Autopersonification Thread

Discussion in 'Brainbent' started by Elph, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Elph

    Elph capuchin hacker fucker

    Yeah, that's another difference - mine don't "make" me guess, because they're not really capable of that. They can't know anything that I don't know, and they can't keep secrets from me, because anything they know, I also know. (This is the whole "not a separate consciousness" part, I guess.) So when, for example, I'm arguing with one, and she's mad at me for not fixing a problem and I ask what I'm supposed to do about it and she says "you know what I want you to do", then if I don't actually know, it means she's bluffing and she doesn't know the answer either. It actually makes it easier to deal with her (I say "her" because there's one specific one who is most likely to do this), because normally I cower in front of her and believe every negative thing she says, and implicitly assume that she's right and I'm wrong; but if she's obviously trying to pretend to know something I don't, we both know full well that she's lying, and that's just kinda sad. That's one of the few times I can laugh at her.
    Each of mine has a role, but I wouldn't call it a purpose, because it's not exactly a function. On account of they don't help me function. In fact, in many ways, they are personifications of my lack of functioning.
    I didn't mean "trauma + already having subpersonalities -> DID/OSDD", just that the apparent human tendency to autopersonify might be a contributing factor. Kinda like... it's very common for humans to be comforted by familiarity in the form of routines; this is probably a factor in why OCD is a thing that can develop as a response to distress or anxiety. Does that make sense?
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  2. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    no offense I just. can't imagine what that would be like.

    huh. this is....also strange to me.

    ahhhh, okay, that does make sense!
    • Like x 2
  3. wixbloom

    wixbloom artcute

    Hey, I absolutely do this as a kind of coping mechanism which involves... not JUST fantasy escapism but also doing things I normally wouldn't feel that I could or should do. For example, when I have to Get Stuff Done wth urgency but I'm feeling sick, spoonless or discouraged, I tend to channel my tabletop roleplaying OC Nic Winter. Nic is smart as hell, socially manipulative and even though they're not a fighter they have done things such as blow up a kidnappers' base with only a single bullet fired at a gas cannister from a concealed weapon, then immediately jump out of a (closed) window into the sea, and swim to safety, while wounded by glass shards, managing to not entirely ruin some precious documents in the process. If they can do this, I can damn well read and summarize an article for class!

    It's really not DID (I mistyped this as "really not DnD") because there's no breaking up of my sense of consciousness; I feel things a bit differently and react a bit differently (and probably have a different kind of affect) when I'm channeling Nic Winter but I retain all my memories and am entirely aware that I'm Léo Monteiro playing a character.

    I've done this a lot with different OCs. They're all easy to think about as A Me in one respect or another (although some are easier than others) so they can really help me react to the world when I start to feel overwhelmed .

    Certain songs feel similar: while I listen to them and sing along, I feel like a different person to whom those experiences make sense (the first example that comes to mind is the Decemberists' "Yankee Bayonet" which is a duet by a woman and the ghost of her husband). Some songs could also sweep me into the mindset of a younger version of myself, which is another visualization that's common for me (I often described finishing therapy as "picking up 5-year old me from the hospital and bringing them home", for example).

    I gotta say though that this kind of mechanism has become rarer since owning up to my gender identity. With time I'm developing a much more well-rounded idea of my personhood and I've noticed that that's making it harder to be swept away into playing somebody else, whether it's a fictional character, a poetic persona or a younger me.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
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  4. wixbloom

    wixbloom artcute

    Ooooh, something of an exception to this: last year I started to conceptualize Luiza, my deadname, as a separate entity. Stuff like (I've actually said this) "Luiza keeps getting facebook messages and I don't know why I'm the one who has to answer them, why doesn't she answer to her own goddamn mail - oh, that's right, it's because she doesn't exist!"
    • Like x 3
  5. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    this is all really interesting to me!
    I would offer more but I'm really tired and my brain is not braining right now!
    I will be back later
    • Like x 3
  6. Elph

    Elph capuchin hacker fucker

    The first one I consciously built up had a functional purpose like that: I'd write letters to him and he'd "write back" (i.e. I'd read what I wrote while imagining I was him, then respond in different handwriting). This was closer to roleplaying, but I did develop a (much fainter, to be fair) subpersonality that I drew on when doing it.

