A Shlion's Experience
This is not going to be a topic concerning itself with whys. Why do I experience what I do and don't? Why do things present themselves as they do? Where does it all come from? Nope, none of that. If you're interested in the whys, I have an article here on that very subject. No, this is a topic about that what. What do I experience? To what degree? That sort of thing. So, if you haven’t read the whys…go do it. Seriously, it might just help put the whats into perspective…because my whys are not exactly the traditional otherkin case of past lives, reincarnation, and new agey stuff. Not at all. Read it? Good. On with the show.
What is a typical day like. Let's start there. Well, there is no such thing as a typical day. There are days I walk around in a haze and don’t shift at all. There are days when I’m all over the place. There are days when I’m constantly a lion/shark the whole day. What I can say is that, when on land I predominantly experience my lion theriotype. That isn't to say that the shark is then absent, but more like it's swimming around in the back of my mind. When I'm swimming, it's the opposite. I primarily experience my shark theriotype and lion is padding around in the background. So I always experience both of my theriotypes simultaneously, but the extent to which I experience them flip flops.
Do I shift? Well, yes and no. I am a suntherian, leaning towards some kind of funky polytherian contherian. Whichever habitat I'm in, the theriotype that is "dominant" is one that I experience as a constant state of animality. The theriotype that is "in the background" is the one where I will experience shifts. Since I live on land, here's the example. I am in a constant state of lion. That is to say that I have constant phantom limbs and a sliding scale of lion mindset. I will experience random shark shifts, both mental and phantom as well as cameo shifts (shifts that pertain to neither of my theriotypes).
I guess I'll start with cameo shifts. They are called such because this refers to a shift that’s is not related to one's kintype(s)/theriotype(s) For example, I was watching a youtube video on baby sloths (which was utterly adorable) and I found myself feeling like my arms were longer, my nails were super long, and I was moving in slow motion, but it ended as soon as the video did (it was only a few minutes long) and was limited to fleeting phantom limbs only. Nothing vivid here, just randomness that has nothing to do with my theriotypes. Some people's cameo shifts can be recurring or last for an extended period of time, but mine seem to be provoked and fleeting.
When it comes to shifts that have to do with my theriotypes you’re probably going to ask me first off if I "lose myself” if I "lose my humanity” (especially if you're coming off of Tumblr)…and the answer is no. I have never had a shift so deep where I am the not human thing to the point where I could kill a puppy because I lost myself. In my personal opinion, our human brains give us the power of self control and it behooves us to exercise it.
I terms of mental shifts, I would say the most common for me is prey drive. Here's where I can start to sound a little "odd" because I primarily experience such shifts with regards to humans. No, I'm not confessing to being a serial killer. I have never acted upon a shift (except for chasing after the odd squirrel/fish). But it's worth noting that lions are one of the last natural predators of humans. We are, technically, on their menu...so my "lion brain" seeing people as prey isn't exactly weird. I have found myself, especially in crowds, getting the urge to bite into the spine of the person standing in front of me. I often get the urge to chase down prey with tooth and claw. I get the urge to "scent rub" people I am close to and view as part of my "pride" (my group, my family) and this is primarily centered on those I am romantically involved with, wanting to rub my face on them. I also do it to my pillow when I'm in bed, whatever that means. I also have a visceral hatred of hyenas. I really don't like them (don't worry hyena therians, I mean the literal animal). So that's the lion mental shifts, shark ones involve chasing after fish when I'm snorkeling or diving, a strong longing to be underwater among coral reefs to the point where I could easily forget to check my oxygen level when I'm diving (this is why you don't dive alone, kids), and the occasional gut feeling that if I stop moving I'll die.
I've had the urge to taste blood and experience various mental states in a NSFW sort of way, but this is not the place to talk about that. If you're over 18, we have a subforum for that sort of discussion.
In terms of phantom shifts, in my daily terrestrial life, I experience constant lion phantom limbs...well, some anyway. I find it awkward to close my mouth all of the way due to my phantom teeth, I have phantom claws, a phantom muzzle, and phantom shoulder musculature (meaning I feel my shoulder blades should move in the vertical plane as opposed to the horizontal like human shoulders do). I also tend to yawn full on wide open jaw, teeth bared, tongue out...just like a big cat does. In terms of the shark, I experience phantom skin (a shark's skin is made up of interlocking "scales" and has the feeling of sandpaper), a nictitating membrane in my eyes, fins of all sorts of types, teeth in rows, and a tail (I often try to swim with my legs together moving side to side which is ridiculously dysfunctional).
Some phantom limbs become more prevalent in various situations. Fore example, when I’m defensive I often find myself experiencing phantom claws and lion teeth more strongly. Same goes for the random mental shift, for example growling under my breath when annoyed.
I also find human babies and children repulsive. I hate the noises they make (especially when high pitched), dislike how they smell intensely, and am all around awkward when dealing with/handling them. Lion cubs, on the other hand, strike me as offspring. I would love to raise one, though I would be bothered by the fact that I couldn't care for it like a mother lion would. Yes, lion cubs are the babies I "should have" and human babies...no thanks.
A lot of human concepts don’t make sense to me, regardless of whether or not I’m shifted. I find my parents most often commenting on it because they have a serious notion of what "should be” and I often don't share the sentiment. I don’t have a sense of morality that lines up with a lot of peoples'. Is it more animal? I don’t know. It's not "normal human”. My ideas of right and wrong are often not everyone else's. I see a lot of greys where most people see black or white. A lot of my morality is situational instead of absolute. I honestly don't think anything is "morally" right or wrong. It's either beneficial or it's harmful. I don't get the close family bond thing, especially the owing people things when they don’t seem to feel the same towards me...and I don't understand money. I mean I cognitively understand it, but I really don't see its importance other than "I need money to live because that's how society works". I'm sure there are more examples, but they allude me. I often can't find the words to describe what I think or feel, like human words can't get it across …I guess that's another example.
Last paragraph, here we go. So what is the bottom line, while we’re discussing whats? I identify as a psychological polywere, a psychowere if you will (though maybe that title makes me sound like a crazy axe murderer) and am something of a suntherian (or some odd flip flop contherian).
Tags: Introspection, Experiences, Kintypes & Theriotypes, Psychological