Trouble with fantasies

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Snookiebookie2

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Trouble with fantasies
« on: August 29, 2020, 09:42:10 AM »
Hi

I saw an old thread pop up this morning, and it reminded me that I'd meant to post about this topic. I didn't want to hijack that other thread, so I've started a new one. I really hope this doesn't sound odd or strange... Please don't judge... And bear with it

I remember fantasizing since I was a young child.  My first memory was me talking out loud to myself and describing it to myself. I was probably aged 5 or 6 at the time.

Looking back I think it was a kind of dissociation, a way of escaping real life.  It was a way of comforting myself and reassuring myself.  I used to do it at bedtime quite a lot. I never recall having a bedtime story read to me, so I wonder if it was some kind of replacement.

I remember fantasizing that I had lots toys or lots of friends. Sometimes, I remember wishing I had special or psychic powers. Anything to make me more appealing to other people.

As I got older my fantasies focussed on people that I liked.  Usually pop stars or movie stars - but sometimes it was people I knew and liked.  And as I reached puberty, those fantasies obviously had some sexual element. However, the overriding theme was that the object of my fantasy was absolutely drawn to me and really really liked me. There was a lot of focus on affection and love and admiration.  It seemed to be the only unconditional approval I could find in life - albeit a day dream.

I've heard of maladaptive daydreaming, and this describes what I do. I spend most of my day focusing on the fantasy.  Again it's a way of avoiding real life and dissociating.

In my late teens I found that I got more pleasure and satisfaction if my fantasy was close to real life.  There was no point in me fantasising about me being slimmer, prettier or more intelligent - that just wasn't me, it was someone else.  There was no satisfaction in fantasizing about that person being appealing to my favourite pop star. I may as well be fantasizing about Taylor Swift being attracted to Tom Hiddleston!  The whole point was to make me feel appealing to the focus of my fantasy.  I hope that makes sense.

Whilst the other circumstances of the fantasy wasn't realistic - I'd imagine my fave star as an ordinary guy in an ordinary job - I was  pretty true to life in the fantasy.

But whilst initially my fantasies would start out okay, I would begin to struggle. My self esteem, or lack of it would kick in. I'd genuinely worry about things in my fantasy! I'm too fat. I'm a boring person. I'm ugly...etc.  Why would the focus of my fantasy even look at me, even if he was an ordinary guy.  This would stop the fantasy in it's tracks. Instead of feeling good about myself I'd start to loathe myself even more. I couldn't even enjoy my own fantasy.

This tends to go in cycles, but it is a pretty regular thing.  Something will start off a fantasy.  It'll build, and become quite consuming. Then I'll start to feel the doubts creep in, then the self hate builds, then interest falls off, then I can't escape into the fantasy.  Then something will start off, or restart an interest in a fantasy...... And on it goes.

It had kept me going during bad times. When I was the black sheep/scapegoat in the family. Then I could imagine some really nice guy was fully approving of me; which was total contrast to how real life was. In real life I was a bad person, or made to feel that I was.

I do think that it can be a problem at times, because it's an avoidance mechanism and it's addictive.  I also feel it's very sad that even in my fantasies that I find myself totally unappealing. It shows just how  much I hate I have for myself.

I think this comes down to how I view myself. If I approved of myself I wouldn't need external approval (i.e in real life) or internal approval (i.e in my fantasy world).  The blocks to approving of myself are.... Internalise voices/inner critics and shame (caused by bad experiences and by comparing).
« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 09:47:31 AM by Snookiebookie2 »

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Three Roses

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Re: Trouble with fantasies
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2020, 02:36:15 PM »
This is me, too. Nighttime is a favorite time of mine to indulge in fantasy to help me get to sleep. I say, use whatever you want to, if it's helping and not hindering you.  :hug:

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marta1234

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Re: Trouble with fantasies
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2020, 05:01:23 PM »
Snookie, youíre not alone in this and we will never judge you. Iíve had these fantasies too. Too much I believe when I was young and in school. Iíve fantasized of being popular in school, of just being liked and loved and nothing else. Iíve fantasized of having a boy like me, just so I would feel comfort. Etc.
Sending you much love and support (if itís ok), and itís ok Snookie. We were pushed to find comfort in fantasies or thoughts to survive it all.  :hug:

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rainydiary

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Re: Trouble with fantasies
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2020, 05:19:49 PM »
I have fantasies too.  Iíve felt a lot of shame about it for a long time as I thought I was the only person that did this.  I appreciate you and others bringing this up as I am seeing how it is related to CPTSD and coping as I experienced my trauma.  I am finding that these fantasies are now helping me see what I would like more of in my life.  Some of the things in my fantasies arenít perhaps realistic but I think it is a gift to have such an imagination that can create a world for me where I feel like I matter. 

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woodsgnome

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Re: Trouble with fantasies
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2020, 12:25:08 AM »
Fantasies are alright, often useful. After all, they're where lots fiction and other creative art forms have their origin. We are, after all, endowed with imagination, and using it is natural.

That said, I've had many fantasies, for sure. But only one has ever took hold to where it's power almost devoured me, to the point of destroying my will to live. Simply put, it was the fantasy of what it might be like to have had loving, caring parents who supported me. Such was never the case; it became and is still the overriding grief of my life.

That's all -- it may not fit the parameters of this thread, I don't know. But when I saw it the fantasy that instantly leaped out was that one. There -- now that I've said it perhaps it will act as a release of something that's eaten away at my core being forever.