Guided Writing Sessions

Guided Writing Session Directory

Below, you will find recordings for each Guided Writing Session dating back to August 2021 when the sessions were began.

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My Parasocial Relationships

My Parasocial Relationships

I used to think I had multiple personalities. A schism exists between my external relationships and my internal reality. Parasocial relationships are one-sided relationships, where one person extends emotional energy, interest, and time, and the other party, the persona, is completely unaware of the other's existence. Parasocial relationships are most familiar with celebrities, organizations (such as sports teams), or television stars.

I had my first parasocial relationship when I was six years old. I longed to be rescued by an actor on the television show Tales of Texas Rangers.  At that young age, when a girl needs a mother, I was desperate to escape mine. I was troubled until my mid-sixties when I began to write to my cerebral paramour's love lives.

I wrote a letter every day for years to one television character who possessed my emotional life.  I maintained these passionate, all-consuming relationships as I held jobs, took vacations, went to the movies, set the table for dinner, or took a shower. I had a thirty-five-year career that had all the trials and tribulations of work-life, and yet, my parasocial relationships empowered me to model and identify with men of my choosing who elicited an empathic response. This relieved me from the strain of complementary relationships in real life.

It sounds relatively straightforward and somewhat peaceful; in truth, it is cold comfort, a coping mechanism for hiding mental disease and emotional lability. My life, like everyone's, has been filled with minor and significant tumult, but I have always had my inner world.

Now this inner landscape is not a Disney Princess; in the illusion, I can be a haggard wife with a cheating husband, or the victim of a sexual assault, or a woman of male fascination. Whatever emotion I need to express in life, I project into the story. Unfortunately, I suffer from self-loathing and would always experience mental images of my body being hacked and chopped up floating through space, blood dripping in the universe. I told many doctors of this constant, dreadful imagery, but I never told one about my parasocial relationships. I was possessed by illness and delusion.

In my early sixties, I found the right doctor who helped me find the right medicine to ease the savage symbolism and smooth out the emotional mania, and my parasocial relationships changed. I seem to have a penchant towards detectives in my reverie and today I have settled with a Scottish policeman who I adore, we have been married for ten years, and I can give you his recipe for chicken soup.

Of course, there are lonely times when I long for physical touch, companionship, and commitment, but these things are not to be mine. I have had sex a handful of times, and the loveliest time was my first: the experience was kind and thoughtful, and tremendous fun. I am lucky and grateful to that man.

Today I laugh with my friends about my parasocial relations, talk about them as ex-husbands; in my mind, I have been married three times, it feels good to shine light onto the shameful, it evaporates the fear.

I was born in 1951 for children born in the 1990's parasocial relationships are rampant with digital images and social media influencers. The television show NOVA had an episode about a company that recorded the facial expressions of nearly 4.5 million volunteers via their computers' embedded cameras. The company, Affectiva, says they have the largest emotion analytics repository in the world. It is used for market research and advertising.

Social media is enticing children into parasocial relationships in droves. It creates relationships that are effortless and – real, or at least it feels that way to the viewer. Advertisers and influencers develop campaigns designed to elicit specific emotional expression in the onlooker's face: this trend is frightening and holds a devastating impact on our young people

I feel fortunate that my parasocial relationships were self-created and reflective of my actual needs and personality. My imaginary stories emerged from the guts of my physical incarnation. The rupture between inside and outside experience has healed. Writing has taken away the veil of ignominy that shrouded me. I understand that people meet there needs in many ways; my way put no one in harm and supported me in getting through twenty-two-thousand, nine-hundred, and ninety-five days on planet earth.

DevonB and Deleted user have reacted to this post.
DevonBDeleted user

Hello Madeline! Wow! Such a creative and emotional life you've been having! It is good to hear that you're feeling you've healed somehow from the new relationships you're having and the work you've done on all of it but I especially want to say I'm glad the shame is gone. I sense your creative mind had the means to heal you in ways that you never knew were possible, however delusional. You have a very interesting story and I honor you for sharing it and also send a round of applause for letting it go as a new relationship with yourself begins! Awesome process!

Also...Your ability to tell/write about your story is rather remarkable...a very fascinating, engaging and easy to read essay!