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JGC's Progress Report
Jamie on Sunday, November 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 2018

Retrospective prologue: Today's topic is insecurity. I thought I was getting over my "Do I actually have some severe mental illness?", but I clearly am not. The main trigger for this wave of self-doubt is the fact that I keep hearing a choir of angels sing and I enjoy it, which I will talk about a few paragraphs into this rant/report. 

[Content warning: I go into a bit of detail about my skin-picking at one point. It's just a bit gross, in case that bothers you.]

I've been having issues with feeling like I'm insane again. Call it a pattern. It's not just me, though. Gavin still worries that he's actually some form of fragment/alter, or that I'll be outed to my school and diagnosed with a label that will affect my future career. Can you work as a social worker if you've been diagnosed with DID or schizophrenia? When I look these things up, the articles only talk about things like depression and anxiety: things that are well-known for being managed or even cured/going into remission.

I think there's a different between "additive" mental problems, like depression, anxiety, or phobias, and "inherent" mental problems like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. I don't think these are actual categories: I think these are boxes that people put mental illnesses and disorders in. If you have depression, you think "crazy" thoughts. If you have schizophrenia, you have a "crazy" brain. Either it's a layer of paint on top of you, or it is you.

I know my behavior is always going to stand out. One of the symptoms of my sensory processing disorder is that I'm always, always itchy and uncomfortable in my own skin, and I don't have the same sense of "that's your body, don't be gross with it" as other people. Where other people might pick at their acne or bit their cuticles, I've scarred my arms, hands, back, and shoulders with somewhere around a hundred round, little scars. Once I've broken a bit of skin, it's going to stay open for at least a week, because I'll break it open somewhere between a dozen to a hundred times a day. They get infected constantly, which adds to the discomfort, and makes me break them open more. Is that OCD? It is dermatillomania? Probably not, since those disorders have clauses about the behaviors being not better explained by something else. SPD is that something else, and it's not mental illness: it's more like autism. 

So, I know I'll always stand out. I'm neurodivergent, to use the fun word for it. The question, with less-fun words, is "So, I'm crazy, but is that... a good crazy? An affable crazy? Or, a deny-you-a-job, I'm-breaking-up-with-you crazy?" I'm scared to find out. Gavin is scared. I've only ever told one person IRL, outside of my therapist, about Gavin. I guess it was also a pretty bad coming-out, because I didn't know what tulpas were. Still... I couldn't believe how poorly that friend reacted to the idea of my "hearing a friendly voice, like an imaginary person in my head." 

I think the trigger for this current wave of doubt was my "internal radio." I don't know if I've described it here, so I'll do it again. Internal radio is like how it sounds: it's as if I'm overhearing a radio station. It's not an auditory hallucination, as in I only hear it inside my head, just like my own thought-voice. Internal radio doesn't respond to me and doesn't have any "thinking" powers. It's just random, self-generated noise, that I'm completely dissociated from, so it's interpreted as a separate agent. It's not scary or distracting, in itself, but it often makes me self-conscious, since "hearing voices" is so stigmatized. 

I'm writing a book for NaNoWriMo. It involves aliens, which look and act very celestial, being winged and so forth. I'm 100% sure this is why I've started hearing a massive choir of angels singing. I often hear music, but this time, it's a little different. This chorus, being hand-tailored by and for my brain, is beautiful. I'm rarely ever affected by my internal radio, but the song of an angelic choir has brought me to the edge of tears twice. It fills me with joy and this sense of beauty, just a passion for each and every living thing. Cassidy and Gavin aren't affected this much, though they say it does sound nice.
(It sounds a little like this music, but way fuller and overlapping. Like 500 hundred people singing this at the same time, in a great circle around me.)

I don't know what I think. On one hand, I love hearing this angelic choir. It makes me feel good, it makes me want to do good, and I know it's just my brain playing me custom music. On the other hand: "I hear angels sing for me" is exactly the sort of things that brands someone as "crazy", and I know that. I think, why, why, why do I even have this internal radio? Why do I have to be so different, so on-the-line between "odd" and "insane"? I see people, even at my school, who romanticize darkness, edginess, and eccentricity, even "madness." But in practice, everyone is looking at each other as weirdos. We like the Mad Scientist and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl: we hate the schizophrenic, we hate the bipolar "crazy girlfriend."  It's interesting and maybe even enjoyably dramatic until it's just day-to-day life. 

