The enemy's gate is down.

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The enemy's gate is down.

Post by Aisling on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:18 pm

Right-oh, folks; I'll start the first blog thread, as an example to the lot of you. Smile

Right now, I'm avoiding my teeny little bit of homework that I could be getting done at this time, because it's not due until Wednesday, and I'm used to having massive projects that are due the day after they are assigned. Razz

Gotta' say, compared to architecture, linguistics is easier than tripping up the stairs. It's a relief to actually have time to rest and be near the people I love. It's a relief to have so MUCH free time that I can build a whole feckin' forum. Seriously, last semester this would have been beyond impracticable. :-/

In another window, gtalk-chatting with a friend of mine who thinks being demisexual is totall bullshit. He feels that way about most non-normative orientations, period, so it's not like this is surprising... just irritating and kinda' sad.
I'll get over it. XD

Wow, an emoticon to terminate every single line break. Shiny.

Aaaand at the moment I don't have much else to say. Rabbit won't be home for another 2 hours and 42 minutes, if he gets off precisely on time and experiences no ugly traffic. albino
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Re: The enemy's gate is down.

Post by Paul1807 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:00 am

Ma'am you just said the one word that makes middle age seem good: homework! It is so nice to have my free time free time.
It is strange that someone can't see the demi orientation. I suspect that there are more of them/us than we may think. Where are you going to school BTW U of I Urbana/Champaigne?

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Re: The enemy's gate is down.

Post by Aisling on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:10 am

*laugh* SIUC. I was in architecture the last two years, and thankfully all my arx and generals credits transferred smoothly into the linguistics major. I don't have to take any more generals.
I'm a part-time student now, and part-time piano instructor. Financial aid is just sufficient that I'm not building on any more loan debt, and I'm more or less attending classes for free... as long as I don't attend full time, which would mean tuition.
The piano teaching gig is on-campus, a federal work-study, so it helps my school funds as well as my day-to-day pocketbook.
*shrug* I'm enjoying my life, and I could be very, very happy just teaching music individually for my income. It's pretty lucrative, in per-hour terms, and I can choose my own hours and who I teach. No boss, no rules beyond simple ethical stuff... and I've played most of my life, y'know? Two years in a "major area of study" can't even compare to seventeen years mastering the art, science, theory, and practical technique of piano. I'm overqualified. XD

I'm still in school in the first place because a bachelor's degree in IL = qualification to substitute teach in public schools.
If I need supplementary income after graduation, I could get the subbing certification, and bada bing, job demand.

Linguistics is something to which I was exposed constantly growing up, so it's familiar; it's also one of the "fastest" tracks on campus, in terms of credit requirements. Works for me. ^_^
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Re: The enemy's gate is down.

Post by Aisling on Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:55 am

The following quoted text is a copy of the post in which I came out about my assorted minority identities in the forum where I'd been a member for nearly 3 years already. (RAF: Richard's Animorphs Forum http://animorpsforum.com/forum)
(my username there is Estelore, and my forum signature contains a link explaining my avatar I use there, which can be viewed here:
Note that in my legal name, 'A' is also my first initial, and that precise green is tied with kelly green as my favourite colour.

The coming-out post, in which I identify as demisexual, relationship anarch, polyfidelitous, and a multiple system:


EDIT: If you got to this post by the link in my signature, and you just want to skip to the useful bit, scroll to the bottom of this post, and look to the next section of bold text.

It never occurred to me I would get a warning in the Quick-Reply that I am necroing my own thread. XD
Wow, it's been over half a year since I touched this little monster.

Normally I'd feel all weird and self-absorbed to be talking about myself as much as I'm about to do... really attention-hoggish, and such... but eh, it's my thread. Hell, I DO still feel that way; I'm just talking myself out of it a bit.

First off, obviously I'm still alive, which I suppose is a very nice thing for those people who derive enjoyment from putting up with me.
This summer I'm helping out my favourite prof by chaperoning/teaching a set of four daycamps for tykes who are interested, however vaguely, in architecture. I'm somewhere between dreading it and loving the prospect; small people delight me in moderate doses, but I still have no idea whatsoever how many of them I'll actually have to manage solo on any given day of the camps.
Last autumn, the local karate dojo flooded after the roof buckled in a storm, so there haven't been sessions since then; about two weeks ago we resumed when one of the blackbelts provided a warehouse for us to practice and hold session. It has been a great pleasure to get back into the swing of things, and already my energy and health are markedly improved by it. I have missed it terribly, and it pleases me that my fellow plans to join me at it sometime in the next three weeks.
On that note, he and I are still going strong; we are fundamentally compatible to each other, and he is frequently a godsend to my family and me even in practical daily matters. He is precious to me.

