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[Misc] Telling Future Children About Tulpas
#1
Daily thread #22

(Credit to JGC for this idea)

If you had children in the future, would you tell them about plurality/tulpas? If so, at what age? If not, why not?

(All daily threads are listed here.)
I'm Apollo Fire, the "Sun God" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa created December 2016. My systemmates are Piano & Indigo. Form images: 1 2
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#2
I actually thought about this myself the other day. I wouldn't tell them about it until they were old enough to know better than to blab about it to their friends, wouldn't want their school calling cps to check in to see if I have a drug problem or something.
If I ever told them, I'd still be very vague about it and encourage them to seek out information about it on their own so they could decide for themselves what they think about it all or if they even believe me. If they were accepting and interested I'd tell them more, if not, well, I'm alright with my kid thinking I'm a bit weird.
Desmond - 21st April 2014 (Also has his own account)
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Nevira - 14th December 2014
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#3
Given that Ember doesn't care for children, that Iris and I are indifferent to them, that we don't have any out-system partners at the moment, and that the body is sterile, I really don't think this will ever be an issue for us. However, as a purely hypothetical situation...

I'm not willing to pretend to be Ember under any circumstances. If I'm fronting, I want people around me to realize it. In public, among people who don't know any of us, it doesn't matter if they get it, though there are quite a few restaurant staff who have seen that one body has dramatically different posture, attitude, and accent at different times. Sometimes they seem subtly taken aback -- it's hard to say. But living with someone, they would not only observe but rapidly come to understand, because we wouldn't hide it.

Children are adaptable. They would learn to recognize and respond to the distinctions very early. It would simply be their normal world. I would have to do a bit more reading on developmental psychology to see how that might influence their own development of identity -- hopefully not adversely. It would probably help to have a singleton out-system partner to be a role model of non-plurality, but there's no guarantees that would be available, given that Ember's ex-wife and most of her ex-wife's other partners have a plural background.

I'd probably advise a child to try not to talk about plurality too openly, but then if they had friends over, the cat would be out of the bag anyway. I'm not concerned about government intervention. A clean and orderly household where the children are safe, healthy, and well cared for and where the parents are intelligent, educated, and well spoken, should not be at significant risk.

-Vesper
Ember - Host   |   Vesper - Soulbond (since ~12 May 2017)   |   Iris - Soulbond (since ~5 December 2015)
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'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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#4
First off, we're going to need to boldly assume I'll ever have children of my own. But, speaking of the hypothetical scenario I would get children...

I just plan on telling them whenever it's relevant to mention. Of course, that might end up being after 12 years or it just might be never. I'll just roll with the punches as they come. Given that all tulpas in the system at that moment agree, of course...


That is, if we boldly assume we'll have more than just me as a tulpa in here by then.

Anyways, I know what he's most likely going to say. Michen is probably just going to be vague about it anyways. Which is a good thing, since I'd rather not have too many people know in detail. Of course, Michen's kids can know what's going on later in more detail if he ever gets them, but I'd rather have him wait until they're no longer likely to blab about it to others and can understand the topic better.
Michen, host or "main" / Amantha, anthro arctic fox tulpa
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#5
If we have children, Gray thinks it's going to be my child with my spouse in the future. Even if this were the case, I would rather wait for my child to be an adult before telling them. I don't want them to play with Tulpamancy at a young age, and I don't want to make life harder for them by confusing them about having a Tulpa as their father in their mother's body. (We thought about being transgender before, but we're not sure if that's right for us right now.)

Gray has a lot of fear about the idea of giving birth to a child knowing that the body is autistic, so he thinks there's a good chance any of our babies will also be autistic, and he doesn't want to force that onto a new person. Gray has thought about adopting, and well... an adopted child from India or China will be more normal than we will ever be, chances are talking about Tulpamancy to them is not going to end well.
I'm Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's Tulpa and I love Hippos! I also like forum games and chatting about stuff.
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#6
Whether or not you overtly tell them, it seems to me that only a non-switching system could hide plurality from their child. Presumably, your own offspring will spend enough time with you to figure out that, hey, sometimes you have a different personality! I suppose one thoughtform could act like the other thoughtform whenever they're around the kids, but that sounds downright tedious.

