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Otherkin, or Obsessed?
Anetiel
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Post: #1
Otherkin, or Obsessed?
While posting a rely on another topic here, I got thinking about otherkin and obsession.

Knowing from experience, it may not be easy to differentiate obsession from feelings of otherkinity. Someone who's greatly obsessed with wolves, for example, may decide they're a wolf therian, only to find out, months later, that they're not. They just simply like wolves.

So what's the real tipper here? What would you call "otherkinity" and what would you call "obsession"? Are they unanimous in some aspects? What sort of behavior, belief, etc. would denote one or the other, if at all?

Keep in mind that some people can take their obsession as being spiritual if circumstances apply. It can also perhaps be a bridge to an "awakening" for them. But I'm wondering if there's a certain, pinpointable separation between a "real lead" and "an obsession taken a bit too far", and if so, what sort of point that would be.

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2012-03-19 15:17
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Post: #2
Re: Otherkin, or Obsessed?
The way I see it, identifying as otherkin because of obsession is marked by people whose only personal evidence for their identity is really liking X creature. As in collecting things bearing its image, etc. People whose identity is not simply obsession have the added piece of feeling phantom sensations, mental processes, and above all not feeling human on top of those possible "obsessive" traits.

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2012-03-19 17:15
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Post: #3
Re: Otherkin, or Obsessed?
Well, I was interested in various animals throughout my childhood. I say 'interested' and not 'obsessed' because my having these animals as favorites was not the be-all and end-all of my existence; I really liked them, collected t-shirts, figurines, etc. of them, liked to pretend to be them, but even as a young child I recognized that I was not those creatures. Also, I do not remember ever having a wolf phase like I had a horse, dolphin, elephant, etc. phase. I only became enamored with wolves after I discovered therianthropy and later the Otherkin communities. So in that sense, my 'obsession' with wolves happened after I realized I was one.

That aside, those of us that have done our homework know there's a big difference in really really really liking something and actually being that something. For example, I really love pasta, but I am not pasta 'kin. To put that in Otherkin terms, I think snow leopards are amazing, they're one of my favorite animals, but I know that I am not a snow leopard therian. The feeling is completely different and a mature, intelligent person can recognize that difference.

Also, for me at least, these feelings have persisted for years. If it were only a passing fad, as many obsessions are, I would have thought I would have gotten over this whole Otherkin thing by now. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

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2012-03-19 18:52
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Post: #4
Re: Otherkin, or Obsessed?
Elinox Wrote:I really love pasta, but I am not pasta 'kin.

...No flying spaghetti monster 'kin? <!-- sSad --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- sSad -->

Elinox Wrote:The feeling is completely different and a mature, intelligent person can recognize that difference.

This was what I was wondering about. I'm not otherkin, but I thought I was one for a while. My want to be part of the otherkin community was more important than personal honesty back then and a part of me knew I didn't really identify as the things I thought I was. It took me a little while to admit that.

An interesting point I'd like to make, given this history, is that, because I'm not otherkin, I don't know what it's like to be otherkin. For that reason, I wouldn't know that "completely different feeling" you describe, so correlating a lifelong urge to fly with my interest in angels seemed a perfectly valid reason to call myself an angelic. I'm sure other people come to the conclusion of being otherkin for similar reasons.

Seraphyna Wrote:The way I see it, identifying as otherkin because of obsession is marked by people whose only personal evidence for their identity is really liking X creature. As in collecting things bearing its image, etc. People whose identity is not simply obsession have the added piece of feeling phantom sensations, mental processes, and above all not feeling human on top of those possible "obsessive" traits.

It makes more sense to me that mental and phantom characteristics would show before an initial interest in a specific creature. If past life is any indicator, an otherkin would have some sort of bare knowledge about their specific 'kin-type even before they discovered what it was. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

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2012-03-20 3:27
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Post: #5
Re: Otherkin, or Obsessed?
Anetiel Wrote:...No flying spaghetti monster 'kin? <!-- sSad --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- sSad -->

Wouldn't that be an interesting 'kin type! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

Anetiel Wrote:This was what I was wondering about. I'm not otherkin, but I thought I was one for a while. My want to be part of the otherkin community was more important than personal honesty back then and a part of me knew I didn't really identify as the things I thought I was. It took me a little while to admit that.

From my own experiences, I never really felt a need or longing for a community where I could fit in. I found the communities after the fact, thought they seemed useful and interesting so I joined up and have been here ever since.

I think for some people who currently identify as 'kin that it's really a longing to fit in anywhere. Problems in their real lives (either past history or currently) seem to be prevalent in the communities. Please don't misunderstand, I don't believe everyone on forums is a fake, just simply that in my time here I've noticed a large pattern of health issues, family problems, etc. It could add to people identifying as Otherkin, or it could simply be a coincidence, but it is something I've noticed. Probably because I myself don't seem to fit that 'norm'!

