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.
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