Is That Why I React the Way I Do to My Double?

Well, I've never actually seen someone that I thought was my doppelganger.

Then again, I've had to deal with my hubby's delusions (no, seriously; he truly believed a lotta stuff, including truly believing he saw celebrities and political figures around town, plus he also truly believed one alternative recording artist had several bots around, just waiting for him to find them).

So, writtenwyrdd's post on this syndrome, called Delusional Misidentification Syndrome, piqued my interest in two different ways. One way is noted above.

The Second Way - And, Yes, It's Related to Writing

When anyone decides to write fantasy in any of its many genres, we generally write about beings, etc., that are figments of our imagination or are taken out of myth: Think vampires, think gods and goddesses of different cultures.

For instance, in my current WIP, I have a minor Roman goddess transporting the MC back in time to the 1940s. The MC wants to find her birth mother, and, as a goof, decides to petition this minor goddess, since everything else she's tried hasn't helped.

Of course, the goddess helps her. But how does she react to the goddess?

Since she's in her old bedroom in her adoptive mother's house, there's no one except her to react to the strange goings-on. And she freaks, naturally; who the hell wouldn't, especially when she opens up the bedroom door and something (not the goddess herself) is not quite right out in the hallway... ;-)

The twist I have is that another character sees the goddess in the flesh. The MC figures she's going to get that character - that the other character is going to faint dead away.

Except, the other character doesn't.

Which makes the MC almost faint.

There's another story there, but I ain't tellin' it. Might turn into a prequel of sorts (if I can just get the damn story in the shape I want it to be in).

But I digress.

So What's This Syndrome All About?

I'll writtenwyrdd describe it briefly:
The nifty thing about DMS is that describes a bunch of monoschematic delusions, which is to say, that they think one thing is changed in the delusion and otherwise reality is pretty much normal.

I have a fantasy tales from around the world book at home, and at least one of the stories is the old chestnut about a woman giving birth to a perfectly-normal baby only to look again in the morning or whenever and see that it looks differently.

Ah, yes, the changeling.

The story I'm thinking of is from Ireland; the basic idea is that sometime during the night or day someone that the mother pissed off in faery (or wherever) decides to get back at her by taking away her newborn and replacing it with a changeling (looks similar to the human babe but not exactly).

Something excellent that must be considered by fantasists. Because, let's say a vampire pops up in front of a cop on the street: How is that cop going to react? How is the MC going to react? Others can react in different ways, too, depending on their backstory (as noted in my own example).

~Nancy Beck


Liz Brooker said...

Oohhh. DMS sounds fascinating. I can feel a whole lot of plot twists coming on. Not, I hasten to add, for the current WIP. I REALLY couldn't face another complete rewrite of that. But for the next project I have in mind... lovely!

I saw your first 16 lines on Flogging the Quill a short while back. By the time I saw it Ray had already posted another 16, so I didn't add my comments. Sorry about that. I knew I'd seen it somewhere else but couldn't remember where until I realized you'd posted an earlier version here. The story line sold me the first time around. Now that you've expanded on it in this post I can't wait to read more. Cool stuff, Nancy!

Nancy Beck said...

Hi, Liz! :-)

It does sound fascinating, doesn't it? ;-)

Ya know, I forgot to go back and look at that (with personal stuff being up in the air right now). Besides, you've been busy with your own stories, so who could fault you for not looking at other things? :-)

Thanks re the WIP. Although I'm still going forward with some of the non-fiction stuff, I just can't get the fiction stuff out of my system, especially this particular story. There are a bunch of things I'm passionate and knowledgable about that I've put into this story (hopefully in an entertaining way), and I can't, and won't, let it go.

And you go on your own WIP, girl! :-)

Billy said...

This is very fascinating. I have heard of such phenomena, although explained differently. Metaphysics is pretty closely aligned with quantum physics these days since reality at the quantum level is not entirely stable and depends on probability, the point of view of an observer, etc. It is possible, for example, for a sub-atomic particle to be in two places at once...or to wink in and out of existence. The phenemona is called a "reality shift." Proven in the laboratory, but controversial of course on the macrocosmic scale. There is a newsletter about such at www.realityshifters.com/ A bit "out there." As Rod Serling would say, submitted for your approval -:)

Nancy Beck said...


I approve! :-) I love learning new things, whether they're way out or not.

I'll have to give that website a look-see. Thanks for the link! :-)

Nancy Beck said...

Wow, just went to that site, Billy.

Far out, somewhat interesting stuff.

Although I'm not sure I totally believe the aura thing, I think there's something to the idea about colors and their affects on people and their moods.

On one of the yoga DVDs I have, the man leading the yoga session has a cool down at the very end. I remember lying down, arms and legs left open to the sky (well, ceiling, lol), and the yogi saying one of the colors, then describing its affects on the body. Well, he said this one color (can't remember which one), did his description, then kept talking in a soothing but firm voice...and I napped! ;-)

It wasn't until my silly younger dog scratched at the door that I'd realized I'd had a little cat nap.