Paranormal Case Book

Paranormal investigations are rough to begin with. First, you must make sure you have your equipment and make sure it is working. Next, you must assign roles to each team member and remember who did what. Finally, you write stuff in a notebook but don’t remember where the readings came from or what voices you heard in what room. Oh, let’s not forget about packing the stuff and remembering where all the equipment was stationed at. This case book will help you keep track of everything.

  • Equipment Checklist
  • Team Member roster
  • Roles team members are in
  • Client Questionnaire
  • Inside and outside investigation logs
  • Notes
  • …and more

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Maladaptive Daydreaming A Mental Disorder or a Branch of the Creative Mind?

“I’m often daydreaming, and it’s because I’ve always liked the idea of there being something more than the normal world.” — Samantha Shannon (From Brainy Quote)

For my whole life, I have been a homebody. As a child, I would stay in my room, listen to music, and pretend to be with the band, playing air guitar and dancing around. I would also re-write movies and television series, add a unique character, and act it out behind closed doors. When I got out on my own, I did the same thing. Now, living with someone, I spend time in the bathroom and act everything out in my head or at my computer desk with my eyes closed, daydreaming. All these “daydreams” took up most, if not all, of my time. I felt like I was living in my “daydreams” because, in reality, my life is uninteresting and unadventurous because of my social anxiety and lack of confidence in myself.

These “daydreams” got worse after my first marriage, the one that mentally, physically, sexually, and emotionally abused me. I recently talked to my counselors about this. One of them said, “It is normal to daydream, don’t worry about it.” I told her how “daydreaming” for most of the day is not normal or healthy. It is bad enough that I am diagnosed with Chronic Depression, Social Anxiety, Chronic Pain in the lower back and the left hip area, and PTSD, and I gave up fighting for disability (I won my disability in 2020). Having something that is not yet known in the world of mental illness just increased my depression. I had to look up my problem on the internet to understand what was happening to me. Doctors were writing it off like it was nothing, but it is something, and it is called Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD or MDD), and many psychologists know nothing about this condition.

Maladaptive Daydreaming is defined as an “extensive fantasy activity that replaces human interaction and/or interferes with academic, interpersonal or vocational functioning” (Somer, 2002, p. 199). That Maladaptive Daydreaming entails “…themes typically include highly complex fantasies of social attractiveness, power, fame, and love, as well as other fanciful plots…” ( Somer et al. 2015). According to Sabrina Bachai of Medical Daily, symptoms of Maladaptive Daydreaming are:

1. Daydreaming excessively in a way that is often compared to an addiction.

2. This excessive daydreaming often begins in childhood.

3. Books, movies, music, video games, and other media may be a daydreaming trigger.

4. The daydreaming itself is often detailed and elaborate, sometimes compared to a movie or novel.

5. Repetitive movements while daydreaming are common (but not always present in sufferers) — pacing, rocking, spinning, shaking something in their hand, etc.

6. They may sometimes talk, laugh, cry, gesture, or make facial expressions as they daydream. People suffering from this know the difference between daydreaming and reality and do not confuse the two; this makes them distinctly different from psychotics or schizophrenics.

7. Some people will lie in bed for hours daydreaming and may either have difficulty going to sleep because of this or have difficulty getting out of bed once awake. They may also neglect basic functions such as regular meals, showering, and other daily activities because of their daydreaming.

I can relate to this. I would rather daydream than do my studies, interact with my husband or my cats.

But, here I am, a writer. A writer who wants to write but can’t because she cannot stop daydreaming her stories instead of writing them down. My daydreams seem like a television show or movie playing in my head. I react to the daydreams, especially when someone dies in them, and smile when someone makes me happy. I know the difference between daydreaming and reality, and I hate getting interrupted when I am daydreaming. But, I have not neglected eating, basic hygiene, or cleaning the apartment.

According to Consciousness and Cognition, Maladaptive Daydreaming is an under-researched mental health disorder, and many people are being treated for having ADHD or OCD. The daydreaming was also reduced and controlled with the drug Fluvoxamine which is used for OCD. A survey analysis was done by Bigelsen and Schupak, and their findings suggested that a population of people who engage in daydreaming on average is 56% of their waking hours with 80% kinesthetic activity (Somer et al. 2015). I noticed I do some movement when I daydream. It also depends on what I am daydreaming about. For example, if there is a fight scene, then I move more than when I am just talking to another character.

