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pressure of normalcy and obviating identities
Chordal
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Post: #1
pressure of normalcy and obviating identities
It's been quiet recently...

I know there are the new people, the mods, and Rain, <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue --> , but otherwise it's been quite quiet. I've been contrasting this with the earlier days of the forum where there were more active members. More drama, too; I don't miss the drama. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> But I kind of wonder what happened to the people who used to post, and if it's anything like the reason I migrated away from the community as well. The biggest reason I came back was because I needed to refresh my knowledge, after meeting someone who fell into the bounds of the community. At the time, it was something we had in common; but sometimes, to grow, we need to go beyond our commonalities and embrace who we really feel ourselves to be.

At this point, I'm having somewhat of an unusual time, attempting to reconcile my past identity as demonkin with my present identity as likely energetically sensitive/mediumistic. It's an explanation that requires fewer unprovable things to be true. But then things are up in the air in other ways, too, like trying to figure out if my basic identity is feminine but basically unbridled. In this case, I'd be experiencing a number of different personality states which can overlay my own, but which are essentially not actually wholly me (except in the case that I am part of Deity and Deity includes all spirits...which is a belief that basically got me out of a quagmire of "is this psychological?" versus "is this real?").

So in the transgender/genderqueer communities as well, I've been trying to figure out if I still fit. I know I have a tendency to fluidity, and maybe I'm just basically in a more feminine state right now than at other times. It's just difficult, when I live and am recognized as female, and when I express femininity and am seen as feminine, to hold on to an identity as masculine -- and that, why? So I can keep my membership in the trans community? Just because I'm female shouldn't mean that I must be masculine to be included. But just because I'm seen as feminine doesn't mean I can't be masculine. What I've had trouble with is not wanting to disturb other peoples' ideas of me, and by that finding myself trapped and unable to assert who I am, ultimately leaving me with relationships that are neither real nor worthwhile.

I know there's something different about me as regards the transgender narrative by which I find myself at times surrounded. I don't think I've ever really had severe body dysphoria -- what I have is uncomfortability with who I'm assumed to be because of the way I look. But I think everyone probably goes through that, just some more than others. What I've needed to do has been more psychological and assertiveness-oriented than changing my appearance and name and pronouns and body chemistry (though what of that I've done, has helped as well). I mean, I understand it can have a great effect on some people, but it's not something I've had to go through. I've had to rebuild my life from a much more basic place, of basically having and maintaining real relationships (which in my case can't be done without risking losing the person I'm having a relationship with). Or maybe I should say that I've taken on the project of crafting my life, and haven't had a need to change my body to do that. I do recognize also, though, that those who do undergo medical transition are also crafting their lives; it's just a direction that I'm pretty sure is not something I want for myself.

I'm also coming to the point of realizing that I'm not really homosexual, which makes identifying as lesbian (as I believe most of the world sees me) really ridiculous. Women's community doesn't seem to be broad or inclusive enough to include what I need; trans community has a different set of priorities than I do. I find myself in a spot where I'm not certain if I'm just a really liberated woman -- to the point that I am alienated (and somewhat frustrated) by women's community -- or genderqueer and unable to access advanced-enough and deep-enough spaces to process my genderqueerness. I realize I'm the same person regardless of the label, it's just the reference point -- in my mind -- that changes. Am I a strong, powerful woman so outside the bounds of the definition of "woman" that I'm an outlier; or a genderqueer person trying to get by, and much closer to the norm (if there is any norm)? I want to be a fantastic person who is able to change expressions at will and assert themselves without fear of rejection. This itself doesn't comment on my gender. But it's something I've struggled with and am working on.

Anyhow, I started this out thinking about how my life is getting so complex that I've felt that some housecleaning is in order. I often like being on this forum, but I think I'm getting so far away from my old identity as demonic that it doesn't make sense to hold onto the label. There are too many unnecessary negatives, and the specific points that drew me to the label (feeling my life was chaotic; feeling outcast; shifting identities; fascination with demons; need to feel as though I could protect myself; at times hostile energy; rebelling against religious conservatism) are things that are now explained better by further information, if not supplanted by newer skills, grown out of, understood as youthful ways of coping, or simply recognized as human traits.

