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Essentially, as I've been exploring the "otherkin" topic...it's gotten me back into contact with my personal mythology. Now granted, my earliest relevant memories of this would have started when I was about 11...and an 11-year-old doesn't necessarily know everything about the world. But it's the narrative that began to cohere when I first went in for treatment (for depression) at 14...and was encouraged to find my own way to make sense out of what was going on with me.

To get to the point -- my personal mythology says that one of us as a matter of course, travels as a discarnate entity between incarnations, and bonds with a new host, significantly post-birth, in each incarnation in order not to lose what could roughly be referred to as "memory" or "identity." Neither of those terms, though, is really correct; the term 'memory' implies that I would be able to retrieve memories from prior to this incarnation, like memories from within this incarnation. We've never tried to do that, though, and the one thing we know for sure on this is that without asking, we do not overtly recall anything. The term, 'identity,' is also a bit off because it seems it would assume a stagnant self, and this is very much not the case.

The way my system member Bell has put it, "memories" from past lives don't travel on without a body in which to record them -- that memories from this life are not qualitatively the same as memories from past lives. He said that the imprints left on one from past lives, one carries on within oneself. However, the physical neurological record of what exactly happened to cause those imprints, doesn't necessarily travel on. Keep in mind that this is unverified information.

Bell is the one of us who is supposed to be the body-hopper. We "fused" with him (what he would now refer to as a Level 1 fusion) when we were 17. This was brought on by beginning an antidepressant which cut off all internal communication, save that into which an extremely large amount of effort was invested. Whoever was living in the body at the time was pretty much in love with him, and though they didn't really realize the long-term effects it would have to fuse with him at that point in time, they did it anyway. Which...would have repercussions.

Relevant points in the next few years: we find ourselves at college taking the option to view ourselves as male. Sometime in there we freak out thinking that we're now male because we went through the fusion with Bell, and that the person we'd become by that time (Blaze), was the outcome of that fusion, who happened to be male. Meaning that the fusion, long taken as a metaphor or fantasy or reabsorption of an externalized part of ourselves, was in some way qualitatively real.

Of course, though; also happening at this time is that one of our (legitimate) disorders is kicking in. We become very anxious and depressed and are dissociating to cope with daily life, basically trying very hard to summon Bell to help us through this time, and succeeding only in retrieving fragments.

A couple of years after that, my grandmother passes away, and we have the first clear and easy mental visualization of Bell that we have had since, I believe, before the merger. He shows up an hour or two before we get the call that my grandmother's gone.

Why am I talking about this? Well, this scenario can be viewed in a few ways. One of the more unflattering ways to view it -- we have a long-term spirit attachment or a walk-in, or -- (as we've thought in our more dark/twisted times) a "soul-eater"(a.k.a. a walk-in who has the supposed capability to absorb and incorporate the Host into a new being). Now, that doesn't seem like such a bad thing -- especially if you're going by the idea that having a singular identity is *easier* than splitting front time and resources between system members, or trying to work out how to live as a group of spirits sharing a body.

Of course, as I noted elsewhere -- merging everyone in my system into one being still wouldn't stop the sensitivity which caused me to be able to identify Bell in the first place, meaning that even if we could and did do this -- unless we walled off every other spirit we ran across, we'd still be effectively multiple.

I've been speaking with someone online about this scenario, who perhaps I shouldn't really be speaking with about this...they're very much on the "light" side of things on the surface, though they have shown dark undercurrent (which is why I tend not to trust "light" people so easily -- because they're often not what they want you to think they are). This person seems to be somewhat psychic -- I've had multiple times of at least thinking that they're doing energy work on me which is causing paranormal phenomena on my end, though I really should go back and re-check that information, now that I know how the time/date function works on the site through which I speak to them (we're apparently several time-zones apart, which has made lining up what happened, when, more complex than it had to be).

Anyhow, the person...for one thing, has identified (at least to their mind) that Bell has, basically, tons of spiritual damage. (I personally have a difficult time "seeing" spirit forms; it's easier for me to feel/taste them, which is a reason I've trusted Bell [a large part of the time, anyway]. It's also a reason I've identified with snake/serpent forms.) The damage, it's said, causes Bell to need energy, and any vampiric tendencies issuing from him are the result of his leaking energy; not the result of being unable to process energy normally, or of his needing to draw energy to stay on this plane.

