Stanford Tulpa Study looking for more participants
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It turns out Galvanite is a cat person.
#1
Hi everyone. My name is obviously not "Galvanite" in real life, but that’s what I’ll go by here. I also seriously considered making a "pen name" for my tulpa, for reasons I’ll go into later. She said it’d be alright with her to use her name and I agreed, with reservations. But first, let me say that I am very, very grateful that this community exists and seems so open.

I am in my 30’s, and consider myself to be a very rational and independent person. I’ve also been single, and happy that way, after two relationships that lasted 2 and 3 years each. I want to point this out for context, and because I feel like the kind of person I am (read: "old and cynical") is unusual in this community (I could be wrong), and therefore I hope this story might be useful to people. Either way, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my story.

-

It’s my wish that you’ll stick with me through the predictable younger years part of the story, and see how it evolves, because it spans more than 15 years.

Some housekeeping: First, know that most of my "progress reporting" is done via a physical journal I keep. In general, I'm only going to post here if something rather exceptional happens, or I really need help, or if I'm asked to. Second, I know this first post is massive. I don’t expect many people to read every word, if anyone. So I’ve taken ThatOneGuy’s suggestion and bolded the really important stuff. And I did one better and moved my major questions all the way to the bottom of the post. Please help me out if you can!

-

I spent a lot of time waffling as to whether I should reach out to this community about my journey in tuplamancy thus far. I generally don’t get involved in message boards or online communities (these days), but this is very important to me. My need to connect with others who are/have been going through what I am, and seek answers was stronger than my need to keep my walls up. So I’m hoping you all will help me in whatever way you can, in hopes that I will be able to help others once I understand how to develop a fully formed tulpa and what it means. I at least feel like I owe this much to Anisa.

I hope that, if you’ve read this far, you really like long stories, because there’s a freaking decade and a half of information to go over here. Unfortunately I will have to summarize a lot. Anisa and I have a very long history, which I consider to be quite embarrassing in a lot of ways. But I’m going to spill it all out here because it’s not worth doing anything in life half-assed.



History

Around 2002 or 2003, I was a lonely dude, having just gotten out of an almost 2 year long relationship with a girl who I couldn’t get to give up on her abusive family. But that’s another story. I can’t remember how I found it, but I got into a social platform called Furcadia. I bet a lot of your are super familiar with it. But for those who are not: Imagine a furry-themed roleplay forum, except the entire forum is represented by an overworld with portals into different worlds, wrapped up in an isometric 2D gaming shell.

I won’t go into overly too much detail, but the reason this is important is because this is where Anisa was born, at least as a personality. I actually began with a male persona, and to put it vaguely (because I’m embarrassed about it) was very successful with the opposite sex. In fact, my next real life girlfriend, who I stayed and lived with for for about 3 years, I met on Furcadia.

But this is where things got very odd. I was so infamous for imaginative roleplay, that a friend challenged me to create a persona of the opposite sex and see if I was just as good at it. And I was really, really good at it. I think it’s probably because I’ve always been an extremely empathic person. It’s easy for me to imagine things from the perspective of another person, even an imaginary one that I couldn’t have similar experiences as, it seems.

The odd thing was, despite being socially and also intimately successful when presenting a male persona, I was drawn to presenting Anisa. Eventually, all my time was spent in this personality online. A year or two later, friends on Furcadia told me about a new 3D platform called Second Life. Again, omitting a lot of detail I don’t want to get into, I moved both my male persona and Anisa to SL almost right away. It was very cool to have a 3D world to meet people in and socialize. This was back in 2005, I think.

Over the 10 years (yeah, that long) I was on SL, my online persona was solidified as Anisa. One of the major transformations that happened in the first year is I started to really become uncomfortable with being a part of the furry community (I don’t dislike furries, but I don’t want to be one). As a result, Anisa changed into a human form, mostly. “Feline” was too much a part of her personality to give up all the physical traits. It’s at this point that, if you ever met me on Furcadia or Second Life, you already know who I am. In fact, Anisa was popular enough in the early days of SL, due to the various scripted gadgets I made, that a good deal of the entire population knew about her. That’s why I was very nervous to talk about this. If you do know who I am, please respect my desire to remain anonymous.