At the same time, I know the specific "spirit" that identified as demonic, who for a large time took care of this body and system; and am trying to process integrating the memories and thoughts that he had into my present frame of mind. I'm not really identifying as "human" at this point, though, as well; which is the thing. I've never really been into the idea that a spirit can have a species, though in my experience they do not all appear as human (which would paradoxically qualify the concept of spirit having a species: human), and in my experience, in my visualizations, I do not always appear as human. But isn't that life? If spirit doesn't have a species, why would shapeshifting *not* be normal?

I'm getting to the point, though, where I think I'm getting so far outside of the range of "normalcy" that I'm getting comfortable with it and thinking/knowing it's not a big deal. Some people get weirded out by it, but not the people who are important. I've gotten to the point that even the label I've been using to denote my sexual orientation is tongue-in-cheek now, because it isn't really weird or strange, it just is. People who think it's weird and strange are living in a different psychological universe than I am, and I can't do anything about that; but neither should I let their norms determine my norms.

Okay, so I've written that. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> I still find it kind of funny to call myself a Demon Jeweler, but it's not so serious this time. I'm not sure what to do with it, because I have for years wanted to become a Demon Jeweler, and haven't yet developed an appropriate replacement as a goal. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> Of course, I think that the person I become is going to become too large, intricate and complex to be defined by any one label. And maybe that's the reason why I felt the need to write this. I feel I'm growing up and out, and some identities are like rubber bands that attempt to hold me in. Sometimes they just need to be cut.
2013-07-09 5:15
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Klandagi
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Post: #2
Re: pressure of normalcy and obviating identities
Hi Chordal,

I've actually been wanting to PM you regarding some of your comments to my introduction post, which I'd like to thank you for again. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> I promise to get on that soon, or comment on the original thread if you prefer, as you brought up some really interesting concepts I would like to discuss with you further. My delay surely isn't for lack of interest, but due to the fact that I want to have my thoughts more together when I respond about matters that I am still struggling to comprehend let alone describe. So, I hope you're not leaving the community here before we get a chance to talk more! <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

I don't believe I've experienced feeling transgender/genderqueer to the extent that you seem to refer to. I am a straight male, though I have often felt much more "feminine" than my male friends (even those that are homosexual) and relatives. I believe some of this to be due to the societal influences of associated gender roles and the fact that I seem to be much more emotionally sensitive than most men outwardly express. But there have been times I have felt more fluid in my gender, and also times when I questioned if I was experiencing the convergence of a feminine entity or spirit. My chemical makeup and hormones indicate a strong preference for females when it comes to physical relationships, but other than the physical nature of the relationship, I believe I could feel a deep, even intimate, connection with other males, too.

I could associate this bit of fluidity to my own gender as more of an expression of my belief in the interconnectedness of all that exists or in the infinite field of divinity that permeates all. I did not recognize this belief when I had my first experiences of "shapeshifting", and with my childhood and teenage experiences encompassing shifts only to animals, I concluded that I was some sort of freakish "animal person" or "shapeshifter" until I met up with the "online were-community" in the late 90's. I then became a "were", and later a "therian". The labels I've used to define myself over the years have changed as I ruminate on my experiences and discuss spiritual matters with others who have coined certain terminology to better define themselves or their worldview. I'm getting to the point now where I'd actually rather not label myself as anything, as I seem to be more fluid in nature now than ever before. "Shapeshifter" seemed to be an appropriate term to address most of my experiences until more recently, when I began comprehending an all-encompassing or subjective view of divinity. I don't know where I see myself now, as I feel more like a formless vibration of energy than an actual being sometimes.

I think at this point I am placing less importance in categorizing or identifying myself, and more emphasis on discerning my personal truth. I used to believe my perceived identity and personal truth were one in the same, but that has obviously been a false assumption. My true nature is constantly shifting, but in essence I feel it is one with the divine force that is present in All-That-Is. I may be aware of having a physical body here on this planet, but the truth behind who or what I really am is the infinite nature of spirituality, God, divinity, or whatever-you-call-it, that human words lack the capability to describe or comprehend.

