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Is there a name for the imaginary internal worlds we tend to retreat into?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Nervous Rex, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have two places I go. One, for lack of a better term, is called "The Nothing Box",...where I can zone out and have as little brain activity as possible. This is my "go to" when I am mentally exhausted and don't want to think about anything. The other, that is my "Creative Box", where I design and build all sorts of things.

    Having said that, my internal monologue is talking to me most of the day.
     
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  2. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yup. And many autistic people have no imagination or internal fantasy world at all. In fact, that’s the classic image of an autistic person, isn’t it? Someone who is unimaginative, highly logical, and to-the-point.
     
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  3. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    Escape? I must take exception. To say it is an escape means defining the place from which to escape as normal.

    When I did this, I had no idea it wasn't "normal." Watch a salamander or a cat.....they gaze and think and gaze some more.

    I had NO idea there was anything wrong with that until people complained that I was not paying attention or accused me of having no emotions because I had not yet learned to mask with that plastic, fake smile.

    We need to make the chart---for NTs:

    Do you resist the pull of thought? How often?
    Do you have to plaster a fake emotion on your face?
    Why do you resist retreating into thought?
    Where you ever (EVER) aware of simply being yourself, alone in your own mind?

    And then say how odd it is they must always be on stage and can never stop and just think or not think.....just be. They need expensive meditation CLASSES to learn to just be......sheeeesh
     
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  4. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    It depends on which one is your primary residence.
    If you live here and visit there, it is imagination.
    If you live there and visit here, it is psychosis.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~​
    A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air.
    A psychotic is the man who lives in it.
    A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent.
    Jerome Lawrence
     
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  5. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm NT so I'll answer your questions.

    Yes, I resist the pull of thought. Do it daily in order to focus on immediate tasks.
    Yes, I have to plaster fake emotions on my face every day. I have to pretend to be interested in people's mundane garbage, or laugh at things that aren't funny, or pretend to be sad about things I don't feel sad about. Etc.
    The reason I resist retreating into thought is to get things done. Can't really cook dinner or bandage a child's cut finger unless I'm focused on it and not mentally skiing in the Alps, mentally designing robots, pretending I'm a Star Wars character or something else.
    I am aware DAILY of simply being myself, alone in my mind. I love it and crave solitude.

    I've never been to a meditation class.

    I am always surprised and genuinely saddened by autistics' lack of understanding of NT minds and their animosity toward NTs. As I have said many times before, NTs and NDs are far more alike than different from each other. If you have met one NT, then you have met one NT. Same as NDs.
     
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  6. Pieceofmind

    Pieceofmind Member

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    I don't have a name for these worlds and sometimes it's even isolated mirrors of this one. They all have the same general purpose though, for allowing me to be at peace in other places that match with some perfect vision of comfort and isolation from everything else. I have a feelings it's so strong with me though because I do not have many places to do this in my waking life that are easily accessible. If I could just teleport things would be much easier for me and retreating into these worlds would probably be something I do far less. Not to say it's harmful though.
     
  7. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    "A paracosm is a detailed imaginary world."

    Psychiatrists Delmont Morrison and Shirley Morrison mention paracosms and "paracosmic fantasy" in their book Memories of Loss and Dreams of Perfection, in the context of people who have suffered the death of a loved one or some other tragedy in childhood. For such people, paracosms function as a way of processing and understanding their early loss.[5] They cite James M. Barrie, Isak Dinesen and Emily Brontë as examples of people who created paracosms after the deaths of family members.

