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Psychological and neurological otherkinity doesn't make sense either.
Sure, people can believe what they want, but I don't understand how someone who literally identifies as a nonhuman can be so closed off to spiritual stuff at the same time? The psychological/neurological "explanations" have a lot of holes in them. Holes that I've not seen anyone acknowledge, never mind try to fill.
Sure, maybe your brain wiring's different... but how does that lead to you identify as some specific animal - usually one that you've never had any real contact with before - and somehow instinctually know how that animal thinks and what its body feels like? How and why would your brain form such a complex connection to something you've never interacted with, identified with or had an interest in?
I can understand the trauma reasoning to an extent - say, if an abused or neglected child grew up around dogs and spent more time around them than humans, I can absolutely understand how they could come to identify as a dog rather than human. Or even a wolf. But what's the psychological reasoning for someone identifying, and having shifts, as an animal they'd never even heard of before they awakened? How do you explain someone randomly awakening as... say, a coatimundi or a boomslang? Or an animal that's been extinct for millions of years? Sure, that's not as common as people identifying as wolves or big cats, but it still happens.
And that's not even taking into consideration all the 'kin who identify as some obscure kind of mythological creature. How do you even rationalise that?
I'm not saying that neurological/psychological otherkinity doesn't exist. In fact, I'm almost certain there are people whose identity is as it is for solely psychological/neurological reasons. It just seems like most atheist/non-spiritual otherkin see otherkin as all identifying for the same reason, and see the spiritual beliefs as wishful thinking - but, in some cases at least, that reasoning doesn't add up.
Truth is, there is big gaping holes in all of our theories - spiritual, psychological and neurological - and I feel like the community really needs to acknowledge that.
((This isn't a dig at anyone, I promise. In fact, I think Kinmunity is by far one of the most accepting communities I've come across. This is something that's bothered me ever since I joined the otherkin community a few years ago... it just seems odd to me that I've never seen it brought up.)
And so the epic saga of identity questioning continues... this time in the flavour of "okay, yes, I am these things... but are these even kintypes?"
The definition of otherkin is to identify as something non-human. But... how far does that go?
My demon aspect behaves more like a median personality than a kintype. That is, when I'm demon shifted, I am for all intents and purposes a completely different person with a completely different personality. It's such an abstract, alien thing that I can't really think of it as being myself. Even if it is. It's always one step removed - it's an it, rather than just being me. In any given situation, I could say what I would do, and I could say what it would do. I could talk about how its opinions differ from my own. I don't think it's actually an alter or facet, because it is an integral part of myself, far as I can tell. Just a very, very, very far removed part of myself. But practically, as far as experiences go, I'm not really sure where it fits into things.
My dragon aspect isn't any clearer. It's hard to really say whether it's a kintype or just some kind of evolved personal metaphor or something - it seems to straddle the line between the two. I do see myself as a dragon, but... am I a dragon dragon, or just a wolfperson who sees themself as a dragon? Is there even a difference between the two? Where's the line drawn, with things like this?
And then there's the whole polymorph thing, which I don't tend to look at as a kintype at all. It could possibly be related to my demonic aspect (which is formless and probably fits the classic definition of a polymorphic entity) but I tend to see it more as a... personality trait. I don't actively identify as a polymorphic entity, I just have the shifting tendencies of a polymorph-identified person. I can't say whether I actually am a polymorphic entity or not. Maybe it's just caused by the psychological weirdness that comes with trauma and a messed up childhood. It's not a separate kintype, either way. It's either a trait of my demonic aspect, or just a part of being me (most likely, with the way these things tend to work out, it's both).
I'm glad I'm not hugely focused on labels, or this would drive me insane.
Okay. It's been a little while since I've wrote up anything serious about my kintypes, so I'm going to take another shot at that. Get one more thing recorded in some tangible way.
Figured I'd try and explain a little about how my kintypes work with/around each other. Must seem weird from an outside perspective... I mean, three kintypes plus the ridiculous number of cameos I get? I can't help but think back to when I'd just awakened as a wolf and couldn't comprehend how someone could have two different kintypes.
Warning: this post is very long.
I don't like to describe my kintypes as being a "main" or "secondary". For one, that sounds very Tumblr-y, and for two, it makes it seem like there's one that's more important and the others are in the background. That isn't true for me. I just experience all my kintypes in different ways.
