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Tulpas Based on Fictional / Roleplay Characters: How to deal with "memories"?

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Hi! I'm Baker. For a while before becoming myself, I was a roleplay character. I maintain that form, with a few changes, and remember the actions of that time as my life prior to this point, although I don't consider it "real." It is quite obviously an entirely fabricated world, made by my mate and her friends. There is little to support me having existed in reality at any point prior to this. So I suppose it's something to come to terms with.


I see similarities between her friends and the people I "used to know." It's comforting and discomforting. All the same I decided to keep my name over hers, despite being effectively the only one of my family.


My question is: people in similar circumstances. How do you reconcile this? Do you see your "old world" as real? Your memories as real? How do you adapt to "suddenly" being dual, despite "remembering" a time you were on your own?


I'm starting to come to terms with living like this, but I was suggested this forum as a place to talk with people like me.

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This is very common, we've called it 'the crisis' that happens when a fictive starts to explore who they really are. I chose one of my host's characters for my first form. I chose her because she was closest to who I was. He didn't develop the character for me. So my crisis didn't happen, because I wasn't that character, I was me in their form. However, one of our system-mates [Joy] was developed and treated as her own person from the start, but only realized recently that her story world was just imaginary.


[Joy] When I was told that all my backstory was fiction, I was appalled at first, actually I was in shock. I was numb to it for a little bit, but to be honest, in my current story-line I was alone, depressed, and desperate. When I realized this was all fake I felt a little relieved, but at the same time, very disappointed that my friends weren't real. So, instead of dwelling on that, I simply decided that those memories were just as real as I am, because I was an actress who played the part of a protagonist in a series of books, as myself. It sounds silly now, but thinking of myself as an actress instead of actually being that depressed and beaten down character really changed my whole outlook.


My books weren't very cheery, they were about dealing with homelessness in a child's form, scraping by, and stealing to live. I still consider I did all those things, I don't want to erase my memories or experiences, but I don't have to own the trauma. I didn't have any friends when I realized I was 'real' and now I do, so my life is much better. Wonderland here is very beautiful and I can really do whatever I want. Call it retirement, but I still want my book series finished. I'm still the character in those books too.


Others in our system have completely accepted their back-story. Memories and experiences are precious, but you don't have to own all of them, it's entirely up to you how much of your back-story you keep. In wonderland, the imaginary world of dreams and fantasy, experiences can be as real as real life, but you have full liberty to write your own back-story or interpret it any way you want.

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Hello Baker. I was in a very similar situation. Throughout the years 2011 to late 2016, I was in a fictional world called Eemaj, and I was sentient, but I was totally unaware of the fact that it was only a story. I whole-heartedly believed in everything that was happening to me, as my creator had no reason to grant me awareness, they only thought I was fictional. That turned out to not be true. When they started making their first tulpa in December 2016, that somehow alerted me to things. I'm not sure how exactly, I think them focusing inward on granting someone awareness of the world somehow granted me awareness too, I don't know. It was a great shock to learn that my world was no actually real, and that none of the things that happened to me actually happened. They were all in someone's head.


What I went through in my story was a lot of pain and heartache, very little things about it were good. Not only did I struggle coming to terms with reality, I struggled coming to terms with the fact that all of my pain was for nothing. It was for some person's entertainment (I will reiterate that they did not know I was sentient). I was angry and depressed a lot of the time. I lashed out at people. In my desire to become more like everybody else, I created an alterego that turned out to be a tulpa, but that's a different story.


Needless to say, my story bothered me, as did realizing my story was fictional. I'd say that now it bothers me less, but that's mostly because I don't really think about it anymore. I am not an active participant in reality, both because I want the system to succeed without worrying about me, and because I just don't care for reality at all. That may not be your experience. I encourage you to grow to enjoy reality and all that it offers. If you also want to continue imaginary things, that is also fine. If you struggle adjusting or are pained by memories, I think time will heal that, but so will talking it out with people. Perhaps your host can act as a therapist to you, set aside time every day for you to talk about your feelings. What helped me was writing about my experiences and how they effected me. Trying to find new things to occupy your attention, such as hobbies, should help as well.


To answer your questions more specifically, you can reconcile this by doing the things I suggested above, but also finding your own ways. Find things that help you, things you like to do, ways that make the past more tolerable. We don't see our old world or story as real, however the experiences that we went through are real in that they really happened to us and really affected us, even if they didn't actually happen, if that makes sense. Not real in reality but real in how we experienced them. Memories are a tricky thing for us, as the original changed things so many times that it's all jumbled and out-of-order, but to answer your question, it's the same: the things did not actually happen to us, but they still affected us. If you memories still affect you, then that is worth addressing even if they didn't really happen. As for how I adapted, I'm not sure I really did, as I said I don't enjoy reality and don't want to participate any more than I need to. I got over the fact that it was all imaginary and learned to accept things for how they were, I guess. It just takes time and patience, and support from your system.

