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Re-Questioning

Marc

Member
Healthy re-questioning of my identity shouldn't be this overwhelming.
I think I go into a state of panic since I have struggled far more than I should have with my identity.




How do you all go about healthily re-questioning yourself and your identities?
Since this is something that does happen and I think there can be a healthy way to monitor your progress in self-discovery.



I question myself and throw all my past experiences out the door - not sure why haha. Bad habit.





Another factor may be that I am extremely hard on myself. My determination to be authentic / understand myself can sometimes work against me in detrimental ways. It has dissuaded me before and I'd like to work on preventing it from doing it again.
 

Shezep

Active member
Gold Donor
VIP
Healthy? Most of the time when I'm into questioning everything, it has nothing to do with being healthy. And then I don't exactly question, I just try to ignore it entirely instead. I'm sure some people are into the healthy questioning thing, but I'm not one of them.

But if you want indicators to think about. Ask yourself how long this identity has been poking at you. How often has it come back when you've tried to ignore it? If it keeps coming back then you're probably stuck with it, so you might as well invite it in.

Don't worry so much about what to label it. And I officially give you permission to be wrong because this stuff is not always easy to figure out.
 
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Velvet

A Lizardy Cat
Staff member
Community Manager
Are there any specific aspects of questioning that are causing you panic? What kind of thoughts go through your mind when you question?

Knowledge of yourself and your identity can grow slowly over time, there is no need to rush and try and find all the answers now. Just take things at your own pace.
While it's good to try and understand ourselves, sometimes putting pressure on ourselves to find the answers can move us backwards rather than forwards. At such times it can be good to take a step back and stop thinking on these things for a time. When you stop trying to analyse everything you do and feel and are, you can simply be who you are.
 

Marc

Member
I think I am a Vulture. Though I keep re-questioning. Since I wasn't exposed to very many animal identities - I had to expose myself.
When I was younger I had to rely on Animal Planet and other networks for my exposure which usually focused on animals viewed as more 'interesting'. Ex. Canines, Felines, etc.

So when I was younger I would mimic a lot of what I thought was just cool to me. I've tried so many times to leave this whole alterhuman thing but I always come back. I honestly wish I could leave it!
I think it's just trauma since I didn't have family in my life. When I did - I was the outcast. So my family was always animal imagery and later lots of pets.



When I was exposed to Werewolves - I was instantly insatiably in love with their concept. I think it changed my self-image tremendously. Everyone associated me with wolves despite me not really liking the wolves but the very concept of being half-man half-beast. I'm sure there are a lot of alterhumans who can relate.

I only recently started questioning other species since I didn't before. I've questioned so many species, so many. I only started questioning Vultures a year ago.
 

Marc

Member
@Velvet I just panic when I sense my certainty is too unstable. So when I start to doubt I am right about any of my findings - which isn't very many.
I honestly value facts / evidence far too much since I am not a very spiritual person - never have been. I really wish I was but it just doesn't work for me. :(

I don't shift anymore. So it only makes it harder.
 

Nim

Member
I don’t look for spiritual answers in my identity either, I rationalize all of it with my mind.
I also don’t know any healthy way to question. It’s always all unhealthy for me, and it brings stress and feelings of doubt and being lost. Questioning can also bring on dissociation for me, it’s all a mess and yet I cannot help but go there often.

I think it is part of my personality, and all I can do is try to take it calmly and not loose myself in it.
Hope someone has good advice for us! I wish you good luck :)
 
I personally really know the feeling of wanting to throw past experiences out the door. My first instinct whenever I've felt unsure in the past was "well I guess this doesn't make sense anymore" and start from scratch somewhere else. I've done it whith my name, gender, my sexuality, and my species; sometimes all at once. I wouldn't necessarily say this is an unhealthy way of questioning but from my experience its not very productive...

It took a while but over time I've learned how to stop myself before i throw everything out and instead sift through it all and re-examine it from a new perspective.
My feeling of being connected to the moon is a good example I think. There's easily a thousand ways to interpret feeling kinship with the moon. In the past I've questioned werewolf, shapeshifter, moonlight itself, and for a solid while I was pretty sure of umbreon (a moon themed pokemon). Just to name a few. But over years of experiences and cross examination and even some external help I eventually found what I think is the right answer for myself.

If you're open to advice, If you're mostly sure of your status of vulture but questioning, it's possible you could either be polytherian or even a hybrid mythic creature, if not some other third option. I obviously can't tell you what you are, especially since I don't know you or your life, but this is all advice that's helped me with questioning in the past.
 

Marc

Member
I personally really know the feeling of wanting to throw past experiences out the door. My first instinct whenever I've felt unsure in the past was "well I guess this doesn't make sense anymore" and start from scratch somewhere else. I've done it whith my name, gender, my sexuality, and my species; sometimes all at once. I wouldn't necessarily say this is an unhealthy way of questioning but from my experience its not very productive...

