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Stone: I have hesitated to make this topic because I worried that talking about this would make it happen to me more. Take that as a warning, especially if you’re prone to intrusive thoughts.
There’s these phenomena that happen in our Wonderland. We call them “mind warps” or “mind twists”. I think the term “Wonderland warps” would best describe what they actually are, but I prefer “mind twists” because that sounds cuter.
What do they look/feel like?
For me, they tend to look like ravines, canyons/plateaus, water-less moats, sinking ground, sinking "gravity pits", and more rarely, rising hills (which look like sinking gravity pits, but inverted). Some function as portals. If you experience them, they may look/feel different than mine. Mind twists can take many forms. Fundamentally, they are intrusive, annoying, and impede progress. They are not Wonderland obstacles meant to be overcome (think of a monster in an RPG-like Wonderland), but faults of a mind imagining wonderland.
My first experience with a mind twists was a series of ravines inside ravines. We were walking to the castle when a fissure (which initially looked like a mirage) formed in the ground out of nowhere, growing into a ravine. I fell into that ravine, then a ravine inside that one, then a ravine inside that one, until I placed myself back where I was supposed to be. However, the fissures kept following me, and no matter what I imagined, they would form again.
Example of endless ravines:
Would show up regularly during my visits to Wonderland, until they became less common, and then mostly stopped.
More recently, I've been dealing with gravity pits and canyons. A gravity pit is continuously sinking ground that looks like a model of gravity.
Example of a gravity pit:
Canyons and moats (usually very deep, but without water) have formed when I've wanted to get to a simple destination. For example, we wanted to go to a pool a few days ago. We were walking to the parking lot when a deep canyon-like moat formed around the pool. The moat also somehow widened the distance between us and the pool, so not only was the pool more difficult to get to, but it was now also farther away.
Why do I get them?
I'm thinking my mind twists are at least partially (and maybe mostly) caused by intrusive thoughts. I also think it might be my mind trying to cope with rendering views it doesn't have the energy to render. It's a lot easier to imagine being annoyed falling through grey and black infinite ravines than to imagine a giant castle erected in vast flatlands. It's a lot easier to imagine a pool farther away than close up.
As my Wonderland has gotten more mundane, being based on real world places instead of fully imagined, I've experience mind twists less. Whether this is because the places I've been to in realspace are easier to render, or because I'm just more experienced with dealing with mind twists and imagining Wonderland (and my Wonderland just happens to be more mundane), I don't know.
What do I do about them?
You can treat mind twists like intrusive thoughts and cope with them like you would intrusive thoughts. However, certain intrusive though coping strategies don't work for me (at least the surface level versions of the strategies). For example, simply labeling intrusive Wonderland phenomena as "not real" or "just thoughts" doesn't help me.
Three approaches have worked:
Don't think about them. Don't remind yourself of them. Don't ignore them, but do disregard them. Treat them as a Wonderland obstacle.
The first approach is the most obvious and also the one I'm breaking right now. I've omitted mind twists from diary entries, notes, and progress reports for this reason. If I go back to read these things, I don't want to remind myself of them.
The second approach is what I have tried most recently. When the moat formed around the pool, I didn't ignore the moat, I didn't try to make it go away, and I didn't imagine myself somewhere else. I simply walked where the ground was (or, would be). It looked like I was walking on air, but I was disregarding the moat and walking where I had planned to walk anyway.
The third approach was how I dealt with a ravine once. Instead of trying to escape the ravine, I was able to land on the ground of the ravine and walk through it with my headmates. This succeeded once, but also failed at least once, when new ravines kept forming despite me trying to land on the ravine ground.
Do you get them? What do you do about them?
Do you get (or have you in the past gotten) mind twists or something similar? What did you (or do you) do about them?
Edit (10/30/21): Fixed formatting and typos. Changed color coding to our current color coding. Added small edits to some of these older entries.
Stone: Hello all. I’ve been writing down my experiences with Betty for a few days, and I decided I’d post them here, especially since things have gotten interesting pretty quickly for me. Feel free to comment with any advice you may have.
Day 0 (11/10/20)
As I was lying on the couch, in a position in which I could fall asleep, I decided to force a bit with Betty. I was in a room full of bins and other stuff, but I wanted to place her form in the room, as opposed to my developing wonderland, as I wanted her to be with me in a real location. I decided to put her in the crib, and as she is the size of an adult woman, she looked unamused.
I’m unsure if what I’m about to detail is parroting/puppeting:
I started talking to her. As this was a casual forcing session before bed, I did not write down what we talked about, and I don’t remember what we talked about. However, I remember getting verbal and non-verbal responses. When I asked her questions, sometimes she’d verbally respond before I was finished asking the question, and sometimes she wouldn’t respond at all. She also responded non-verbally with facial expressions. I remember these expressions as being somewhat unnatural but making sense. When I say somewhat unnatural, I mean she used non-verbal expressions more than a human would use, and used them in instances a human would likely not use them. However, these expressions made sense, as they weren’t completely random and did convey some sort of answer to my question. It almost seemed she’d answer with a face because my brain was too lazy to generate a response from her, or couldn’t figure out how.
I hypothesize that giving her a form has given my brain an out when it cannot generate words for her, and I’m hoping this will speed up the process.
