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Torn, this way and that
Archer
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Post: #1
Torn, this way and that
There's a Queen song I always loved, Too Much Love Will Kill You:

Quote:Too much love will kill you
If you can't make up your mind
Torn between the lover
And the love you leave behind
You're headed for disaster
Cos you never read the signs
Too much love will kill you
Every time.

It always appealed to me (not least because of shadow references!), but it has a new resonance about now.

Short story. About 10 months ago, I became ill. Now I'm finally on the road to getting better, I can evaluate just how ill I really was - and it scares the hell out of me. At the time, I could say "There's a chance I will have permanent brain damage" and it washed over me, but now I understand all the implications. And it's caused me to take stock of my life a bit.

Now, I'm one of these people who doesn't really like making choices. You should have seen me in school, working out what university to apply for. Archaeology or medicine? Can't I do both? Can't I be a doctor who spends the summers on digs? And of course I ended up packing all THAT in to do an English degree, which was a way of avoiding reality while I thought to myself "Ooooh, if I was a writer, I could write EVERYTHING and thus BE everything."

Part of this stems from being multiple. There's more than one me in here; when I say "I have always dreamed of doing such-and-such" it's pretty much impossible to see who the "I" even is.

Anyway, until my recent thoughtfulness, my life plan was pretty clear. I'm a (very) junior lawyer. So the plan was study my ass off, eventually get fully qualified, shift over to criminal law, and put bad people in prison for as long as possible. This is not only something I believe I would love doing, and something that I believe would improve the world I live in - it's also something I would be very, very good at. (No-one who has argued with me online could doubt I was born to be a lawyer!)

Except . . . do I want to do that because it's what drives me, or because I very strongly identify with my late father and that was the path he was on? (There's a whole long story involving medical problems there, but it's not too relevant.) Being a multiple, specifically my kind of multiple, makes it difficult for me to tell the difference between "me" and "someone almost exactly like me". My father and I were like clones of each other; do I want to spend the next ten years suing people for not paying for their kitchen upgrades just so I can live the life of someone similar-to-but-not-quite-me?

Then there's writing . . . ever since I was a very young kid, I loved writing stories. Not to tell to people - just to create them for me. And every now and again I get into that again, and in my time off work recently I've been writing; thinking of maybe trying to make some comic books or even novels. But . . . why did I write, as a kid? Was it because I had this burning desire to create, or was it just because I was trying to make sense of a mass of baffling and contradictory identities and memories? Write about twenty great characters and I can be them all. No need to find my own identity if I can build as many identities as I can imagine and live inside of them. A multiple's way of not having to choose anything.

Then of course there's my other half. And what does my other half want to do? His entire nature is set up to protect people. What he wants to do is find bad guys and beat them into a bloody pulp so they can never be bad again. Make society safe, take care of everyone and everything who needs to be taken care of. And of course it's no joke that a big chunk of my life has been spent looking into law enforcement. In fact right now I am planning a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology & Criminology. Except that I don't know if I want to get that degree and go to work for the Home Office making my world a little better . . . or my other half does.

Because I have a sneaking suspicion that what *I* want to do - assuming I could ever point to the bits of me that are "I" and not him or me-reacting-to-his-presence - is really simple. Get a job - not a career, just a job - that has enough vacation days and enough of a salary that I can go on a couple of holidays a year, spend a lot of time with my friends and family and cats, and enjoy myself with music, games, and fiction. You know. Screw the rat race, screw ambition, just spend as much time as possible on being with the people and things that make me happy.

If I could describe my ideal lifestyle, I'd be a fully qualified lawyer working in behavioural profiling of serious, high risk criminal offenders, while writing comic books and making them into movies, playing international ice and inline hockey, and kicking ass at the MMORPG of my choice.

See how I have no real concept of how to fit one life into, well, one? This time a year ago I was practically living three lives anyway - the massive amount of effort I put into otherkin forums and discussions and other matters (a lot of which doesn't get seen in public); the massive amount of time I put into hockey; the massive amount of work I put into my job. (Plus, of course, socialising and downtime relating to each of the three.)

And I'm sitting here, juiced up on medication, wondering where my life is going.

That's the thing about being a multiple. It isn't just my life; I isn't just me and I'm not making decisions for one. But while I get more than one personality, more than one batch of memories, more than one set of desires, more than one dream that makes my heart lift . . . I only get one day every 24 hours to deal with it.

Quote:I'm just the shadow of the man I used to be
And it seems like there's no way out of this for me
I used to bring you sunshine
Now all I ever do is bring you down
How would it be if you were standing in my shoes
Can't you see that it's impossible to choose
No there's no making sense of it
Every way I go Im bound to lose.

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."

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2009-01-15 5:45
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Post: #2
Re: Torn, this way and that
Thank you for sharing this, it was nice getting a look at what goes on in your head. Would you consider posting this as an article?

Archer Wrote:And of course I ended up packing all THAT in to do an English degree, which was a way of avoiding reality while I thought to myself "Ooooh, if I was a writer, I could write EVERYTHING and thus BE everything."

Ain't that the truth of English majors everywhere! I majored in English because I wanted to write fiction for a living. Too bad it took me to my senior year in college to have a class, Creative Writing, for someone to actually tell me that that's damn near impossible nowadays. There aren't too many Stephen Kings or JK Rowlings that can make their living solely from writing fiction.

Archer Wrote:(No-one who has argued with me online could doubt I was born to be a lawyer!)

Some people are born great while others have greatness thrust upon them. You were born to be a great lawyer. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->

Archer Wrote:Screw the rat race, screw ambition, just spend as much time as possible on being with the people and things that make me happy.

