Being a teenager can be hard -- hormones, school, dating, friends, parents and the ever-constant struggle for acceptance. Not to mention all the hair growing in all the wrong places, iick. Being otherkin can also be hard -- you know, the skepticism, the "oh am I going nuts?" question, the random odd experiences that might confuse you. So, being a teenage otherkin can be very VERY different from "I Was A Teenage Werewolf" and that movie about the boy who turns into a mermaid...merboy... yes.
What do you do first? Question. Alright, being a demon might sound super awesome and cool because you are "naughty by nature" and listen to Slayer on your iPod. But are you really one? Many people -- even adults -- have a hard time questioning themselves. It seems that many people just don't seem to consider any alternatives, kin or otherwise. Are you just confused? Remember that adolescence is a time of constant change on all levels (read: there's more than just hair growing everywhere), which can explain your sense of detachment from everybody in school, your individuality, and so on. Not being satisfied with your life -- are you just thinking you are a dragon because being Galdstaff the sorceror of light in your Friday night games has gotten boring? -- and wanting to belong to a group can also affect your decisions. To put it simply, are you bored with your own life and being kin sounds 'awesome'? Are you just depressed/hormone-ridden? Do you just want to belong to the Otherkin group, which sounds (and probably is) much cooler than the cheerleaders at school? Be honest with yourself. I'm not saying that otherkin isn't possible -- otherwise, I wouldn't be here -- but sometimes people just overlook the simple explanations (such as, I'm pale because I have been indoors too much), and instead just go for more complicated things (like, maybe I'm pale because I am a vampire). Remember that perhaps digging deep now might be better and far less painful than later on.
Now, you have questioned yourself, and decided that playing Galdstaff on D&D has NOT gone to your head. Very well! What's the next step? Research. I know that this is not a school project, but research, research, research. I cannot stress this enough! Some people just make assumptions based on what they watch on "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" or "X-Files" instead of actually finding out the "facts". I'm aware that most of this is in the realm of Magic and lore, where there are nearly 171625252 versions of every single detail, but knowing the human point of view is always helpful. For instance, this person I know actually believed that ALL demons spoke Latin. So, my friends, research as much as possible, from as many points of view. On the other hand, don't just automatically assume that just because someone one thousand years ago wrote about this on rolls of parchment, that it is true. Humans are often, willingly or unwillingly, biased so take everything with a grain of salt and understand that just because YOUR version of the story doesn't match entirely the written reports, that it isn't true. The key here is moderation, question but don't dismiss everything with a "blah". Be careful to avoid the "Elven Princess Syndrome", and feel free to ask questions!
Next on our list, is secrecy. This is not Harry Potter, and nobody will drag you to an underground place where you will be trialed and expelled out of the community if you make any public displays of who you are; but parading yourself around with the word "THERIAN" written on your forehead might not be the best of ideas. You might feel the need to tell your best friend forever (or your boyfriend/girlfriend, which is generally a bad idea. Trust me, you might love them eternally now but blackmail is always a possibility in the future) and maybe even everybody in school... but don't. Not everybody is completely understanding of this, and instead of making the other kids tremble with fear, they might just mock you and write things about you on the bathroom stalls. I cannot stress this enough. Otherkin don't have everybody's full acceptance.
This leads us to our next question, what to do when you cannot do/have to do certain things because of your otherkin side? For example, drinking blood or some such can be a bit of pickle at our age, and many people will not let you wear sunglasses indoors. So how to solve this? Well, there are many alternatives. Perhaps -- if you're not a vegetarian -- you can ask your parents to make rare steaks for your dinner. If you have a real physical problem (such as rashes after being in the sun, etc) maybe you should check a doctor. Do NOT tell them about your otherkin-ness, of course, just let them test you for those physical issues and maybe get a note allowing you to stay in the shade in PE class. No matter what your dilemmas are -- there is probably some way of coping with it. If you can't come up with anything, despair not! Just ask for advice in otherkin forums; more experienced otherkins have probably gone through the same when they were your age. And we won't bite! Being Otherkin has its ups and downs, and we understand that!
Likewise, accept said ups and downs. You are not physically immortal, and you are NOT better than humans. If there is anything about some people in the that truly gets me, is how some often refer to people as "mortals", which proves that they are either fluff-bunnies, have been watching too much Buffy, or are just plain arrogant. You are stuck in a human body whether you like it or not, so just because you are an elf you aren't immediately superior to everybody so don't snob them over it (this won't make you an elf, only a pain in the... bum). Also, you are not going to be young forever and you are not invulnerable to harm -- so walking into incoming traffic is still a bad idea, just like it is for anybody else who is physically human. You're not superman, sorry! And being [insert whatever here] doesn't give you an excuse to hurt others or look down on them.
Another part of a teenage life, are parents or some sort of custody-holder. We all have 'em, and whether you love them or hate them, they can be complicated to deal with. This is not exclusive to otherkin, it's a crucial part of teenage life. Now, just because they let you go to Chelsea's no-adults crazy party or just because they said nothing when they caught you and Mike making out on the couch, it doesn't mean that they will be equally accepting that you are a vampire, or that you had an existance as a cat/gnome/orc/chupacabra (in fact the latter might alarm them slightly). So don't tell them unless you KNOW for sure that they actually will believe you, or that at least they won't express parental concern over this. A good attitude to adopt is having them get the idea that you're not abolsutely convinced of this even if you are. That way, they might be less likely to fuss over it.
And if you ever think you're going insane, ask yourself "What Would Keats Say?" and have a cup of tea. Don't stop questioning. Accept the ups and downs of being Otherkin and always keep in mind that even if you're not a human to embark on an epic quest, you're here and you can always have a good time (people have things like gummi bears and chocolate chip cookies!)... and of course, being human has bad stuff to it (*cough*DrPhilreruns*cough*) but also nice things. Don't snob others, be open-minded and... well, have fun! =)
If you have anything to add, feel free to comment here and I'll add them to the list! =)
Last edited by lemur
on Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.