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Oh hey.

So I've been doing some reading of backposts -- particularly my introductory thread. There are a couple of things going on, but I'm not sure whether to split up my thoughts into two posts and put one in the Multiple forum and one here, or just deal with it all, here.

What I found interesting, which I had actually forgotten about, is the chaos bit. Apparently, I used to identify with this, but gradually lost touch with it over the years. It's not as though my life is lacking a strong chaotic element; however, at this point it just seems like normal life. I'm still dealing with an unsettled career path, not being sure in which direction to move because I want to go in so many all at once...but there are limited resources for that; particularly when it comes to time and money.

After I looked at that first entry, I was reminded of how at one time it seemed like it would be a good idea to go into Library work...which doesn't seem like a good idea anymore. I've thought this happened because I've realized that at least public librarianship is a public service/teaching position, and I've realized I'm not well suited to deal with the public on a constant basis. I can do it, and do it well, but it's not a good position for me to be in, because it stresses me to deal primarily with people. It's not what I want to do.

I don't think I'd call a change of opinion as to an optimal career path quite "chaotic", especially when viewed in the light of, "I made a decision, and now with increased background and ambient knowledge, I no longer think it is the right one." But this, however, is not the first time I've had a complete (or near-complete) break in long-term plans. I majored in Creative Writing because my desired major kept changing over and over again, in a time-dependent manner. That is, I'd think that one major was best, and be able to line up reasons why, then another day I'd think a different major was the best for me, and also be able to line up reasons why, and just no longer feel that the prior major was right. And it wasn't like there were even two, there were more like three or four. And each time, each choice felt equally valid and right, in the moment. I could get set on it, and then I'd wake up another day and I'd feel dead-set on something else (which felt entirely right and valid), or switch back to prior decisions and then switch to something else again. When this happens enough times, with the same set of choices, you start to think that something may be "off."

This experience leads me to think that maybe my current difficulties (as to which career path to take) could be because of time-dependent personality shifting (I use the term "shifting" instead of "switching" in relation to my personality changes, because I rarely have the clean break that the latter term infers; I also don't experience the memory loss that "switching" can refer to). Writing allowed me to tackle anything, because it wasn't a subject, it was a medium.

I am also dealing with getting back into the creative writing, and the mental feedback that I get from that. Particularly, I'm looking at a passage (in my Intro post) which reads: "...[Name,] though she probably wouldn't like me to say it, may be a fragment." This is the same impression I got off of the same persona when I was doing a 'zine-type project a while back. And still, when I mention the name of this being, or one of her names at least (names change often with me), something is dredged up and I get a sense of presence and disagreement with -- or anger at -- the idea that she is a "mask" or "fragment". This is the part of me which is into creativity and beauty, which I've been satisfying in a more integrational manner by not denying myself possibilities to express creativity and beauty. She has also been against my physical transition, which I've (seemingly on my own) decided against, largely because I can't imagine a time when I would not want to be able to express beauty, and that would be harder in an aging male body than an aging female body.

I get that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; I get that she is part of me. To deny her desires would be to deny my own desires. I get that I can take something entire and pick it apart until I see the webbing that holds it together, if I really want to.* But I've been running for a good while now (how long?) with little overt attention to "which of me is talking, when;" and that's largely because I don't feel it's healthy to overtly partition my thoughts, especially when I don't know how to, in my own case.

But yes, the chaos thing...may impact me more deeply than I've realized, in the sense of internal states just outright changing. I think I'm relatively good at ignoring this until I start becoming creative, and then I have an absolute need to let my walls down and be honest with myself (or otherwise be creatively blocked -- which is antithetical to my reason for existence), and I start thinking things like this...which I suppose you can say is kind of scary with the w00, but ...it's not unworkable.

One of my friends has told me that creativity can be channeled chaos. I think that I'll be working off of that, for now. If anyone has any notions as to how I might be able to stop being so in-the-moment and see what's happening systemwide, I'm listening.

*Spin thread out of that fiber, and weave something?
I wonder how much of this long-term-plan-shifting has to do with not having enough information to make a stable and well-informed decision?
Chordal Wrote:I wonder how much of this long-term-plan-shifting has to do with not having enough information to make a stable and well-informed decision?

The sad fact is that many of us will never have enough information, and can, at best, only make a decent guess as to what we really are. Most people seem content with getting somewhat close, whereas others want more definitive answers. Don't try forcing it though. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->
Thanks, Eli.