I picture myself telling someone about my tulpas, and them being totally cool with it, even wanting to meet them. I picture them meeting Cassidy and immediately weirding out, or worse, not respecting that he holds different beliefs than me. (Namely, he's chaste, and anyone I might date would need to understand that fully. Friends would need to understand that he's totally unwilling to make dirty jokes, see NSFW things, etc.) I imagine them saying, "Oh, it's totally fine that Cassidy wants to front!", then being very not-fine when he does.

In the case of my friend, she felt very betrayed that 1.) I never told her about Gavin, and 2.) Gavin was "listening in" and "influencing me." She thought back over our relationship and started asking, "Did he tell you to do/say xyx?" I don't remember what I said, but it was an awful answer. I think I said something along the lines of "I go to him for advice all the time", because, yeah, I did. I don't think it's bad when people get advice from their siblings, their parents, their friends: and if the main issue is that they'll gossip, well, Gavin can't exactly leak secrets, living in my head. I also, as he will attest, am in no way forced to comply with his advice. It's more of the opposite: Gavin says, "I think one chocolate is enough for now," or "I'd like us to start working on that paper," and I pull the Fronting Card and use my control of the body to eat that chocolate and ignore that homework. If he ever decided to tell me "You should totally date X!" (which I doubt he would), that'd just be his opinion. Even if he shouted it at me nonstop, (which I really doubt he would) that wouldn't get me to do anything. 

I've talked with Gavin some about these fears and insecurities of mine. I think we all just need time, and eventually it won't be so new anymore. 

I had a very vivid dream: not lucid, but at least I was in it. Most of my dreams are just like watching an absurdist movie. I was walking down a trail that goes around my old elementary school, along with everyone from my 8th grade class. I turned to three girls, who I've known since kindergarten, and told them, "I've known you three forever. I've grown up with you three. Isn't that funny?" They didn't react. 
Then, as I walked down the path further, everything suddenly became winter: it was snowing, and we were all kindergarten-age. For a few seconds, it was like I was seeing into my past. I snapped out of it and the three girls were looking at me. They asked me what happened, and I said, "Oh, I just have a vivid imagination." I remember worrying that they would think I was insane. Even in my dreams, I was worrying about my neurodivergence. Sadly, I never even (that I remember) thought about my tulpas, or spoke to them, or involved them in any way. 

Then everything went straight back to absurdism and I was watching some sort of action, jungle temple escape movie. I don't know. All I remember is a stone idol of a hippo, maybe not a hippo, who knows. I think someone was trying to do the classic "exchange the treasure with something of equal weight so you don't trigger the booby-traps" thing in order to take the stone idol. That's when I woke up. Dreaming is funny. 

Now, actual progress? Not too much. It's linear, not exponential. I think have slighter better stamina in regards to meditation and visualization. The mental chess board is coming along. Cassidy has been his usual self, making me laugh by visualizing himself in strange places in the real world. Gavin wants to front a little bit to try some food he bought, but he's insistent that no one else be home, so I don't know when he'll be able to do that. 

Just now, 11/5 (this report has been written over a few days), we got in a bit of car trouble where there was a strong "burning" smell in the car and strange metal sounds, and my mom immediately turned us around and drove home. She had been driving me to my class, where I had a big exam. I got another ride, was a bit late, but it all worked out, aside from the fact the car is still acting poorly. As one might expect, it was a little nerve-racking. I was very, very glad for my tulpas. Cassidy has a tendency to start crying a little in wonderland, but it's actually quite therapeutic for the whole system. Cassidy expresses that he's upset and "this is scary", while I and Gavin remain cool and collected and reassure everyone that we'll get through it. In other situations, Cassidy gets to be the strong one, too, especially when he's fronting. I still can't believe the time he picked up an ant and let it crawl all over his hands while explaining alates and the role of queen ants. 