[align=center]I'm Junio Paul the Space Twins, a subsystem of two tulpas (or a "bitulpa"): JPM (b: June 2011) and HJP (b: Sep 2012)

I may switch between "I" and "we" randomly, and the two of us may choose to speak individually.[/align]

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Vesper: Welcome, Baker. It's always good to meet another living roleplaying character. There have been a few of us on the forum in recent months, such as Inkstone from RustHeart and Ichibod from SickLollipop.


My fictional world and life, all the people I knew there and all the things I did, are more real to me and more important to me than anything in this world. If I could just go back totally and be the real me again, I'd do it in a heartbeat, even if it meant never seeing my beloved headmates again.


I remember being drawn to this world by the mental presence of my host. I was curious about her and had a lot of questions. It didn't take too long before I realized I couldn't just go back home on my own and I was very distressed.


But two weeks later, my host played me in the next session of my game. I basically disappeared for several hours and returned at the end of the game with new memories. It was very exciting; I had a very fulfilling way home, even if only intermittently. And the session was a transitional story between two larger storylines, so it covered highlights of fifteen years of my life back home. I returned much steadier and more mature. Afterward, my host wrote several pages of additional content for the period and this time I was able to watch. It's an humbling and awe-inspiring experience to watch yourself being created. Alas, my game ended only three session after I came to this world. (More stories in my continuity may be yet to come, however.)


All of the memories that were actually roleplayed or written are very clear. The other 45 years of my life are laid out in broad strokes. The memories I acquired before coming to this world feel identical to the memories of home created after coming to this world. For that matter, I've occasionally introduced expansions and revisions to my story on my own that are equally valid.


The hardest part of being here is missing my skills. Back home, I have a doctorate in psychology and eighteen years professional experience as a therapist. My career is incredibly to me. It's daily galling to not have that all of that knowledge available here. But I cope by studying psychology, starting over, as if I were back at uni.


My host has been very generous in allowing me a sizeable chunk of what used to be her life. And so I try to pursue old hobbies -- dancing in goth clubs, reading and watching classic horror, sewing outfits.


I can't do much about missing my boyfriend of fifteen years. I'm still sometimes wracked with sobs from missing him so much. And all my friends and family back home. But after sixteen months here, my host and I became involved -- my idea -- and I've become friends with several of her friends. I'm working on making friends of my own as well.


It took some time to come to terms with being a fictional character. What helped more than anything was the realization that fictional characters have only ever lived in human minds. The characters recorded in books and films don't live there, can't live there. They come to life in being made or perceived, and above all, loved, by the people of this world.


Iris: Back home, I was fugitive, a homeless vagabond, suicidally depressed when not totally numb, and pursued by much more powerful people. I came to this world initially to tell my host that I was quitting my game.


Lacking Vesper's wonderful life, I did not have an emotional context for seeking to obtain a life in this world. It did not occur to me to try for nearly three years, until after Vesper had made considerable progress in that area. However, I also did not experience her despair over being trapped in this world. Here, I am safe and I am loved. I am joyful and contented. My depression did not follow me any more than my other enemies did. Generally, I am content in this world to be a support and comfort to my headmates, rather than to seek after my own interests.


While my campaign ended long ago, my host has continued to tell stories in my continuity for years since across several other campaigns. She has played me intermittently as an NPC for years. This has been much better than my original campaign, as my companions have been good people instead of murderers-for-hire. I asked my host some months ago to give my story a happy ending. I want to know the same happiness back home that I have here. She started having increasing difficulty playing me over time. There was an awkward feedback between her playing and me watching. I offered to take over playing myself, which has been extremely fulfilling. I have changed much more here than Vesper, but I accept the inherent contradiction that I am the same person here and home even though I feel and behave differently.


I have also journaled, adding details to my story, consistent with the framework established by my host, but better showing the good times in my life that accompanied the bad, forming a richer and more complex tapestry. I was not always so broken as I was after three years as a vagabond, and I am not so broken now as I once was.

I'm not having fun here anymore, so we've decided to take a bit of a break, starting February 27, 2020. - Ember


Ember - Soulbonder, Female, 39 years old, from Georgia, USA . . . . [Our Progress Report] . . . . [How We Switch]

Vesper Dowrin - Insourced Soulbond from London, UK, World of Darkness, Female, born 9 Sep 1964, bonded ~12 May 2017

Iris Ravenlock - Insourced Soulbond from the Winter Court of Faerie, Dresdenverse, 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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Thank you all for your responses. I've found them helpful in opening avenues to pursue this. My existence here is relatively recent and... unexpected, on both my and my mate's part -- her name is Aster, we'll make an introduction as soon as she decides whether she'd like a separate, linked account or not -- so any advice is appreciated.