In the continuing saga of "what is up with Chordal," I thought I'd mention that I've been reading a book written by someone who is both multiple and a psych professional (I can't remember which degree, at the moment). I've been told both by the person I normally see and within this book that, basically, identifying with what's being said is normal, because there is no one who is fully integrated (and that full integration, in effect, is an illusion).

Right now I'm kind of in an odd place, because I'm looking at my gender identity troubles and also at my psychic fragmentation, plus some of the traits which got me diagnosed with a more severe malady that I think I'm still dealing with. The thing is that some of those traits (like my famous olfactory hallucinations, and existing in a state without volition or identity) can also be part and parcel of Dissociative Identity Disorder. The gender identity portion of this can also be part and parcel of DID. The thing is that I've been talking about possibly having more than one identity since I was a teenager, so if I do have a dissociative disorder, this means that it would have been ignored for 17 years.

I think I'm fairly clear that I am not dissociative to an extreme -- I don't believe I have strong state-dependent memory loss (though how would I know, right?), and thus I can't have DID as it's defined in the DSM-IV-TR -- but I might have DD-NOS (Dissociative Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified), meaning in my case, just that I have something that's presenting like DID but without some factors. But there are enough <!-- s:!: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" /><!-- s:!: --> s in what I'm reading now, to cause me to keep going, anyhow. I used to have stronger experiences of certain memories being "forward" when in certain states, though as things are now, I'm not entirely certain of who I'm being at any given time, so it's harder to connect those memories with personality states. Plus, my major state that I've been running off of, has mellowed considerably from the time when I first got to know him/her (he started as female and mentally transitioned as soon as he knew it was possible).

What I have found is that as I've been reading, my identity as plural has been coming more to the forefront, and thus it's easier for me (probably a different "me") to do things like dress as female and feel okay/good about it (whereas before, I was trying harder to be consistent about my projected gender, because I think that I have at least one major, strongly male alter [as in the I'M NOT A WOMAN GET OFF MY BACK variant], and I was trying to get more fully behind him, and seeking his comfort -- as I felt myself at the time to have been transmale). I've come out as fluid in at least one place, as well, and am considering doing so at my place of employment (even though it would probably be a non-issue). This variation in state is something I've also been talking about with my normal mental health professional...though I haven't told her about the "chaos" portion of this, or identifying as a creature of chaos.

I've got the clue from my reading, that things can seem very chaotic to someone who is highly dissociative and who doesn't know quite how to handle it, yet...I'm just not certain that anyone who's treating me knows how chaotic my life is, probably because I'm not breaking down, or screaming, or threatening self-harm, or dramatically switching in-session, etc.

When I first came out about this, I said that I thought I might have been multiple and that was brushed off with a, "you're too stable to be multiple." I'm not sure I know what that means, like if she believed my "spirit friend" who I indicated as hanging out in the corner, to be a *real* spirit friend? An imaginary friend? Doesn't this merit some freaking exploration??? It's either paranormal, dissociative, psychotic, or imaginary play. Three of those things, I would think someone in Psychiatry would want to know about.

So, what I'm looking at now is the possibility of skills training, which is the majority of what psychiatry can do to help me if I do have DD-NOS. I suppose I can talk about this with my lead doctor as well... *sighs* I don't think I deal with people, well...
Hmm. Interesting to find this little gem here...

As things stand...I've begun working through a book called You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career, by Katharine Brooks, Ed.D. It's basically a sort of workbook which helps one get to know themselves better so that they can make more informed decisions as to where they want to go with their career path, and it's based on Chaos Theory. It's actually been helping me quite a bit, surprisingly. I mention it because I think it may help others on this forum, especially on this subforum. Apparently -- and I've never really read much of Chaos Theory, other than that in this book -- when one's view of the system becomes large enough, order starts to emerge from what seemed to be random chance.

I've spent the vast majority of my waking hours today, working on a mandala that is due for me, next Tuesday. I am not quite sure how my brain is doing it (I mean, I really don't know how -- I even somehow coordinated my colors according to some scheme in my head), but it seems to be coming together. I had developed the layout prior, and today took the inked tracing, taped it down to a piece of hardboard, and started painting it. It has been one of the most scary things, to start putting watercolor on that drawing. Right now, the drawing itself has been painted over, and I'm working on layering colored pencil on top of it.