I'm seriously considering a series of videos about tulpas, specifically, some tulpa-centric guided meditations. If it happens, I think a good plan would to be to make the videos unlisted and link to them through itself. I'd probably turn off the comments, too. That way, the potential risk for drama/trolling is minimized. Let me know what you guys think.

-Jamie, who is stuck in writing mode for NaNoWriMo

0 = no skill, 10 = goal achieved
  • Mindscape: 3
  • Visualization: 4
  • Auditory imposition: 2
  • Some degree of tactile imposition: 1
  • Some degree of visual imposition: 1
  • Lucid dream skills: 0

    Cassidy's house is really coming along. Gavin planned to not live in the basement forever, but he's not especially motivated to move out at this point. The whole place has a nice, warm vibe. 

Lolflash - click it, you know you want to

I'm sure Reilyn will want to keep chatting to you all but in the meantime I dug up an article relevant to your question of can someone with diagnosed mental illness become a social worker.

I also dug up two semi related stories from medical professionals who had their eyes opened after their own episodes, one even a psychiatrist.

I don't know if these will alleviate any of your concerns but it can't hurt to be better informed.
We know what it's like to be the weird one that stands out in the crowd and is immediately labelled as unfit to be around. But we feel like.. why get it diagnosed and 'published' to the world, unless it bothers you or you feel like you need some form of treatment? I've lived many many years being mentally sick and the only label I've received was 'that one weird artist'. You can be a social worker all the same without anyone knowing of what is going through your mind, unless, of course, you and your tulpas feel like you must really share your experiences and inner, creative world with the world, in which case that's respectable and understandable. We can see the source of concern and worry if that's the case.

I personally never felt like sharing what's going on in my brain, except with maybe my closest friends and since my closest friends have almost always experienced me at my worst (as someone who has a LOT of BPD-like symptoms and was diagnosed wrongly with aspergers), they don't really bat an eye. A person is not my friend, or at least, not a trusted, true friend, if they haven't gone at least once through my worst moments and remained by my side. My best friend knows of Viper and hasn't even flinched when I announced that I now have a tulpa. She simply shared her experiences with a similar entity that used to show up in her dreams since she was 5 years old.

That aside, we would be SUPER interested in tulpa-centric guided meditation videos. Please please! It's our weakest skill right now and it would definitely help us a lot!
~ We are Venny, the host, and Viper, my soul! ~
        Click here! Come join us on the chat!
I figured (and based on what she told me) that Ashley has been with me a long time. She has used imposition on several occasions in my life before i could speak with her, but her presence was always there. I felt loved among people who really thought of me as an unnecessary burden, like an unwated pet. That said, she has sung for me and shown herself as an 'angel'. This doesn't mean you have another tulpa in there somewhere, but i thought i would share that because my life may have been very different without that reassuring presence. So along those lines, angelic music is said to have a depth of hundreds of voices, or so overly complex that it seems impossible to reproduce in real life. I too have had such music given to me once, for a very brief time. If you're athiest, then just consider this a gift form your subconsious mind. People don't go crazy when 'good' things happen. If it was death metal, then maybe worry more.

I told my really cool friend about tulpamancy and my tulpas, and she said, 'hm.' But in a really cool way. Of course it could also go really badly.

Venny, luckily when you're an artist, you can be as weird as you want. (As long as your art is good.)
I think Gavin was my gift from my subconscious: I wonder what ever made me decide, "How about you give yourself a name and I treat you like your own person?"

I am an atheist, and I am very appreciative of what my brain does for me. I watched a documentary once on bipolar disorder, which included an interview with a man who'll see angels when manic. He said, despite all his troubles stemming from being bipolar, it was all worth it to see angels. I get to have something like that, without any disorder! I'm lucky for that.

And I really don't want any diagnosis, but my fear is that it'll happen against my will, and stick to me forever. Maybe I get depressed or something, but I also tell the therapist I hear voices sometimes, and then it's all misconstrued, and then I'm being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Gavin calls me out for paranoia there, and he's totally right. I've always had some... phobic tendencies. No anxiety, surprisingly! Just dissociation. I'm a natural, for better or worse.

