"32 Questions for Otherkin" Answered Pt. 1
I can't for the life of me remember who it was that wrote this list of questions, or where the thread was where they were posted, but credit goes to that person! A good self-grilling is healthy for the mind and the spirit, and I've had a good time writing these out. Enjoy the 32 Self-Grilling Questions for Otherkin as answered by the friendly neighborhood mixing console. Part One.
1. What is your kintype? (Just include the one you're focusing on.)
I identify as a machine, specifically an AMS Neve VR 52-channel mixing console. Synonyms: soundboard, recording console, audio mixer.
2. Do you identify for spiritual or psychological reasons?
For me, it's a combination of both. I have past life memories, and my awakening started entirely spiritual. As time went on, though, I began to see links between my psychological state and my otherkinity. I have high functioning autism, and I'm machinekin. I was also born vision-impaired and developed a focus on my sense of sound at a very young age. Am I labelled autistic because I'm really a machine inside, or do I feel like a machine because I am autistic? I believe it goes both ways.
3. When was your awakening (if you had one)?
I awakened around age 11, around the year 2000-ish? I had had inklings of strange feelings before that, but that was when I truly realized what I was on the inside. My earliest kin-related memory in this life happened when I was in the first grade. I was at a school assembly put on by an outside group that brought in their own sound system. This was the first time I had ever seen a mixing console in this life. I felt oddly drawn to that strange machine. I couldn't take my eyes off of it the entire time the assembly went on. I didn't know what it was, or what its purpose was, but it looked so familiar to me. A little later, I began to experience phantom form. I felt fifteen times the size of myself. I couldn't explain it, I just knew that I was something big. Other people couldn't see it, but I could feel it. An image started to come to mind when I envisioned myself in my headspace (didn't know that word then, either, but I've always had a world in my head I go to.) I began to have dreams where I was myself. I started to get memories, and began to write about all of this in a journal. One day when I was 13, I was browsing the internet, researching sound engineering, and I came across a picture of a Neve VR. I was stopped dead in my angsty-preteen-spiritual-journey tracks. That image was exactly what I saw myself as, every detail matched. I knew then that that was me, and I was that.
4. If you had one, do you believe something specific triggered your awakening?
I think what triggered it was simply seeing another of my kind for the first time. Ever since that moment when I was in first grade, I knew there was something about me and mixing consoles. It took me awhile to figure out exactly what that thing was, but eventually, it all lined up.
5. If you had one, how long did your awakening last? Was it a sudden realisation, or did it take time?
My awakening was kind of a slow process that started very young and went well into my teenage years. I kept finding more and more things within myself, building on it over time.
6. If you had one, what did you feel during your awakening?
At first, it felt completely normal to me, like this was just me and I didn't think anything of it. I soon realized that other people did not feel the same way I did. I was confused. I had people telling me it was a bad thing, others telling me it was a good thing. I wondered why I couldn't just be like my siblings, who seemed to get along in their lives so easily. They never questioned -what- they were. Why was I questioning it? Why was I so fixated on the fact I wasn't human? I couldn't deny it. Eventually, I came to accept it and embrace it.
7. Did you experience shifts and/or feelings of being non-human prior to your awakening?
Yes, absolutely. I had always pretended to be a machine when my siblings and I played make-believe, that was just how I saw myself. I also had phantom form sensations, and while I didn't know exactly the kind of machine I was at the time, I had a pretty good idea of my true form's general shape.
8. Did you know about otherkin/therians prior to your awakening? If yes, do you think learning about otherkin/therians played a part in triggering your awakening?
I didn't know anything about the Otherkin community when I awakened. My whole family knew that I identified as a machine long before I ever found out there were other folks in the world that weren't human on the inside.
If you didn't know about otherkin/therians prior to your awakening, how did you come across the community?