I have read in Dion Fortune's book, Psychic Self-Defense, that it is possible for a person to externalize their own energy to the point that one person's projection can be picked up as a separate spirit, by the psychic, so I'm not taking the hint that Apparently Well-Meaning Psychic Friend could 'see' Bell, as proof that Bell is not internally generated. And of course, there's also the possibility that "internally generated" does not negate "separate spirit", but I'm probably going to need a few more years on that to resolve it. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

And, right; AWMPF has also gotten the hit that my Host self (a.k.a. the original to the body) is apparently the same kintype as them, and that there is a history on their world of, as they called it, "editing the structure of the soul," which ultimately caused a lot of complications and vulnerabilities in those who underwent the process -- to the point that some of them just disappeared, and the ones who were left were impaired. I have no indication where this information came from.

Now that we've come this far: Should I be worried? About the fate of my soul (should Bell& attempt to take the merger[s] to Level 2, or even if not), about the amount of stated damage to Bell, about trusting Apparently Well-Meaning Psychic Friend?

EDIT: Does anyone else have perspectives on what the heck is going on in the first part of this post? It may not hurt to brainstorm about it, at this point in time...

If you got this far, thanks for reading...
First, trust your own impressions over what someone else tells you. (Unless of course you have several people independently telling you the same thing contrary to your own impressions, in which case, obviously, time to re-evaluate.)

Second, keep in mind what you know about someone else when considering what they tell you about you and your system.

The mismatch between outside appearance and undercurrent makes me leery. If they appear to be doing energy work on you without your prior consent, that's not cool, no matter how well-intentioned. If the idea of you two being the same kintype is AWMPF's too, that's potentially ominous - zie may be projecting zir own traits onto zir conception of what you're like, among other bad possibilities.

I would advise doing your own investigation and/or getting several opinions from separate sources (while giving minimal information and making note of what you DO tell, to minimize and keep track of potential confirmation bias) who present themselves as generally knowledgeable and trustworthy. Until then, the only part I'd worry about is Bell trying to fuse further without others' consent. And there are more of you, and Bell needs outside energy to get by.

As far as the fate of souls go, you're going to change when you die regardless. And you're going to change before that, perhaps drastically, perhaps at any time - life and death are like that. As with any integration, partial or complete, our question is, does this look like a beneficial change?

House Hesson Wrote:Kearil:If they appear to be doing energy work on you without your prior consent, that's not cool, no matter how well-intentioned.
The first time, this person did not have my permission. Then I let them know that they stood a good risk of psychic attack if they kept doing that, and attempted to notify Fiore/Kagerou (he likes the name Kagerou...) not to harm them.

House Hesson Wrote:Kearil:If the idea of you two being the same kintype is AWMPF's too, that's potentially ominous - zie may be projecting zir own traits onto zir conception of what you're like, among other bad possibilities.
I've had that problem before, as well, IRL. Led to many months of silence on my part, that. I think it comes from being with an overzealous potential partner who goes out of control because lack of confirmation on my part is taken to mean that what they think is true...when it's really just that I avoid confronting people with reality as I see it.

House Hesson Wrote:Kearil:Until then, the only part I'd worry about is Bell trying to fuse further without others' consent. And there are more of you, and Bell needs outside energy to get by.
I don't think we have to worry about Bell getting fuse-happy. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> To my best recall, he wasn't the one who brought up the possibility of further fusion beyond BelFiore -- I think that was Adrian (who was talking at the time like he and Bell were the same person, though they aren't). For now with the energy thing -- we'll try to shift our hours so we have more daylight and see what we can do about...the rest of it, when we have time to read more about this.