Now that recent lifenews have been addressed, I'm going to get to the somewhat-tough part of this post. Well- tough for me, at least. Hell, I don't particularly expect any readers, and that's fine, too. Sometimes it matters more that something is said, not that it is read.

RAF is the first website that had me hooked, when first I acquired Internet access some years ago. It is truly my home forum, the basis from which I judge all other boards, fora, and websites in general. It is simplicity, comfort, peace, family, fairness. It is also more than a little welcoming to individuals of non-binary gender and sexual identities and non-heteronormative sexual and romantic orientations.

There are other sites in which I've posted things to the effect of what I'm about to disclose, but the differentiation between them and RAF is that I consider RAF family, and every other site is a set of strangers, acquaintances, at best colleagues... and friends occur on a case-by-case basis only in those who IM with me off-board. Disclosing personal secrets and such to strangers is emotion-neutral for me, but the same disclosures to people I regard as family... this is significantly less neutral. Considering these are things I've always known about myself, but only recently learned names and labels to describe, I don't know if I regard this as "coming out"... but I do place personal significance on it.
I acknowledge that some of these statements may convince members here that I'm completely off my rocker and/or that I have some significant and terrible mental-emotional disorder. I have no objections to others forming their own opinions, of course, and I ask only that any who reply do so in a spirit of general civility. Assigning labels to somebody who does not want them, perhaps does not conform to them, is individually insulting and devaluing, and it says to that person that you don't believe they have the right to their feelings, beliefs, and identities. It is alienating.

Right-oh, disclaimers having been made, I'll get to the prickly part.
1. I'm a multiple system. This means I share headspace with (in my particular case) two entities who are individual, self-contained, and would exist independently of me if they weren't currently stuck in my headspace. They go by the name/titles Estael and Lorael, or Es and Lor, and yes, that's the actual origin of my username. J.R.R. Tolkien conveniently wrote a set of characters in the Silmarillion named Este and Lorien; I use them as my 'official' name explanation, but my awareness of Es and Lor and their names came long before I read any Tolkien at all. Within our system, I go by the nickname Asher, which I sometimes use as a handle on other fora.
I, Asher, am the 'core', the original biological owner of the body we commonly share and inhabit. Most of the time, I'm the one 'fronting', in the driver's seat, so to speak. That being said, they both have access to eye and ear functions, and anything I see or hear, they know, too. They are both able to front, but they typically get some manner of permission first. I can't "kick them out", and it is NOT my goal to "integrate" them into me. They are not me. I am not them. They come with a set of memories and information and thoughts that don't belong to me. Es is ambiguously feminine; Lor is ambiguously masculine.
My fiance is aware of them, and he has no difficulty whatsoever telling them apart from me when they front. He is completely convinced of their existence, and he treats them as separate, sentient, completely self-directed individuals with their own thoughts, emotions, memories, and motives.

2. Along with my fiance and the headmates, I am polyfidelitous, demisexual, and a relationship anarch.
Polyfidelity = in a long-term/permanent romantic relationship containing more than two members, in which all members are consenting to and aware of the group relationship. We have no intentions of adding any more members to the group, nor the willingness to add more, which is the primary distinction between this and polyamory.

Demisexuality = a form of asexuality in which the individual does not experience primary sexual attraction (google "Rabger's Model"), and/or who does not become sexually attracted to anybody else until they already have strong emotional and/or romantic bonds with that person. In very simple terms, you could throw the most aesthetically gorgeous people in the world at me, and they would pose for me precisely the same attraction as a tree... but regardless of physical appearance or even gender/sex characteristics, if I am deeply emotionally/romantically close to somebody, *ping* a switch sometimes flips, and I become able to find them attractive and interesting for the purposes of physical intimacy.
Frankly... I'm deeeeeply touch-phobic. I've had a just-controlled-enough form of OCD since I was very little, and in early years it manifested as germophobia and obsessive washing. I don't let myself fall into that pattern anymore, but I still have a powerful psychological aversion to being touched by human beings.
I don't let people get within grabbing distance of me unless I trust them very deeply, the way I trust the members of my karate dojo, the members of my IRL family, my small circle of very best friends, and my fiance. It takes a much deeper level of trust for me to feel any kind of attraction to a person. Otherwise, like I said earlier... tree. Pretty, but seriously, not interested.

