed".
i felt so uncomfortable with the way i dressed and would practically have a melt down everytime i went back to school shopping because i didnt think i looked good in the clothes that would make me "fit in". when I started to just gain the confidence to wear whatever I want she would always make comments and say people are gonna make fun of me and I look "goth" (im not even close to all)

My dad i dont see as often but we just kinda have like..a buddy relationship. he just doesnt really talk about anything personal with me or gives me any validation.

my nana is the most negative person on earth and makes me and all my first cousins feel like shit. and she wonders why none of us ever call her. last eyar when i was talking about going to college she literally said "". every time i bring that up shes denies she said that. but even my mom remembers

idk my family thinks they are helping me but they really arent.

the only person I think i get validation from is my step dads sister helen . shes perfect, literally. 
Like i think in....feburary? There was a family get together and everyone was asking my cousin billy how living in residence was and he was bragging about all the parties he goes too, all the friends hes made, all the girls he met, all the fun hes had. The only person that finally asks me how MY residence experience was, was helen. and i just said "not that great." and she just immedietly knew something was wrong and took me upstairs to talk. I sat and vented about everything that bothered that ive been saying to my mom for the past 3 years and she just knows how to make me feel better. She just......makes me feel good! idk! she just made me feel so much better and let me talk it out. when i try to talk to my mom about stuff she just starts yelling and crying saying like "YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE IM A BAD PARENT" and then its about her.
i tried asking my mom about anxiety pills before and she said no because "i dont have anxiety" according to her, but after my conversation with helen , helen said "you HAVE to take her to the doctor about that. She needs to go on anxiety medication or something." And obviously my mom listens to her and took me the next day. 
helen always gives her daughters validation, encourages them to pursue the extra curriculars they want to do, encourages them to do homework and study, teaches them complex games to expand their minds, listens to them when they need someone to talk to........her kids are smarter than me and they are only 4 and 8. I want to be like helen when im older, not like my mom. 

theres probably alot of spelling mistakes in there but i dont like re reading my comments on here because i tend to delete everything lol

Comment by The1andonlyAbber on April 5, 2014 at 8:23pm
I'm 15, so I still live with my parents. My mom has always complimented me, but I don't really believe her because she always end up undoing the compliment somehow. She compliments me on my (in actual fact nearly nonexistent) athletic skills, but then discourages me from trying out for sports. She calls me a "sweet angel" and "the best daughter in the world" one minute, but then the instant I make a mistake she says that I'm selfish and that she's never heard of anyone as spoiled as me. She calls me beautiful, but complains constantly about the natural state of my hair and gets mad when I tell her I like it that way and don't want to do all sorts of crazy things to it (it's wavy and she keeps telling me to straighten it). She doesn't validate my feelings, either. Whenever I feel scared, she spends at least ten minutes lecturing me on why I shouldn't be scared and gets mad when I tell her it didn't help. When I was younger she would send me to my room for crying.

So I'm a girl, I'm straight, and it's only my mom, but is there any chance this could still happen? And if so, how do I prevent it? Thanks.
Comment by Faye on April 5, 2014 at 12:35pm

I know exactly what you are talking about! I've been in many similar situations! I think most people's MDD's revolve around issues of approval and validation. Either in general or from specific people.

My parents should have not been allowed to have children, they were dreadful and lack emotional maturity (amongst many other things). And I too, get that trigger to MDD, sometimes obsessively when I get positive feedback and hints of approval and validation from authority. (Although mine for the most part have not been sexual). 

But I can see a lot of myself in what you were describing. When someone treats you well, and offers you positive and constant engagement, I also find that I have a lot of loyalty towards them. Mostly because for me I rarely EVER got that in childhood. I sometimes instinctively feel like I should dedicate myself towards people who have validated me because they seem to have dedicated themselves to me.

Although as time has gone by, and I'm more aware of myself and how I react. I always try to take a step back to filter the fantasy from reality. I remind myself that it's great that someone has had a positive connection with me but I often question what the "appropriate return" is for that gesture of validation. I'm paranoid that I might become too blindingly loyal and/or make irrational choices for that person/ those people. It hasn't happened yet, but I try to keep myself grounded anyway, so that I don't have anything clouding my judgement when it comes to making professional and personal decisions.

The weird personality thing I have though, is that on the surface most people wouldn't guess that I'm someone who actually really desires approval and validation because I most certainly don't come off that way. Sometimes people find me intimidating and domineering.

But when I make a connection with someone and it's positive I find that I really want approval from them. But I guess that part is normal for everyone. Although sometimes I also find that they almost automatically become surrogates in my mind for my disapproving and non-validating parents.

Comment by Rosethewolf on April 5, 2014 at 9:22am

I am kinda in the similar situation but not when some older man. I have a crush on my best friend who graduated from HS a year before me and the same thing is happening to me.

Comment by LostSoul99 on April 4, 2014 at 11:11am

I probably have similar issues. I would never admit it but I had a crush on my grade 8 teacher when I was little. I actually realized this when I got older. The reason why, I had a strained relationship with my own parents growing up, and I was bullied a lot growing up. He saw me as a good child and I never got that kind of admiration from an adult and I had developed a crush on him and I'd do everything to avoid him.(that's what I tended to do when I had a crush on someone) Now that I think about it, he was not even remotely attractive. It was just that I never got that type of admiration from anybody. I was one of his favourite students and I always had felt like a serious loser growing up, at home and at school. At home, I would always lie about how many friends I had so my parents wouldn't pity me, and in school I was bullied or just hung out with one best friend. Even now, I'm lonely and miserable and most people wouldn't realize it but I've turned into an attention whore. I'm currently talking to online a 31 year old man and I'm 18. At first I was attracted to his maturity and dominance but I think over time I'm starting to realize that he lacks certain values and he's not as mature as I once thought. 

Comment by Queen Dopamine on April 4, 2014 at 11:06am

PS - Just read more about transference in the link you gave, and it does mention Freud! Guess I have a lot of reading to do... interesting.

Comment by Queen Dopamine on April 4, 2014 at 11:06am

Wow, thank you for this response, Matthew. Very educational.

I have heard the term Oedipus complex, but never connected that it was related to the idea of a man marrying a woman that reminds him of his mother. I always thought that was a Freudian ideology that most people considered to be false, or at least largely unfounded. Then again, I want to say that Freud's theory was more about how all boys harbor a desire to have sex with their mothers, and that many psychological issues come from desiring that. Obviously, what you bring up is way different than that, but it's helpful to know that the Oedipus/Elektra complex is more along the lines of what I'm experiencing. The psychology of it intrigues me--why our brains would want to conflate sexual object with parental role model. It just seems bizarre and a little disturbing, but at least I know it's normal for someone with my background and that there is a psychology to it. Definitely warrants more research on my behalf. Thanks for your comment!

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