Maladaptive Daydreaming is still under research, a theory at best. According to Jordon of The Mind Unleased website, he wonders if Maladaptive Daydreaming should be “…treated as an illness or an extension of the creative mind.” He wonders if people with Maladaptive Daydreaming “…have a heightened imagination that keeps building upon itself; strengthening itself with every intense daydream that they experience?”

I know that my condition results from how I was as a kid (no abuse or anything remotely deemed abusive, just kept to myself), the abuse from the first marriage, my poor health, my current marriage (money problems), and getting old. I know it is an escape from reality that I have grown to depend on. Because of this condition, I went to school to get my AA in Communications and my BA in Creative Writing ( I also earned my MA and MFA), hoping to learn to turn my daydreams into stories. However, I am still working on getting them out of my head and onto paper.

So, how can someone deal with Maladaptive Daydreaming?

The first thing is admitting that you have a daydreaming problem.

Second, try to remember when it started and what triggered it, and begin to avoid the triggers.

Third, try to keep engaged. I know it is hard. It is with me. I try watching shows that will not trigger my daydreaming, such as Law and Order SVU. If I watch Supernatural, I start re-writing in my head, adding a character and such. Cook, bake, do a crossword puzzle, exercise, just something that keeps your mind focused than daydreaming.

Fourth, speak with a therapist. Remember, most have yet to hear about Maladaptive Daydreaming, but coming forward will help educate them and you.

Fifth, if you can write your daydreams, do so. I have a problem writing them out. I enjoy seeing them played out in my mind’s eye.

It is good to know that I am not alone in this world. There are two groups on Facebook Maladaptive Daydreaming and Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder Support. There are people there that you can share your stories. It amazed me to know that I have much in common with these people with Maladaptive Daydreaming. I do not interact like I should, my anxiety and shyness, but I do read what they post.

References and Resources not linked in the article:

Somer, E (2002). Maladaptive daydreaming: A qualitative inquiry Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 32 (2002), pp. 197–212 http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1023/A:1020597026919

E. Somer, J. Lehrfeld, J. Bigelsen, D.S. Jopp. (2015). Development and validation of the Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (MDS). Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal, 39 (2016), pp. 77–91 http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1016/j.concog.2015.12.001

A Conversation With The Husband

Fire ant in hip
Scurrying down my stump,
Engulfing my paw.

Snake restricts
Unable to shift.
Hot water,
Epsom salt.
Subdue the sting,
Relax the grip.

“Come, my husband.
Sit a spell
And answer me this,

Why do I love cats?”

No thought, no concern.
Words found their way
Through the maze
He did say,

“Because you’re a psychopath.”

Once again, I did ask,
“Why do I love cats?”

Small thought,
Some concern.
Wheels turning,
Then he churned,

“Because they’re fluffy and cuddly.”

Third attempt
I did seek,

“Why do I love cats?”

Candle lit in his eyes.
The joker came through.
With no concern
Out of the tunnel
The river of words did flow,

“For the same reason, I love your breasts.”

Sitting in my pond
Full of salt,
Suddenly, it clicked.

Just for a moment
The Fire ant and
The Snake
Both drown.

My husband did tell me why I love cats.

Cats distract,
Cats make me laugh,
Cats make me forget.

Just like he did.
He distracts,
He made me laugh,
He made me forget
About the Fire ant and the Snake.

THE STORY IS NOT OVER UNTIL WE SAY IT’S OVER!

“There’s a time and place for everything, and I believe it’s called ‘fan fiction.'” ― Joss Whedon.

It is the night, the season 10 finale of the “X-Files.” It is dark outside. You have the lights off, popcorn in one hand, and soda in the other. You are nice and snug in your chair. The only light showing throughout the room is the glow of the television screen. You are glued to it, only taking bathroom breaks during the commercials. Then there it is, the final scene. Mulder in the car and Scully outside of the vehicle, both look up to the great big light beaming down at them, now fade out.