It took a while but over time I've learned how to stop myself before i throw everything out and instead sift through it all and re-examine it from a new perspective.
My feeling of being connected to the moon is a good example I think. There's easily a thousand ways to interpret feeling kinship with the moon. In the past I've questioned werewolf, shapeshifter, moonlight itself, and for a solid while I was pretty sure of umbreon (a moon themed pokemon). Just to name a few. But over years of experiences and cross examination and even some external help I eventually found what I think is the right answer for myself.

If you're open to advice, If you're mostly sure of your status of vulture but questioning, it's possible you could either be polytherian or even a hybrid mythic creature, if not some other third option. I obviously can't tell you what you are, especially since I don't know you or your life, but this is all advice that's helped me with questioning in the past.
I questioned Polytherian but I feel uncomfortable with the idea. I've tried to imagine being Poly but it just doesn't seem realisitc.
I am not sure if it's because I don't want to be or if I genuinely don't believe myself to be. Maybe a bit of both?

I think this whole questioning thing throws me for a loop because I am very literal. I have very little spirituality so simply holding this belief alone 'alterhuman' is strange for me haha.
I have been doubting being Vulture Cladotherian and instead specifically Turkey Vulture; That feels more valid to me. I'll have to wait and see.
 

Red-in-Tooth

Machairodont Felid
VIP
Questioning by its nature is a struggle, because it means engaging in some level of doubt, and failing that, treating doubt as a plausible entity even if one is absolutely certain. It is asking the dangerous question of, "What if I am wrong?" and because it has to deal with identity and the true self, that is obviously not something to treat lightly or just play around with. So some amount of anxiety will always be there, particularly if one is inclined to being fact oriented; it has to be more than the belief of something, it need be in some way tangible. So should it not be overwhelming? That all depends on the individual but it certainly is not bad, misplaced, or wrong. Although what it does need to be is toned down, because if it is overwhelming, I really needn't explain why that is an issue itself. So the first step should be taking a moment to relax and reflect, not delve deeper into it.

There is no set limit or amount one needs to "struggle with their identity", although I am a fairly firm believer that if it came easy, consider me liable to question it. So some amount of second guessing and personal struggle are to be expected so far as I have read, witnessed, and then notably experienced. Again, recognizing this and knowing it should help bring more relaxation and understanding to the surface; it is going to be difficult and accepting it as it comes is a way to help cope with it. One doesn't need to dig a hole through the center of the mountain and all the trouble that comes with it, take a breather and walk the path that winds up it and back down. It might be longer and harder at some points, but it is much less overwhelming in all one go - everything is paced out, metered.

So how do I go about healthily checking against myself and to eliminate bias?

I always assume first that there is room for doubt. I could be wrong, everything I know and understand could be inaccurate, incorrect. I know how that could have happened, why that could have happened, and I know that because I regularly take nothing for granted, that is unlikely, but I can never cease entertaining the thought that I need to be absolutely sure. It is better to live who and what I am than to ever play pretend and cling to an illusion, or worse yet, a delusion. So acceptance of this is, I find in large part, probably fundamental to accepting the whole process in a healthy manner; literal "healthy skepticism".

Then I read, I read a tremendous amount, I compare what I feel to any scrap of scientific data I can find about my being. Not only do I do this, I ask myself really difficult questions about how accurate I feel something to be. Do I really feel these things? How exact are those feelings? Can I articulate all of their fine details? Realistically, no, I cannot always, but when I go looking intensely, I know I cannot see the whole image, everything by nature is hazy, but what details can I pick out that stand out? Compare, contrast, time and again. Then moreover, experiment with it. Can I duplicate any of these things and am I doing it by force of will to create a mental image and or experience or do the two perfectly align? Admittedly, I have done this part of constant refinement so much that I take comfort in knowing the process. If I come across something that surprises or startles me, asking even "Why do I feel that way?" was immensely helpful, and working back from there.

With monitoring progress, the only thing I can truthfully say is, is that there is no "progress". This is not a race, there is no "end game" here, outside whatever one deems it to be. Really it should only be the objectives of actualization and individuation, to become a whole, continuous, realized individual who is unique and distinct, made up of all their parts. People are naturally lopsided throughout life, some more than others, but in the most agnostic of senses possible, the goal for all mundane persons and "others" is to be who they should be within and without. The difficulty I am sure is self-explanatory but the point is, is that the "progress" is individual. At this point all I do is refine myself, push myself further, review and reflect on everything. I am not so certain there is always something new for me to learn about me, rather because I am one mosaic now, my goal should be to polish that to make it the best it really is and should be. So do not stress over needing to set goals, just keep pursuing the singular goal; the journey, not the destination.

On an aside, throwing out all the past is not inherently a bad thing, but it really shouldn't be done every time. Starting from a clean slate and working forward can be helpful but there is a lot to be said for working backward and trying to discern why each piece is where it is.
 
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