I agree. There are much more important things in life than a job. However, you need a job to get money to pay for bills and fun stuff. Besides, if they didn't have to pay you no one would show up and it wouldn't be called 'work'. <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

I think we all hit a point in our lives where we don't know what to do as a career. I have a full time job and I still have no idea what to do with my life!

Have you considered talking this out with your headmate? If you can both agree on one specific job that you'd both enjoy, that might help get you going in the right direction. If you can't find a career that you and he both love, then perhaps a job that you both will like would be good enough.

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2009-01-15 14:44
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Post: #3
Re: Torn, this way and that
Elinox Wrote:Thank you for sharing this, it was nice getting a look at what goes on in your head. Would you consider posting this as an article?

Feel free to paste/move it there, it's all good.

Quote:Too bad it took me to my senior year in college to have a class, Creative Writing, for someone to actually tell me that that's damn near impossible nowadays. There aren't too many Stephen Kings or JK Rowlings that can make their living solely from writing fiction.

The thing about making money from fiction writing is this.

If you have the talent and the work ethic, you can indeed make a good living from writing fiction. But - very, very few people have the talent and work ethic. I think I probably have the talent, but not (at this time) the work ethic. A lot of people have the work ethic, but not the talent.

Stephen King didn't make it big because of luck - he made it big because he had a lot of talent and he worked his ass off for a very, very, very long time.

Same as being a doctor. The vast majority of people flat out couldn't be doctors because they don't have the intelligence, the drive, and the ability to work . . . but unlike being a doctor, everyone watches TV shows and thinks "I could do better!" and are then surprised when it's reaaaaallllly difficult.

Quote:Have you considered talking this out with your headmate? If you can both agree on one specific job that you'd both enjoy, that might help get you going in the right direction. If you can't find a career that you and he both love, then perhaps a job that you both will like would be good enough.

"Talking" is not an issue because we are co-conscious - but considering things jointly is what we have done for the majority of my life.

As for a job we both like? Anything we both like? Oh hell no. I'm not spending my next 50 years on this rock nine-to-five-ing something I "like". If it doesn't make my heart sing I might as well be selling jeans in the mall with a staff discount.

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."

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2009-01-15 16:38
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Post: #4
Re: Torn, this way and that
Let me share a story.

I was in a multiple-system, and I wanted to do *everything*, just as you did. I wanted to be this, do this, go here, find there... and I ran into the same problem you did -- how do I know where "I" begin and the others end?

And then my multiple system crashed. Every single one was destroyed.

My shadow wants me to be either an assassin or involved in some manner of dangerous job so that I can have the chance to legally kill people. This would benefit him greatly, because if he takes the thing that satisfies him most, the victim would end up dead... a big no-no. I career like this would allow him to legally take what he wants, in a "positive" way.

But what do I want to do?

Nothing.

With the death of my system came the death of "my" goals. I have none. Now I just want to be a hermit.

Take that as you wish.

~~~
2009-01-16 0:57
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Motley
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Post: #5
Re: Torn, this way and that
I think this is more than just a multiple issue. Even if you're not balancing headmates, you still have the expectations of your parents, friends, culture etc. I don't really have any answers to this one. In one way you could say I'm a failure at it. I don't support myself with my job. On the other hand you could say that I got what I really wanted anyway. My job is to take care of my family, a preschooler and a disabled veteran. I also get out of the house and teach a couple times a week, something I would enjoy doing paid or not, though the pay means I have to say no to other plans or make arrangements. When the little one goes to school I'll have more time to devote to 'what I want to be when I grow up.' Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm starting to think that a real salary from a job that doesn't drive me more crazy than I already am might be a good thing. On the other hand, I get antsy when I spend too much time away from home, because that's where my first loyalty lies. So, I still haven't figured it out either.

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2009-01-16 6:12
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Post: #6
Re: Torn, this way and that
Marrik Wrote:My shadow wants me to be either an assassin or involved in some manner of dangerous job so that I can have the chance to legally kill people. This would benefit him greatly, because if he takes the thing that satisfies him most, the victim would end up dead... a big no-no. I career like this would allow him to legally take what he wants, in a "positive" way.

But what do I want to do?

Nothing.

It's all very Jungian, isn't it?

Not "Shadow" in the sense of "everything you label that way is a secret, repressed desire you cannot deal with consciously". But certainly in the sense of an inner shadow having such a fundamentally different nature from your outer self. In my case, my other half is rather remarkably close to being my animus, as well.

Likewise - I call him a shadow (not meaning in the Jungian sense, but the double meaning is there), which is a term he would never, ever use for himself . . . though he would be entirely happy to describe me as a shadow.

So what we have is me, with him as my other half, shadow, and animus . . . and him, with me as his other half, shadow, and anima. Neither properly functioning as a complete individual, but each also functioning as more than one.

Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas

Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."

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2009-01-16 6:16
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Post: #7
Re: Torn, this way and that
Hahaha, let me rephrase this.

Before, I repressed my shadow. I feared him (can you blame me?) and he responded by being violently opposed to the situation (can you blame him)?

In the end, he needs me for my human consciousness and body to use as a vessel, and I need him for his energy because it appears I have a large natural deficit (I have my suspicions he is somewhat responsible).

We parallel each other, however, in our pursuit of individual power. It just so happens that the most "convenient" way to do this leaves a corpse as a waste product. Considering my needs as a human, however, this would be very inconvenient in the long run and so we don't do it. It doesn't stop him from being hungry, however, so it *can* become difficult. Getting involved in a career that would allow us to legally leave a corpse would be the best course for both my human needs and his needs.

~~~
2009-01-16 12:31
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