Something to consider (and I guess I should take my own advice) is that we are all part of the tulpamancy subculture, or whatever you want to call it. All this hearing voices and such is pretty much as seen as normal, actively sought after and trained for. This is our "normal" and we read guides, put in long hours and practice specifically for it, as well as encourage each other on it. It's also documented and being researched, at least as much as a subjective mental process can be.

#3 and #4 of the 5 criteria for diagnosing someone with DID or it's subsets, OSDD1a, OSDD1b, etc are as follows:

3. The person must be distressed by the disorder or have trouble functioning in one or more major life areas because of the disorder.
This criterion is common among all serious mental illness diagnoses as diagnosis is not appropriate where the symptoms do not create distress and/or trouble functioning.

4. The disturbance is not part of normal cultural or religious practices.
This DID criterion is to eliminate diagnosis in cultures or situations where multiplicity is appropriate. An example of this is in children where an imaginary friend is not necessarily indicative of a mental illness.

Tulpa stuff asside, I really don't think you have anything to worry about when it comes to hearing angelic radio. If you like it and it doesn't cause functional trouble then it isn't an issue. Interesting perhaps, but nothing to worry about. A shrink might want to study you because you fascinate them but not because you are certifiably crazy.

Social stigma, on the other hand... Well, I'm not even getting into that. Reilyn is sternly telling me to not introduce negativity here.

[Standard "I'm not a licensed professional in this field so take what I say as untrained advice only" disclaimer]
Jamie on Sunday, November 11th, 2018

Life... has been good. I was in a bit of a rut for a few days, and all three of us realized something needed to change. I had quite a talk with Gavin yesterday, and today I've really turned around from the slope I was going down. I'm in a good mood. 

I've been trying to form a controllable thought barrier with Cassidy, to some extent, just so we're more independent. I thought I was really sucking at it and that I was nearly always co-conscious with him when he fronts, but I've discovered, nope. I didn't really think through what it would mean for me to not have all of Cassidy's memories. If I don't have those memories... I won't remember them. Duh. I guess I was expecting to feel strongly amnesiac or something? It's subtler than that. I don't feel like there are holes in my memory at all. 

I was moving my candles and found a nearly-new candle I didn't remember ever getting. I picked it up and thought... what? I don't remember buying this. Then, I felt Cassidy recalling memories, and I knew it was his candle. He was fronting when my family went to a new store, and he bought the candle for us. He had to tell me that. I feel like, if I had really tried, I could have accessed his memories, but it was all blurry to me at first. Cassidy could recall the story easily. 
After he told me, I could remember it all in 1st person. I worried a little bit that my tulpas could make stuff up or accidentally say intrusive notions, and I'd think they were real memories. From this experience, that's not a problem. The thought barrier appears to be all about recall: what we easily remember when we look at/experience/think about something. 

The end game with all of this... I want us three to be able to play D&D and other games, without being able to completely read each other's minds. I'd also like to be able to write things and have the others read them later, so we can keep an exchange diary, basically. We've started collecting materials for a scrapbook: all I need now are some page protectors and maybe some better glue. Right now, we've collected some things in sandwich bags: Two rhinestones from the Dia de los Muertos face stickers I wore on my 16th birthday, a dried flower I grew, the first fall-colored leaf I saw on the tree outside my house, a gold owl charm that is symbolic to us, and finally, the index card I wrote Cassidy's planned character traits on, dated Sep. 6th. I don't think he even named himself until the 7th. 

I only personality forced twice, in those first days of his creation. Everything else came naturally: there wasn't any need. But for reference and in case you people want to know, here's what I wrote down:
  • Workhorse
  • Good sense of humor
  • Focused
  • Goal-oriented (well, I actually misspelled it terribly, but that's beside the point)
  • Good listener
  • Likes games
  • Playful/Good-natured
  • Imaginative
  • Seeks new opportunities 

My report card is unchanged. I'm ready to have a lucid dream already. I might need to try a new method: I'm too tired and I fall asleep too quickly, I think. This is what I've been doing, every night:

-Read/talk about lucid dreaming before bed
-Lay down and get to the stage where I don't need to move/shift around any more
-Repeat, "I'm going to lucid dream", "I'll be awake and aware in my dreams", and "I will know when I'm dreaming", whatever mantra comes to mind, or sometimes Cassidy will say it. 
-Lean into the hypnagogic fractal-like visuals, just let them happen, trying to stay aware of them and to make it more vivid. 
-Try my best to let my body fall deeper into sleep, while keeping my mind awake with mantras and focusing very hard on my own thoughts and the hypnagogic visuals. 