The wolf is literally just me. Its hard to even elaborate on that. Even when I'm not shifted, even when I'm feeling at my most human, I'm still just a wolf who's very good at acting. I have the human body and the human brain, and all the traits and abilities associated with those things, but it's still a wolf sat at the steering wheel. Sometimes the wolf gets confused and forgets how to drive - that's basically what my mental shifts are. It's not that I become more wolf, it's that I become worse at pretending to not be a wolf.
The dragon is... different. I still feel a little dubious about calling it a kintype at all. It's... a chimera, cobbled together from a bunch of different things that somehow managed to form something cohesive. It draws from the same metaphorical "well" as my demonic kintype does, and is obviously strongly influenced by it - but, unlike the demon, it doesn't feel distant from myself now. It also seems to have drawn somewhat from past trauma - things I've been through here, in this life, that I tend to overlook - and things that have been important to me in the past, good and bad. Originally, it served as a bridge between my demonic kintype and me - a way for me to understand it on a human level. Since then, it's evolved into something else. I'd almost like to call it a symbolic representation of who I am as a human... not what I am, but who. Important distinction, right there. But it's not a personal totem or anything like that. I am a dragon, I do have shifts, and I do feel the classic dragonkin longing to fly (and be able to crush my enemies, of course) and all that. So... I don't know what it is, really, or whether it "counts" as a kintype. But I am a dragon. That's all that matters, far as I'm concerned.
The wolf and dragon aren't mutually exclusive - actually, most of my shifts are mixed, especially my phantom shifts. I've had full-body dragon phantom shifts while having strong wolf mental shifts, and sometimes my dragon ph-shifts will pop up because of my wolf m-shifts. And having wolf ears and a dragon's wings and tail is a pretty common arrangement for me. As a general rule, I tend to get more wolf m-shifts and more dragon ph-shifts. In fact, I rarely get dragon m-shifts at all, and the ones I do have tend to be brief. The dragon m-shifts I do have tend to work alongside my wolf m-shifts, because... well, "the wolf" is just me. I'm a wolf in a human body that becomes more like a dragon sometimes.
My demonic kintype operates on completely different rules. It's like oil to the rest of my water - doesn't mix. And there is a lot more oil than there is water. When I'm a demon, I am just a demon. There's no dragon, no wolf, no human. All these lovely personality traits of mine? Memories? Relationships? Feelings? All that, gone. Demon-shifted me is, for all intents and purposes, not me at all. I'd almost go as far as to call it a median personality, but... that's not really accurate. For one, I can't talk to it and I don't actually look at it as a separate entity to me; it is still me. And also because suggesting it's a facet of me is inaccurate. It's probably more accurate to say that I am a facet of it. A relatively small and insignificant facet, at that.
So I can't just point at my demon kintype and say that is me. It's more distant than that, too far removed and difficult to relate to and understand on a human level. Sticking with the metaphors... it's like there's a barrier between me and it. My awakening was just a crack in that barrier that let some of it leak through, enough to make me aware of it and give me some basic knowledge of its nature. Theoretically, the only way I'd actually fully be it is if that barrier broke. But then I wouldn't be me anymore, so that's not a particularly desirable situation.
I only have demon shifts once in a blue moon. Typically mental shifts, usually with a side of strange phantom shifts that fit my "mood", things that I suppose would probably be considered aura shifts, and... sensory shifts, too, if they could be called that. Kind of like dissociation from my physical body, combined with an intense awareness of everything else - almost like everything around me is an extension of myself, and my body blends into that background, no more mine than anything else is. My senses in general just go all... weird. Sort of mixed together? And like I'm sensing things through some other means too? I almost feel like I could close my eyes and still know where everything is. I'm probably using the word "weird" too much, but that's the only way I can think of to describe it. The mental shift aspects of it tend to push my normal identity to the side, but I do have partial mental shifts sometimes. Those are weird too. Like the demon part of me is thinking something and the normal part of me is simultaneously trying to decipher what it's thinking. But... without either part actually being separate.
Got all that, and then there's the cameos too, though those are comparatively straightforward. On my end of things, at least; they aren't as simple to explain. Most of my cameos are just random phantom shifts; I don't even tend to notice those unless something draws attention to them. Occasionally I'll have stronger cameos - calling them "shifts" doesn't seem to really cover it, so I tend to think of them as cameo identities. I'll have a few days where I genuinely identify as something else. Generally, when I have those, it's to the exclusion of everything else - I'll stop being a wolf for a day or two and be a scorpion instead, for example. Cameo identities come with everything: mental shifts, phantom shifts, dream shifts, even things like homesickness and dysphoria sometimes. Still pretty easy to tell that they're cameos, though, because they tend to be a sudden-onset thing, and never last more than a week. They're probably the reason I tend to roll with whatever my identity throws at me - because they're not "just" cameos to me while they're happening; they're who I am, albeit temporarily, and they have their own significance to me because of that.
