The purpose of this document is to talk in-depth of personal experiences with imaginary friends– I want to talk about it because it is a part of me, and I want to be open about my experiences, even if it’s all imaginary. I am purposefully withholding the usage of online community-created terms in hopes to lessen bias that readers may have, as well as to distance ourself from online communities that I may or may not agree with. This includes why I am using the lighthearted, childhood-endeared term “imaginary friends'', or even “imagined persons”. Due to this, my fear of sounding even more incomprehensible than necessary may come true…
Always been imaginative, including having immersive daydream worlds as a kid to even now. Got into particular internet communities as a teen (around 2014), my voice of reason became a person that acted like the adult I needed. There were a few others too, some were fictional characters, some popped in from dreams or otherwise, often with their own histories. Both for past and present visitors, they often leave after a few days active, sometimes they stay. Often I have to talk to them to make sure they still exist. Because of this, there are days where I do not interact with them and some days where it feels crowded.
I see it as both a product of the brain, imagination, coping with difficult life situations, etc., as well as a “magical” aspect of alternative universes, spirits, etc. Also see the “law of assumption” as a helpful part of the equation. The metaphysical and psychological beliefs go hand-in-hand for me, similarly to how I view my fictionkinity.
These are feelings experiences, not really in the most organized fashion.
A feeling of Presence. Much like the feeling of someone watching you from behind, or over your shoulder. Sometimes it feels like someone is at the door, wanting to come in. This feeling sometimes gets triggered because I noticed something in the real world that the imagined person would like, or for no discernable reason.Not always a feeling, usually just a thought that sticks around. It’ll occur for a few minutes, a short-lived experience. “Who am I.” An existential identity crisis. It would happen around the late 2010s, but I remember more recently the ones occurring in 2021 and 2022, where the bouts were triggered by life events. I cannot pinpoint not knowing who I am to imaginary friends, but I do know I would sometimes not know who I am, and take on the identity of a fictional character.
The voices of imaginary friends are always internal mind voices. Unless someone is a fictional character, their voice may not be all too different from my own mind voice: it will be a higher or lower pitch, but not as foreign as a character’s. When people talk, usually I can visualize them in my imagination. One person really likes to use reaction pictures and emojis when he talks to express himself.When someone is formed… A lot of times, they start like seeds, or a portal opening to let someone in. I can’t explain it any other way. They’re not “real” yet, but it feels like my mind is searching, attempting to reach out. Like grappling into the sand for a hard-to-find shell. I think this also relates to not knowing who I am. Sometimes something comes from it, sometimes nothing comes from it.
If the body is a car, a takeover means someone other than me is at the wheel. I am still there, I can recall what happens, but I am not the main thinker. The stream of consciousness is not mine, and in turn, often the body’s actions are not mine. This happens infrequently, perhaps once or twice every few months. This is because longer sessions require a lot of practice, a lot of focussed time, and consent from both parties: I need to want to stop driving, and the other person needs to want to start driving. Sometimes it is either easier or impossible for someone else to step in when I am in a negative state. I wonder if this is something an actor does with their character, but I have no way to prove or disprove this.Usually taking over includes rituals and metaphors that may include some aspects of meditation. One metaphor is a visualization of me going to bed while the one who wishes to drive goes out of the imagined room, presumably into the body, usually then reminding me to “go back to bed!” when I attempt to speak. The most drastic version of this is going into a coffin, and then constantly being reminded “you’re dead!” when I try to speak.
Recently, in the fall of 2022, one guy has found that it’s easier to take over if you’re just thinking louder– but the drawbacks is that it’s easier to be quickly dethroned by me if I am unable to control my thinking. He also figured that taking over feels a lot like lucid dreaming: staying in control is as difficult as staying lucid in a dream.There’s also the disconnection between what the body wants and the person. Because I am the main thinker, the body will have habits that it learned from me and will mindlessly do. For example, the body will reach and look at the phone. A person who is not me may be quicker to notice these habitual thoughts and push them away. I think this can be seen as an act of mindfulness, because it enforces awareness of mindless actions. Mindfulness also happens when I focus on talking to someone internally, because I sometimes have to struggle against my mindless thinking to converse. Ironically this helps me be in the moment rather than drifting from mindless thought-to-thought.
While I have talked to characters from daydreams, I also have talked to characters from fiction. Long time ago, I had a character from a show I had yet to begin watching, but nowadays characters often appear if I am recently consuming the fiction rapidly. I often will consume a lot of the fiction, and a person may come from it. If they’re from something with voice acting, they will come speaking in the voice they had from the media. As far as I know, they follow their canon histories. Sometimes, unrelated to imaginary friends but sort’ve related, my mind will change its mind voice to a fictional character it found the most memorable. It’s a little annoying when that happens.A lot of times, experiences with fictional characters relate to my fictionkin identity, where we would share the same identity– sometimes I will take on the identity before they detach into their own separate person. Mitosis? One of my earliest fictotypes was a separate entity. I took his name and form. Inside a day dream world, we would talk. I was both him but also not him. He was himself.
A few years ago, I suddenly got really into a character. I don’t know why– I think it was due to fan fiction, but I can’t remember if that was the exact cause. I read a lot of fan fiction relating to the character. I would read and reread the wiki entry. He came in rather slowly, I think, from all the overconsumption.In the summer of 2022, I binged watched an entire show. There was a character I found myself really attaching to, who also had a really memorable voice. They appeared the same day I finished the show and were proactive for a few days, and a little now. In the fall of 2022, I watched an episode of the same show. This time, I was having a bad week and was in a very bad mindset. A character who had a similar crisis in the episode came in, encouraged and accompanied me on a walk. They also stayed around.
I haven’t really spoken to daydream characters/OCs until recently in the 2020s. I think because the specific paracosm became really important to me, and I started using a lot of focussed imagination to explore the paracosm world. I view these OCs as being in a separate world, which helps keep a separation between us. Sometimes, they are able to speak to me or I to them. They were able to take over once or twice: usually if I am in a meditated-like state where I am daydreaming and they recognize me as being there. After being in contact with them, I record the information I learned about the characters. Writers are sometimes encouraged to interview their characters to learn more about them. In a way, that’s what I do.
While not exactly OCs or imaginary friends, these are three parts I often visualize when I am thinking certain things. It helps me understand myself and to separate thoughts from immediate action. This entire document is vague with names, because I want to preserve privacy, except here. I am open to talking about them because they are me.Gerard: named to make him less intimidating, he is a black snake that symbolizes negativity. Snakes have always been symbols of negative self-talk to me. He tells many half-truths and lies because he thinks these will protect from harm.
Wolf: A wolf/monster who acts as both flight and fight. He is always angry and scared and acts on primal urges. I usually feel his claws, teeth, tail, much like an otherkin phantom shift. Sometimes the wolf and Gerard go hand-in-hand, making it difficult to tell them apart.Voice of reason: Refused to have a name or form. His previous incarnation who had a name and past history is gone. He acts like a guardian angel, advising and then watching sullenly as I refuse to act on his sound advice.