Chordal Wrote:If spirit doesn't have a species, why would shapeshifting *not* be normal?

I love this thought, as it is one I have been mulling over a lot lately. Glad I'm not the only one! <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin --> My current idea is that my shapeshifting experiences are more spiritual in nature than anything else. I have some working theories as to why I find myself associating with certain forms over others, but I now believe my shapeshifting abilities to be more of a quality of the unifying energy of the universe rather than something physical or psychological within my body or mind.

Anyways, before I head out, I would just like to thank you for all your contributions here and your responses to my posts. Although I have also found this forum to be rather quiet, in you and a few others here, my need to be able to share and discuss such matters without fear of judgement or criticism is being fulfilled. I hope that you're willing to stick around a bit longer and continue contributing to the attraction of this place to spiritual seekers and "strange" folk such as myself. <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin -->
2013-08-09 4:57
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Chordal
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Post: #3
Re: pressure of normalcy and obviating identities
Hi Klandagi!

Thanks for the nice letter! I probably am going to stick around for a while, especially given that my identity is in ongoing flux. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> If you'd like to PM me, you have my permission. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> Just a note, though, I think that our PM inboxes have a relatively small amount of storage space. Looking at my own inbox, I think we get 50 messages that can be held in there at one time. You can PM me or post to the intro thread, whatever puts you more at ease. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> I know that safety online is relative, but sometimes knowing that one's thoughts aren't *automatically* open to any member, can help.

So, this "pressure of normalcy" thing...I've been thinking on this more. There have been a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head about identity and what it means to have an identity...I'm not sure I can get all of this out here right now, but I can try.

I've been having issues recently with bits of information being distant from what people would call "the front", in a certain community I used to be a part of. That means, basically, that someone may ask me a question and I'll be able to respond with fragments of what they want to know, but for some other bits I might only get a mild "ping" off somewhere behind and to my left. In my anxiety to supply all the information *now*, I miss recognizing that subtle little ping that would otherwise tell me I'm forgetting something. The thing is that I don't always realize I'm forgetting anything...I've heard this can result from stress. I mention this because it's been affecting me more strongly than ever, within the past three weeks. I'm not sure what I can do besides work through it...this relates because I'm not sure that here and now I can recall and relate everything I've been experiencing.

Today when I was at work, at one point I recall really not wanting to be there, but needing the money (probably a common dilemma), and considered for a moment switching out into a specific identity -- the one who had been associated with the thoughts around demons, and also the one who carried me through some tough times -- this is the Fire elemental I mention below. Then I remembered what had happened at other times when I'd called him out and he didn't want to be there, and I remembered how troublesome it is when certain reactions become ingrained because beings think that when they hold a certain identity, they therefore must act or react in a certain way. In this case, the person I wanted to shift into is known for being a tiny bit quick to anger, and sometimes socially cold. Thankfully, I remembered that, before I could shift...I kind of don't need new drama at work, you know? <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

I was also thinking about the terms relating to moving into or out of a psychic space, particularly the "P-Shift" terminology. This is on top of the Five Elements reading I've been doing...or trying to do...in which I found that this "spirit" may very well be the personification of Fire energy in my system. Basically, he's the key Fire elemental (if that term applies) in my miniature universe. I did not actually realize that I had much of anything "fiery" going on, until I realized that this element is connected with love and hate, openheartedness, vulnerability, and joy. Which, you know, actually sounds like who I was before the ongoing harassment and depression took hold.

This is also curious in that if this theory holds, I might have a number of elementals in my system which combine to make "me."

I was reminded of this the other day as well...when the name of two entities whom I'd wanted to balance each other years ago, came to light in a brand name of a food at my produce market (how plebeian, right? But until then, I didn't even know that the name I'd made for them was actually a real name). It did get me thinking about them, though, and about the ground I've covered since that time, including the period in which I abandoned the merger hypothesis...which still feels somewhat more accurate to me than other explanations, but not quietly so. There's more beneath the surface, but I haven't uncovered it yet. It just feels more workable and like less of a downer, than the explanation that I absorbed my spirit friend.