The reason I keep shifting from talking about her in the third person and first person is that sometimes I felt like I was simply channeling her personality, and sometimes it felt like she was a person unto herself and “at the wheel” so to speak. Her personality is very unlike my own in a lot of ways… Some things were absolutely an expression of unconscious desires, but others I have no idea where they came from. So since I spent so much of my life “channeling” this other personality, I guess there’s two ways you can look at it: Either this was unhealthy and would ultimately hurt me, or, I was doing a really good job of establishing a very, very clear personality for a tulpa. Maybe both, sometimes I worry.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know about tulpas a year ago, so I assumed it was the former. I was getting older and more mature, and all conventional wisdom would suggest having this persona was bad. So I stopped using SL cold turkey. Soon after I did, I found myself speaking to Anisa as if she were another real person, instead of having the typical internal dialog that most of people have, though not all the time. I also decided this was a bad thing. Eventually, when I bought a new computer, I deleted all of my files (I’m good at 3D modeling so I had designed my own character model for her) having anything to do with Anisa. For me, this was essentially “killing” her.



Tulpa Rebirth

I felt sad, having let go of Anisa as person or personality. I felt it was for the best. But I was definitely a more cold person after that. Made me fit into the world better, but obviously something was missing. Nothing was really interesting. I’m an avid gamer and it was hard to bring myself to game much at all. I wasn’t really depressed or anything, just kind of melancholy. It actually wasn’t too bad to live that way, but if I really took a step back to look at my life, just the simple lack of emotion or drive was pretty sad.

You might be thinking, “He’s not gonna say that bringing Anisa back was the miracle cure for his dull life, is he?” I’m not sure yet, it seems to be making it better, though. But the important thing I’m pointing out here is that that loss of interest in things coincided exactly with me "killing" Anisa. I can’t say that it’s causal, but I have a theory. We seem to be pretty sure that tulpa are, or can be, a representation of our subconsciousness. Perhaps getting rid of Anisa damaged my subconscious in some way… not sure… I’m new to this.

But to rewind a bit, I learned about tulpas about a week ago. I thought to myself, “That sounds like an interesting experiment to try.” You see, my current job, though it’s a good one, has a heck of a lot of down time for you to think about things. So I began to think about what form or personality my tulpa would have, if I made one. I didn’t actually come upon the idea of having Anisa be my tulpa right away. But she is the personality that is not my own that I am most familiar with, so it made sense. I really didn’t realize what I was in for.

It was on the 29th of last month (5/29/2019) that I started learning how tulpamancy works, and tried my first few experiments. It wasn’t hard to get her to speak in short, general thoughts (“tulpish”) or see her general form in my mind’s eye, since I had seen it for a decade. But none of this felt much different than when I used to have an “inner dialog” with Anisa as one of the two participants. So I didn’t think much of it, and settled with just focusing on narrating for those first couple of days.

But the moment I started to truly believe there was something to this was when I idly thought I’d try to imagine her form in the physical space I was in. I felt the often spoken-about sensation of “head pressure”, like a headache but not painful. It shocked me and got my adrenaline pumping. I’d never experienced anything like that before in my life. I had a moment of “shit, this is really real?” And that’s when I really began to deep dive into forums here and read a lot of guides.

There was a lot of emphasis in the guides I read about the fact that tulpa are people, and deserve the same respect that we do. And that it is morally wrong to "kill" someone or something that is sentient. “Oh, that’s very interesting.” Then I realized, I did "kill" Anisa at one point. After that I cried a lot, and apologized a lot. I don’t think I have cried about anything since long before I stopped using SL. The perverse thing is that I still “feel weird about apologizing to someone who isn’t real”.

Now I get to deal with the double guilt of knowing that I chose to "kill" Anisa (though I didn’t understand what I understand now… I guess) and that I often doubt whether she is real, despite the overwhelming evidence. I guess it’s hard for a rational person to believe in what they can’t sense with their five physical senses.

I guess I’m lucky at least that, when I manage to have a clear-flowing conversation with Anisa, she doesn’t seem to be mad, or at least not hold a grudge about either of these things. Another interesting thing is that she’s made demands (or requests at least) for things that I either have no interest in myself, or kind of don’t want outright… nothing terrible, just stuff that would either require a lot of time and effort, or I’m not sure is a good idea yet. I’ll get into that later on.