You fall to the floor in shock. You rise to your knees, with fists shaking to the sky, and pray (well, cry out) to the almighty Fox Network, “Why, why? Why have you done this to me?” You are left wondering if there will be a season 11, and then your mind wonders. Thoughts plague your senses. You rush to your laptop, open up Microsoft Word, and type at the speed of light. Words are pouring out from your finger types. No time to check for grammar, not yet anyway. You are done. You run the story through Grammarly for any editing. Re-read it to see what Grammarly missed. You create a cover with Mulder and Scully and upload it to Wattpad, where it takes its place beside your other “X-Files” stories.

For some of you who are wondering what happened above, the person created “Fan Fiction.” Believe it or not, it is here to stay, no matter the legal problems that arise from it. It has been here before any of us were born. According to Ewan Morrison, a writer for The Guardian mentions stories in medieval times of people retellings other stories with similar characters. She talks about how Daniel Defoe claimed amateur writers took from his work. Sherlock Holmes fans in London and New York wrote about Sherlock Holmes. There is even a journal called Baker Street Journal, where fans displayed their stories. Then those in the science fiction world took over. Walt Willis and Bob Shaw created a story based on Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress called The Enchanted Duplicator. Then Star Trek came upon the scene. Jennifer Guttridge created a slash fiction ( the sexual relationship between fictional characters of the same sex) of Spock and Captain Kirk called The Ring of Soshern. We now have fan fiction covering many entertainment platforms, from televisions, movies, bands, songs, and other literature.

I believe we all have indulged in fan fiction, either by writing, daydreaming, or talking amongst our friends and family. I have yet to dip my hands in writing fan fiction, but I have daydreamed about it. The first one was about the original Battlestar Galactica and Starbuck saved me. He raises me as his own. She was close friends with Boxey. With The Dukes of Hazzard, I was a cousin. Misfits of Science I was a misfit. Knight Rider, I was Michael’s daughter. MacGyver, I was Mac’s daughter he did not know about. Kids Incorporated, I was one of the dancers/musicians that actually was in the storylines. Mickey’s cousin, who he left behind after the first season. With The Lost Boys, David had a sister, which the group, minus the head vampire, was protecting.

Now, even into adulthood, my daydreams still re-work the shows I watched. With X-Files, I was Mulder’s little sister. With Highlander, I was also immortal, but a special one. She was raised by Connor MacLeod, until Duncan came along. Raised and trained by both of them. There was also Charmed, there were four sisters, not three, and Page made five. Smallville, Clark was raised with a sister. And there are so many others stories that I have daydreamed about.

What are some of your “fan fiction” daydreams?

Fan fiction is a touchy way of writing. Some authors do not want you to write stories that are included, based on, or inspired by the characters and the world they created. They want you to create your own stories, characters, and worlds and not use theirs. Other authors do not mind if you write fan fiction, just do it tastefully and do not make money from the stories. Why? You do not own the rights. How would you feel if someone was making money off your work and you were getting nothing for it and did not give them permission?

With that being said, there was a safe place where you made money off fan fiction, Kindle Worlds by Amazon. They had legal rights to specific stories and television shows for you to create your fan fiction. But they closed their doors in 2018. Other than that, any fan fiction you create must be for free. You can show off your fan fiction on sites such as WattpadFiction dot netFiction Pad, and Coffee House Writers.

Why do people write fan fiction? They could be not happy with how the story turned out. They could not be ready to see someone die. Untold stories of the characters’ past. No matter the reason behind the writing, it is the fact that the person is writing in the first place. Practice makes perfect, and if writing fan fiction gets someone starting in the world of writing, then who am I to stop them. Writing fan fiction sparks the creative mind. Once you start you can start creating your own characters, then soon your own worlds.

Old video I made about fan fiction.

Authors and other writers have quotes in the video. The music playing is called The Lost Boys by 69 Eyes. The song is inspired by the movie of the same name. I found it fitting with the topic being ‘fan fiction,’ and the song is a kind of ‘fan fiction.’ I, of course, do not own the rights to the music, nor am I making any money off the song. You can download it off of Amazon.

*Story originally written in 2016