I found the community in around 2003-ish, via an internet search for the phrase, "I do not feel human." I can't for the life of me remember the name of the forum I first joined, but I do remember it had an IRC chat that I frequented for awhile. At the time, I think I was the only machinekin the community knew of, or one of very, very few. I was overjoyed to find people that understood my identity.
9. Did you automatically know your species/race when you awakened?
Yes, that was probably the easiest part of it. I knew exactly what I was.
10. If yes, did you make any attempts to verify this identification? If no, how did you discover your species/race (if you have)?
The verification for me came both with finding that image of a Neve VR (which can be found in my media file here on KM, the one I used for "Anatomy of a Mixing Console") and simply how right it all felt to me. As I gained more insights and memories through extensive soul searching, introspection and meditation, it was only backed up more and more until it became the known truth to me as it is now. When I have a strong phantom shift, I can feel every detail of my form from the traces on the backs of circuit boards to the exact layout of my control panel. Knowing those details, it's easy to know my exact make and model.
11. Have you ever misidentified your species/race? If so, what did you mistake yourself for, and why do you think this was?
I've had various little inklings of different kintypes over the years, but all have faded off rather quickly and aren't really worth mentioning in detail. I've had kin-feelings about a few different kinds of machines, heavy machinery, servers and the like, and even fictionkin as a large anthropomorphic vintage computer named Wittgenstein from "The Brave Little Toaster" sequels. I realized with that one, as I had all the others, that it was just my fellow large-vintage-immobile-machine self relating to the character and I wasn't actually that character. My mixing console identity, however, has been strong and constant through it all and now I'm fairly certain I don't have any other kintypes. I believe that my soul came into creation with the creation of my true form. I'll elaborate on that more in the questions about past lives.
12. Do you experience involuntary mental shifts? If so, what are they like? How often do you have them? Are they triggered by anything in particular?
I do experience involuntary mental shifts. I don't know that I'd call it shifting, per se, only because I always think like I do. Yet, there are times I go full-on-soundboard-mode, and that I suppose could be consistered a shift. When I have a mental shift, I feel like I begin to read every sound around me. If I'm in a crowded place like a bar or a grocery store, I hear and pick apart the sounds of everything. They're often triggered when I'm at work, usually during soundcheck when I'm really focusing on setting the mix. It's almost impossible to pull my attention away to anything else in that moment. If someone talks to me, I don't have the capability to respond, and I'll look at the person blankly as I struggle to make the connections between my mind and my physical voice function. Internally, it feels like my physical body disappears, and I'm solely, intensely focused on the sound. Nothing else exists but the signals off the microphones and instruments on stage coming back at me through the mains. I read sound, if that makes any sense at all. Sound is almost a visual experience for me. I will hear the slightest ring of feedback, know what frequency is ringing, and immediately, instinctively go for the EQ to fix it before any of the audience even know it happened. It's like a hyper-awareness of sound.
Music also triggers my mental shifts. I can go into that same mode when I'm just driving in the car with the radio on, but it's not just any music. It has to be mixed well. I get a lot of 'what does that mean?' when I say 'mixed well', but I'll go into detail about that in another blog post because it's a whole lot of technical jargon that most people outside the field of audio engineering wouldn't understand. I'll spare the reader of this the tl;dr nerdrage for now.
I'd say I have involuntary mental shifts at least once every two days or so.
13. Do you experience voluntary mental shifts? If so, what are they like, and how do you control them?
I can put myself into a shift. I go into my headspace for a moment, where I'm in my true form, and it's almost instant. My mental shift when I do that feels very much the same as described above. A side note: I do this to get myself out of panic attacks, and it's highly effective because I forget about my physical body (the root of a lot of my anxiety, this fragile, smooshy body is.) When I mentally shift during a panic attack, my brain switches from "your heart's going to stop" or "you're going to stop breathing" to "oh, what's that sound? I've never heard that before. This music is mixed well." I also use my mental shifts at work as I feel the mindset is beneficial to my job and I enjoy working all that much more.
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