Hello all,

This summer I visited with a therapist several times. I struggle with depression in addition to MD. 

In our first meeting, I was a bit surprised. Instead of talking about my MD, Janet asked me about my family. She asked me if there were any "villains" of my childhood. When I thought back to my childhood, there was just one person who could cause me delirious fear, though I never thought of him as a villain. I love my brother, infinitely. So why did he beat me, threaten me, and mentally abuse me? And why has it taken me so long to realize the emotional damage it's caused me?

I posed this first question to my mother, she said "your fights were the entertainment". So instead of stepping in and teaching my brother and I how to work out conflicts, she encouraged my abuser. 

For the second question, I have not realized the emotional damage because of a very effective coping mechanism, called maladaptive daydreaming. Instead of rotting in the toxic family relationships and driving myself insane, I could escape from the cruelty and neglect. 

I am now 26, no longer living with my dysfunctional family. From going to therapy I have come to realize why I developed MD. My daydreams always involved a survivalist plot, where a young girl overcomes extreme hardship and violence, becoming successful in her adult-life. And I think all this time, I have been that girl and never realized it. I couldn't see my own future and was in denial about the pain my family caused me.

My therapist proposes that instead of calling it "MD," it should just be called "AD" or adaptive daydreaming. "Mal" is too negative for something that helped me escape.  

 

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Comment by Blair on December 7, 2014 at 4:57am

Similar to Abber here. My wife just doesn't think MD is that big a deal. I think she's similarly in denial about it being the cause of anything negative. 

Comment by The1andonlyAbber on December 6, 2014 at 9:03pm
I can relate to what you said about your daydreams being a metaphor for what was happening in your real life. When I was being bullied, my daydream character would be someone who was some sort of outcast. They would be oppressed by some group but would be helped by other outcasts. I had a lot of daydreams with this theme. I don't know why I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a metaphor for how almost everyone in my school hated me, except for the other kids that most people in the school hated.
Comment by The1andonlyAbber on December 6, 2014 at 8:57pm
My parents, like your therapist, say that I shouldn't call it MD. I think calling it AD is a good idea (I couldn't think of anything else to call it before). MD also helped me in the past (and continues to help me somewhat), but I think my parents are kind of in denial about the negative "side effects" of it. They just don't want to believe that anything's wrong with me, I guess.

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