So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

05 January, 2007

Who are you when you're alone?

Or maybe who am I.

I got an email today from someone who saw something I'd written on Making Light in 2004 and appreciated it, and thus started reading my journal. It was something I wrote about Otherkin and plurality and other interesting ways that people organise their heads which cause other people to think they're crazy if they talk about them. Apparently I made a good impression by pointing out that the process of organising one's head often looks ridiculous to someone with a different head, or something.

The thing is, that comment was rooted in a lot of experience figuring out how to organise the insides of my head, and a lot of time spent talking with other people who have been going through the same process. And some of the things people come up with are just plain bizarre -- but they work with the data of the insides of their heads. Some of the things I come up with are just plain bizarre -- and I know that, but we come back to the old "I believe in what works."

And I don't consider myself Otherkin, though by some frameworks of perspective and some definition-sets I'm probably qualified. I do consider myself plural. I do consider myself genderqueer. I do consider myself in a whole bunch of frameworks that other people think are crazy or a sign of brokenness or defect or a variety of other things.

And when I'm trying to point out that people organising the insides of their heads are trying to parse out stuff so it makes sense ... I don't mention any of these things. I'm reminded of the friend who commented to me that he stands up for all the freaks and weirdos and perverts in a particular area in part because that way nobody realises that the reason he does that is that they're all him. If I say "I'm one of the people you're calling crazy, and here's why I do what I do", it comes off as defensive or invites dismissal in a way that "Some of the people you're calling crazy have given these reasons for their stuff" does not.

It's strange, the hiding who we are so people can see more clearly.

This weekend I'm going to spend some time with a bunch of people most of whom are steeped in a particular flavor of feminist activism. And one of the things I may want to talk about is the way I've been doing personal power and strength development -- as a woman, as a human being -- and this will go over quite well, I think. So long as I don't mention that I'm getting there in significant part by being in a 24/7 relationship as a submissive.

And maybe I'm being unfair to them in that "so long as".

But maybe I'm right, and my context is too weird for that situation, too touchy and uncertain.

Who I am when I'm alone is full of little dark places.

I try to live as truly as I can, as genuinely, but sometimes the little dark places get in the way. Not because I don't live them, but because acknowledging that they exist to others is a risky thing with consequences, and every little dark place has to be evaluated, "Is this too weird for the situation?" I don't live in the closet, but I keep a stash of nice bamboo screens there to set up so the little dark places can be hidden from casual view.

On the internet, nobody knows you're the beast at the heart of the labyrinth.

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