archivalanomalies: Archer's icon. A picture of the tarot card Wheel of Fortune, feat. a sphinx and a fox posing on a wheel. (Default)
[personal profile] archivalanomalies
 So since we said we would possibly do a "what the fuck is going on with this system" post before, and it's midnight and the ADHD meds have stopped working and we can't do anything else, might as well do it now. Just so you know, trauma is part of it, and so this post will dance awkwardly around the topic of emotional abuse and the resulting effects on the victim. Also super super heavy dissociation.

The system doesn’t neatly fit into any labels past ‘plural’. If we had to describe it, it would be something like “A strange amalgamation system that was possibly created as a response to trauma but definitely created partially as a result of dissociation and a need to escape, but the non-host members are both fictives and exist right in the grey area between soulbond and tulpa, where they manifested in a soulbondy ‘characters start to write themselves’ sort of way through a process that seemed to be more similar to unintentional tulpa creation, but we’re not really sure and this is all conjecture”.

And, like… what do you do with that, in terms of labeling. Mixed-origin, maybe, but that implies that one headmate came from one aspect and another headmate came from some other aspect, which isn’t true. Also not helping is the fact that the earlier of the two — hi Cyrus — came into being around nine years ago when the body was eleven, so it’s not like we can easily remember what happened, thanks to a combination of ADHD and dissociating like whoa.

Without going into too many details, home and school were both unwelcoming and unstable environments for… the kid who used to inhabit this body. I have as many of that kid’s memories as they would ever be able to recall, though honestly I really wish I didn’t. But that kid is shrouded in fog to me. I don’t know who they were because neither did they. I prefer not to call them “me” if I can help it, for two reasons: one, because they were virtually nothing. A proto-being, like the primordial single-celled organism that would eventually evolve into humans — that’s what this kid is to me. Two, because I intentionally put up a sort of dissociative wall between myself and them, to stop all their bad memories from coming back as intrusive thoughts and wreaking havoc on my mental state. And partially it worked!

As a note: we are usually very strongly against the idea of plugging our ears and going LA LA LA at anything we don’t want to hear. There are lessons to be gleaned from failure, even if you don’t want to owe up to that failure. But we’re pretty sure we gleaned all the lessons that could be gleaned from the early parts of our life, so now literally all that remains is a deep well of bad feelings. And we have no use for that.

So this kid liked reading and writing and fandom. It was pretty much all they liked or cared about at all. Everything else was either boring or actively unpleasant, so they ignored it as much as they could. They had a certain AU, an absolutely massive AU, that they made and prized above all else. They wrote somewhere around 300,000 total words of fic for this AU that everyone on the internet ignored, and had plenty more stories in this huge intertwining 100-year-timeline of surprisingly good ideas and unsurprisingly bad writing (they were 11) and Pokémon. God, so much Pokémon. Did we mention the Pokémon, because that’s the fandom this was for. The AU is called Arceus’ Archives.

If you are canon-familiar, played the Sinnoh games, and put 2+2 together, you get a cookie. But you also get an urgent statement that between ten years of in-fic character development and another ten years of existing as the fictive protector of some kid (and eventually me), he has chilled out immensely and urges you to dismiss your preconceptions.

…Cyrus. I’m talking about Cyrus. Anyway.

It’s really impossible to overstate how important the Archives were to this kid. As a safe and creative playground, a labor of love, and a vastly preferable alternative to shitty real life, it was quite literally their everything. And it’s the one and only thing from that period that I can embrace without reservations as mine, too.

Eventually, the kid left for a new high school away from their old classmates, where they were accepted much more readily. They made some friends. They developed the in-person social skills that they missed for all of elementary and middle school. They got help for their mental issues that they low-key never realized they had. They became me. The Archives were left on indefinite hiatus for other projects (which we’re presently trying to undo with a nice rewrite of the first story), and — according to the man himself — Cyrus was totally fine with this. He just kinda sat back and watched.