    Marjorie Taylor is another child development psychologist who explores paracosms as part of a study on imaginary friends.[6] In Adam Gopnik's essay, "Bumping Into Mr. Ravioli", he consults his sister, a child psychologist, about his three-year-old daughter's imaginary friend. He is introduced to Taylor's ideas and told that children invent paracosms as a way of orienting themselves in reality.[7] Similarly, creativity scholar Michele Root-Bernstein discusses her daughter's invention of an imaginary world, one that lasted for over a decade, in the 2014 book, Inventing Imaginary Worlds: From Childhood Play to Adult Creativity.[8]

    Paracosms are also mentioned in articles about types of childhood creativity and problem-solving. Some scholars believe paracosm play indicates high intelligence. A Michigan State University study undertaken by Root-Bernstein revealed that many MacArthur Fellows Program recipients had paracosms as children, thus engaging in what she calls worldplay. Sampled MacArthur Fellows were twice as likely to have engaged in childhood worldplay as MSU undergraduates. They were also significantly more likely than MSU students to recognize aspects of worldplay in their adult professional work.[9] Indeed, paracosm play is recognized as one of the indicators of a high level of creativity, which educators now realize is as important as intelligence.[10] In an article in the International Handbook on Giftedness, Root-Bernstein writes about paracosm play in childhood as an indicator of considerable creative potential, which may "supplement objective measures of intellectual giftedness ... as well as subjective measures of superior technical talent."[11] There is also a chapter on paracosm play in the 2013 textbook Children, Childhood and Cultural Heritage, written by Christine Alexander. She sees it, along with independent writing, as attempts by children to create agency for themselves.[



    Paracosm - Wikipedia

    I've been autistic all along?

    Do you have a Paracosm?If so describe some of its main details.
     
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  8. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    When I see them advertised it is mildly irksome as the phrase is close enough to be an oxymoron.
    Though, to be positive I can think of the words ‘Meditation Class’ at least as some kind of starting point for some.
     
  9. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thank you for this. I hope it humbles more than one person on this forum. I see a lot of “NTs are inferior and stupid”-type of derogatory comments, and they always piss me off. Being autistic doesn’t make you a magical, genuine, superior human being. So let’s all get over ourselves and remember that plenty of NTs, such as Mary Terry, are members of this forum as well and don’t need to read rude or bigoted comments about themselves.
     
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  10. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    BTDT, but it is very life-consuming, too.
    It is like living on the holodeck.
     
  11. Ovaltine Overdose

    Ovaltine Overdose Active Member V.I.P Member

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    Granted, not being able to understand an NT mind is a domineering trait of Autism. But otherwise I agree, no disdain for NTs. If you think NTs are bad for not being able to understand people with different minds, then you shouldn't respond with the same kind of disrespect or else you're just like what you dislike.
     
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  12. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    Whoa. Settle down. I am glad you answered. My intention was to show we cannot connect. We are not "mentally skiing in the Alps" or "pretending to be a Star Wars character". How funny you think ASDs are condescending when look at your words. Many Auties have been very effective and wonderful parents, workers, and do-ers, too. I would hardly categorize us as people sitting around daydreaming.

    We are drawn into our minds naturally. You are drawn out of, naturally. Is one better? No. It is like saying a spider is drawn to building webs and chickens lay eggs. Now imagine chickens ran the world and not spiders. Chickens might say, "Lazy things! You can't go around all day laying about in a web all day! There are chicken things to do!" And the spider can make it in his web, but chicken want him to lay eggs.

    OK, peace offering....Surely we can seek to see each other as a different species? Neither better than the other.

    I should have said.....

    I am intrigued that NTs can spend so much time outside of their thoughts. I think it would be very nice to be able to do that because NTs have created the world and that is how it must be. But I cannot. I love the NTs who see this and have been kind not to harm me because many other have.

    The point of this board is to understand. i was too harsh and that wasn't right. I look forward to hearing more about how you feel about us and how you think.
     
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  13. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I posted the question, then life got busy and I couldn't return for a while. Great discussion - so much to parse.

    I know you didn't mean to generalize - I'm guessing you're referring to specific personal encounters. If I had to guess, I would guess that some NDs are embittered from being outsiders and unable to crack to social code.

