Where wild minds come to rest
(I deleted the first half of this blog entry as the writing seemed confusing.) The first half of the post discussed feeling trapped in an anxiety/shame cycle and how I may have used dreaming to cope with shame.
My Therapist asked me what I think that I get from my daydreaming. What purpose does it serve? She said that she thinks that the daydreaming isn't necessarily a, "bad." It has served a purpose for me. It has helped me to get through very difficult parts of my life. What is important is having it in my life in a way that does not take away from other parts of my life.
Honestly, I had never thought about my daydreaming as having a real purpose for me. I always considered it that compulsive weird thing that I did and that I wish I didn't do. I've been thinking a lot about her question. What do I get from my dreaming? I'm still trying to figure it out, but these are some of my initial thoughts.
1. Power/Control. I have control of the scenes and characters that I make up. Beyond this, the themes often reflect power/control dynamics. I might be a, "victim," in the fantasy. But I ultimately have control over what happens. I can make bad things stop and I can make good things happen. If I am being hurt or attacked in my daydream, I can create somebody to save me. Or I can make myself stronger and more powerful and save myself. Whatever scary things that I've experienced in life that felt disempowering, I have made a way to give myself that power back.
2. Nurturing. My fantasies often have the theme of being saved/loved/nurtured. When I was young, I didn't feel nurtured or cared for. I felt as though there was no rescue. I met these needs with my fantasy life. Meeting this need has helped me to survive and meet life challenges. It has helped me to be an independent and functional adult.
3. (added on 12/28) Strong Social Connections with People: Sometimes I find it difficult to connect with people, "in real life." It's hard for me to open up to people or to be vulnerable. Sometimes if somebody asks me to do something with them, I back away and become scared. In my daydreams, I often develop very close connections with people. I allow myself to be vulnerable. Sometimes I connect with people more in my fantasy than I do in real life. Though this has improved a lot, especially since meeting my partner who I have a long term and healthy relationship with. He knows about the daydreaming and we are able to talk about it and even laugh about it sometimes.
Lately, the theme of my daydreams have started to change in an interesting and empowering way. I, "pretended" that I had a child and I became the rescue of my child. The roles flipped in my daydream and I was the powerful one! I was not the weak one in need of rescue. I'm not sure what this means. I took it as a sign of healing and change. Slowly, I am pretending less and less...
I feel so grateful that this is being named and talked about. I feel grateful to this online community.