My time in the otherkin community and how it harmed me
I’m submitting this to existing blogs instead of posting it on my own- I don’t want to be attacked, and I’m honestly scared of losing followers if I say this. With that being said, here we go. -KR
I’d like to share my experience in the otherkin community and how it has harmed me.
I used to identify as a red fox therian, dragonkin, and fictionkin of three characters, namely Peridot from SU. I identified with even more fictotypes at on each point, but luckily I was able to drop them. I had a blog that was pretty popular and respected at one point but I took it down.
Early in fall 2015, my depression was worsening and I felt like a void. I felt empty as I was losing connection to myself because of developing anhedonia. I came across otherkin on YouTube at one point, and I related to their experiences of wanting to be part of the wild, walk in family-like groups, and play the role of animals I closely connected to. Heck, I still like the thought of that whole concept. Eventually I came across the Tumblr side of things, and everything basically became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I started looking for “memories” via meditation, and because I expected to see them, alas, I found “memories.”
I felt extremely connected to foxes and Peridot (I still do, but obviously no longer in a kin way) so those were my “main kintypes.”
It was ignorant bliss for a while, using the kin identity as a comfort/coping mechanism, but slowly I had lots of self-doubt over my newfound kin identity, and I pushed it all away, ignored it, because I wanted so desperately to be my favorite characters and fill the void my depression had been leaving me.
Repressing my doubt would only hurt me. I had a identity crisis over something that wasn’t even a real part of me.
Trust me though, many parts of this whole phase felt very real though. I had “phantom shifts” (a result of my vivid imagination), “"physical dysphoria” (which I think is worth mentioning only happened once), and even "memories.”
Let me tell you about those memories, by the way. There were vivid and spontaneous as hell, and I swear to you they felt very real. I felt some Deja vu too and they were very well triggered by events that “reminded” me of said memory. Walking through the halls of the a gem spaceship as I handed some homework to my teacher, licking my lips at some very juicy looking blue berries when the smell of perfume smelled familiar to me, etc. I never had them before I started identifying as kin. And you know what? I never hadn’t thema gain after I dropped the kin label, either. As real as it feels, some things are just fabrications- you don’t need to be doing it consciously for it to be all in your head.
I also took the smallest parts about me and used them as explanations for being kin, as traits brought over from past lives. I thought my affinity for the forest and eating meat was part of being foxkin, although they are very normal things humans can feel. Also because I share a lot of quirks with Peridot, I thought they were traits from lives before. When really, they were just normal things that I developed in this life- such as scratching my forehead where her gem would’ve been. I did this isnce I was a child, but it was actually one of my coping mechanisms for my anxiety, not because something felt missing on my forehead.
Other excuses I used to “prove” my kin identity:
A strong pull to the forest (which is honestly pretty normal), liking to eat meat, being able to predict what would happen in a certain series (most of the time, these are coincidences), my fear of fire and the dark (again, very normal), wanting to fly, relating to characters and feeling strongly connected to them, wanting to be a part of the fictional series I liked (honestly, who doesn’t want to be a part of their favorite movie, show or book?)
I would also make up things and overexaggerate certain memories or feelings in order to make myself feel more “valid.” When watching or reading “my canon” I forced myself to give myself anxiety during scenes my kintypes would be stressed in, and felt horrible over nothing.
My time in the otherkin community started in September 2015. I got so deep into it that I couldn’t pull myself out until late spring of 2016, where I forced myself to give it up. I was legitimately very upset, as I was very attached to my delusion and surrounded my identity around it- like I said, I felt like a void. I barely had one at the time.
I eventually started calling myself otherhearted instead. Otherhearted is just a way to say you feel very connected to a character and still feel special about it. I ditched that eventually, too, and just started collecting “comfort characters”- which, honestly, is more healthy than identifying as kin, hearted, or even copinglink will ever be.
I’m honestly very proud of being able to get rid of this before it got worse. Unfortunately, it left some lasting effects.
Because of the whole kin phase, I lost trust in myself and started doubting myself on parts of my identity I knew were 100% true, but I couldn’t believe myself on what was logically and emotionally true just because I was wrong that ONE time. My anxiety increased in general, honestly. I think it’s safe to say that if I was never otherkin, my anxiety wouldn’t have made a comeback like this.
Before older and more experienced therein get mad at me and shout “just because you were delusional, it doesn’t mean all of us are” I’m not saying that all kin are delusional or fake, but I’m saying that VERY lightly. Maybe your memories are real and you really are a wacky dragon, elf, and Lapis Lazuli thing, I don’t know.
But what I want people to get from this is: identifying as kin, using it as a coping mechanism, etc CAN be harmful, and is most likely a phase. If you identify as kin, I just want to look over your reasons for being kin and see if they are caused by something else, or coincidence. Did you have ‘traits’ of being kin before or after you started identifying as it? How did you start being kin- were you using it as a coping mechanism initially, had a desire to be your favorite animal or character, or feel special? Be honest with yourself. Honesty is the key factor to finding out if you are really kin. Instead of looking for things that might validate your kintypes, look for things that disprove it.
Trust me, you could really help yourself in the long run.