That being said, the involvement of law enforcement does concern me. I think I would want to wait until any kids were ~10 years old to tell them, as I could expect them to understand they can't blab about it at that age.
I live in a castle and have two tulpas, Kanade-chan and Uncannyfellow
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#7
I have no problem telling my son. I use language he understands, and he is pretty smart, and so as caught on to some things... We have a fairly solid 'make believe' world. We talk about dreams, and we plan our dreams. (Hoping he catches on to lucid dreaming.) When we draw, I am drawing with him. I try to draw Loxy a lot, and he's asked who she is. I have responded, my friend ghost, Loxy. One of his bedtime stories, good night monster, became his 'secret friend.' Sometimes he switches it out for a minecraft monster. We read stories every night, but we also make up stories. We talk about picnics on the moon. So for him, presently, it is a game. He is learning/practicing imagination, Loxy gets air time with plausible deniability if necessary. How is it any different than telling a child there is a Santa Claus?
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#8
Very good, SC. Parents tell their children about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, children in turn tell their parents about their invisible friends, the monster under the bed, and the closet monster. Where are tulpas strange or implausible in this scenario? It isn't until children stop believing in people they can't see that telling them about tulpas becomes a problem. You don't need to wait till ten or twelve if you're completely blase and matter of fact about it.

I've had a different background than many here, I think. When I first transitioned, I believed that I needed to rigorously and forever hide that I had done so. Then I joined a support group where I was taught not to regard being trans as stigmatizing and shameful. That was where I met my wife. I assumed we needed to not be obvious about our relationship in public to avoid disapproval. But then she was very open and we never actually caught any flak. She was also polyamorous, so I ended up needing to tell a number of people about that, though I didn't really practice it myself until Vesper and I became involved. At the same support group, I met a woman who was very open about her involvement in the BDSM lifestyle. My wife and I got involved for a while and learned to be very open about it also, even though some BDSM practices are illegal in America. When I became unexpectedly plural, I didn't tell anyone "because adults don't talk about their imaginary friends". Sixteen months later, I came here and found out differently. Once I learned that plurality was important and would always be part of my life, I naturally told my friends and family, having been prepared for openness by nineteen previous years of coming out again and again in various ways.

How does one go about being open about plurality? Don't present it as weird. Don't present it as crazy. Don't present it as a crisis or something that might change your relationship with the person you're telling. Don't present it as a horrible secret. Avoid clinical terminology. Put it in relatable terms. Destigmatize. Plurality is common. It's a normal part of human variation. Lots of well known people have been plural.

-Ember
Ember - Host   |   Vesper - Soulbond (since ~12 May 2017)   |   Iris - Soulbond (since ~5 December 2015)
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#9
I feel like being transgender or LGBTQ and being plural are in two different boats. For the former, it's a large enough cultural phenomenon where people will believe you if you identify as gay or transgender, regardless of how accepting they are of it.

Plurality on the other hand is a really fringe group of people. Only a handful of people around the world are Tulpamancers, and only a handful of people have DID, OSDD, or similar dissociative disorders. Given that there are doubts if DID is even real and the lack of scientific evidence supporting that Tulpas are real, and the lack of people out there who identify as Tulpamancers or plural, people are more likely to fall on the belief that Tulpamancers are crazy.

If we decide to become transgender and we have a child, I have no problem explaining to them that we are transgender, why we (I?) made that choice, and that not everyone is accepting of people who are transgender. Our child may have no problem with it or feel weird about it, but they won't go doubting that we're making stuff up or anything like that. On the other hand, being told that I'm a Tulpa and Cat is a host of 16 others may come across as us being crazy because what we are describing is really not relatable to anything else around them and may be surprising or out of the blue. Tulpamancy isn't mainstream enough to be understood, and the only explanations out there made by non-Tulpamancers are we're just a bunch of crazy adults with imaginary friends or we have this weird religion or something.