    My own internal imaginations fall into three categories:

    1) Rehearsing and strategizing - This is where I go over past social encounters and try to figure out how to do them better next time around, or where I try to anticipate upcoming interactions and figure out how to navigate them smoothly. The most 'imaginative' part of this is that I often imagine talking it out with friends of mine whose opinions or approaches I respect, so I can figure out how they would handle it. Usually asking "What would <this person> do?" leads me to a better answer.

    2) Rest and Relaxation - I do math in my head for fun. It's like a hobby I can take with me anywhere I go. I do it most often when I am going to sleep, since focusing on math quiets everything else in my head. It's definitely an inner-world thing only because I don't solve any ground-breaking problems - it's just recreation.

    3) Outright Fantasy - This is the part where I struggle to remain grounded. I used to fantasize about solving some difficult problem or creating something incredible that the whole world would love. This could only lead to me becoming a full-blown crackpot, so I try to cut out unrealistic fantasies as much as possible. It helps that I actually have solved some problems at work that have made the difference between releasing a product and scrapping it, and I have some patents to show for it - so when I'm tempted to go off into unrealistic flights of fancy, I tell myself, "Here's the subject you can actually accomplish something in." Now, I mostly fantasize about retirement and financial independence.
     
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  14. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Apology accepted.
     
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  15. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to guess that the specific label for what you describe will be determined by who you ask.

    Currently I'm not aware of a definition/diagnosis/specific label common to all schools of thought.
    - for example, if I use the term (autistic) 'meltdown' , there's a common understanding of what meltdown is whether you're an aspie, parent, GP, nurse, psychiatrist, dentist, school bus driver, postman, CEO, unemployed etc.

    Retreating into a 'parallel world', I'm going to guess, may depend on why and who's doing the judging/diagnosing. ?
     
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  16. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I get accused of "daydreaming" when I should be working a lot. I would like to explain, however, that I am not daydreaming. My mind works linearly - only. I am unable to work "on-the-fly" or asynchronously. In order to complete any task, I have to arrange all the steps, regardless how small, in my mind before I can begin. If I am forced to begin before I have it all mapped out in my mind, I will stumble about awkwardly appearing very stupid and incompetent - and, in that state, I am. My appearance of mapping out my task, I'm sure, looks just like daydreaming. I have received the angry demand to, "stop daydreaming and get to work" many times throughout my life. I used to think everyone had to do that, but was just better and faster at it than me. Now it appears that normal people are able to mentally process on-the-fly and that is an area where I am defective. Once I have it mapped, however, I will get the job done, regardless how hard it might be.
     
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  17. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Me too!
     
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  18. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I keep a notepad on my desk and write down all the steps of whatever project I'm working on. It shows others that I am working on something, and not just vegging out.

    I often find myself not starting something because I don't feel "ready" to start it. Writing down everything I've thought through helps me identify why I don't feel ready, helps me organize my questions and unknowns, and helps me see what I can get started on.

    Lastly, it helps me pick up where I left off the day before.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
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  19. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I saw nothing harsh or condescending in @Mary Terry ‘s post. It was a fair and appropriate response to your message, which was harsh and condescending. Saying that people who aren’t autistic plaster fake smiles on their faces with natural ease, have no imagination, and can’t be alone in their minds…come on. Go back and read your message before you tell Mary to “settle down.”

    I’d also like to point out that we often contradict ourselves on this forum. One minute we are, for example, talking about how autistic people have extraordinarily rich imaginations (a generalized statement that’s false), and the next we’re insisting that every autistic person is different. Many, many, many autistic people have an average imagination or no imagination at all—and tons of non-autistic people have tremendous imaginations. I can’t think of a single autistic writer or artist or musician off the top of my head, for instance. Even if I could, all of my favorite ones are NTs.

    My point is: we’re not special, we’re not amazing, we’re not better or more gifted. Most of us don’t like being put in a box or stereotyped, so we should be careful not to do the same when it comes to people who are not autistic.
     
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