And there you have it. A somewhat in-depth description of how my identity works. It's... not quite as confusing in practice as it is to try and describe it. But I hope that made at least a little sense.
I wonder if writing out how weird my identity is like this gives me more credibility or just makes me look crazy. Hmm.
I never really know how to start these blogs... there's usually so much to write, and I'm stuck on where to start. I've got a lot of brain debris floating around in my thoughts right now, so... yeah. This'll have to do.
I had a realisation today. An epiphany, I suppose. Funny, how those things always tend to happen when I least expect them. Today, I had a big realisation about the demonic part of my identity, while walking down the stairs on the way to the toilet. So deeply poetic and spiritual.
But the thing is, I really don't know how to explain any of what I figured out, since I've only ever gave a very vague outline of what my demonic kintype even is, and none of it makes sense outside of context.
However, at the same time, I don't really feel comfortable explaining it. I already feel kind of ridiculous, with my three kintypes and being a polymorph on top of that... and I'd rather not talk at all, than ramble on for hours about my kintype and sound like a delusional weirdo. Plus, the one time I tried to explain what my demonic kintype is, I ended up with five whole paragraphs just as an introduction, and those took me two hours to write (it's so damn hard finding the right words for these things). If I tried to tell everything I know about it, it would end up as a literal essay.
It's a little scary, because... well, from a purely logical, rational perspective, I know my identity is impossible, just through the sheer unlikeliness of it. What's the chance that some impossibly ancient, powerful entity somehow ends up incarnated as a small fat person sat at a computer at least half the hours of the day, who's too mentally ill to even leave the house? It's silly. But, at the same time, I do feel like that's what I am, in every fibre of my being. As much as I'd choose otherwise, if that were an option. Plus, there's the memories and mental shifts and the fact that when I tried to suppress this part of my identity, my entire mind fractured into a bunch of tiny little pieces and I ended up with a kind of temporary DID.
So. Both options are unlikely. Great. That's just great.
It all comes down to the same old issue... how am I supposed to find any peace inside this mess? I don't want either option to be true. I don't want to be the freaky immortal eldritch abomination thing, but I also don't want to be the person so mentally screwed that they managed to conjure up memories of being some formless monster sat on an empty planet for a billion years, and then convinced themself that those memories were real.
When I came to that realisation about my identity, earlier today? It felt nice, it felt right. Like things in that vein should feel. It was the same kind of fuzzy feeling I got when I stumbled onto a picture of a tundra wolf for the first time. But after a few hours to mull it over... it's lost its magic. Because the issue isn't about understanding myself anymore, and it hasn't been for a long time. It's about accepting myself, and that's something I just don't know how to do.
I wish I knew a way to come to terms with all this.
I had a draconic dream shift last night. Those are pretty damn rare for me... I think I remember one or two, before this one?
The dream itself was kind of weird and I only remember parts of it - I think it was some kind of dark-ish modern fantasy setting, in a big city. I feel like I was being chased by people for something, but I can't remember what for.
Anyway, I ended up stuck in the scaffold of a (probably unrealistic) bridge made partially of brick and partially wood. Enemies above, long and painful drop to water below.
Then, suddenly, I was a dragon. After realising that meant I had wings, I tore through the scaffolding and sort of half-fell, half-glided back to somewhere safe (I had wings, but that doesn't mean I knew how to use them...). Can't remember much after that, but I'm really hoping I went back and taught those idiots who were chasing me a lesson.
So, yeah, that was awesome.
Now I'm just sad I can't spontaneously dragon in real life.
I wish I could just tell people. I wish I could tell people, and that they'd shrug and be like, okay, you're nonhuman, good for you, and that'd be it. I wish I didn't have to hide such a big part of my identity. I wish I didn't have to worry about someone finding out and making a big deal out of the whole thing.
In fact, more than that, I wish I had some proof of my identity beyond I feel this way, because that means nothing. I would rather be a freak with literal wolf ears, than... whatever I even am right now. Some lost dog caught between two worlds, not truly fitting into either.
Ugh. *slams head on wall* I wish I'd stop wishing for impossible things. I wish there was a way for me to deal with this that is actually, physically possible.