I'm using Prang transparent watercolors, which I was hesitant about because they're scholastic (student-grade, not professional) watercolors, and so may fade...but they work beautifully, and they're really inexpensive. I tried them side-by-side with watercolor pencil and ink pencil, and the Prangs really outperformed both. They also look better over large areas of watercolor wash than does the Crimson from my Cotman-brand watercolor sketching pack, which didn't "level" well, if I'm using the term correctly (the brushstrokes are more visible, and the paint grainier in the latter, than I'd like).

This is, like, almost steady work from about 1:30 PM until about 8 PM, with breaks just for food and internet. I didn't intend to work on this all day, but I needed to. I skipped class today because of waking up with a persistent touch of nausea -- probably due to all the ice cream I've been eating... >_>;;...and then I was like, "hey! I have an excuse not to go to class! I can stay at home and work on this project!" And then I went back to sleep for about five more hours.

<!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue --> right.

In any case...I haven't really updated anyone here on how things are going with the career plans. I do have a goal, right now, but it won't move into full effect until next Fall. I'm going back to Library school, so that I can become a Librarian, which should give me enough time and money to be able to work on my Art, and keep me around sources of information and inspiration. In the meantime, I'll keep working at my Library, and hopefully be able to make enough art to stay sane.

I should get my Associate's degree in Art at the end of next semester, and I've decided that the Art is my primary drive, not what I do to support the Art. I'm getting the Master's degree in Library Science, though, so I won't be trapped under a glass ceiling in my field in the future. Right now my options are working as Clerical staff (checking materials in and out) or as a Library Assistant (helping patrons locate information sources), but the higher ranks of the Clerical option are management positions (I'm not a people person); and as a Library Assistant, that is the highest I would be able to go at all without a Master's in Library Science. Plus, it's person-intensive, and it can become really intense when one has to deal with unpleasant people (predominantly inebriated people, but there are the rare non-inebriated and sane jerks [to be kind about it]).

I'm aiming to work in Digital Services after I get out, though I still have to do some research to find out exactly what a Digital Services Librarian does. I have a dream of what they might do, but I've got to see if it matches up to reality.

<!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

It's nice to have a plan, at least. It took me a while of digging around and looking at options other than being a Librarian, when I realized I should probably utilize the time I've already sunk in this career, and move up -- because this is probably my best option, and I'm in a demographic which is known for being underemployed and unemployed. The best-case scenario out of all of this, would be becoming a curator of digital collections in Art, maybe for a college or university. That could be really cool, though at the same time, I'd have to teach myself a lot of Art History, so that the students wouldn't know more than me! (I have two Art History classes under my belt already -- I'm attempting to teach myself more of the Modern Art stuff, this semester. I didn't realize that it's actually more expensive for me not to have taken Art History than to have dropped $200 on a book [my student loan payments kicked in].)

I've also chosen my field in such a way that it won't be a bad thing for me to be a creative/eccentric person (with all that entails). As for what I was talking about before -- like in 2013 -- it's pretty clear that I don't have DID. I probably am just really creative with very few boundaries on what I consider to be "permissible" thought. It's really super clear that I'm gender-fluid, and as I understand it, for myself, this encompasses more than gender. I actually don't know how it would solely encompass gender. Right now, I'm not sure that I want to pin the cause down to spirituality or to psychology...I really think it's both and that the two things aren't necessarily separate, but I also know that the functions of my mind may be beyond my primate brain's ability to comprehend. (Just because humans like to think themselves the "most intelligent" beings on the planet, that doesn't mean that we're "intelligent" as a stand-alone property.)

Like creativity. Every psych professional I've questioned as to the mechanics of creativity has told me that it's not something that is understood yet. And so...of course it would be kind of scary, when you're using a part of your mind that is so complex that no one has figured out how it works yet. On top of that, the nearest helpful system is Chaos Theory? I mean, seriously.

I...should probably get going. Sorry about dropping another essay on you all, but since I got all happy about the demon stuff (like not being attacked for it! yay!), it's making me want to meet more demonkin and have a space where I can speak somewhere as someone who's demonkin...and not just, like, avoid talking about it. Because the situation is, to my mind, still not good where it comes to Average Joe's ability and willingness to keep himself from being cruel to someone who associates themselves with demons. I might be wrong, especially when dealing with somewhat-intelligent college students, but just looking at the general population...eh.
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