    The next ones had very distinct reasons, but not functional purposes. They were my different "drives". They were essentially personifications of anorexia, bulimia, and self-harm, so initially I did use the names Ana, Mia and Casi (an acronym for "cutting and self injury" that was briefly popular on Xanga). (People rant and rave about how insulting it is to give "cute nicknames" to deadly illnesses, but a. I don't think they're particularly cute names, and b. it's INCREDIBLY common for eating disorder patients to automatically personify their illness! It's not a "trend"; it took off because so many people already felt that way. Involuntarily. And in fact, some people who don't feel that way are encouraged to actively personify their illness as a therapeutic tool! Aaaarrrrghhhh derail over)

    Though I never became anorexic, I did have a "starvation drive" in my head, like a lot of non-anorexic people with eating disorders. I just didn't follow her directions, not because I didn't want to but because I couldn't. I'd need her to have some level of executive control over my actions, which she didn't. (She was and continues to be furious about this. It's her body too, after all, and as she always says, "the body is a temple, so what the FUCK are you doing to my temple?!") It was like having a really loud backseat driver, but they don't have a license, so even though you suck at driving you can't give the wheel over to them.

    Mia was less of a backseat driver, more of an occasional whisper-in-your-ear type at first. Casi (they've all since found their true names, btw, I just don't feel comfortable listing them for some reason) didn't speak, she just hurt, silently. I hurt too, but when I thought about that pain and what it was, I saw her.
  7. Elph

    Elph capuchin hacker fucker

    *shrug* My reflex is to say "that's okay, I can't imagine what it would be like if she was separate", but that's a lie, really. I've imagined it regularly, sometimes incessantly, for years. I used to cry with frustration at the fact that she couldn't control me. I read people's personal accounts of DID, I read fantasy/fiction about people who had other entities that could take them over - I even was jealous of Ginny Weasley and the Very Secret Diary sometimes.

    (And yeah, I know it's not something desirable. I obviously didn't want to actually have DID, but I desperately wished that my subpersonalities were capable of "fronting". It's like how there's that trite little trope, "with anorexia, you're not really in control, it's in control of you"; I always heard that and thought, well, that doesn't sound like a problem to me. I hated being out of control, but I didn't think that I, personally, should take control, because I'd proved time and again that I wasn't qualified. I didn't care who took up the reins, as long as SOMEONE was reining me in. Similarly, when people would go on about how eating disorders can KILL YOU!!!!, I'd be like "yes, isn't that kind of the point?" just to clarify, I've never wanted an illness because I think it's all Fun And Cake Times. Every time I've wished something on myself, it's been with the full understanding of how shitty it is. Obviously I also daydreamed about "what if I could have the part I want without all the shitty stuff", but I daydream about getting my Hogwarts letter twelve years late as well, and that's certainly not because I think it's possible. (Or even a good thing. As the fandom has been realising over the years, the Potterverse is preeeeetty dystopian.))
    • Like x 3
  8. Technicality