House Hesson Wrote:Kearil:As with any integration, partial or complete, our question is, does this look like a beneficial change?
With the first proposed merger: being Fiore + Bell; various elements here are wary about that, because we can currently trust Bell, and Fiore is only trustworthy in the sense of being predictable and controllable. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> If Fiore and Bell merged...power in our system would shift, as Bell then would not be able to be in the de facto leadership position he's in now, until we are certain he has control of himself and that we can trust him again. Bell doesn't seem too concerned about side effects of absorbing Fiore; but particularly April is not too happy about the idea...which is probably linked at least to some gender-politics stuff, seeing how Fiore is fairly aggressive, and April...is used to being on the other end of that, though not so much internally. (She has more to say on this, but it isn't "nice," and probably wouldn't be conducive to good in-system relations, should I publish it.)

The reason for that particular merger (to BelFiore) would be to rein in Fiore's emotions, so that Fiore doesn't suffer quite as much (which matters because we're all subject to the emotions of whoever is fronting at the time). But Fiore gaining access to Bell's power...may not be such a great thing if Bell cannot subordinate Fiore's emotions to his reason and calm. Bell seems to think integrating that content is going to be a piece of cake, but it's kind of hard to trust his word on it when you're not him.

The question of *every single one of us* merging with Bell is something Bell is wary of, as he doesn't particularly want to be alone in this body (as then nothing else *but* a walk-in -- I think he'd also feel guilty). The other option to dealing with the problem of being plural seems to be learning how to function better as a system...which is something that I'm uncertain my psych team is able to deal with at this time. Though now that I've recovered from my last scare and can see that the gender and sexuality stuff was triggered out (a.k.a. being seen as a sexually available straight woman when I'm not straight [in reference to my phenotype], not a woman, and not available to them [if I could help it]) -- the group of us may be able to find a psych with a specialty in dissociative disorders (who hopefully isn't nutty in themselves).

EDIT: I should mention that...I let AWMPF know where OKP was, before they said that which caused me to question whether they're trustworthy. So just to let you know...even though they haven't followed me to any other online location I've made available.
So I'm updating this thread. Last night I was reading in Bruce's Practical Psychic Self-Defense and found him talking about Neg relations with children. It, surprisingly, could be taken to mirror what had gone on with Bell and I when I was younger -- if I allow myself to think that Bell could be...more manipulative than I thought before, or than I wanted to think.

I haven't taken the time to review what I read last night, today; it wouldn't be necessarily a good thing to get myself worked up over this. However...I have a question. How does one tell the difference between a Neg and a spirit which is not a Neg? Bruce defines Negs as: "negative spirit beings" or "dense patterns of negative energy", "independent, sentient thought-forms", or "manifestations of one's own subconscious mind or the minds of others". (page 5, PPSD)

I've marked the line which begins the section which tipped me off:

"Some Negs seem to specialize in targeting children, attaching to and integrating with them. This is a kind of 'illegal' reincarnation, appropriating life after life down through the ages." (page 123, PPSD)

So...how is it that I can tell whether Bell is a "negative spirit being" or just a "spirit being"? To begin with, what does "negative" mean?

I'm holding back a lot here -- I may go write about a related topic in a different subforum, but I would appreciate discussion on this.

Thank you...
Hi! <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> Haven't been in this subforum for a while...

I thought I'd give an update particularly on something I said a while back, relating to Bruce. I've been doing some reading on my own, as I've realized that I can't depend on my care team to help me on this. What Bruce calls, in his own paradigm, a "negative spirit attachment," is apparently very very similar to what happens when someone splits off because of trauma in a dissociative paradigm. So in this sense, it isn't necessarily that an external autonomous negative being creates or takes advantage of a traumatic memory to work its way in. It seems, rather, that someone with a preexisting tendency to dissociate may "split" when traumatic phenomena occur.

It's basically the same thing that happens -- trauma leads to more than one identity state -- however, the explanations are very different in their implications. In Bruce's paradigm, essentially MPD/DID is caused by negative external spirit attachments and can be cured by exorcism. In a dissociative paradigm, this is not necessarily the case, and it's generally not a question of whether or not everyone in a system originates from the same substrate (as it's taken to obviously be so), and it isn't a question as to whether faith healing may be effective, as (dysfunctional, in this case) dissociation is a pervasive issue stemming from early childhood experiences relating to trauma and attachment. Again: same symptom presentation, different understandings.

