Damn, it's been a while since I've written anything here. Welp, guess I'll kinda... do that. Because. Things.
Specifically, fictionflicky things. Ugh. So... I don't dislike being a fictionflicker, not at all. And for the most part, it's such a minor thing that I don't feel the need to talk about it. For that matter, I doubt the experience is even particularly rare. It's not generally the sort of thing I think most people would go out and label. I wouldn't have if there wasn't already a convenient label for this exact thing that also helpfully facilitates discussion about it, in a community full of people already talking about identity weirdness. Like, now if I see some fictionkin talking about something I've also felt before, I can be like, "oh yeah I totally know how that feels!" without having to give some big exposition about how that happens in someone who is not at all fictionkin.
Which. Hey, that's another weird thing I realised. So by the much looser Tumblr standards I'd probably count as a fictionkin. Pretty wild. Also... a perfect example of why that kind of looser terminology doesn't work. Because I, in no way, shape or form, identify as any of the characters I flick as. And I'm not even them 95% of the time!
It is pretty bizarre in it's own way, though. I was running it through my head a few days ago, trying to figure out where exactly these flicks fit into my identity. I definitely don't identify as the characters I flick as. Not even the recurring ones I've had for years. They're not me, I'm not them - just the idea of that is really weird! And very not-right! But then I'm like. What the heck are these things to me? I don't identify with any of these characters either! I certainly have plenty of characters I identify with, but I don't flick as any of them. And most of the recurring characters I flick as are like. Specific characters with specific linear stories which have no parallels to my own, symbolic or otherwise. So what causes my brain to latch onto these random, apparently arbitrary characters so much? I... just don't know right now. I do definitely believe it is 100% psychological, though.
I suppose... the best way I can think of to describe the feeling is that... it's like, if somehow I had been born in the universe that story is set in, I feel like that is the person I would be. That is the life I would live. Which is, again, a very strange and confusing thing to feel towards characters who share no common themes or personality traits with you. I don't know why I feel that way so strongly. I guess... just blame it on brains being weird and leave it at that? I had a hell of a lot of identity issues growing up.
I do feel a lot of what I imagine fictionkin tend to feel, for as long as these flicks last. Like... homesickness, for sure. And the feeling like I should be able to do something but don't physically know how. The momentary feeling of "wait where is (item)" or "I miss (person)". Thinking of characters from the same source in very familiar ways, like "my friend" or "my brother". Feeling out of place, like I don't really belong "here". Very strong emotional reactions to events that happened in whatever canon I'm flicking. Sometimes I even get slight changes in the way I hold myself or speak. And there's those momentary reactions to things that just make no sense in any context.
"Where the fuck is my gun!?" I wonder, as a person who hates guns, has never even seen a gun up close, and lives in a country where guns are completely illegal to own. Yep. It's. Really something. Good job, brain.
Another interesting thing to note is that the characters I flick as aren't always from the exact "canon" that's shown in whatever media they're from. Though in most cases I can kinda figure out why that is, and what "changed" to make that happen.
Best theory I have right now about why I might get these things is that I. Maybe... might have subconsciously plugged up some holes in my own identity with stuff from outside sources. At least, that explanation might work for the recurring ones. But then... why would they be flicks and not a consistent part of my identity? And if I really did fill in some gaps in my sense of self with outside stuff, why would I also feel like I am not, in any way, actually those characters? Not even a little bit? Not even sometimes? So then. Maybe it really is just me being a very empathetic person with a strong tendency towards escapism? But that wouldn't explain why I tend to flick as characters I don't identify with.
Unless... I do identify with them, but in a more vague way? Or... like, those characters somehow represent something in myself that I don't consciously recognise or understand? Or... maybe even things I don't want to understand?
Damn, now I'm onto something...
I mean, it's still a stretch to go from "this character kinda represents a trait I have that I pretend I don't have!" to feeling what I feel during flicks. But then. I guess. I was also dealing with some serious mental health problems at the time, so. Maybe. I might have latched onto a few characters as ways to express, or... maybe vent some of the things I was dealing with inside myself, that I couldn't or wouldn't consciously confront? But then. It became, like. A habit? To explore myself, and specifically the things I didn't/don't understand about myself, through these different characters. And the fact that they're nothing like my actual personality is what made them perfect to explore all the feelings and emotions I wasn't in touch with, that didn't feel like a central part of myself. And then... I mean, if it's something I learned to do as a kind of... not exactly a coping mechanism, but a way to process things? Well, then it'd make sense that it still happens, even with new sources and new characters.
Which... also goes a long way towards explaining why I'm so ridiculously empathetic. Because. In a way, I've kinda... emulated so many different characters in so many different situations, but in a way that felt absolutely real to me on an emotional level, that I. I get it. In a way. I understand, as much as anyone can understand anything.
Like... my brain runs these complex simulations of what it would be like to be those characters, so deep and in-depth that all the emotions and sensations feel absolutely clear and real, then. The simulation ends. And I just have memory of the simulation and what I experienced while it was happening, and. What those things mean to me now. Then I fit those things I learned into my worldview. Use what I learned. Move on. Do it again. Keep learning.
Oh my god. I think. I think this is why it happens. I think I figured it out.
Brains are... crazy, beautiful machines, aren't they?
I wish I felt comfortable enough to go into specifics about what I've actually experienced with this. Maybe I will at some point.
This is why I need to use this blog more! I swear, the amount of times I've gone to write a blog entry about how much I don't understand something, only to end up finding some understanding halfway through writing about my lack of understanding--