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Frequently Imagining Others Sharing/Witnessing my Experience

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Frequently Imagining Others Sharing/Witnessing my Experience

Postby StarjunkIrony » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:36 am

To provide some background, I am a 24 year old woman with OCD. I've always done this thing which I find kind of strange, and I'm curious to know whether anyone else does any of these things or if anyone has any thoughts on them.

Thing number one: I often fixate on particular people. These aren't people you'd expect either- they're not my peers, or someone I have a crush on. Rather they're often employers. When I fixate on a person, I'll frequently imagine them witnessing a part of my life. For example, the vast majority of the time I spend listening to music, I'm imagining that person, or a group of people witnessing that music, perhaps on a long car trip. I'm imagining what they think that music says about me.

Sometimes it is people with closer relationships to me than employers. For example, sometimes I do the above music thing while imagining it's my grandmother or Uncle. Which leads me to thing number two:

I don't do this as often as I used to, but I would often imagine that my Grandma or Mom (or one of the people I'd fixate on) would suddenly... enter my body. But not in the Freaky Friday sense- we weren't trading bodies and I was still the one fully in control, but they would just see, feel, hear, smell, and taste everything I did, almost as if they were being possessed even though it was the other way around. Anyway, I'd imagine their initial panic but then they're rationalizing acceptance of the situation, then they're curiosity, then their thoughts about my life and what I was doing. But as I went about my life there would inevitably be something I'd do I'd not want them to see and judge me for, so I would pretend to mentally expel them then either erase that part or erase it all and start over entirely.

I want to clarify that this wasn't a delusion- I knew fully well that it was my imagination and I never really believed anyone was possessing me or psychically experiencing my life.

I do that a lot less often, but I still do thing number three:

I'll re-watch my beloved TV series just so I can imagine myself showing that series to my grandmother. I'll imagine as I go what she thinks of it. My grandma is awesome and relates to me a lot, and I actually have shown her series IRL, but we live on opposite ends of the US, so my ability to share shows with her is limited.

I also kind of imagine the above scenario with my Mom but for her I'm imagining me getting her to watch things she'd never watch, like anime, by creating a scenario like having it play on a TV on a long road trip and because she's stuck with nothing else to do she pays attention and gets into it.

I'm sure this all ties into validation, but I am curious as to others' thoughts on it. I want to mention that while this is sometimes an intentional process, it is often a very reflexive one- something I just do often very naturally.

It doesn't usually cause me any kind of distress, though occasionally I have a hard time grappling with liking something I know my Grandma would dislike. A recent uncomfortable experience I had was when we were both visiting my home town and my Grandma and I were with my brother as he watched Rick and Morty, something I'd told my Grandma I liked. I love that show because its absurdist humor helps me cope with the absurdity of the current world, and makes me feel connected to my generation and they're struggles. I'm fully aware that not everyone has to like the same things and generational differences especially make it understandable that she would be like "what the hell is this?!" but it still left me with a lot of embarrassment and discomfort, especially since I'd imagined her watching that show before.

Again, didn't cause me major distress.

Anyway, does anyone else relate to these odd mental behaviors?
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Re: Frequently Imagining Others Sharing/Witnessing my Experience

Postby Snaga » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:03 pm

Yeah I do that. Not with the same people, but yeah, imagined this person, or that, inside my head, seeing and hearing everything I do. Done that for years and years. Often while I'm at work.

I never really thought anything about it, but it's nice to see I'm not the only one to do so.
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Re: Frequently Imagining Others Sharing/Witnessing my Experience

Postby Snaga » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:11 pm

Hmm. I have OCD. There's supposedly a connection between OCD and things like schizophrenia. I have an extended family history that includes that. Don't pwSchizophrenia sometimes fixate on mental projection, mind reading, etc? Almost as if we're doing a self aware, Lite version of that. Mildly interesting. Have you tried Googling our behavior? I've never thought to try and see into it.
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Re: Frequently Imagining Others Sharing/Witnessing my Experience

Postby StarjunkIrony » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:29 pm

Okay, so other people can relate, haha, that's good!

That's interesting about that connection- I've never had that before.
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Re: Frequently Imagining Others Sharing/Witnessing my Experience

Postby Snaga » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:45 pm

Well, I was thinking out loud. Probably- and what I've always assumed- is that we just have active imaginations. From a young age my imagination was taking me all sorts of places. I didn't have loads of friends, from a practical, psychological standpoint I was an only child, and I was always okay with being alone, so yeah, a lot of pretending.

Still it's an interesting thought. I don't recall the exact relationship, but it is pretty evident that pwOCD can get some really wild ideas in their head. I don't know about you, but on occasion I do feel as if I''ve walked right up to the property line between reality-based thinking, and delusion, and figuratively flirted with stepping over it.
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