I'm so tired of pretending to be something I'm not.
Been inactive for a little while now... I don't know if anyone's noticed or what. I'm kind of bad at gauging that kind of... social... thing. But I'm having my customary break from otherkin stuff, as I do every now and then, just to recharge from the introspection and maintain my sanity. I haven't even been lurking.
Dunno how long I'll be gone for, but I'll come back when I feel like it!
Just stopping by to see if anything interesting's happened, and to post this so I at least feel like I've let people know why I've dropped off the radar.
Also had a couple of strong shifts that I figure I better record somewhere.
Don't know how long ago it was, but at one point I had a very strong m-shift in the middle of the night. At least, I think it was an m-shift. I was just sat browsing the internet when I suddenly entered what was basically a very deep meditative state. Seemed completely out of nowhere. I got the feelings of distance and dissociation I usually get during my demonic shifts, but none of the usual change in thought processes. It was strange, but nice - I haven't had much luck with meditation in a very long time, but I miss being able to just relax like that. I decided to make the most of it: turned off the lights, got myself comfortable sat up in my bed, and had another shot at astral projection since I didn't think I'd get a better chance any time soon. Didn't work out, but I enjoyed it anyway.
Also had some very strange ph-shifts at one point. I think I've had them before, but never really paid attention to them. While I was trying to get to sleep, I felt these strange limbs on my back - kind of like wings, but without any membrane. What made them stand out from my usual cameos is that I'm fairly sure they were mechanical. They seemed to be rooted in my spine, and actually seemed to hurt a little. I could feel them scraping against my bones. There were other things, too, I think - things stuck in my arms and legs, armour plating maybe? Don't know what the source of those shifts are. It's not a kintype. I just have no idea where that came from. I also picked up on some parallels between that and some dreams I've had before. Probably has some symbolic personal significance or something.
Aaaand maybe the day before yesterday I had a funny mixed shift where I had a full-body dragon phantom shift and a very strong wolf m-shift at the same time. That was pretty interesting. And fun. Being a dragon is fun, though I did have a moment where I was like why? is my neck so short??
And also just a bunch of normal, run-of-the-mill wolf and dragon shifts.
So, yeah, that's what been going on for me.
I noticed something last night.
I think that, in some ways, the otherkin community is bad for me. Not because I don't like being here, not because of anything to do with anyone in the community. It's just that it changes the way I look at things. It shifts my focus onto the nonhuman aspects of myself, and in a way, I think that... distances me from them.
Say I have a shift. Normally, that's just a thing that happens to me. I don't even acknowledge it. Sometimes it feels like I lose some of the connection with the nonhuman parts of myself when I'm not actively in the community and talking about it... but I don't think that's true. I've just gotten so used to it that it doesn't register as being anything other than me. So I spend a few days identifying as some character from some media. So I randomly and inexplicably have my feet replaced with those of an ostrich (that actually happened to me today... ostrich feet are weird). So I have a day where my brain's in wolf mode and it takes me a few seconds just to figure out what words mean. That's just me. That's who I am. Weird, but I'm used to it.
Being in the otherkin community makes me focus more on that sort of thing. I get so caught up in analysing it and trying to fit it into how I've labelled myself and how I've described my experiences, and even if it does align with that, it still takes some of the meaning out of it. It makes it into something... clinical.
I don't like it. But, at the same time, that's just part of me being here. In writing about my own experiences, I'm trying to force some strange, nebulous feelings into words that are never actually quite right. There's no words for what I'm actually trying to describe. Why would the human language have words to describe what it is like to be a wolf? Or some nonphysical entity that operates on a whole different level than we do?
And we say that kind of thing is important. We have to analyse, we have to question, we have to doubt ourselves because that's how we learn.
But last night I was lying in bed, it was two in the morning and I couldn't sleep, and I had to ask myself... why? Why is it so damn important that we know what we are? Why do we question so much? Why do I suddenly feel like I need to quantify and explain, to break down and analyse until there's nothing left? What is my goal here?
When it comes down to it, I know exactly what I am. What I don't know is how to describe it, and that's what bothers me. So maybe I just shouldn't try. Maybe I should just accept it, and move on.
Kind of on that subject - I am a dragon. I don't know whether this is permanent, or whether I'm just temporarily a dragon again for whatever reason. I don't think I actually care which it is. All I know is that right now, I feel like I am a dragon. Far as I'm concerned, that's all that matters.