Daydream Believer Girl

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I’m a 14 year old girl and I have a problem with daydreaming all day. It’s all the time I laugh out loud because of my daydreaming whatever I’m feeling. For example If I am at the grocery store and I see a cute guy I would imagine I was his girlfriend and we had the perfect relationship, BUT if a another girl went to him I would get so upset and I would HAVE to leave the store because of that.

So it was like I would transfer this guy into my imagination world and keep thinking its real.

This started ever since my parents got back together after being separated for 6-7 years I don’t even remember my DAD he was gone for so long. It was horrible he would yell at us and she would take his side, they would make me take sides in their fights, they would call me a brat, so much. Its like this guy took away my sweet mother…and I was all-alone no friends to talk to, homeschooled, trapped in my bedroom while they had their drama and that’s when I started to daydream. My daydreams are full older men like 20′s to 50′s usually pampering me, telling me I’m beautiful, we would have sex like a lot its like they “wanted me” or “enjoyed me” things from action movies to make it more exciting or friends I talked to I saw some faces from the TV and made them up. But that interferes work, concentration, social life and I don’t even want to stop. The time my parents where fighting I was ether on the computer trying to block the screaming from them or daydreaming about getting spoiled by these men all I wanted. So after 3 years of that they divorced and it stopped, but when I try to say how it affected me they seem “blank” like they spilled a drink on me. I wanted more of a reaction.

So I started to abuse myself emotionally like being very hard on myself, reminding myself of the past hoping that I could breakdown in front of them. I don’t want to die or cut myself just be sent to a hospital and have pity from everyone. And then I think my parents would TAKE ME SERIOUSLY I never sent myself to the hospital BUT I started daydreaming situations where I have a dramatic breakdown or take my moms pills, go get sick, and go to the hospital and my parents are crying for me on my bed side. NOW my parents are friends and threes no fighting or drama. But there are times where I fight with my parents about something silly or even disagree I feel so ANGRY I have to do something like harm myself in front of her and I do it in my daydreams. But now my daydreaming is getting out of hand I know the difference between real and imagination but my emotions don’t. I told my counselor this and she said I have some anxiety from being left alone and PTSD from the fighting. I THINK I may have maladaptive daydreaming maybe anger issues.

I’m not really sure how to handle this I’m kind of disturbed by my daydreaming its starting to effect my thinking :(

A: Fantasy helps us when reality isn’t giving us what we want. But I think you are right that the daydreaming has taken on more of a role in your life than you are comfortable with. I am glad you took the time to write us. You list your age as 14, and there has been a good deal of turmoil in your life already. I think talking to your counselor about the daydreaming s a good place to start. It sounds like she has framed what you are experiencing along the right lines. I would keep talking with her about how pervasive the daydreams have become.

Counselors are typically very good at helping students deal with distractions in their life so they can better focus on their studies. I don’t think there is any mystery to the fact that you dream about older men caring for you. Your father went away during a time in your life when you wanted and needed love from him. When reality doesn’t give us what we want—a daydream tries to fill the gap.

I would try to broaden your circle of friends and start looking for those people who make you feel good about yourself when you are around them.

Your insight about the anger, self-harm and trauma sounds like you are ready for healthy changes to take place. I think these are excellent insights, and my hope is you will continue talking with your counselor. Between the counseling and expanding your circle of friends, you can begin to bring about the changes you want.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Feb 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Daydream Believer Girl. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/02/04/daydream-believer-girl/