The only way I can “see” anything is through memory. Which means the only way I can see myself is the way I look in the mirror and in photos. I cannot envision myself looking any way other than how I actually look. And now that I recognize this, it just makes the dysphoria worse, because I can’t even envision something better for myself. I can only see everything I’m dysphoric about.

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Question for phantic systems: do you actually see each other in your head? Is headspace actually something you visually exist in? I don’t have a headspace, but until now it didn’t even occur to me that folks might *occupy* this space

I’m feeling literally dysphoric over being unable to mentally imagine things. I knew I was lacking here before but it wasn’t until tonight that I understood just what phantic people can actually see.

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Anxiety 

How do y’all deal with anxiety, especially social anxiety, especially at night when everything feels worse and your brain just starts spiraling as you’re trying to sleep?

I talked to my therapist today. Didn’t get to plural stuff until over halfway through the session unfortunately. It turns out she really doesn’t know much about plurality yet, just some very basic exposure to the idea of it. So I guess I’m going to be in the position of trying to explain this stuff that I still don’t understand very well 😕 Still, maybe being forced to explain this sufficiently for her to understand will help me understand better too.

When we first named ourselves after our egg broke we probably should have insisted on mistress giving us a name. But we weren’t her pet yet. She did help us look through ~1000 names without finding anything better than Lily, but knowing what we know now, I suspect that if she picked a name without any input from me I would probably feel more connected to it.

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So far, the names that feel the most “us” are the ones bestowed by others. This is probably why we still struggle to feel like Lily is our name, despite using it for 3 years(!) now. Esper has never offered me any alternative name though, and nobody else is really capable of much communication so far.

{Use whatever name feels right}

Yes, thank you, very helpful 🙄

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Where do names come from? I named Esper, and Fawn’s name is more of a descriptor. Deer is a descriptor too, if she is even a separate member and not just an aspect of Lily. Lily’s name comes from our system of course, and even though we named ourself in the first place, it’s the one that feels the least us. But we’ve never come up with another.

We think we ran into another one of us tonight. She seemed to be some sort of protector. Didn’t come up with a name, but when thinking about who she was she imagined herself as a warrior, a paladin, clad in plate armor with a sword and a shield. She looked at our reflection in the mirror and was interested. She faded away when we went back downstairs to our family, but I can feel her still in here somewhere.

Side note: we’re experimenting with Deer as a name for the member we were calling Lily. Not sure yet if they’re actually the same, or if Lily was actually a fusion of Deer and others. Still trying to figure all this out. I’m not sure Deer actually speaks, and if not then Lily had to have been a fusion. Though of course we all operate as a sort of blend by default anyway.

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This was both a very strange experience for us, but also maybe a positive sign that we were able to re-realize after only a handful of minutes? And if derealizing is a symptom of an unknown member waking up that’s very interesting.

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We figured maybe this was a new member at which point Deer and I (oh wait I’m Esper. Good to know) both tried and failed to take over, and then tried just standing guard as we closed our eyes and relaxed. After a couple of minutes I guess she must have fallen asleep because Deer and I became fully alert again.

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I/we just had a derealization episode and we think it might have been the sudden fronting of a member that thinks it’s a decade ago. We tried using the idea of our wife as an anchor (as has helped before) and saying her name kind of worked but the idea that she was our *wife* and that we had *kids* felt strange and unreal. Like we expected her to be our girlfriend. And the idea that we’re a woman was both incredibly comforting but also surprising, and felt like we were in a dream.

We didn’t even get a chance to dig into plurality, though when asked she did say she thinks plurality is real. I hope we can work on that next session. I really need to be able to talk about this with someone face-to-face. I’ve been too afraid to bring it up with my wife, though I really need to do that at some point.

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We mostly chatted about sense of self stuff. I do think a lot of my problem there has been social isolation (due to pandemic + demands of raising young kids), since my therapist pointed out that a lot of sense of self comes from others telling us how they see us, and I simply haven’t had that since even before transition. Transition plus realizing I’m autistic and working to dismantle my mask have combined into a pretty major shakeup of my identity, and I haven’t had the tools I need to figure out who I am at this point. That plus my really bad memory issues means it’s hard for me to even think of stuff I like (!) without prompting.

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I’ve got my regular therapist appointment in a couple of hours. I ended the last one by bringing up plurality and my lack of any strong sense of self. What do I actually say this time? What do I actually want to get out of therapy on this topic?

Talking about a crush 

Part of us has a crush on a friend. We’re not quite sure which one of us
{I feel like it might be Lily}
I’m not so sure. It feels like someone else. But it’s not Fawn, and we’re not aware of anyone else in here.

Anyway, we can’t decide if it’s something we should tell that friend or not. Telling them wouldn’t change anything, and we certainly don’t expect anything beyond continued friendship. It feels like hiding something not to tell them though, and we hope they would be flattered by it, but we’re just not sure if it’s the right thing to do.

{I just noticed Lily set our post visibility to Unlisted. I wish Mastodon would let me change visibility on existing posts without having to delete and re-post them.}

{I keep feeling like there’s another one of us, who embodies our creativity, but who has been stifled since childhood. Lily has always struggled with feeling a strong desire to be creative but being completely unable to do so. She has always embraced quirkiness and loved the strange and unexpected, but been unable to create that herself.

Lately, since we’ve been thinking a lot more about plurality and trying to learn more about ourselves, it feels like there is a part of us, a part that contains all of our creativity, which has been locked away deep inside where we can’t even hear it. This was likely due to fear of (or actual) rejection by others while growing up, and linked to the very strong mask we built over our autism.}

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Plural Café

Plural Café is a community for plural systems and plural-friendly singlets alike, that hopes to foster a safe place for finding and interacting with other systems in the Mastodon fediverse.