Linda Barry Quote
As an avid reader of fantasy novels, I love this quote from Linda Barry, “We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.”
I certainly read fantasy as a way to improve my ability to stay with a reality that can feel really heavy sometimes.
To be in this world, really, fully and truly can be painful and difficult. There is much suffering if we are courageous enough to acknowledge it.
And that is why I have a lot of empathy and understanding for those who rely on dissociative fantasy and maladaptive daydreaming to cope with reality.
People with a strong dissociative capacity can have a tendency to lose themselves in their imagination. This tendency can foster creativity and it can easily become an escape from real life.
Maladaptive daydreaming is when a person will lose themselves in complex daydreams. These daydreams are usually a coping mechanism for other mental health conditions or circumstances. It’s considered maladaptive when it interferes with relationships, work, or other areas of functioning.
Dissociation, fantasy and daydreaming are not in and of themselves bad or maladaptive.
It’s when we become over-reliant on such strategies that they can begin interfering with daily life and functioning. That is when they become an issue.