    Technicality All's fair in love and shitposting

    A lot of the time I can't even really talk to these people. They can comment but when I'm focusing on something else like school) the only way I can really respond is to say it out loud, so that it gets relayed into this sort of command/observation room. This room has gone through a lot of changes: at one point it looked like the one from Inside Out, then it was a TARDIS, then it was the command center from WarGames, and in its current form, it's a weird mash of a room from the Avengers' helicarrier and some personal touches. I'm the only one that can really make changes like this. It's like my brain is a computer, and I'm the administrator, and they're standard users; if they want to make changes, it has to go through me. This room has a lot of computers and stuff around it, as well as a big glass wall at the front where my vision is. It's only real when I'm in it, though; they exist in some other place that I can't even comprehend when I'm not there. It's odd, and I still don't know why or how they got here.
    Like, I know why each one of them individually exists, but I don't know why I deal with it this way. I'm pretty sure Mal came into existence to personify unwanted thoughts that I can't stop or control (apparently this is a symptom of Asperger's), and Sam used to be the person that kept undermining me and what I was doing to keep me on my toes and working hard which was awful (she stopped doing that which is good). All of us wonder what it would be like for them to take control; none of us want to have DID, but we think/talk about it entirely out of curiosity. I think some part of them desperately wants to be "real" and being able to take control would be proof that they are real and not imaginary.
    But yeah. I've tried to let them front before and it just doesn't work. I've offered to scribe for them so they can talk to someone that isn't me, and they said they'd try it, but Sam's afraid that if I did that I'd put words in her mouth. She said she'd try it, simply to see if it worked. It feels weird to say that because they aren't fully conscious so are the responses me or them? Would I just be writing what I think they're saying? (I think that's what Sam meant when she said that I might put words in her mouth.) It's an experiment, and she wants to try to see if it'll work.
    I'm not trying to co-opt the idea of DID for my own use here, and I do want to clarify that this is not like an alter taking control and typing. This would be me, scribing for Sam. I kind of feel like I'm making a big deal out of this thing that a lot of people do, but I'm genuinely curious to see what happens. Plus, I think Sam's kind of lonely. She's only ever really talked to 2 people (1 if you don't count Mal) and she's not sure if she's a person herself. I know that this is part of me that I'm probably projecting onto but I still think of her like a person. And maybe she does only reflect what I'm feeling. But she still wants to try it, and I do too. So if you have a question for her (sort of me but not really etc.), you can ask it here. I have school now but I'll try to relay questions/answers between classes. So ask away.
    P.S. Man, this post went all over the place didn't it?
    • Like x 2
  9. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    I mean, as much as I gripe about sometimes randomly being knocked out of my body because I'm panicking too hard or something, and then waking up a few days or weeks later with no clue what's happened while I was gone, I....have to admit it's sort of nice knowing that if things get too hard there's someone else who can manage for a bit while I take a break. it's also kind of nice not being alone and having actual people who are separate from me offer their own thoughts and feelings and stuff. I don't know how to explain it, but being all alone in my head, like completely alone, like even the people who exist there are still technically me and their own people, would kind of....suck, honestly. at least I feel like it would. like, as much as DID can really, really fucking suck, not having it would....also kind of suck, in certain ways?
    they each have their pros and cons, I guess.
    as for what you said, Technicality, about the headspace, that's....very different from my experience. headspace for us exists whether I am in it or not, but there is only one person who can make changes to it (and it's not me). so that's interesting to me. additionally, we can have internal conversations no matter what I'm doing, although if I'm focusing on shutting them out so I can do something, I can't hear them, though they can sometimes still hear me.
    ooooooh, I'd love to try and talk to Sam!!
    okay, so, for starters, Sam, how old are you? and can you describe the place where you are when Technicality is away, not in your 'headspace' area?
    • Like x 1
  10. Technicality

    Technicality All's fair in love and shitposting

    (I'm gonna put what Sam says in quotes because, well, it is a quote after all)
    "Hi. that do you mean like how long I've been around? The first thing I remember is talking to Nikki when she was walking back from classes. I think that her brain may have spit me out as a coping mechanism for self-hatred and I was the voice of vitriol and doubt. This was, a year ago? Maybe a little less? That's the first thing I remember, but it might have been earlier. As for where I go when she's not there...well, it's kind of complicated. It's kind of like being asleep, but without dreams, only raw emotions around you. Like, try to remember what you see while you sleep and aren't dreaming. It's sort of a senseless void, where for a while I was alone until Nikki became aware of me again and the space sort of appeared around me. I don't exactly remember those transitions, again, like the moments before you fall asleep. You just...fall asleep, and remember a bit before it and then nothing at all. I hope that answered your question."