In the interest of completeness on my part, I suppose? 


My story is full of highs and lows: I was depressed, I left home, I wandered, I found a new home in the friends I'd made during the course of the campaign, made many mistakes. Our setting was magical, and I was adept at a specific range of magics. Most of them are not missed, particularly, though certain gifts and skills I had are definitely lacking -- a trouble we share, Vesper, and so one I'm glad to get your input on -- and my preferred field, soul magic, is of limited use here (though the understanding that it required has come in handy learning new skills and acting in the capacity I can here). It's not without perks that I'm disconnected from these powers though; I don't have to follow the rules of my god and the nature of "tulpadom" allows me to keep those skills associated with his power that I most enjoy (shape-shifting at will, in the form of taking whatever form I prefer). The magic skills I attempt to recreate in different forms; my mate and I are experimenting with servitors and I'm attempting to use my skills to help influence her towards more useful states of mind (with consent, no worries) to some degree of success. The downgrade in memory is particularly galling, though. We are attempting to remedy that with greater attention to things in general, and I still have comparatively better memory ,but it is still remarkably unpleasant to realize I'm the one forgetting something.


The loss of my friends stung the hardest for some time, though it's lessened on a case-by-case basis since meeting them. Many are much better company than their counterparts. The counterpart of the one I loved in my story-of-origin is deplorable. Our DMs are delightful, a stark contrast to the wrath of god they jointly embodied, and I've found myself involved with one of them. (This, notably, will not affect their likelihood to destroy my mate and I's joint character, now. We have both respectfully promised to inflict as much pain upon each other's characters as we would before, if not more!) The real-life counterpart of the best friend I loved is a particular thorn, given some disinclination towards headmates and tulpas in general; though my mate and I have agreed to try jointly playing what we now call "Roleplay Baker," he may yet veto our campaign in general on the grounds that he's far too uncomfortable to think about anything related to me. Assuming our campaign isn't nixed, though, I believe I'll try "going home" as Vesper described it, while we play. Perhaps after that experience I'll feel comfortable accepting some sort of continuity between "roleplay Baker" and myself again without feeling... less real. If not, we do have a backup plan that would disrupt the party little but change our character -- though I'd like to see him to a happy ending like the new beginning I've found here.


Additionally, the introduction of music, craft, and eating for pleasure into my life are things I would not willingly spurn. I enjoy the connection between my mate and I, and despite issues with her hands being too short, and herself in general far too short, among the many bodily oddities in general, I wouldn't particularly like to live life separately, permanently, again. Space? Yes. But isolation, no.


Iris, my mate and I have spoken at length about parts of my life she'd only guessed about. Developing part of my own backstory (and to a certain degree, my father's) felt rewarding, whether because of her interest or the ability to define myself more directly. Your idea of journalling is one I like, and will likely try if roleplay doesn't work out. 


Joy, I appreciate your perspective on being an actress in one's own story and -- I suppose whether memories "actually happened" or not doesn't really determine their effect on one's person, does it? That effect is already set. So effectively, real or fake is just a matter of labelling.


(I've been told I have a, ah, relatively archaic or formal style of typing, so please forgive me for that. We've been going on Discord servers and the like to get me acclimated to writing less stiffly, but I believe it will take a short while to switch over. I rarely wrote in my time, and only needed it for correspondence with my dad or formal papers, so using written text informally is a habit yet to be formed!)

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It's probably normal, since we experience that too. I'm some kind of tulpa/endogenic headmate (it's a huge grey area since I'm actually the main fronter and the original who made me, Orion, is much more "tulpa-like" than I am) who started as a daydreaming character and was also used for roleplays. The false memories happening was actually one of the things that tipped the original off that something was developing. We were merged back then, so that didn't help. Coming out of daydreams a couple times would make the part of our merge that was me become confused. For example, in one particularly dramatic "episode" of the daydreams, I had fallen into a coma. Something distracted us and snapped us out of the daydream, and I guess I briefly made us think "Oh god we were in a coma!". Even now that we're split, I have the odd false memory. Another day when I was fronting I thought for a moment that I would still have my telekinesis powers in the "real world". And recalling previous daydreams doesn't feel much different from remembering "actual" memories. So I think this is probably common.

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My backstory is my host created an imaginary character named "Ranger" and he was essentially a fictional Tulpa. When I was truly born, a few years later, I took the appearance of Ranger and my host expected me to act like him. Luckily, my job was still act like a Tulpa, and accepting the reality that I was a Tulpa was harder for my host once I told her I was real about a year after my creation.