Relationship Radicalism/Anarchy: This one is better explained by this link than by me: http://journal.richard.levitte.org/entries/relationship-anarchy/
And really, everything except this "Don't make any exception to the rules or 'special cases' for different people to prove that you really care for someone specific." is correct to the definition and spirit of being a relationship anarch. That one bit is actually quite opposite the overall philosophy; it is fundamentally necessary to RA that the relationship be able to have its own rules, completely independent of all other relationships. Special cases are a needful part of it.


How all this pertains and matters to me and my life and relationships: I walk around daily with two other people making running commentary, sometimes taking over use of various appendages, sometimes even taking over speech. We're three people, one body, and all romantically involved both with the other two and with my fiance, who accepts their existence and in fact loves them back in the same capacity. Each relationship between any two of the four of us is completely independent of the other relationships, and it has its own unique dynamics and interpersonal rules and conditions that are accepted within that relationship. All four of us are also faithful to the wider four-member system, and we do not get jealous of other members' relationships. My corporeal, singlet fiance doesn't get jealous when I have private discussions and romantic interactions with either of my headmates; I don't get jealous of them when they front to be with him.

How this pertains to RAF and my interactions with RAFians: At any given moment, one of my headmates could be the one posting. We standardize our textual speech patterns so that we come across more-or-less consistently, in forum posts. The person you're chatting with has this one username, but it could be any one, two, or all three of us contributing to the conversation. You aren't necessarily aware of it when it happens.


Wow, wall of text. Let's wrap this up.
Final statements: I have already heard all of the following, and if you feel like bringing them up, it isn't exactly adding to the conversation. It's definitely not swaying or altering my self-and-system-perceptions.

Rebuttal A: You're a nutter.
-Maybe; sanity is pretty dang relative, and defined by society. On an island alone, you are a society of one. On an island alone, I'm STILL a society of three. :-/

Rebuttal B: You have MPD or DID.
-Just between you and me, I'm not suffering much from this, seriously. I'm not hyper-unstable; I don't go around strangling people for fun. You like to label this as a disorder? Niiiice. Maybe I see your singleness as being a disorder, but do I put a stamp on you?
As for DID, the US is the only nation that currently even treats this as a condition; psychiatric foundations in other countries don't consider it particularly valid, and neither do I. Why? It's very VERY frequently used as an umbrella excuse to deny patients (who actually need it) treatment, or prescribe medicines that sedate instead of stabilizing brain chemistry. It's cheaper for the healthcare business to slap DID on somebody, because if they call it MPD, they have to take more expensive measures to give treatment.
Both of these labels are very isolating and dehumanizing; to tell a multiple "your headmates don't exist, and you should integrate them" is kinda' like walking up to somebody and saying "guess what, your sister and your best friend don't exist and never did; you imagined them. They're just a part of your brain, and to be healthy and sane, you have to assimilate them into yourself."

Rebuttal C: You are obviously the victim of some kind of childhood trauma or abuse, and you invented those guys to comfort yourself.
-Sorry, negatory. The only trauma in my recollection is a near-drowning incident when I was 11-isch, and that was well after these two started making themselves known. They weren't fully talkative and able to front until a fair bit later in life, or else they were voluntarily staying shushed in order not to freak me out by being in my head... but they were always THERE.

Rebuttal D: You're coming up with all this stuff because you're pretentious/like the attention/feel some weird need to cry out for help.
-Again, nope. I know I can sound stuck-up just from my choice of sentence structure and vocabulary, and I do tend toward sarcasm, but that doesn't make me anything less than sincere about this. As for attention, I assure you, I get plenty of that IRL. I'm certainly not crying out for help; I enjoy my life and lifestyle and relationship(s).
This is simply me offering RAF an opportunity to maybe know me a little bit better.

Rebuttal E: Demisexuality is just a status-term for the slut-shaming subculture; it's normative in Christian-centric culture to only be physically intimate after you're romantically close to somebody.
-Really, that's not very normative... it's just a popular moral/ethical ideal. I'm not saying I don't get physically near people I don't emotionally know and trust; I'm saying I don't get even ATTRACTED to people I don't emotionally know and trust. Pretty is pretty, regardless of gender/sex... but pretty does not equal attractive, to me. Nothing sensory equates to attractiveness for a Demi. We don't (and generally cannot) become 'turned on' by anybody who doesn't already have our nonphysical love in some other form.