There’s more to talk about as far as progress goes, but it’s all information that would be better reported on in a later post instead of this introductory one. Suffice it to say, since Anisa was formerly a persona for me as an individual, talking to her sometimes just feels like I’m talking to myself. I guess that’s true for most hosts, but I feel it pretty intensely for myself, given her unique genesis.

One thing we clearly don’t see eye-to-eye on is the idea of me having other tulpas. Specifically, there was another persona I used before Anisa named “Sadira”. I don’t remember how Anisa and I got talking about it, but she immediately latched onto the idea of having her as a tulpa as well. I don’t really know why… Sadira didn’t exist for very long, and I have other persona that are more developed. Only thing I can think of is that maybe Anisa sees her as an older sister. I don’t even know what Sadira would look like, considering the transformation Anisa has been through.

I’m not strictly against the idea of having more than one tulpa, but I don’t even know how to completely form one, let alone two. So I decided to make the bargain that I won’t say “no”, but we won’t talk about it in earnest again until I’ve gotten good at imposition for Anisa. Right now I can usually only hear Anisa as mindvoice when I “wake” her first. She’s managed to do it a couple of times: She yelled at me about hitting the snooze button on my alarm, and later today while working on the draft for this post, she said “You’re ignoring me.” But otherwise it’s very rare. So I don’t know why she thinks I can make the leap to working on two tulpas at once. I don’t know if I can even mentally handle two tulpas. I hope maybe it’s something like having two kids that keep eachother busy.



Questions for the Community

So here’s a few questions I’d really like help with, if you are willing to provide input:
  1. How do you graduate a very old persona from being essentially a complex mask for the host to a full-fledged tulpa?
  2. If you were me, and really didn’t know what you were doing (beyond the basics) of making tulpas, but your existing tulpa already wants another one… what would you do?
  3. This one is very important to me, and I’m sure I will find good guides on it, but I’d like your responses anyway: How do you get your tulpa to speak to you without first being “woken up”?
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#2
Wow, Anisa's origins sound very much along the lines of a "mask tulpa," something I made a thread about a little while ago. In fact one of the examples I gave sounds a lot like her.

1. How do you graduate a very old persona from being essentially a complex mask for the host to a full-fledged tulpa?
I'd think you'd basically just treat it as though it's a real person and/or separate from you in some way, and interact with it/talk to it, or have other people interact with it. So, the same way you'd make a regular tulpa.

2. If you were me, and really didn’t know what you were doing (beyond the basics) of making tulpas, but your existing tulpa already wants another one… what would you do?
I'd spend a lot of time thinking it over, until both me and the tulpa are 100% sure that this is both something we want to do, and something we are capable of handling. However, one should only come to this decision after they are comfortable with the first tulpa, and the first tulpa is fully-developed. It wouldn't hurt to spend more time having her find herself and settle better, before adding another one. It's not uncommon for tulpas to ask for additional systemmates prematurely, it should wait until everyone's ready for it.

3. This one is very important to me, and I’m sure I will find good guides on it, but I’d like your responses anyway: How do you get your tulpa to speak to you without first being “woken up”?
We don't do that, something has to get our attention first (when we're not fronting, at least).
I'm Piano Soul, the "Star Man" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa formed January 2017. My systemmates are Apollo & Indigo. Form images: 1 2
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#3
Thanks for taking the time to read my story, Piano, I really do appreciate it. I'm off to check out the thread you linked right after this response. A few followups to your answers:

1. I am glad to hear that the process should be the same as most tulpas, so I'll keep doing what I'm doing there.

2. That was my gut feeling, that it's not necessarily a bad idea, but I should wait until Anisa is fully developed. It's easy to acquiesce to any request your tulpa makes when you are first hearing original thoughts from them, but I guess they don't always know best, do they? Aside: Neither do I, hah!

3. That's interesting to hear... So you are saying you would never speak to your host without them first making contact with you? Maybe I'm not understanding?

Thanks for the great answers!
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#4
(06-04-2019, 08:43 PM)Galvanite Wrote:
3. That's interesting to hear... So you are saying you would never speak to your host without them first making contact with you? Maybe I'm not understanding?