I figure that if I told my child that I'm a Tulpa, eventually they will go out and tell their friends and may get picked on for having a crazy parent or be wrongly accused of being the crazy one. If not, then the kid may feel a sense of isolation knowing that they can't tell their friends and feel they have to "cover up" facts about themselves.


Part of why people do Christmas with Santa Clause is because kids find out their friends get presents from Santa or they watch Christmas programs on TV, and having your kid come to you to ask "why doesn't Santa give me presents" is going to be an awkward conversation. Kids today and probably not for several decades are not going to come to you and ask what plurality means because they heard it from someone else.

From my experience, revealing our plurality to Cat's family wasn't really a good thing. Even though Cat's parents and brother know I'm a Tulpa, they still have a reasonable amount of doubt and they don't really know how to comprehend or relate. Even Flame, Cat's brother, pointed out that there's not much he can relate to. We have felt like Tulpamancy acted more of a barrier more than anything else, partly because it means so much to us and not much at all to everyone else. I don't want to watch my child feel that way about me. I would rather they not worry about it and only ask questions when they're ready too.
I'm Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's Tulpa and I love Hippos! I also like forum games and chatting about stuff.
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#10
(07-30-2019, 08:13 PM)Ranger Wrote: If we have children, Gray thinks it's going to be my child with my spouse in the future. Even if this were the case, I would rather wait for my child to be an adult before telling them.

Let me take a different tack then - the child's perspective. If I had been raised by a tulpa and not found out until I was an adult I would feel betrayed and lied to.

I can speak from personal experience about feeling betrayed at the revelation of a parent's secrets. My father did, in fact, distort very significant portions of his life in the many stories he told me growing up. He made my mother and his family promise to back him up on all his lies when I was born, because he didn't think the truth reflected well on him. But the lies didn't quite add up, so when I was grown, I did my own digging and figured out his secrets. I showed my mother the evidence and she confessed the truth that she had been saving to tell me whenever my father died.

I'm not going to air my family's past on the internet, but the things that were hidden from me were of far less significance and far less my business than if my father had been a tulpa.

(07-31-2019, 03:31 AM)Ranger Wrote: I feel like being transgender or LGBTQ and being plural are in two different boats. For the former, it's a large enough cultural phenomenon where people will believe you if you identify as gay or transgender, regardless of how accepting they are of it.

When I was first looking at transitioning twenty years ago, the general expectation online was that transition would cost your family, your friends, your job, and your home and that you would have to start an entirely new life after transition, never telling anyone about your past. Anyone who did better than that was considered fortunate. The modern levels of cultural acceptance are a product of bold pioneers who took the risk of living openly as trans. Now we live in a world where I was reading a scientific paper on tulpas ten minutes after typing "imaginary friends in adults" into Google for the first time. The world is changing. Public perception of plurality is changing. Millions of people have already watched educational material produced by members of the Hearing Voices Movement. You can choose to stay stealth, but knowledge of and belief in plurality is going to keep spreading.

(07-31-2019, 03:31 AM)Ranger Wrote: Plurality on the other hand is a really fringe group of people. Only a handful of people around the world are Tulpamancers, and only a handful of people have DID, OSDD, or similar dissociative disorders.

Of authors, published or not, who have been writing at least five years, 92% have had at least one character display independent agency. Many, many authors have written about their experiences with independent characters over the centuries. Leonard Nimoy's two autobiographies speak extensively of his relationship with his soulbond Spock. Some non-western cultures have radically different understandings of identity and plurality.

Tulpamancy, DID, and OSDD together do not account for a majority of the world's plurality and I tend to wait a while before mentioning any of them, if I ever do, when talking about being plural. Sometimes I don't mention tulpamancy because I don't want the moral responsibility for spreading the idea that this is something that people can just easily and arbitrarily choose to pick up.

-Ember
Ember - Host   |   Vesper - Soulbond (since ~12 May 2017)   |   Iris - Soulbond (since ~5 December 2015)
[Our Progress Report]     [How We Switch]

'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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