I think it's likely that when I first met the being I now call my first spirit helper, he was actually the spirit of a deceased young human; there is nothing to contraindicate this, and I used to live next to a freeway, where it's likely more than one person died on an average day. That freeway was also bordered by water, which would have encouraged the spirits to come my way; we also lived next to a creek, which would have further bounded them in (running water is said to stop earthbound spirits). What happened after that, I'm no longer sure. Identities are a bit mashed up; I'm uncertain whether my first spirit helper just took the form of this boy after he went on with his afterlife, or whether that boy just continued on inside of, or with, me.

The seed of my Fire elemental, the other half of this proposed merger, was a different spirit, one whom I've thought of as "deranged, but not evil," for quite a while. When I was a kid, I made a "softer," more kid-friendly version of him so that I wouldn't fear or dread his presence all of the time. (I had a habit of doing this; it's like the skeleton imaginary friend I made because I was afraid of the sight of skulls.) That softer version became the identity I grew into, in late high school and early college. To join these two would majorly benefit the Fire elemental (granting him a measure of self-control), while it would darken the other. But seeing how the other had a nature so that he would accept this if it would put the Fire elemental into less pain...this may be the spirit I've contacted who brings to mind the Bodhisattva hypothesis in me.

Right now I'm reviewing your post and something came to the fore for me that I've been thinking about in the context of what you've said. This is an idea that I've had confirmed from some of my reading, which is that it's possible to start out, spiritually speaking, at a more advanced level than the general population because of training in prior lives. However, from what little I've been able -- or compelled -- to read of the Western Mystery Tradition, it's said that people with this kind of past-life history tend to wind up with mental illness in later lives, and that it's recommended that they stay away from magick. I would not entirely agree, because in my case I did not seek the "magick," the "magick" is following me. I do not compel the "magick" to appear or control it directly with my thoughts. In short, I am not its master. I'm a part of what's going on, but by no means its entirety. What's happened, or so I believe, is that I have something of a community backing me up on what would be called the other side of the veil; it's on this side of the veil that things have broken down, in which the trainings have either been largely lost, or in which I am distant from their direct locales, and thus finding a quality teacher -- not to mention, settling on a tradition *in which to find* a teacher -- is difficult.

So, the name I used to go by, online, back when I was more deranged than I am now... <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> ...is so representative of Fire that I'm not sure I have to (or should) name it here. But what I was trying to write about, above, was actually that the "demonic" feelings have not entirely ceased. I feel more bright and alive somehow when I'm able to let this part go. When I was majorly depressed, it would give me a jolt to get out of bed, just to think that I was myself and I was awesome and I would conquer this day. (This was back in my pentagram-wearing days [...don't ask]. <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue --> )

I've also realized that social disapproval of anything having to do with "demons" (except anime) is a major reason why I'm not so fond of naming myself as "demonic." Well, besides the fact that there are different classes of Demons, and the known Demons whose energy I've felt, I don't entirely sync with. (Angels are different, but Angels and Demons aren't necessarily the same types of beings on some polarized scale.) And then there's the fact that anything with the word "demon" attached to it tends to attract a lot of stuff I just don't need, including extreme right-wing politics and the constant stream of people the right-wingers hate, etc. In short, there's a lot of drama that I don't need.

What is interesting though is to think on myself as demonic after a long enough time in which I have *not* thought of myself as demonic, and to realize that I'm the same being, regardless of what I call myself. And it's like, hey, I was getting along pretty well there for a while without having to deal with this. Maybe the general dishevelment is external to me and not within me. And then mess happens like the wedding I just attended and I just feel evil for a few days because I'm not Christian and because the Christians are being offensive, and I know with full certainty that I will never be one of them in this lifetime, unless they get their act together and start being more tolerant. I'm not sure that can happen within an orthodoxic religion, however.

OK, I am trailing off, now... <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue --> By the way, I totally understand wanting to get your thoughts together before posting. I do that a lot, too. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> I will try and remember to do some thinking on formlessness...that's something that my thoughts have also touched on, seeing as how my beliefs are presently dualistic (matter/spirit), and as such, I do not know where my ultimate identity may lie (or from what points it may extend).

All right, I'll wait for your update! <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> Right now I should probably get some rest...
2013-08-12 5:47
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