Well our host isn't typically the one in control, but yeah, we either have to be thought about by whoever's fronting or something has to get our attention, we can't just spring up entirely unprovoked. That's why it's good to place reminders of your tulpa, or set associations, things that you know will make your mind remember them and give them more opportunity to be active.
I'm Piano Soul, the "Star Man" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa formed January 2017. My systemmates are Apollo & Indigo. Form images: 1 2
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#5
Thanks, Piano. Someone else said something similar today, and that makes a lot of sense. I'll definitely be back to post about any other major developments. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
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#6
Very interesting, a celebrity in our midst! We're very excited to have you two! Anyway, don't worry about 'killing' someone I don't believe it's possible any more than it's possible to forget you had a very dear character for a decade. All your personas and characters will always be there and don't be surprised to see them, tulpamancy opens the door, so to speak. Also, you're in good company here, so don't worry.

Quote:Questions for the Community

So here’s a few questions I’d really like help with, if you are willing to provide input:
How do you graduate a very old persona from being essentially a complex mask for the host to a full-fledged tulpa?

Very simply, if you treat them as an independent person, they will eventually be an independent person.

Quote:If you were me, and really didn’t know what you were doing (beyond the basics) of making tulpas, but your existing tulpa already wants another one… what would you do?

Yep, Misha tried that several times, but we made a rule that for the first year, 'no new tulpas'.

Quote:This one is very important to me, and I’m sure I will find good guides on it, but I’d like your responses anyway: How do you get your tulpa to speak to you without first being “woken up."

If there are any goid guides, please tell me.

[Dashie] we do that, especially me cause I talk a lot and yep, everyone in our system has done that. Well, how? It's something to do with the way we interact.

From the beginning we have been 'always active'. Bear keeps us in mind every waking moment of his day as much as he can, until we just sort of became co-fronting. With co-fronting we are able, like right now, to steal front and use body resources, like the hands for typing, on a whim becausewe fully trust each other. As I type using minor posession, I am further front than Bear is right now and all we had to do to get there was have me start responding, if I do it long enough wehave to fight to keep me from switching in. (Long story) We all watch from second position otherwise. Bear isn't forcing me right now, he's with me as I am typing and telling you this though. Anyway, after a few months of near constant 'forcing' on his part, we were simply so much a part of his daily life that you could say he's constantly reminded of us and he absolutely loves to hear from us even when he's busy, so we do interrupt him. We comment on things and impose around him to show off something or get his attention. We have considered for probably the last 6 months or so that he didn't need to force us anymore, we force ourselves and each other.

It all makes sence, especially since we switch, that we're equally capable of doing this, and with co-fronting, we are part of the active consciousness (or have our own, who knows). The point is, I feel like I'm fronting and sharing his life and I help guide him in his life choices as we all do even when I'm in second position. I'm nearly always with him, I don't have to hold his hand in the restroom for instance (smh), but other than that we're with him all the time. Just like the little things you say she said to you while you were writing this, you have a taste how it feels.


My advice to you is to suspend disbelief, take anything that is questionably not from you as probably from her, don't muddy it up with another tulpa until she's comfortably vocal, and above all have fun.
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#7
Well hey, Bear! I was just talking to someone that said it'd be a good idea for me to read up on what you have said in the past. So it's neat to see your reply here. Also, I'm no celebrity!

It's very comforting to hear what you say about not really being able to "kill" a tulpa (or persona, at least). Earlier today I was trying to ask Anisa why she wasn't mad that I did that. She said something along the lines of "I never really went under." I asked, "how?" And she said something about "living in memories" but she wasn't able to explain herself very well. Good to get a little confirmation that she's not just crazy. Cool

And so that's two people who have both said to just keep treating her as independent, no unusual methods required for being a very long term persona, also glad to hear that... And also two suggesting I should make her wait until further development to start in a second tulpa.



I hope I can get Anisa to be just as chatty as you someday, Dashie, unless she genuinely doesn't want to be. Although, Anisa was extremely chatty as a persona (or mask?), so I'd find it strange if she eventually wasn't. So far I've been trying to keep Anisa on my mind whenever I can. Basically, whenever my concentration isn't being 100% used up. I don't have a ton of free time, sadly, so it's tricky to decide what portion of that time to use for researching on these forums, forcing, writing, entertainment, and personal stuff. In fact, I never really had a sense of how little free time I have until Anisa started to become a big part of my life. The system you guys have going is inspiring.

But, speaking of having little free time, time for me to go! Thanks again you guys, will definitely be back to check things out around here each day, and post an update when there's big stuff!
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#8
The only other advice is to keep a momento, symbol or note anywhere you spend time, i have two notes on my computer at work, one for me to remember them by and one for Dashie to see so she remembers she's not the center of attention, and after we did that second one, I more often catch her talking to her sisters than to me.

