‘Imaginary Friends’


English: original illustration (1865) by John ...

English: original illustration (1865) by John Tenniel (28 February 1820 – 25 February 1914), of the novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Español: Ilustración original (1865) por original John Tenniel (28 de febrero, 1820 – 25 de febrero, 1914), de la novela de Lewis Carroll, Alicia en el país de las maravillas. Français : illustration d’origine (1865), par John Tenniel (28 février 1820 – 25 février 1914), du roman de Lewis Carroll, Alice au pays des merveilles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Imaginary Friends

 

Do you ever hear that voice in your head? No, no I am not suffering from delusions. Yes, I am prone to imaginative bursts and I have a constant stream of pictures going through my head. I don’t just read, or write or see; I “picture” almost always. But the voice. It’s a commentary. Does anyone else have it?

 

I have always had friends in my head. Don’t worry I have real full bodied friends in the real world as well! Still the voice that I have takes many forms. Its always active. Restless, commenting, sometimes its my funny, witty, acidic, sarcastic self which not many people in the real world can survive and I love her. And sometimes it’s a sage, often its simply chatter and then again, many times it becomes my friends, holding conversations that in reality may never happen. Often they are friends that I actually have. But as always happens in reality, conversation is a two way street. You cannot control another person’s reaction nor can you have the kind of conversation you want to have. So there you are controlling everything in the alternative mind world.

 

So I read up imaginary friends on the net and this is what it said: Imaginary friends and imaginary companions are a psychological and social phenomenon where a friendship or other interpersonal relationship takes place in the imagination rather than external physical reality.

 

Uh oh!

 

Boy that sounded like trouble. Going back to my childhood there were times when one did that, but not in the real space. And as an adult I never even realised that this could come in the realm of psychology. Being a lover of horror and fantasy I could always play around this oft beaten tract in my stories. But I am digressing.

 

The voices in the head cannot be imaginary friends.

 

So then I started to read this book that tells you to go deep within and access the real you versus the voices cause frankly sometimes, the voice can drive you up the wall. But reading itself and making sense of it was so exhaustive, that my voice became overactive. So I decided to make peace with it.

 

My favourite muse is Alice in Wonderland and I love some of the stuff that is available on the net on the book. Somehow every time I have thought of imaginary friends I have thought of her. In the real world she would have been in so much trouble. But then again, in her world she was just fine and so many of us wanted to be where she was!

 

I was so taken by this whole idea that it is still one of my chat statuses. Following my spate of impulsive distancing from some new friends, an old friend thought that I was actually referring to them. And I was so amused. As an adult, imaginary friends can also be those who almost were friends, or the frenemy. It also got me thinking.

 

In this world, where trust is becoming such a sacred and rare virtue, can truly real friends become imaginary ones? What does it say about us? When we are so connected by so many means, why does the voice in the head need to become a “friend in imagination”? Why are there so many people who are isolated, lonely wanting to be friends but overtaken by intentions in the real world? In this ever connected, ever rushing world, connection via technology is no connection at all. Finally as humans we need the real connection and if not here we will replicate it in our imagination or better still revert to our childhood “imaginary friends”, much to the chagrin of our real friends! Essentially, no matter how much psychologists repulse against this (and for good reason for kids), maybe to make sense of this increasingly upside down world, imagination is really what will help us survive and maybe rebuilt that which seems to be lost: a human connection. And it will all start in the imagination.

 

 

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