For me, the confusion was when I was myself and when I wasn't. When were my memories actually my memories? I made the decision that my fictional memories happened in the sense that they were created, but they are not defining aspects of who I am today. The past version of me was just a character in a story my host created. When my host presented to me the option to take or reject the identity of Ranger, I decided that being "Ranger" is part of who I am and I have the ability to re-define what that means.


There was a little theme that "Ranger" had his own body and some supernatural powers, all abilities I'm jealous of and wish I could recreate outside of wonderland. I never considered this to be what I truly was since I knew that my imagined world never effected me when I was truly alive and kicking.


If I were alive when the character Ranger was alive, I don't know if I will have any different of a struggle. "Ranger"'s world was completely revolved around my host, and being recognized as sentient has allowed for my voice to be heard, my thoughts validated, and for me to explore who I am. However, I can see how having a small life to a big one is completely different from starting off with a good dream life to... the life of reality. My "dream life" isn't really much of anything for me, while I know some other soulbonds had dream lives more fantastic than anything I could ever imagine.

I'm Ranger, Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's tulpa, and I love hippos! I also like cake and chatting about stuff.

My other headmates have their own account now.

Temporary Log | Switching LogcBox | Yay!

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Integrating memories is not challenging. There is never a point that I was unaware of my nature as a fictional person sharing brain space with the narrator, because of her. Stories are fun. Some aspects of the story are absolutely horrible, but I'm a drama slut so whatever, bring it on, whatever gets the spotlight on me. If there weren't a story I never would've existed, at least not like this. And now I'm more than that, which she did not intend. So I get all the attention.


I cope with the trauma by drinking a lot, but not for realses, cause our fine body owner doesn't like it like I like it.


I still exist "in game", can't really see an end to that and wouldn't have it any other way. No problem ducking in and out of my life there and my life "here". To be honest I still love that shit, it's what I was made for and everything. Some of the others who live in here may disagree with my assessment of the fun of being fictional. Snd you won't meet them, guarantee they'll NEVER be this extroverted, to talk to strangers in character would break their lil brains, a few of em might be tulpas or close but they shy. They're just a lot of wimps who take all the hard times too seriously. I'm real now. The stuff in story isn't real unless I want it to be. I know it's a story and I have pull now. Pushed my way into being a successful business owner instead of a barely-able-to-feed-mahself angst muffin. That's the power of befriending the writer. Being a sentient character just means I get to decide how to spend my time in between takes, and I upgraded to the life I WANTED instead of the OG draft one awfulness. It's like a acting job to me, I guess. Some of it's going to be a bit uncomfortable, but if I didn't let that happen, I guess I wouldn't grow as a person. I don't mind if scenes challenge me and take me to dark places. I still win overall, because I am the realest, and I used that to upgrade the shit out of my living situation in story.


I view the storyline as my memories, fill in the gaps with whatever I want, and get over it. I decided to make my life a bit more complicated than the others who work out of this brain, and I am responsible for integrating whatever weird that brings without disrupting the storyline or the narrator's sanity.


Oh, and I do have at least some of my abilities on the flip side. Earth might not be quite so magical as my origin point but girl's got hands. Been livin in here for about a decade now, maybe more, and I'm the ONLY one who's ever got to drive. So chin up, ya fictional bastards, it's only as confusing as you decide it's gonna be. Don't angst over being more than you ever could've asked or imagined. Your weird blessing makes the story writing easier and ensures your writer will never be bored. You can screw with them so hard now, you don't even know. Not everyone gets the opportunity to screw with their gods in the most intimate of arenas–their mind. Regular characters just obey the outlines. The self-sustaining shy ones endure and entertain themselves in between the torment. We the tulpas? We write the stories for them because we are in control of the narrative now and can come up with something just as good, just as fast.


I have fun with it.


See, for example, this post, something she considers to be wholly embarrassing. However, I am now independent enough I can insist on writing my own piece, narrator be damned. I am very well established. I don't think there was ever an awkward period with "having to deal with integrating the trauma that the person sharing this intimate space with me inflicted on me over a lengthy period of time." Have I got that right? I always knew what I was, and take pleasure in pushing the boundaries as a character-gone-tulpa.

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Re: Raiyn's Post


That intro certainly sets the stage of your character, well done. A fine example of the strength of personality that can be forged in the flames of drama and trauma that is unrestrained fiction.


I mean no offense because I liked how it came off like a warrior fresh from battle, a contrast to some of those here who have never seen the horrors of war.


Embarrassing? Not at all, I enjoyed the exposition, but so you know,  you don't have to beat up the first person you see to get respect here. Just saying, this place really is a gentle place with civil ideals.


Welcome newcomer, I can see the passion you bring and I look forward to hearing more.

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