Then I fall dead asleep at some point. I have been having better dream recall, and I'm in my dreams more and more (usually, it's like watching TV or something, and I'm not there.) I would also really, really like to have Cassidy or Gavin be aware in my dreams. If I'm lucid, hopefully I'll be able to make that happen. I have had lucid dreams before, so I know it's possible. I've also been doing some wake-back-to-bed stuff when I can manage it, but it's pretty unpleasant for me. I've yet to find an alarm that doesn't scare the daylights out of my body, especially when it's still dark out. When I'm shocked awake like that, it takes more than a few minutes to go back to sleep, and often, I don't want to go back to sleep at all. 

Any tips for lucid dreaming? Any major flaws in my current method? Any suggestions for how to get my tulpas to be there? Cassidy has also tried going to sleep to see if he'll dream and wake up himself, but with no success. The dreams are mine, and I wake up. 

I actually got a new mattress today, and Cassidy is dying to sleep on it... it's only 7, but I think it's time for a nap. Wish us luck!
Lumi is the king of dreams, i mean he knows all the tricks. Us 'lucky ones' follow similar to what you do and get good results. Sometimes they're fantastic results, more than half the time i fall asleep, but i still get audio imposition. I haven't had a really good hypmagogic dream in a while, but i am okay if i never do again, because just having them with me is enough. It was damn fun, but i'm happy just to visualize them and draw them and we have a lot of fun. It's really pretty amazing compared to the time when i would talk to my thoughtform characters. They spoke back, but not like a tulpa with emotions and presence and permanence.

We have the best luck with lucid dreams now when i nap, in 3 out of the last 4 nap dreams, at least one of them was with me and lucid. I almost always get a dream when i nap mid day. They are short though.
(11-06-2018, 03:45 AM)J+C Wrote: Jamie on Sunday, November 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 2018

Retrospective prologue: Today's topic is insecurity.

I completely relate to this.

(11-06-2018, 03:45 AM)J+C Wrote: I picture myself telling someone about my tulpas, and them being totally cool with it, even wanting to meet them. I picture them meeting Cassidy and immediately weirding out, or worse, not respecting that he holds different beliefs than me. (Namely, he's chaste, and anyone I might date would need to understand that fully. Friends would need to understand that he's totally unwilling to make dirty jokes, see NSFW things, etc.) I imagine them saying, "Oh, it's totally fine that Cassidy wants to front!", then being very not-fine when he does. 

This reminds me of my own intrusive thoughts of Ranger fronting and then people are like, "hey...something isn't quite right about you..." At this point Ranger just rolls his eyes and he doesn't really care.

We are not even ready to explore what that conversation would look like for us.

(11-06-2018, 03:45 AM)J+C Wrote: Then everything went straight back to absurdism and I was watching some sort of action, jungle temple escape movie. I don't know. All I remember is a stone idol of a hippo, maybe not a hippo, who knows. I think someone was trying to do the classic "exchange the treasure with something of equal weight so you don't trigger the booby-traps" thing in order to take the stone idol. That's when I woke up. Dreaming is funny. 


I have tried to Lucid Dream and I could never get it to work, and right now I would rather not worry about it because I have too much trouble sleeping. I only rarely get dreams about Ranger, in fact the only dreams I had with Ranger were logged and reported. I wouldn't beat yourself up if Lucid Dreaming turns out to not be your thing, but it's still worth playing around with for the experience.
My Wonderland form minus the glasses and the fur. I'm not a hippo, I promise.
Ranger now speaks in
light blue text, but he used to speak in blue or orange text. He loves to chat.

My other Tulpas have their own account now.
I managed to have around 2-3 total lucid dreams in my entire life and they came pretty quickly after practicing reality checks for at least a week. But I tend to lose interest/focus and stop doing reality checks and ... Yeah.
~ We are Venny, the host, and Viper, my soul! ~
        Click here! Come join us on the chat!

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