(CC) [Phillip Jeffrey](https://www.flickr.com/photos/tyfn/4897768842/) / flickr Creative Commons

(CC) Phillip Jeffrey / flickr Creative Commons

Kids have a healthy imagination. It’s normal. Until it isn’t. For instance, I used to pretend to be a pro wrestler, or a ninja turtle, or Arnold Schwarzenegger but it was all pretend. I never fully committed, probably for fear of being fully committed. Some young people, as well as adults, take this a step further. Here are seven stories from Reddit users who think or thought they were/are something other than human, whether it be a mermaid, dragon, vampire or alien. Interesting stuff.

I am a space dragon. There is not a single thing in the world that could change what I believe I truly am. It’s a magical feeling. It gives me energy and power to survive the next day. Recently, I met someone who’s also a dragon and shares lots of stuff I enjoy. During the last couple of weeks, I’ve lived more than I have lived ever before as I’ve finally found a dragon friend in real life. I’ve got three states. It’s my dragon state, it’s the “me” state which is something in-between, and then there’s the human state I have. The closer I am to my dragon state, the more amazing my life is. I see things other people don’t see, feel things most people aren’t able to feel, hear my stuffed and inflatable dragons talk to me. I know it’s only in my mind but hell, I’ve got dragon friends who talk to me. I’m probably insane but I don’t care. So was Nikola Tesla, he had pigeon friends. For years, I wished I could turn into a real dragon and finally my brain decided to create some kind of a personal virtual world inside my head. I am completely aware this is only inside my head. But damn it feels good to be a dragon.

When I was in middle school, I thought I was a mermaid. I was an outcast and a weirdo, and I wanted there to be a reason for that, a cool reason, something that made me feel superior to those that put me down. I also loved swimming and anything water related, so logically, I thought the only explanation to this was that I was a mermaid. But it didn’t quite add up, because I didn’t have a tail, and I didn’t sprout one when I touched water, so somehow I convinced myself I wouldn’t get one until I turned 13. I stopped believing when I turned 13. I still remember my 13th birthday, I avoided water all day because I didn’t want my family seeing my tail, and when everyone was asleep I went into the bathroom, sat on the ground, and splashed water on myself. Obviously, nothing happened, and I was crushed. It was then that I had to accept the fact that my problems weren’t happening because I was a mythical being, but because I was myself. I wasn’t bullied because the other people couldn’t understand my mermaidness, I was bullied because I was ugly. I didn’t have moments where I felt like I was dying and couldn’t breathe because I was supposed to be breathing in the ocean, I had those because they were panic attacks and I had an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. I think what happened to me was just an extreme version of what happens to everyone: I wanted to be special, and I didn’t want to face my problems. I still do like mermaids to this day, but I don’t think I am one anymore.

When I was young enough to believe in fairies, I highly suspected I was a changeling. It all stemmed from growing up in near-total isolation (nobody around but my family) deep in the woods. I mean, we’d go to town for supplies but months would pass without me speaking to anyone besides parents or siblings, and I never had friends or really associated with people. What helped? Getting out of the woods and into the world. Going to college, working, getting on antidepressants, and going to therapy. It didn’t really relent until I actually made friends for the first time, at the age of 26…. and realized that people WERE like me. I’m human now, it’s pretty nice.

I thought I was a shadow dragon, lol. There was a group of us that believed we were all something phenomenal (vampire, unicorn, etc), and we backed our beliefs up with random natural events like meteor showers, snowstorms, that kind of thing, that we thought “confirmed” our identities. I stopped believing because I knew deep down we were making it up to deal with our lonely pasts and the fact that we were the kind of teens who had few friends in school due to social anxiety and awkwardness. I kept going along with it for a few years because it was fun, and I liked having that sense of inclusiveness. One of the girls in our group identified as a sparkling white unicorn with an ivory horn and sea green eyes. While the stories she’d tell us about her past life memories were pretty cool, it started to get hard for her to maintain professional relationships at her job. She would whine, shake her head like a horse shaking it’s mane, and she’d paw her foot like a horse pawing it’s hoof.

There was a time when I believed in vampirism. I wanted to be one so bad. My girlfriend was one. My best friend was one. I wanted them to turn me. I still have the scar on my arm from the razor blade that they used for my “awakening”. Those people have been put well into my past.

I feel like I’m either a space alien, or a subhuman animal, or both. In the space alien sense, I do not mean it in a sci-fi or Hollywood way, but in the sense that I do not belong here; I belong among the stars, or at least a planet somewhere out there. Which would make sense, as I’ve always felt an attachment or attraction to them. For a long time I’ve just wanted to leave the world behind and explore. Stuff like that. The part where I feel subhuman is from all my birth defects, a direct result of my bio mom’s alcohol and drug use. I feel like I don’t deserve to be treated as an equal, because I have all these primal feelings, desires, libido, and anger. But especially since a lot of my beliefs and values are incompatible with the rest of society, mainstream or not.

I was a furry there for a while, though most of the people I hung out with didn’t know and pretty much assumed I was a psychic vampire (aura stealing or something). I still feel connected to my fursona, a dark green dragon. He was everything I wanted to be. Strong, independent and not afraid to face life. Decent looking…and well, a guy. He was everything I wasn’t. My GF and I have talked about the whole guy thing and I’ve done my best to move on from it. She’s a lesbian after all, and she read about some weird changes when testosterone was added to the mix. The best bet is I was supposed to be twins and we fused improperly en utero. So…there’s probably a reason I got an innie part and not an outie one. Still, my fursona, as with lots of people I knew, was our projection of what we wanted to be. Our deepest fantasy that we portrayed and interacted with others through.