Chordal Wrote:The other option to dealing with the problem of being plural seems to be learning how to function better as a system...which is something that I'm uncertain my psych team is able to deal with at this time. Though now that I've recovered from my last scare and can see that the gender and sexuality stuff was triggered out (...) -- the group of us may be able to find a psych with a specialty in dissociative disorders (who hopefully isn't nutty in themselves).
Still have not been able to find that specialist... <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> But we are learning how to better function as a system. What's generally striking me as odd is the fact that most of the identities I was talking about before, are still here, even if under different names. I mean, it seems (from my perspective) like it's a lot more complicated than that...

Chordal Wrote:Relevant points in the next few years: we find ourselves at college taking the option to view ourselves as male. Sometime in there we freak out thinking that we're now male because we went through the fusion with Bell, and that the person we'd become by that time (Blaze), was the outcome of that fusion, who happened to be male. Meaning that the fusion, long taken as a metaphor or fantasy or reabsorption of an externalized part of ourselves, was in some way qualitatively real.
Seriously, it wasn't anything to freak out about. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> But both the perceived merger and the coming to know oneself as transgendered were major life events, and it's understandable to think that major life events may be related. At this point it's rather obvious from where I stand that the being known as Adrian originated as a protector identity, particularly following the Mass Abandonment of 1997 (being when the majority of my "friends" decided to avoid me for the rest of their lives). It may follow from that point why he is (trans)male (because males were seen as strong and capable of protection); or it may follow from that, that he was Myself ("Myself" = the expression of what is reality for me at any given time), emergent. Certainly, I didn't feel like I had anything to lose at that point by inhabiting myself fully, but it wasn't until early college that I realized that I had the option to own an identity other than "girl" or one of these local variants of being apparently female plus non-straight and non-heteronormative.

...ah, I need to step away from the computer now. I may be back later.
Strange, last night I was feeling that the part of this which has to do with accumulating "souls" was something that it was safe to say *was* mythology. Today I'm at work and I get triggered, and Bell starts talking to me. What he said, that which I can remember, anyway, is that he was never as ideal as I wanted him to be. This communication was the first really honest voice that I've recognized from Bell in a long time; not having anything to do with Buddhism or trying to be a "good guy."

The communication was in the context of my thinking of him as basically *being* a soul-eater, at least in a symbolic fashion (but also, possibly, literally). As, given that I actually do experience dissociative phenomena (which is obvious enough to me), if all of this is in essence symbolic autobiography, what he identifies as is paramount. If Adrian & co. are demonic (or as close to being an actual demon [as I/we define it] as most will get), it's very possible that Bell internalizes the souls of others, and that he isn't really "light". But then, this blends into the (distant) possibility of being real, which leads me back to the point of questioning if I can trust him, and/or if he's manipulating external events to his own ends.

Bell's always been kind of an unknown, but in my youth this was an idealized and helpful unknown (even with the polarization in my mind between the being I knew as Bell and the being I knew as Fiore -- who may have been the same entity. Polarization, in my experience, leads to lack of control). The idealization helped me feel safer around him when he would comfort me, but -- if my own experience is any clue -- it also led to his growing distant. I suppose I'm old enough for complexity, now.

I started thinking back, also, on what must have happened to drive Bell *to* Buddhism, in the first place, and this triggers concepts of death, fear, suffering, and immortality -- though I think when this first came to me, it was just death, suffering, and immortality. Fear is the fear of attachment, and the consequences of attachment. With attachment comes pain when what is loved is taken away. Without attachment, it's difficult to survive. (...but that's just the nature of being a social mammal, I guess.)

The trigger for this was being reminded of an emergency which recently happened to someone I love. The emergency brought very clearly to mind the specter of losing this person, and the reality that unless I die first, I will lose a lot of people. (Well, technically, unless I die first, I'll lose *everyone*...) Today I was thinking something relatively forbidden on this...which would not be very smart to mention here...especially as I know I should not even try to do it. But I can't really help but entertain these thoughts.

