My Imagined Imaginary Friend
I had an imagined imaginary friend once. Wait. What? How does that work? Well, it works like this.
I had to have been about five, maybe a bit younger, I can’t recall exactly, but it was somewhere about that age. I was on my way to the bathroom that was off the kitchen down a dark, seemingly forever hallway.
I didn’t think anyone was around, so I started talking to myself. I did that a lot back then. Who am I kidding? I do that a lot now too.
I have no idea what I was saying to myself, but my mother came around the corner. And when asked by my mother if I was talking to an imaginary friend, I said yes. And then the twenty million questions start.
I said “Yes” a lot. It was my default to being asked a question when I hadn’t actually heard what the question was. I knew being agreeable was better than admitting that you didn’t understand. I had a hard time processing auditorily as a kid. I still do as an adult, except now I don’t care how often I must ask someone to repeat themselves.
Imaginary Friend, You Say?
Even in a child’s world, talking to oneself was not something you admitted to doing. So I already felt awkward and alone. And if I did something weird, like talking to myself, that was it. I would be ostracized FOREVER. Apparently, to my young brain having an imagined imaginary friend was okay, though.
So, my mother is firing off questions about my imagined imaginary friend. Oh man, how am I supposed to have answers about my imagined imaginary friend? And, of course, these were not easy questions, like, “What is your imaginary friend’s name?” Good grief! I stammered out, “Mary.”
OMG, whose imaginary friend’s name’s Mary? Something more original would have been great. I cringed inwardly. Then it was, “Where did Mary live in the bathroom?” Ah, well, er, “Mary lives in the toilet paper roll.” I seriously thought that would be the end of the inquisition. Nope. Next question, “So when the toilet paper got changed out, what did Mary do?”
Not So Imagined
Holy shit how can an imaginary friend be so complicated? Stammering and realizing that I had not really thought this situation through. I was wrong in thinking that having an imagined imaginary friend would be easier than the truth.
As the questions kept coming, I became painfully aware that my mother had pulled me into the limelight as much as I had tried to keep myself small and in the shadows. Yet, somehow I was the one thing my mother focused on. And I did not like it at all.
So, I did what any kid would when adult interruption delayed their trip to the bathroom. I started squirming. I didn’t have to go that badly. I was simply done with the conversation. And it was the only way to get out of whatever was happening.
After a couple more questions, curt and vague answers on my end, and much more exaggerated squirming, I was on my way to the bathroom. My invisible friend was waiting after all.
Admit to Self-Talk
I still talk to myself as an adult. I do that all the time. My hubs has sort of gotten used to it. Although he still checks in with me to ensure that I am talking to myself and not to him. I am also prone to mumbling, even when talking to him and not myself. So, his inquiry is fair.
Research defines self-talk as a verbal expression of an internal position or belief, meaning it expresses inner feelings, non-verbal thoughts, and intuitions about a situation through speech. The person only intends to direct their speech at themselves.
Self-talk is a very natural way of working out problems outside of our minds. There are times that self-talk may be indicative of a mental health crisis. If you think you may need some help, please seek therapy.
I recommend Online-Therapy.* Encouraging therapy is their first step in healing.
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