When I was little, I remember deciding on Sundays which stuffed animal I'd take with me to church. I had a few different ones and it was a delight for me to be able to choose which one I'd take with me to church and up for the children's sermon where we sat on the floor around Dad to hear teaching from God.
More recently, I find that I gravitate toward certain plush on certain days. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason - just what my preference is that day. I dread picking out my clothes and making other decisions, but I like taking one stuffed animal from the group and having it by my side that day.
When I have stuffed animals around, I don't usually manipulate them as if they are moving or talking. But I sit them at a certain angle in a certain setting. That's how they communicate. They have their own static expressions which sometimes mirror how I am feeling. So, Helga was very happy to receive candy for Valentine's Day and Victor was going to steal all the cupcakes for himself.
I don't usually pet them like an animal, but I'll squeeze them with a hug and then set them back by my side, where they look out with their own characteristic expression. Victor is earnest and very emotional, Helga is content, Inky is quietly thinking, Lobby is sadly-hopefully-pleading "please don't boil me!", etc.
I've also noticed that at different times, I prefer different Pokemon. Sometimes, I like the kind, helpful personality of a Pokemon like Chansey. Other times, I like the curious, funny personality of Murkrow. And yet other times, I like the fuzzy Eevees or the powerful Reshiram or Xerneas. Sometimes I play with them in the game or draw them or snuggle the plushies or look at artwork or read their pokedex entries. I think this is actually a way that I'm exploring/expressing my emotions.
I am guessing that it's similar to the way that some people use their clothing selections as a way to express how they're feeling, what they like, what they want, and how they want to represent themselves. I do that, but more internally - in a way that doesn't communicate out very well. Things like stuffed animals and Pokemon give me a "vocabulary of expression" that I can sync with. A "language" that I can speak with. But I'm not so sure how the communication is understood because even I don't really understand it. Being non-verbal, it's hard to wrap my mind around it.
I'm not sure if it's related, but I've also been thinking about how easily I feel "overwritten" by other people. What I mean is, when I'm with others, I feel like I slip into an auto-pilot mode where I reflect back their thoughts, feelings, wishes while mine get drowned out and lost. Things like stuffed animals, drawings, and Pokemon are spheres where I can use my "voice" and speak up with how I'm feeling or what I want to do. Usually, I can't bring such objects or topics up in general life, so at work and in social situations I feel overrun, overwhelmed, and not myself. When I am alone with my own thoughts, pictures, ideas, or with people who "get me", then I feel like I can allow myself to peek back out and live again.
It's kind of hard to find the words for this, so I'm not sure if this made sense. But I felt like I had to at least get a start putting these thoughts into words, since they're so fundamental in my experience. How does this look from the other side? Do you have things that you use to express yourself like this?
Here's the music I've been listening to while writing: https://youtu.be/p6j8fuvQICI