I did, however, find within myself the idea that hey, maybe within the soul-eater hypothesis, I *am* talking about stealing souls (or wanting to). When I was with Bell at the merger, I felt the same kind of love -- the kind of love that makes you wish death and aging didn't exist and that you could stay together forever. Only it's stronger and more complex love in this scenario, and Bell and I were much more intimate, conversely. I do realize that I'm not doing anything on this front without asking permission first, and I also know that I am not insane enough to ask permission...because I probably really would have to have a psychotic break to mention this to people who 1) might literally believe me, or 2) might institutionalize me. Or both.

Rain said a while back that to resist your own urges is more difficult than stopping another from doing the same thing. In my case, it's really...really strange, because I've gone this far without having fully believed my own hype. I think that if I had believed my own hype, though, I wouldn't be in this position, now (where I do have to watch myself even as I talk about things which half of me fully believes I'm capable of, and the other half just kind of partially goes along with).
It wasn't stealing souls; I took what was freely given.

-- note for the future from Kage/Bell
I can't stay online now for long; I shouldn't really be online at all, this late. But I remembered something relating both to my study of Bruce and to my experience with Bell. Sometimes, when I looked at Bell, his face would start to melt off. Bruce relates looking at one's own hands on the astral plane and having them begin to melt as one sees them. Apparently this stems from something having to do with viewing one's own form causing a feedback loop, which causes one's astral body to begin to disintegrate.

The point I reached just a few minutes ago was the idea that maybe when I was looking at Bell and his face began to melt, what I saw as Bell was actually my own projection. Hence, when I saw him, I initiated the feedback loop which caused his form to begin to disintegrate. I'll come back to this thread in the coming days, I hope. Probably I won't be able to say as much as I'd like, given that my study of Taoism is not yet in-depth; but looking at this as it is, I would think Bell fits the nominal category of a "Neg," but doesn't deserve the negative connotations of the term. Given the people Bruce hangs out with, it's best to take his judgments as to the valuation of different categories of spirit beings with a bit of salt.

Also, cryptic bit of information: I've realized that I don't have to *try* to be hotheaded. I *am* hotheaded. But there are understandable reasons behind it.

That's it for now. See you all in about 12 hours. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->
One last post before the night's up? <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

When I read over this thread, particularly the first post, I understand that the situation I was describing is one way of looking at what's going on with me. I am not sure if it was this post in specific or a number of them in conjunction which triggered me back to the space in which I wrote them. On the way to work the other day, I actually started to have a panic attack, and realized that it could possibly be because I don't know where I stand if I am indeed now partially someone else.

Anyhow...it's apparent why I would not want to call myself a "Neg" or a "soul-eater." It sounds like I dislike myself, then. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> But one of the points is that I did experience some kind of merger with something at some time, which may or may not have been permanent, and may or may not have been with another part of myself. "Synthete" is a much more useful and neutral term.

As regards the first post, written about 3 years ago now, I personally don't see Bell as having a lot of spiritual damage. But then, I have not been trained to look for and find spiritual damage, and in addition, I hardly ever "see" Bell. It's basically a given at this point that what Bruce was talking about and what I'm talking about may be differing valuations of different spirits who both used similar methods of joining souls; just, in my case, it was consensual, and I was never really harmed or overpowered. I think it's probably the nature of the joining spirit which differentiates "Neg" integration from a "walk-in" in which no one "walks out."

It's also severely possible that AWMPS was jealous of my relationship with Bell, and that this is why he "saw" Bell the way he did. (I don't place a lot of emphasis on psychic "vision," can you tell?) <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

But at this point, and I'm not sure I said this here, I've given Bell the go-ahead to integrate (if that is his desire) -- mostly for the sake of seamlessness. This means that either now or at some point in the future, we might be much more difficult to tell apart. As things stand now, though, we're still separate, because there's still a lot I can learn from him. And I mean, how do you forget nearly two decades of being separate spirits, you know? <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> I don't think I'll forget my origins.

Anyhow, I've got to go, but I do hope to see you around.
Recent events in life have got me thinking that I really need to be careful about what stories about myself and my life I accept as fact. This largely has to do with some trouble at work which I've been working through both intellectually and emotionally; and also has to do with my studying family members who display traits similar to the ones I expressed which were disruptive to the work environment (in my case) and harmful to the one espousing them (in both cases).

