I think I’ve finally figured out what’s going on with the different self images thing.
I’m pretty sure that in a past life, or some archetypal sense or whatever, I am/was a mostly or entirely quadrupedal, semi-aquatic, horned blue reptile that lived in a cold climate, probably did not have thumbs, and could be categorised as either a wingless dragon or a dinosaur – a la this.
(art by @skullsoda)
I don’t think I ever was anything like this.
But being in a human body with a human brain, living a mostly human life, the compromise speaks to both what I was then and what I am now. Maybe it’s my brain giving me some small consolation for dysphoria, by giving me an at least somewhat-achievable self-image, some of the time.
I don’t think the compromise represents a real life or a real soul. (I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.) But sometimes it feels more comfortable than the “pure” form, oddly. Other times it doesn’t.
I was confused what it meant, my brain preferring one self-image one day and another the next. Multiple kintypes doesn’t feel right as an explanation, since all of the self-images I’ve ever come up with share some core traits. And I’m not just dismissing it because it feels clunky and unaesthetic – if it was a real thing, I’d go with it even if it was clunky. It’s clunky to admit that I fictionflicker, that I’ve had self-images catalysed by fiction that lasted for months and somehow felt profoundly real and mattered to me, yet are also not a part of my core being. I don’t know how to incorporate that into my worldview, and so it stands out, looks ugly. But it happened.
But this makes sense. I am figure 1, but figure 2 sometimes feels more satisfying, because it incorporates everything that I experience now. You can see me as either or both; I do. And they aren’t strictly divided, anyway; sometimes figure 2 has horns, and sometimes figure 1 doesn’t, and there’s a lot of flexibility in how I appear to myself.
(Also, I kinda want to get commissions of figure 2 self now, and see how that feels. And – I really should get a commish of figure 1 self swimming underwater, just noodling around near the lake bottom enjoying the peace and quiet and the gentle currents. Because that’s such a strong feel for me.)