Between the ages of 5 and 10, I lived in a very old house where there are a few indentations in the walls from when I used to lightly but repeatedly bang my head while I daydreamed.
I later found out, through a night’s worth of research, that this was a common symptom of something not recognized as a disorder but known as Maladaptive Daydreaming, or MD for short.
At the time, my family picked at me, because I was almost always doing this. Just beating my head against anything while I daydreamed about being a hero or a damsel in distress. I daydreamed near walls at home or even on the seats during the bus route to school. I even remember a particular day where a friend of mine put her hand behind my head to stop me and I just ignored her, diving even deeper into my own imagination.
I thought it was normal to daydream this much as a kid and to an extent, I believe I was right. However, I never grew out of this and it became apparent that my daydreaming not only stemmed from something but was worsening and hindering me from living a normal life. Actually, it still very much does.
I stopped beating my head at some point before Middle School and just started messing with my fingers or shaking my legs. If I was in bed, I’d rock or hum until this put me to sleep. I didn’t think my daydreaming would really effect the relationships I had with my friends and family until one day, I was trying to get a friend of mine to play some imaginary game with me, yes in Middle School, and she finally just looked at me and told me “You can’t always live in a fantasy world. You need to start thinking about reality”. I’m paraphrasing, of course. But those words hit me and it forced me to take a look at myself.
Sadly, I experienced the loss of my father just before my first day as a high schooler, so I spiraled instead of getting better. The imaginary characters I played with through ought my childhood and teenage years were one of the many things that helped me get through this hard time in my life. But, because of this, I never got over the loss of my father and possibly not my Mimi who died about four years later.
I would even go as far as creating original characters who I wanted, desperately, to look and act like and I even wrote out stories as a better way of cementing the imagination. The worlds in my head were so vivid. I haven’t ever technically seen them outside my head, but they always felt so real to me.
I’ve tried stopping for years, even going a few days without even wanting to daydream because I recently started dating someone and I believe MD is hindering me from getting close to him. It scares me that I can’t think and act like a regular person. So, once I earn the money from my new job, I’m getting help from a counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, whatever it takes to end this. I want to see myself as me, again. I want to handle my emotions properly and take control of my life. This will be very difficult and I know I’ll have to face the traumas I’ve experienced in my life that most likely started this, but I’m tired of hiding from it and I need the help.