Many are young folks who are just coming into their personal identities and are trying to figure out who they are and not identifying as human 1. makes them unique in their real lives and 2. gives a quick answer to some burning questions (mostly questions like 'why don't I belong?' which every teenager experiences).

Personally, I think it's amazing when someone can be brutally honest with themselves and admit that they are not 'kin. It helps keep others grounded in that being Otherkin is not cool or special, it just is.

Anetiel Wrote:An interesting point I'd like to make, given this history, is that, because I'm not otherkin, I don't know what it's like to be otherkin. For that reason, I wouldn't know that "completely different feeling" you describe, so correlating a lifelong urge to fly with my interest in angels seemed a perfectly valid reason to call myself an angelic. I'm sure other people come to the conclusion of being otherkin for similar reasons.

For me, it's like the difference between loving dolphins and identifying as a wolf. It's hard for me to explain it, I apologize, but for me there's a deep feeling of being intrinsically connected to wolves and the ocean that feels deeper, more spiritual and like I'm wired more for wolves and the sea, than just liking wolves and swimming. When I found the terms there was a resonating inside of me that connected with the words and I realized why I felt different than most humans around me.

At the end of the day, it could all be in my head, and I fully acknowledge that. However, that doesn't change the fact that I experience phantom limbs, etc. or how choosing to identify as a seawolf makes me feel. Besides, we'll never know if Otherkin are "real" or not. All we have to go on are experiences and what we believe.

Anetiel Wrote:It makes more sense to me that mental and phantom characteristics would show before an initial interest in a specific creature. If past life is any indicator, an otherkin would have some sort of bare knowledge about their specific 'kin-type even before they discovered what it was. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

Exactly. However, it's not always the case. For some, myself included, I just was until I had a name for the feelings. I lived my life and just felt odd in human society, like I didn't fit in and was something different.

My counter-argument is, how could someone realize what they are experiencing (phantom limbs, past life memories, etc.) if they don't have a name for the sensations? It's like asking which came first the chicken or the egg, there's a good point for both answers. Otherkin is the same way; it's hard to know what you're experiencing if you don't know what you're experiencing, only that you're experiencing these things. Does that make sense?

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2012-03-20 15:05
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Post: #6
Re: Otherkin, or Obsessed?
Elinox Wrote:Many are young folks who are just coming into their personal identities and are trying to figure out who they are and not identifying as human 1. makes them unique in their real lives and 2. gives a quick answer to some burning questions (mostly questions like 'why don't I belong?' which every teenager experiences).

Story of my awakening right there. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Elinox Wrote:It helps keep others grounded in that being Otherkin is not cool or special, it just is.

And thus we revisit the whole taboo of otherkin: It's a wickedly good excuse to label oneself as a super special snowflake. Forums like OK (which, by the way, I can't access. Forum crash?) and OKP are very good about communicating a rational, reasonable standpoint in this matter, encouraging others to think seriously about otherkin and give it a level of credibility.

But alas, there are also other forums filled with so much fluff you could start a pillow factory with them.

Elinox Wrote:For me, it's like the difference between loving dolphins and identifying as a wolf. It's hard for me to explain it, I apologize, but for me there's a deep feeling of being intrinsically connected to wolves and the ocean that feels deeper, more spiritual and like I'm wired more for wolves and the sea, than just liking wolves and swimming. When I found the terms there was a resonating inside of me that connected with the words and I realized why I felt different than most humans around me.

On second thought, Elinox, I believe I do have an idea on what this feeling of "otherness" would be like, simply because I lack it. In lacking it, I can conceptualize an idea about what it would feel like to not lack it. Make sense?

I think it's important to teach newly-awakeneds and those who think they may be otherkin about listening to their feelings, rather thank thinking about it all. When it comes down to it, thinking can just lead them to an inacurate conclusion. Believe me, you'd know it if you're not otherkin; accepting that instinct, however, is another story altogether.

But even though, in the end, I sat down and said, "Okay. I'm not otherkin." after about two years of believing I was one, I do not think my particular experience was all for naught. It did teach me a pretty significant lesson about personal honesty. But I'm in the minority. There's probably a lot of people, extreme fluffsters even, who won't admit their not otherkin because they'd lose that special feeling that comes with it. They'd be surprised how liberating it actually is, when they realize it feels more natural.

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2012-03-20 18:38
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Post: #7
Re: Otherkin, or Obsessed?
Anetiel Wrote:But alas, there are also other forums filled with so much fluff you could start a pillow factory with them.

Too true. Although it's been awhile since I ventured out into the wider Otherkin communities.

Anetiel Wrote:I think it's important to teach newly-awakeneds and those who think they may be otherkin about listening to their feelings, rather thank thinking about it all. When it comes down to it, thinking can just lead them to an inacurate conclusion. Believe me, you'd know it if you're not otherkin; accepting that instinct, however, is another story altogether.