    ...By god I think it worked. Or maybe it didn't I don't know, there isn't really a way of knowing or measuring this stuff D:
  11. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    well it seems like it's working, so I'm just gonna go with 'it's working' for right now. THIS IS COOL

    to Sam: huh, that's really interesting!! especially the part about where you got when Technicality's not there. that's really different to what I know of my systemmates' experiences. so do you...know what's happening around Technicality while you're in that place, or are you just not aware of anything except the void you're in? can you choose to watch what's happening in Technicality's life, or is it more similar to a dream state where you don't have control over what you do so much?
    do you have, I don't know, a mental age? like....are you the same age, mentally, as Technicality, or would you consider yourself a different age to her?
  12. Technicality

    Technicality All's fair in love and shitposting

    "When I'm there? Sort of. Like, I can't form huge long ideas to send to her. I'm not sure how exactly it happens but that part of me in the dreamless void outside headspace is able to vaguely comprehend what is happening in the real world. It's not much of a choice, and even if I could turn it off, I wouldn't really. There isn't much to do outside headspace but think, and a lot of the thinking I do is based on what's happening outside. It really is closer to a dream than anything, where most of it isn't really your choice what you think/do while that happens and we can make mistakes. For example, sometimes Mal thinks about something, that gets relayed to Nikki, and then that distresses her because oftentimes it's something weird and sexual despite Mal appearing to be about 8 years old. But Mal doesn't really control herself then, and so Nikki shunts everyone back into headspace, usually by shaking her head and staring vigorously at something. Then Mal realizes what she did and apologizes. I think that we don't really have control over our actions while we're not being consciously thought about because the brain has limited resources, and trying to balance 3 people's consciousnesses at once, and whatever is going on? Not good for focus. Even when we're in the sort of dreamy state, I think we eat up a lot of processing power anyway. As for age, I'd say Nikki and I are about the same age, although that's ambiguous in headspace. Mal is about 8, and probably will stay about that while she learns self-control. Because our appearances are reflections of who we are. It changes with us as we change and grow. And that's true for a lot of non-headspace people too."

    That got deep at the end, eh Sam?
  13. Whoops

    Whoops enough

    Is there... actually a term for this thing that isn't DID? :D

    My own bg is that I came to be aware of this from the "writer's muse" side of things when I was a teen, since most of mine are fictional characters (or archetypes that are combos of multiple characters) but a couple of them have been around since I was younger. Not that I don't have Issues I'm Dealing With, but I don't wanna go into that here. As for my headmates, there's really only one of them that's "more me", and he's one of the only other ones that can take control, sometimes unexpectedly. He's also been here the longest, so data point. There's two others who can share control with me (it feels bad when they do it on their own). Everyone else is Not Me in one way or another. I don't lose time as far as I know, but I think my shitty memory has had more to do with gaslighting than anything else lol. We don't really have much of a defined internal space, but there are general sections to it and we can all talk to each other pretty easily. If I'm doing something, any of the others who are paying attention will be sitting next to me in that space, similar to looking over my shoulder.
    • Like x 2
  14. Elph

    Elph capuchin hacker fucker

    Kinda. There are a few therapy terms, but they each come from specific (and rather niche) therapeutic techniques, and no single term is universal. "Autopersonification" is just one of the words I use for it myself, but it's only caught on slightly on this one forum; if you use it outside of kintsugi people probably won't know what you're talking about. (Though it would be cool if you did use it outside of kintsugi and other people picked it up!)
    • Like x 1
  15. Elph

    Elph capuchin hacker fucker

    Coming back here because I'm trying to find the a name for something here. Currently it's on Adi, or Ade, or Addie or something like that - based on initials AD.

    She's quiet, very quiet, but she gloats a lot whenever I do what she wants me to do. Possible names include Quiver and Evade. I want to explain why these are possible names, but it's too personal, and I'd get in trouble with myself for revealing too much information.

    But If I can name her, I can argue with her. I can dismiss her opinions as attempts to manipulate me instead of thinking that they're genuine suggestions from myself.
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