It's so fun to indulge in fantasies - they are like warm blankets for us. Especially for those of us who used our daydreaming and fantasies to get through abusive and neglectful homes as children.
But in adulthood, over indulging in fantasies can steal our life energy and keeping us avoiding a reality that we don't like.
In this episode I'm sharing some common fantasies of adults who grew up in dysfunctional homes and contrasting them with reality.
I also share why it's so important to live in reality rather than in a fantasy world.
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Hello hello hello and welcome to episode 34 of the grow heal change coaching podcast.
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Today’s topic is all about grieving fantasies and accepting realities. For those of us who grow up in abusive and neglectful childhood homes, we find ourselves living in a fantasy world. I know I was a big daydreamer - my mom homeschooled me for the first few years of school and she spent a lot of time in bed and not really teaching me. And I spent a lot of time alone as a kid… and I was in a lot of pain from the circumstances of my home - and so without knowing it I really developed an addiction to fantasy.
Of course what i was doing was dissociating - but I didn’t know it then.
I spent a lot of time in my head - fantasizing about being rescued - about li because it helped me escape the pain that would have overwhelmed me then. ving with my grandparents - I would make up stories in my head and play them out and I really enjoyed it and I think it was super beneficial for me when I lived in my childhood home
But as I grew older - particularly in the second half of my twenties when all of my healing work really start compounding on itself - I began to realize that the fantasies I was perpetuating were actually harming me more than they were helping me. And while my fantasy world was rich and colourful and full - my reality was very bleak and lonely - and my internal reality that i was escaping really needed tending to - it was time for me to climb down from my fantasies and move deeper into my own reality - come back to my body - come back to the ground my feet were standing on and really take a good hard look at my life, at my emotional world, at what results I wanted - and what the current life I was living was creating and make some changes.
And so i’m going to list some of the most common fantasies that I saw in myself and that I see in my clients. And I’m going to contrast them to the reality.
Fantasy - My parents loved me and I had a good childhood - I had everything I needed
Reality - the love my parents gave was dysfunctional - they had severe wounding that caused me suffering and caused my needs to go unmet as a child. My childhood was not all bad - but it was very painful and sad for most of the time. My home was abusive and neglectful.
The effect of this fantasy - we struggle to set boundaries - we struggle to trust our intuition - we don’t set limits to the family relationships
** Note about this is a whole family fantasy - it’s something that the parents need the child to adopt and the child needs to stay attached to their source of survival as children.
Fantasy - Someone (a friend, a teacher, a coach, a romantic partner) will swoop me up and save me from myself. Once I get married - have that friendship etc… everything will be amazing in my life
Reality - Intimate relationships are challenging. To make relationships healthy - both partners need to be ready for closeness and working toward it. Real intimacy requires vulnerability. When one partner is positioned as a saviour and the other as a victim, the relationship is set up for unhealthy dynamics and codependency.
Fantasy - When I get X I will be happy ( house, money, car etc)
Reality - When I get X I will still be a human. I can set and achieve goals without staking my full happiness and worthiness on them. I can objectively set and achieve goals with joy and fun - rather than chasing them as if my life depends on it and hating myself if i don’t get them.
Fantasy - Everyone hates me and everyone is against me. That’s why my life is hard.
Reality - some people like you and some people don’t. I have complete control of my responses and feelings. I have the ability to handle my own emotional world - even if it’s a little bit challenging. I am not a child anymore and I can be adult with my emotions.
Fantasy - If I just explain healing to my family - they will want to change and they will change and we will all be happy
Reality - other people are on their own journey - they will change when they are ready - or they won’t.
Fantasy - My childhood is to blame for all my problems - I deserve pity - I am helpless
Reality - My childhood was very hard and painful. As an adult I choose to have compassion for myself and make choices that honour me now - even if that wasn’t available to me when I was little.
Fantasy - I will do everything on my to-do list and make a to-do list that I could never follow through on because it feels good to pack everything in
Reality - When I take on too much I re-enact trauma and cause myself pain and disappointment. When I do one thing at a time and focus, I build trust with myself and make my life better day by day.
Fantasy - If one day my family apologizes to me and validates what they’ve done to me, I can be whole.
REality - Holding on to hope and continually reaching out for understanding to my family causes me pain and suffering - it takes my focus away from my own life - and keeps me stuck in the painful cycles of my childhood. I’m free to learn how to let go, set healthy boundaries with myself, and allow myself to grieve what I never received as a little one.
Fantasy - If I just keep going along as I am I will one day magically be healed by a cathartic spiritual experience
Reality - Trusting myself to practice my healing each day gives me the foundation for an amazing life. Life is not perfect. Even when I am healthy I will feel sadness and pain and that’s okay.