In this, I am talking about the incident which I mentioned in passing some days ago. I recall writing something about the narrative of, and my reaction to, this fitting fairly cleanly into my self-concept, but I know I didn't really get into it, at the time. That post is here:

<!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="http://forum.otherkinphenomena.org/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2491">viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2491</a><!-- l -->

Relevant text is here:

Chordal&lt;Blaze Wrote:The posting on dysphoria, though, got me to think about something I've been trying to avoid. In a different sense...I've been recently triggered by stresses. The body has, within the last two weeks, been experiencing something of a relapse of our illness, probably triggered by irregular sleep and irregular trial medication, which has led to some issues at the workplace. (Those issues fairly cleanly tie into my self-concept.) In particular, it looks like I'm predisposed to perceive that others think I'm not working hard enough, though that might not be the case.

(I'm sorry things are so scattered over the forum. I mean, seriously, trying to find that bit of information took a while.)

The thing is that whatever the brain tends to perceive, it also tends to think is real -- even if it isn't, and even if it's the result of a malfunction somewhere. Of course, brains are much more complex than computers, so while it may make sense to try and eliminate a negative belief by removing its root, first you've got to find the root, and that is harder than it sounds when what you're searching with is itself corrupted (I'm using the term in a technological sense, not in a moral sense).

The fundamental idea I'm getting at is that the stories I tell myself about who I am and why, and about what is happening to me now which then may justify or cascade potentially-harmful emotional states, I need to make sure not to hold above questioning. Thus:

1) someone says something
2) I interpret it in a certain way
3) that interpretation makes me angry
4) I later display anger at that person

...this can be cut off at step #2, "I interpret it a certain way." Other people are not responsible for my interpretations. It reminds me of the time a classmate came up to me in high school and told me that I was mean to her in her dream, and then glowered at me as though expecting an apology. Her dream was not my issue, and in fact very probably had nothing to do with me. This relates to the present day by my having memories of this co-worker being insensitive to my state, but I cannot tell if that memory was from life or from a dream. Obviously, I'd be hesitant to ask if they ever said what I thought they said, because that shows other people that I can't tell fantasy from reality. Realistically, though, I do have a lot of "memories" which never happened, and so would not be surprised if this were another of them.

The cascade I outlined above is fundamentally what happened to me at work, and it's the fundamental cascade that happened to a member of my family when they lashed out at me for what seemed to be little to no reason. (As a note, both interpretations had to do with feeling our competence to be questioned; as minority people, we've both learned that competence is our only defense against an often hostile world. But is the world hostile? Really? Or is that a bigger framing "story" behind the "story?") If I would acknowledge that I was not sure of their intent, and thus my anger (step 3) may or may not be justified, this can defuse the situation. This is as versus interpreting the situation as though my interpretation were 100% correct and trustworthy, and then launching into fury because I interpreted myself to have been insulted. At some times, we who experience mental irregularities need to be able to develop the skill to step back and realize that in actuality, our stories are not equivalent to reality, and should not be acted upon as though they were reality.

I suppose this is where objective evidence comes in, and the rather elusive (for me, anyway) quality of objectivity. I've maintained for a very long time that total objectivity is not possible because of the way the brain functions...but that is a story, not reality. Looking at the total field of objective evidence, we might be able to get a better grasp of someone else's intent and what messages could lie behind what they say, rather than immediately interpreting them as negative. We can also ask for clarification as to someone's meaning, though to do so and to accept an explanation relies on a certain level of trust...which is hard to have when you interpret the world as often-hostile. And it's hard not to interpret the world as often-hostile when your community or your family has been actually hostile to you in the past.

The thing is, though; random hostility generally has nothing to do with the target and everything to do with the wielder. Just like I got upset at my co-worker, and like my family person got upset at me. It doesn't mean my co-worker meant any harm, or that I meant any harm. It's just a mistake, a flub, that I'm glad wasn't acted on more severely.

The bright side of this is that it opens the possibility that the world may not be as terrible a place as it sometimes seems...if you can step out of your story to see it.
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