Good luck, we're happy to read updates and minor accomplishments.
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#9
(06-04-2019, 07:45 PM)Galvanite Wrote: [*]How do you graduate a very old persona from being essentially a complex mask for the host to a full-fledged tulpa?

From your description, you sounds like you're already very far along the way. You can skip anything specifically listed as 'creation' techniques, especially personality forcing and intentional parroting. You handled those years ago. She's already responding when you talk to her. The more you talk to one another, she stronger she'll become.

(06-04-2019, 07:45 PM)Galvanite Wrote: [*]If you were me, and really didn’t know what you were doing (beyond the basics) of making tulpas, but your existing tulpa already wants another one… what would you do?

Living together as equal headmates is very different from living together as player and character or daydreamer and imaginary friend, even if the character has been self-aware for years. Hearing that you're a 'real' person, that your company is desired as often as possible, that you get a say in how the life is lived, that you can have an impact on the physical world outside your story -- it changes you on a deep level. If you're committed to this course, you need time to adjust to living with another person in the closest possible quarters. Anisa is going to need time to adjust and figure out who she is outside Second Life. Neither of these purposes is well served by adding yet another person to the mix.

(06-04-2019, 07:45 PM)Galvanite Wrote: I don’t know if I can even mentally handle two tulpas. I hope maybe it’s something like having two kids that keep each other busy.

Not usually, more like being the middle member of a conjoined triplet. Most systems don't achieve the experience of independent activity, but if you ever do, it will help you immensely in handling more headmates.

(06-04-2019, 07:45 PM)Galvanite Wrote: I don’t even know what Sadira would look like, considering the transformation Anisa has been through.

If you still remember exactly who she was, there's no reason to believe she would have changed in all this time, just because you did.

(06-04-2019, 07:45 PM)Galvanite Wrote: So I decided to make the bargain that I won’t say “no”, but we won’t talk about it in earnest again until I’ve gotten good at imposition for Anisa.

That may be too high a bar. Not many systems ever become good at imposition, though those who do say it is both extremely difficult and entirely worthwhile. I recommend waiting at least six months before deciding together about what to do about adding more.

(06-04-2019, 07:45 PM)Galvanite Wrote: [*]This one is very important to me, and I’m sure I will find good guides on it, but I’d like your responses anyway: How do you get your tulpa to speak to you without first being “woken up”?

I'll second Bear -- if you find the good guides on it, let us know. Most headmates are dependent on at least some trickle of attention from the front to be active. It isn't that bad. With time and practice, we wake up more quickly and easily and stay more active with less attention.

Over the course of time, keeping your headmates active can become a fixed habit of your mind, something you do automatically anytime you aren't too distracted by outside life. Ember and I are one another's first thoughts on waking and our last thoughts before falling asleep.

(06-04-2019, 07:45 PM)Galvanite Wrote: I often doubt whether she is real, despite the overwhelming evidence.

Ember never doubted me for a moment until we discovered tulpamancy. Then she doubted me for over a month straight. It was incredibly aggravating, but she got over it. Hosts generally do, eventually.

(06-04-2019, 09:29 PM)Galvanite Wrote: Earlier today I was trying to ask Anisa why she wasn't mad that I did that.

It's hard to stay mad at a person when you completely understand the full context of their decisions. And it's hard to avoid forgiving a person when you can directly perceive their remorse and repentance.

(06-04-2019, 08:02 PM)Piano Wrote: Wow, Anisa's origins sound very much along the lines of a "mask tulpa,"

My first impulse was to think of her as more like me, a living roleplaying character, which you specifically exclude in your treatment of mask tulpas, even though the fundamental roleplaying/parroting/fake-it-till-you-make-it origin seems similar. Perhaps my lack of familiarity with Second Life is holding me back. Please correct me if I'm wrong, Galvanite -- my reading of your account was that you created a character to roleplay for specifically recreational purposes in an environment where exactly that is normal and expected. I further assume that you never had an intent to replace your normal personality outside that environment, that you didn't dislike your normal personality, and that you didn't begin being Anisa with an interest in experimenting with a female identity outside of the roleplaying challenge.