The downside to only trusting your feelings is that sometimes wishful thinking can cloud your better judgement. So I believe it has to be a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking on your personal feelings/experiences.

Anetiel Wrote:There's probably a lot of people, extreme fluffsters even, who won't admit their not otherkin because they'd lose that special feeling that comes with it.

I understand what you mean, yet I personally don't get what the hell is so special about being 'other'. To me, it'd be like me saying huzzah for my blue eyes. Well yeah, I have them and duh I like them, but that doesn't make me a better person or any more special than someone with green or brown eyes. The idea that Otherkin are somehow special or better than humans seems ludicrous to me.

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2012-03-20 19:28
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Post: #8
Re: Otherkin, or Obsessed?
Elinox Wrote:The downside to only trusting your feelings is that sometimes wishful thinking can cloud your better judgement. So I believe it has to be a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking on your personal feelings/experiences.

What I really mean when I say "listen to the gut" is to understanding the difference between your feelings and your wants. The two can be confused because wants can seem like truths at first, but they are really very different from the feelings of gut instinct. But it sometimes can be really hard to tell the two apart, so I do advocate critical thinking and skepticism when considering otherkinity. There are people out there who have no interest in listening to their instinct at all and who end of with Fairy Princess Syndrome, and we want to teach people to avoid that.

What feels natural is what is true; at least, that has been my experience. Neither the labels "wolf therian" or "angelic" felt true to me. They felt like roles I was playing.

Elinox Wrote:I understand what you mean, yet I personally don't get what the hell is so special about being 'other'. To me, it'd be like me saying huzzah for my blue eyes. Well yeah, I have them and duh I like them, but that doesn't make me a better person or any more special than someone with green or brown eyes. The idea that Otherkin are somehow special or better than humans seems ludicrous to me.

And yet you can totally see where the appeal comes from. If blue eyes were exalted and deemed the best color eyes to ever exist, those who have blue eyes would have a strong sense of entitlement and dignity, while those who don't would look on with longing and bitter feelings. And, of course, some may not ever care.

But as you've said, blue eyes are just that: blue eyes. And otherkinity is just what it is: An identity. A state of being, even. But both lore and media have exalted mythical creatures, spiritual creatures, and were-creatures alike. Because of this, being a demon has become a lot cooler than being an angst-stricken teenager. But it all boils down to our perception of these things. We give things value based on relativity.

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2012-03-21 17:02
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Post: #9
Re: Otherkin, or Obsessed?
That's a really tricky one, I think. I absolutely LOVE tigers, and they're my favorite animal, and always have been. I generally adore cats as a whole, and, yeah, maybe I'm a little obsessed with them. But a Phoenix is what I identify myself with, and it was the first and final conclusion I came to after researching and many years of saying, "Nah, I'm not this, I'm not this, lalala," but I think that it is very VERY likely that a lot of other Therians or Mythkin are just obsessed with their kin type, or at least the ones who fall off the face of the Earth six-months after the Awakening process and the acceptance of themselves. I think for some people, it's just a phase, and so they choose at the drop of a hat which animal or being they'd most like to be, or favour most, and then start parading around pretending to be something they're not, where as for the rest of us, this is deeply rooted within us and never goes away, as much as we might try to assimilate ourselves into every day life.

It's just one of those things you can't be sure of, I guess. Only the person crying "Wolf!" knows if there's really a wolf or not.
2012-03-22 20:24
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Post: #10
Re: Otherkin, or Obsessed?
Anetiel Wrote:What I really mean when I say "listen to the gut" is to understanding the difference between your feelings and your wants. The two can be confused because wants can seem like truths at first, but they are really very different from the feelings of gut instinct. But it sometimes can be really hard to tell the two apart, so I do advocate critical thinking and skepticism when considering otherkinity. There are people out there who have no interest in listening to their instinct at all and who end of with Fairy Princess Syndrome, and we want to teach people to avoid that.

Absolutely agreed! I oftentimes question my own beliefs but the consistency keeps coming back. I guess the only way to know with any amount of certainty is being consistent.

Anetiel Wrote:What feels natural is what is true; at least, that has been my experience. Neither the labels "wolf therian" or "angelic" felt true to me. They felt like roles I was playing.

But couldn't someone, intentionally or not, train themselves into thinking it's real and believing it is gut instinct?

Blazingsmolder Wrote:...but I think that it is very VERY likely that a lot of other Therians or Mythkin are just obsessed with their kin type, or at least the ones who fall off the face of the Earth six-months after the Awakening process and the acceptance of themselves.

I've often wondered where certain people online who are 'kin will be when they're 30, 50, etc. There doesn't seem to be many 'kin over the age of 35 now. But that's probably due to the older generations not using the internet like we do now. *shrug*

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2012-03-23 13:57
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