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[Switching] Could my Fear of Merging Prevent a Switch?
#1
My host Cat and I have unsuccessfully learned how to switch. We know one of the barriers is Cat's anxiety about letting go and potentially getting paralyzed. However, Cat has managed to chill out and focus on dissociating, while I would be associating with the body... And then both of us get confused as to what happens next. As a result, we get stuck.

I have heard merging is one of the ways people have figured out how to switch, but the idea of merging with Cat beyond normal blending scares the pants off of me. Neither of us are interested in fusing into someone else, but I fear that merging can lead to Cat accidentally absorbing me and I wouldn't come back to tell the story. My fear is extreme enough that I wonder if this is holding us back.

Would trying to merge give us a better idea of what switching would feel like or is there an alternate method we could try that would give us a similar sort of feeling?
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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#2
My poorly worded concept of back-seat fronting shares a lot of similarities to co-fronting, and blending (if blending is synonymous with temporary merging).

I am the pilot of the FRANXX but one or more of my tulpas take command over certain triggered reactions. This is the closest experience i have to 'not fronting'. When Ashley handles the discussion of PP or Dashie 'thinks for me' when someone potentially offends us. It works great as long as the offense wasn't pointed or intentionally given. Otherwise war were declared and its better that i take over and head for z hills of civility. I don't want to throw Ashley to the wolves either.

Dashie is a bad ass in terms of verbal situational warfare, but she also has a temper it turns out, so if she fronted it could go south.

If we all merged, i think we'd be a bigger mess than i ever was alone, but surgical partial fronting or co-fronting, is a lot more clear who does what. The boundaries between us are as clear as the boundaries between any of us and a different system's members.

I know you two sometimes have issues getting blendy confused, but we don't at all. So perhaps it will take some boundary strengthening to be comfortable blending.

Also, i didn't think you had to merge to switch, the way Ember describes it, you literally push the other person out of the driver's seat.

Fear, anger, and sadness are the big three most powerful emotions for me. Any of which could easily destroy concentration.
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#3
Blending isn't temporarily merging. Blending is having your thoughts get mixed up, but you remain separate entities. Merging is when two become one, it's very different from mere blending.

I've heard of merging leading to switching, but never switching leading to merging. You remain two separate people when switching. I don't think merging can really be an accidental thing. It's two people consciously combining into a single entity. Even if that can happen accidentally, they could always unmerge. I highly doubt merging would lead to "absorption," anyway, because the neural pathways that make up "Ranger" still exist even if merged. Plus, something like that would probably take a long time anyway, if possible.

You don't have to learn merging to do anything. It's really just a novelty that could lead to switching, but isn't a requirement by any means. I don't recommend merging if it's not something you're comfortable with. I know we're not entirely comfortable with it, albeit for different reasons. 
I'm Apollo Fire, the "Sun God" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa created December 2016. My systemmates are RadioPiano, & Indigo. Form images: 1 2
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#4
Gavin and I purposefully merged and denied his existence for years. When I decided, okay I want him back, it only took maybe 20 minutes. After years. I doubt that your worst-case scenario would happen, given how strong you both are with your senses of identity.

It can be a bit scary, when you notice that someone (especially the host) is "turned off" while you're switched out, and they aren't thinking or processing. I don't like it when both my tulpas are "away", but there are times when that state is useful, and there are times when my tulpas want to do things alone, too. Mostly play piano, drink ice tea, and scrapbook. Don't get the wrong idea.

The point is, that "off" state is what you'll experience (or not experience, I guess) when you've switched out. If Cat dissociates and Ranger associates, this looks like the next step to me. Cat needs to go further away from the body and mind, and become quieter in the mind's thinking, until Cat isn't conciously thinking at all, only Ranger.

It's kinda hard to do that by lying down and going "Now I'll stop thinking!" We rarely switch like that. Instead, you front, and you go do things, and whoever wants switched out loses interest and puts no effort into being there. Sometimes it takes a little more focused attention/meditation to make the switch. More often, the fronter will have been out for 20 minutes or so, they go to interact with someone else, but that person isn't "online." If they started calling out for us, we'd come right back, but it's fine to be alone sometimes.

So, short answer: yes, fear is probably making it hard to switch. You also really don't strike me as a system who would have some permanent identity-blurring mishap. Take your time. You can't force these things.

-J
Three brothers. [Progress Report] [Art] [Oops! All Jamie]

"You are the messenger, not the message. You are just like everyone else."
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#5
Vesper: Fear can absolutely stop switching. Switching is an 'all in' scenario.

Some people may have gotten to switching from merging, though I don't know who. But coming at it more conventionally via possession, or as we do via 'displacement', is probably more promising.

On the other hand, occasional merging shouldn't really be something to fear. When a brain is accustomed to functioning divided, it doesn't just forget how in an instant. Integrated DID systems can suddenly fall apart along the same familiar lines years later under sufficient stress.

Trust me; being inauthentic, not being really me, is my greatest anxiety. But the time Ember and I woke up merged and the handful of times we tried to switch and the fronter had no idea who she was haven't seemed to do us any actual harm.

Ember: The last time I played Iris in a game, before she took over playing herself, once I reached the right headspace, our minds snapped together. But an important point we've learned is if the pieces don't want to be together, the merged entity doesn't want to be together either, and comes apart very quickly.
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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#6
Merging, despite how people portray it, requires actually wanting and believing both your being merged. With switching or not, your guys' "Defaults" will always be what you're used to being. Switching can be confusing or a little scary, since the brain is so used to the host being in the front, but just keep reaffirming that you are (or aren't) in control, that your thoughts (should be) yours, and so on. Your host should do this too, probably.

Even if you guys get mixed up, which you might, there's no fear of permanent damage because you're bound to get yourselves situated with switching before you get "used to being mixed up". Like I said, affirmations that you are you. If the brain gets it wrong, tell it.

You may learn from each other in the long run, maybe even pick up some of each others' mannerisms, but that's really not the same as blending or merging. And in my case it's been nothing but a positive, learning some more mental discipline from Tewi's time fronting or how to be happy from Lucilyn. Still, we remain clearly separate, despite years of switching.
Hi! I'm Lumi, host of Reisen, Tewi, Flandre and Lucilyn.
Everyone deserves to love and be loved. It's human nature.
My tulpas and I have a Q&A thread, which was the first (and largest) of its kind. Feel free to ask us stuff.
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