on the inherent alterhumanity of plurality

(originally posted to Tumblr)

I think with the word ‘alterhuman,’ due to a lack of inter-community conversation in highly visible spaces, there’s been a gap between nonhuman/fictional-identity-having folks, and human alterhumans, plurals, etc where the nonhumans just cannot seem to imagine what we’d have in common and vice versa. Especially in plural spaces there seems to be a misconception that plurality in itself isn’t an identity that can be called alterhuman, or that only fictives and extranths are alterhuman, and that’s what I wanna clear up today. 

Here’s some things I experience as a pluran that I think could be relatable to more people in understanding why plurality *inherently* can share space with kin and therians and other similar groups, with every attempt made here to filter out experiences related to being an extranth or fableing so I can really drive home that it’s plurality alone that can be relatable.

So here’s the start of a small list:

+ I had a long period of discovery leading to finally figuring out that I was having a non-normative experience of self -- an Awakening, if you will.

+  I have a subjective sense of self that doesn’t match what we or others see when looking at our physical body; there’s a mismatch between my brain-body map and our actual body

+ I get phantom sensations of all sorts as a result of this mismatch and others

+ I get a kind of dysphoria at the mismatch, even when it’s not caused by species or gender -- the inherent difference between inworld and outworld body can be the trigger

+ I believe I walked in from vaguely elsewhere, which would leave me feeling “other” than human on its own regardless of other identities

+ I have memories from another world (”inworld”) that I exist in parallel to this one, or at times when I’m checked out of this one and not fronting. Sometimes they’re linear from one space to the next, sometimes I recall them in fragments. What happens inworld are very real events and not imaginary to me, and they impact me even while I’m front.

+ My subjective sense of self has a significant emotional/mental impact on how I take in, process, and internalize messages from the world around me in ways that aren’t typical to others without my experience.

+ I have to expend a lot of effort to hide that I’m plural, if I have to do so for safety. It’s not easy to do.

+ I have both spiritual and psychological ideas about how this whole thing works, and how those things factor into my plural identity

+ Thanks to the ISST-D still having it in their official guidelines for the treatment of DID that mental health professionals should *not* allow plurans to think of ourselves as real and separate people, but only ever as the fragmented mind of a single person, I have a pretty vested interest in how we talk about and recognize personhood and humanity

+ Also like. The debate over whether or not plurality exists is incredibly intense on a grand social, academic, and medical level. Whether or not I and the others in my system literally exist is a matter of mass public debate


This list is not even close to exhaustive, and I actually had to pear down and merge some thoughts in order to make it short enough to fit without a cut, but I wanted to get it started so we can have these conversations about what seemingly very different experiences under the alterhuman umbrella can have in common.

Please feel free to add on to this list if you’re plural in any way and want to share how that’s part of your alterhuman experience, too!