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Transitional Objects

I am posting this question here because I don't want to talk about this with my therapist. I have a stuffed tiger, that I have had since I was two. I am now almost twenty-one years old. This tiger has been my constant companion, through getting bullied at school (by peers and by teachers), through depression and through coping with moving to a new city for college. I know I need him and would probably have some sort of emotional breakdown if I lost him.
However, this is what has been concerning me recently: I talk to him. I talk FOR him and make him talk back to me. I do this in front of friends, more for comedic effect than anything, but I also do this when I am on my own. And I think that at some level I have really started to see him as alive, with a voice and a personality.
My friends always say that when I am mucking about, talking for him and making him say funny things so as to entertain them, they somehow believe that he is actually talking, and he does seem to come alive, even to them. So maybe I have gotten so attached to him and spent so much time animating him that I can make him appear to be a living thing.
I am very happy in my life, though I do still battle with manic depression sometimes. I have a lot of incredibly close friends and family, and I am very pleased with my social life, and very, very happy with my boyfriend, but sometimes I still feel alone and unwanted. I wonder if my tiger is a means of coping with that loneliness. I mean, I can be surrounded by a number of wonderful people and still feel alone. So maybe my tiger has a way of making me feel loved even when other people, who I know love me, can't do the same.
I would love to hear some thoughts on this. Thank you.
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1415482 tn?1459702714
Comfort objects are not very uncommon and can often be seen as real due to the fact that it holds such significance for the person who uses the object. You have had your tiger for many years and at some point in time, he/she was your only ally. You have learnt to rely on your tiger to help you through many bad times and suffering from manic depression, I assume there were many of those. When no one seemed to understand, your tiger did. Many persons of all ages own transitional objects. Children use blankets to help them sleep at night as they feel safe.

You are not strange for having an attachment to your tiger, in my opinion, he was your friend when no one else was and being with him for so long, he feels real to you. I strongly advice you to speak to your therapist. I have my moments where I feel embarrassed but the whole reason for therapy is to get help right? Getting help includes being honest even when we feel ashamed. Your therapist is not there to judge you, plus he/she has seen alot of bizarre things. Therapists are equipped to deal with 'peculiar' behavior.

When the time comes and you feel its time to part with your tiger. It doesn't have to be meaningless. It shouldn't be. He is important to you and so your separation should mean something. You may give it to a child from a homeless shelter or a child who is being bullied, sad or afraid, explaining the significance of Mr. Tiger.

Take care.

Helpful - 0
2217782 tn?1394363972

I don't think there's anything at all wrong with what you're doing really. After experiencing bullying in younger years you could have developed coping mechanism which are a lot more unhealthy. I think you're tiger is simply a comfort to have.
I'm 19 and I still have a select few stuffed toys that I keep for when my partner isn't around and I can't sleep. I talk to my dog too, knowing perfectly well that he can't understand a word of it! But it's still comforting.
I honestly don't think there's anything at all to worry about, we all have our own little coping tools, as weird and wonderful as they are, but you're not doing anyone any harm.
It's seems to me you have a pretty well balanced, healthy, normal life and you're doing well. I think you and your tiger friend are a match made in heaven, nothing to worry about! :)
Helpful - 0
2996663 tn?1374169076
Omg u just made me feel way less weird about myself! I talk to a stuffed animal all the time, and know whats crazy? Mine is a tiger too! No jokes Its a huge life sized white tiger ive had him for just a few years but he is my favorite. I use to do this so much when i was littke with all my stuffed animals because i fekt they were my friends.  I always talk to my tiger just like you do yours. I only do it when im alone and know nobody else would hear. it is like they can come to life when all you need is a friend but you dont have anybody. Ive been bullied all my life and still get bullied all the time. I agree that it is a coping skill :) thanks for posting about this because if you wouldnt of first, i probably never would of gotten up the courage either for fear of people teasing me for it.
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