It took me a little longer than I intended to get back to this, but I'm finally ready to continue on this topic. In the first part I talked about "TAF2," the feeling I get when I relate with a character that has bad things happen to them, but that isn't kin related. It's the non-kin-related equivalent to TUF. The question is, if I can get the same feeling as TUF with non-kin-related things, then does TUF really tell me as much about my kin nature as I thought? I have two thoughts on that, one positive and one negative.
The negative thought is that if I get the same feeling relating to characters in non-kin-related ways, it might mean it no longer makes sense to use TUF as a basis for my understanding of my kin type. I've used the things that cause TUF to help me figure out what I am, but this situation suggests that all it tells me is that I relate to the characters. TAF and TUF are just my mind's response to that. So the basics still fit (i.e. I relate to the characters that cause TUF because of kin-related reasons), but the specific instances of their stories might not mean much. For example, I relate to Junpei from Zero Escape as a character; I don't relate at all to his situation. So (to use a recent example) I may relate to Peter (the character I played in a Changeling LARP at GenCon) because he becomes non-human, but his species and the specific circumstances of his transformation don't necessarily mean anything. If this negative take is the correct one, it means that TUF is still evidence of transformation being related to my kin type, but not of what my kin type is.
On the positive end, though, I have to consider why I kept re-reading the wiki page about Junpei, and why I kept looking back at the artwork of him from Zero Time Dilemma. It's the reason I looked it up in the first place actually: I needed closure. The end of 999 does not make it clear what happened to the characters, and my sort of obsessive response came mostly from wanting to know if they had a happy ending. It was the urge to have some finality. Now, when we look at something like Peter, apply the same idea. His story did end. So what closure am I looking for? Well, maybe the deeper part of my mind, the part that remembers being a fauntaur, wants me to find closure in figuring out what I am. So I keep going back, rereading the stories and re-viewing the images, because some part of me knows that I'm so close to having something click, and I don't want to let go of the thing that's leading me there. If I haven't made this clear before, a big part of TUF and friends is that I keep going over the triggers, looking at the same things over and over with no defined purpose. But really, there is a purpose: closure. And while the search for closure with TAF2 is the question of what happens to the character, that's not always true for TUF. Sometimes the fate of the character is known, or doesn't cross my mind. In these cases, the closure I'm looking for might be closure for myself, finding what I need to know about myself from my connection with these stories.
Most likely, it's somewhere in between. I relate to the things that cause TUF because of kin-related reasons, and on some level my mind is making me focus and go back over the aspects that are most relevant. That's why I never really got to full on TUF with Peter; what he was transformed into isn't related to my kin type. It's not exactly an inner knowledge of what I need to take from these stories, but it's not just relating to the characters either.
In other words, I'm pretty much back to my status quo with how I interpret TUF. Maybe that's just because I don't want to have to face the possibility that I know even less than I thought I did. Still, this exploration will help me find what I should be focusing on the next time TUF comes around, and it will help me avoid dwelling on the parts that aren't important.
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