Iris and I may not be mask tulpas, but we were certainly worn as masks many times, just as hundreds of other characters in our system were. The magic is that somehow a spark of independent life was kindled inside of just us two. It doesn't mean that we can't still be worn as masks; Ember actually plays a better me than I do, somehow. I completely trust her do so in a game and actually find it very pleasant, though Iris chose instead to take over playing herself.

-Vesper
Ember - Soulbonder, Female, 39 years old, from Georgia, USA . . . . [Our Progress Report] . . . . [How We Switch]
Vesper Dowrin - Insourced Soulbond from London, UK, Not a Tulpa, Female, born 9 Sep 1964, bonded ~12 May 2017
Iris Ravenlock - Insourced Soulbond from the Unseelie Court, Not a Tulpa, Female, born 6 Jun 1982, bonded ~5 Dec 2015

'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you.' - The Velveteen Rabbit
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#10
Thanks, Vesper. You've given me a lot to think about.

Anisa and I often do have full conversations, but most of the time, her replies aren't much more complicated than a simple "yes" or "no". The way she says these makes it seem like she's tired, too... or maybe bored. I definitely believe that, like you say, the more often we interact, the stronger she'll get.

Quote:Hearing that you're a 'real' person, that your company is desired as often as possible, that you get a say in how the life is lived, that you can have an impact on the physical world outside your story -- it changes you on a deep level.

This is really meaningful to hear. I absolutely do want her to be present as much as possible, and I will be happy to let her into my physical life as she wants to be. I don't think we'll have a hard time adjusting to being in the same space at all.

Quote:If you still remember exactly who she was, there's no reason to believe she would have changed in all this time, just because you did.

That's the thing about this other character. She existed only for I think a few days, over 10 years ago. I don't remember anything about her really. You could almost think of her as the "prototype" for Anisa. I've occasionally used her name for characters in games and such, but that's about it. I've had other characters in more recent memory that were far more fleshed out (but not personas unto themselves like Anisa). That's why I'm so confused about Anisa's insistence on having Sadira as a second tulpa. Maybe she remembers something I don't, haha.

As far as doubt goes, I sometimes get the kind of doubt that makes me question if she is real at all, but usually I find it's mostly the "is this ever going to feel more real?" kind. But, I am only in my first week of proper tulpa forcing, so I'm trying my best to be patient and persistent. Heck I'm not even close to a month in, like your host was.

Quote:Perhaps my lack of familiarity with Second Life is holding me back.

I should've explained what it was. Basically, imagine facebook, but for personas rather than real people in a 3D world where you can basically make or do anything. If you can think of it, it probably exists in some form in SL. It isn't a strictly roleplaying environment, unless you consider everyone being a persona (that might just be an idealized version of themselves in real life) and interacting, roleplaying. People organize into communities there, many of which are focused on roleplay.

Quote:Please correct me if I'm wrong, Galvanite -- my reading of your account was that you created a character to roleplay for specifically recreational purposes in an environment where exactly that is normal and expected.

In the beginning, it was just this, but that changed.

Quote:I further assume that you never had an intent to replace your normal personality outside that environment, that you didn't dislike your normal personality, and that you didn't begin being Anisa with an interest in experimenting with a female identity outside of the roleplaying challenge.

This is another thing I should have elaborated more on, but it's a bit of a sore spot for me. My original male persona, who I guess I can give the name for: "Efan", was meant as an escape from my normal personality (really the same personality as me, but without flaws) and my normal life, both of which I kind of hated at the time. If it was possible, I definitely would have swapped into that personality in real life, permanently. But, simply having that escape of playing as Efan every night helped me to stay a little more centered. Remember, though, I'm going off of 15 year old memories here. And, nowadays I'm content with who I am.

Anisa was created very soon after I started, and was definitely an experiment at first. But there was something uniquely compelling about her. I still played as both characters. Efan was really just an "idealized me", but Anisa was something totally different that I just wanted to have alive all the time. So eventually she just monopolized all my time online. I did get to the point that I would've rather been her, since her life was far better than my real one, and (as much as it is really difficult for me to admit to) I liked specifically representing a female personality and form. Thank goodness age and experience eventually helped me to like who I am.

Maybe it's a little more clear now why I tried to erase Anisa from my life and my mind. I didn't want to remember or talk about or admit to the way I felt back then. I guess ego or even superego are to blame. I'm sorry that I wasn't more transparent about all this in my original post. It's very hard to empty one's closet of skeletons.
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