As I have stated many times before, being fictionkin is not ‘relating’ to a character. It is not feeling like you are similar. It is not admiring a character, or liking them a lot. It is not feeling like you’re ‘the same’.
I, and a great many kin, both otherkin, and fictionkin, believe that being kin is a deep spiritual experience. Some of us believe that in another time and another place, we were our kintypes. We are them, reincarnated on this earth. Some kin believe that they exist as their kintype now, concurrently with their human self, some magic connecting one soul over two lifetimes. Some have other beliefs. But all of us believe we really are ourselves.
I know, all kin know, that we are human beings, inhabiting this shared earth. But we are other people as well, in the past-simultaneously. Our souls have been in other bodies. Our hearts have beat in other places. Our eyes have seen other worlds.
We believe that dragons and fairies elves and pokemon and munckins and hobbits and all the other ‘fictional’ creatures and things exist in other worlds. We are from those other worlds, and here we dwell now.
Ever since I was a small child I experienced feelings and sensations that I could not explain. Strange homestickness, odd word choice, strangely advanced reading and writing level, etc ect. I had a terrible fear of elevator crashes (I had recurring nightmares where I was an adult man and died in an elevator), and a terror of choking to death on my own blood, to name a few.
About 16 years ago, when I was around 13-14 was when I seriously started to understand my identity. I happened to walk by my brother watching an episode of Digimon 02 (a show I didn’t because I considered it childish and overly commercial) and was struck full force with something akin to deja vu for what was going on on the screen. A young boy, giving an interview for the camera. I told my brother ‘he’s the villain, isn’t he?’. My brother shrugged.
I sat down and watched. And I kept watching. Each episode of the show was painful, something akin to torture (and not just because its a terrible show). I wanted to stop watching, but I could not get it out of my head. I thought about it awake and asleep, and home and at school.
I had to stop watching about 20 episodes into the series when the character i had identified with had a mental breakdown, realizing his wrongdoing. I felt literally sick to my stomach. I had to excuse myself and go lie down. Over the next week I had a series of terrible, lifelike nightmares from that character, Ken’s perspective. I woke up crying and clutching the air for someone who wasn’t there. Someone who had disappeared in my arms. I dreamed I wandered the digital world like a desert, a hated, doomed pariah for what I had done.
It wasn’t until much later I learned that this almost perfectly mirrored what had happened to Ken on the show- what had happened to me in my previous life. After Ken’s breakdown, he fell into a melancholy, nearly a coma that lasted for days, where he relieved the painful parts of his past and his sins.
But I was 14 at the time. I didn’t know or understand what was happening. I couldn’t assign any meaning to it. I tried to put it out of my mind, and live my life. And I did live my life, interspersed with strange visions and memories that weren’t mine.
I was 19, in 2005 when I first found out what otherkin, and otakukin (what fictionkin were called at the time) were, and slowly over a matter of weeks, everything snapped into place. The memories, the dreams, the deja vu. I was Ken Ichijouji. He was me in another life. I share his soul, his memories, his passions and his sins.
I remember so many things. I remember Ken’s brother- my brother’s funeral. I remember feeling like it was my fault, for wishing he’d go away. I remember not being able to look his photo in the eye. I remember the smell of the rain from a high balcony overlooking Tokyo. I remember my first glimpse into the digital world and feeling like I was finally worth something. feeling like a king. I remember the very moment that all slipped away, and I fell to my knees in the sand.
And I remember after. I remember things that would never be in the show. I remember growing up. High school, and first dates, and my mother’s face as she got older. I remember the cold, lonely apartment after my divorce. I remember birthday parties where everyone scent their regrets. I remember working as a police detective, and not bothering to feed myself, aside from the occasional bowl of noodles. I remember the smell of those noodles, and the feeling that somehow I still didn’t deserve to be eating them. And I remember dying on a clear day, when an elevator in a high rise corporate building mysteriously malfunctioned.
And that is what led me to identify as fictionkin- as a man who lived and breathed and fought and died in another world. That is who I am. I have had other lives, and that is just one.