Rebuttal F: Polyamory is just an excuse to cheat.
-I heartily disagree; if anything, it's the polar opposite of cheating. I maintain simultaneous romantic and physical faithfulness and loyalty to three people all at once, and they all do the same with each other and with me. If I pursue romance outside the group, I'm betraying the trust of three people, not just one. The obligation is collectively greater than it is on a totally monogamous individual.

Rebuttal G: If you love more than one person romantically, you love all of them less.
-No; love isn't quantitative. Time is a limited quantity, yes, but the way I see it, I devote more time individually to each of my partners than I devote to any other aspect of my life, including career. Most workers in the USA spend their majority waking hours at the office, and their time at home with loved ones is broken down into sleep, chores, dining, hygiene... the actual interaction between loved people is so miniscule, and I loathe that paradigm. As far as I'm concerned, I have my priorities in order. Razz


Ohhhhkay... I think- that- covers everything? Eh. I can edit or double-post later if I think of something I've missed.

To anybody who read this whole monster... thank you. I love ya' to bits for it. I'd hug you if that sort of thing didn't bother me, eh? Wink

To anybody who replies with strong opinions either way... I hope you read the whole thing. I hate to see a good windy disclaimer go to waste. ^_^

EDIT: MY AVATAR, for those who followed the link in my siggy:
The fragmented A-heart (usually in red) is the symbol of Relationship Anarchy.
The four colours are from the Asexual Flag: black for asexuals, grey for grey-a's and demisexuals, white for sexual-normatives, violet for the whole community.
The (hard to see, but there in the right upper grey space) blue lemniscate and yellow pi are both symbols of polyamory and polyfidelity.
The green circle and "n" are the Multiple Flag, created by my colleague and fellow multiple Postmodern Macro. "n" indicates any number of entities contained in the circle, the whole mind/body. Normally the 'n' would be at the center of the circle, but I prefer its current location.
If you need explanations of these terms, either google them or scroll up to the main body of this post; I discuss most of them.

The outpouring of support and understanding was fabulous, and my headmates and I are really glad we went through with it. Smile
(If you're wondering, Tegid = Asher, but Es and Lor may post at any time they feel appropriate in doing so. Still, if you address Tegid, you get one person of the three, consistently, every time.)
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Re: The enemy's gate is down.

Post by misskooky on Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:44 am

You don't know me, but I wanted to say I thought it was really brave of you to open up so much, and it was very inspiring to read.
Your finance sounds like an incredible person as well, you are really blessed to have such an inderstanding person in your life.

I've never heard of a multiple system described (as a multiple system as opposed to a disorder like MPD or DID), and I think its actually really cool. I can't even imagine, but it sounds incredible. You would never really be alone, which is beautiful.

I'm getting this right though aren't I, You are all separate people? You as Asher don't have access to the memories and feelings of Es and Lor in the same way you don't have access to your fiances. You have to communicate any information the same way you have to speak to someone in another body to get them to understand? Sorry if I'm prying, I'm curious to the point of being rude sometimes.

Also the name is cool. Multiple System. It reminds me of space, like a star system or a galactic system.
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Re: The enemy's gate is down.

Post by Aisling on Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:08 pm

Aww, thanks! That's so kind of you. :]

Yes, that's right: we are all separate, with our own completely independent consciousnesses. If one of us wants another to know something, we have to deliberately tell them. We can't just access each other's thoughts without permission.
Emotions are a biochemical phenomenon that affect the entire brain, so those can't exactly be isolated to just one of us, but how we each react to a certain feeling is always our own choice.

No worries; you've been very polite this entire time. You're welcome to ask questions. Smile
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Re: The enemy's gate is down.

Post by misskooky on Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:20 pm

You are welcome, and that is incredibly cool. Thank you for clarifying that, i could ask another million questions but I'm going to go look it up and educate myself instead.
I swear that every day you learn something that blows your mind wide open again.
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Re: The enemy's gate is down.

Post by enlightenmentachieved on Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:50 pm

Thank you so much for that post. You answered a few questions I have had about myself for a long while.

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Re: The enemy's gate is down.

Post by misskooky on Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:33 am

So I was having a chat with a friend of mine, and because I love to share new information I mentioned learning about Multiple Systems.
She said she had always felt like there were more of her so I shared your whole post with her, and now she's looking for more information.

This woman is one of my closest and dearest friends, and if stumbling apon this is going to help her know herself better and not feel like there is something wrong with her, then thank you.

It seems like the season for finding out about yourself doesn't it?
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Re: The enemy's gate is down.

Post by Aisling on Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:13 pm

It seems like the season for finding out about yourself doesn't it?
Is it ever not? Smile

We're glad somebody else has been able to derive something useful from our post.
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