After high school, college happened, and with an especially stressful semester of college came Henry (Fire Emblem: Awakening). Basically the same story, except with origins as an RP character instead of a fanfic one; he joined Team Rocket and somehow through that became a better, more mature, more compassionate, and more empathetic person. When I was forced to drop him from the RP due to school and mental health interference, he took up residence in my head instead. And a few weeks later, while we were just dicking around in the headspace doing whatever, there was suddenly a knock on the door and guess who it was. Guess who literally walked in like the stupid walk-in he isn’t. Cyrus, you wonderful asshole.

I was already having a rough time with the ‘am I making this up? Am I WRONG??’ tango, but that was one of the first real signs that it wasn’t just me deluding myself. I hadn’t thought about the dude in months, and the Archives hadn’t been a significant part of my life in five years. There was literally no way I could have faked myself into this. But it happened.

This was last year.

It hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows since then, not by a long shot. Multiple times, my fear of self-delusion and of being wrong drove me away from acknowledging them at all, while still leaving me feeling guilty for shutting them out. Multiple times they came back. It also didn’t help that during this time, there was no multiplicity community we could find that wasn’t either A. horribly toxic, or B. dead. But, lo, here we are. With me having finally accepted that this is a real thing that’s okay to accept fully, and the miraculous emergence of a non-hellpit Discord chat… let’s see what happens from here.

2017-04-01 14:09 (UTC)
rax: (EVERY VULPIX EVER)
- Posted by [personal profile] rax
As a note: we are usually very strongly against the idea of plugging our ears and going LA LA LA at anything we don’t want to hear. There are lessons to be gleaned from failure, even if you don’t want to owe up to that failure. But we’re pretty sure we gleaned all the lessons that could be gleaned from the early parts of our life, so now literally all that remains is a deep well of bad feelings. And we have no use for that.

This is immensely relatable. :(

Thanks for the introduction, and I hope community spaces keep being good for you!

2017-04-10 02:04 (UTC)
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
- Posted by [personal profile] lb_lee
We have some similar mixed-origin stuff. I haven't talked about it much on tumblr just because it's complicated and inconvenient, but the story series I've been selling for years, Infinity Smashed, has coughed up three of our system members.

With Mac, it was no big deal, since he was such a minor character (he says like one line over the phone and dies), but Mori and Biff were both main characters, so when they came back after a decade-plus of absence, it totally screwed up my professional flow for a while.

And then we have Falcon, who has stubbornly resisted any and all categorization, besides "imaginary friend who won't go away."

I figure mixed-origin still applies. I mean, Mori's an alter/soulbond cross, so who the hell are we to judge?

--Rogan

2017-04-11 03:49 (UTC)
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
- Posted by [personal profile] lb_lee
Pretty much! And also, it's just WEIRD to write about people I KNOW. Like, writing about Random Randall, I don't have to worry about him coming down and being offended or upset, you know? And I don't have to worry about mentally comparing the character to the real guy. So it's taken some practice.

Thankfully, the system members and the stories are far enough apart now that I think I've been able to see them as different categories.

--Rogan

2017-04-11 05:00 (UTC)
mirrorofsmoke: Text icon: I can't believe we're still protesting this shit. (Default)
- Posted by [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke
Huzzah! Pokemon ftw. Not played any of the games. Being totally blind bodily really sucks ass from time to time.

But there are actually a few Pokemon here, Including a couple that you might actually see fronting from time to time. We don't know as much about Pokemon as some people, but we do like the anime a lot and really wish they'd come out with an accessible version of the games.

Also, aww the self-denial tango. We know how that one goes! Here. Have some delicious cocoa. Welcome to DW and so glad you finally found a non hellpit discord chat. We need to try that out some time.

-Chica
Edited (Oops! Forgot to sign!) 2017-04-11 05:03 (UTC)

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archivalanomalies: Archer's icon. A picture of the tarot card Wheel of Fortune, feat. a sphinx and a fox posing on a wheel. (Default)
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