This is not the first day interacting with Betty, but I’ve barely talked to her at all before this, and have pretty much only imposed her in my room and puppeted her. I feel like I got a response too early, and I’m worried this may have been parroting/puppetry on my part. I am excited if these were “real” responses though. I’m not sure if there’s much of a difference this early though.
It’s partially a shame this happened, as I want to organize these notes into some sort of study, but after opening with, “Maybe my tulpa answered as soon as I started talking to her,” this likely won’t be taken as seriously. And, that’s valid.
Day 1 (11/11/20)
I didn’t talk with Betty today.
Day 2 (11/12/20)
I haven’t done any forcing yet today, as it is 3:40a.m. (I was woken up by family). I was thinking about meditating before each active forcing session, as it clears my mind and I like it, but these stats are making me think twice about that idea. Still, I tend to get distracted and have trouble jumping into forcing. I believe short meditation before forcing may help me. Though meditation, at least the way I do it, focuses more on plain reality than the world of thought, and it might take me out of the world of thought (where Betty lives). Perhaps this is why it seems to hinder some people.
I’m thinking if I meditate on my tulpa, and not on my body as I usually do, it may help more than hurt. I plan to not meditate the first week, then meditate the second week, and see how I feel. People are different and meditate differently, so I’d like to see how meditation works for me.
I would like to personality force soon, and I would like to use Man’s method along with food-based symbolism. I have a list of personality traits here. I want her to be a rounded person, but I wonder how ethical it is to purposefully give her negative traits. I suppose I will give her positive and neutral traits, and, those traits will naturally have negative sides. Virtue is the mean of two vices, after all.
31 personality traits:
Affectionate - bun (they hug whatever they surround)
Amusing - Laffy Taffy
Charming - Pringles (the Pringles guy seems like a charming fellow)
Clever - barbecue chips on Bun (how does this taste so good!)
Confident - kettle chips (tougher and more sure than regular chips?)
Edgy - chips and salsa (chips have edges, and salsa has bite)
Empathetic - marshmellows (soft empathy)
Esthetic - That’s It bar (minimalist aesthetic)
Ethical - (ethical alternative)
Extroverted - Fruit Loops (idk just seems fitting)
Familial - Rice Krispies (families commonly make treats out of these)
Friendly - peaches (sweet and good for you)
Healthy - plain Cheerios (healthier)
High-spirited - Skittles (sugar rush)
Honest - plain toast (it is what it is)
Irreligious - pretzel rods (secularized pretzels)
Leisurely - sub sandwich (this takes longer to make, but it’s worth it)
Loyal - saltines (there even when you’re sick)
Maternal - applesauce (often given to babies)
Neat - mints (keep yourself and your breath clean)
Observant - Fritos (have you noticed these smell like dog feet?)
Outdoorsy - seaweed (or is it lakeweed in Michigan?)
Protective - oyster crackers (oysters have shells to protect themselves, and you use yours to protect others as well)
Ritualistic - Mobius strip Bagel (the endless cycle of traditions)
Romantic - strawberry lemon ice (pink)
Sarcastic - mint chocolate Oreos (means one thing [toothpaste] says the other [cookie])
Stylish - Gardetto's (the fancy Chex Mix)
Spontaneous - doughnut (doughnut think about the calories)
Trendy - (health food trends)
Vivacious - strawberry ramune (lively and carbonated)
Witty - “Berry Good” Lemonade (get it?)
Edit (10/30/21): To clarify, I would share this food with Betty as we forced. We never ended up getting to all the foods. After a while, Betty wanted to just be herself without personality forcing.
Below are some interactions I recorded. They are not exhaustive:
“How are you?”
“Yeah I’m sure you are. I’m sure you’re not just parroting.”
I feel mean now. “Apologize to the nice lady," I think.
I feel a stare.
“God this is so awkward,” I say instead of apologizing. I turn away.
I feel her watching me. I turn to her.
“How are you?”
“Are you listening?”
“What are you doing?”
“Paying attention to what?”
I burst into laughter.
“No that’s alright.”
“Everything’s ‘no that’s alright’ with you. That’s your main thing, isn’t it?”
“Really? What’s your main thing?”
“No. I made you say that.”
“Yes you did.” She smirks.
I laugh. “Yes I did. No really, what’s your main thing?”
“Now you’re just thinking of things with wheels.”
“No. You are.”
“No I’m not.”
“Yes. Think of shopping carts.”
“Ah you got me. Let me write that down.”
Day 3 (11/13/20)
Stone: I talked to Betty today. I talked to her a little bit about spontaneity with a doughnut. But, I think I could have explained it more. I will after I sleep, as I’ve been up all night. I got a lot of great responses out of her, and she felt there, but she tended to sound like me. I kept mentioning that, then felt bad for being overly critical of her, as she was doing so well. I also felt bad interrupting her and making her wait so I could write something down.
It’s only been three days and I hate this clinical approach I set up. This “study.” Or maybe I’m embarrassed by how I acted and am taking it out on the format. I don’t know. What I do know is that this process is for her, then for me, then for whoever may end up reading this. I’m not going to interrupt our fun and give us imposter syndrome so I can analyze every goddamn thing she says for some post.
Anyway, today was positive, and I hope I will feel better with some sleep.
I’m awake now. I’ve devised a schedule for forcing.
Sunday - Active: 2 hours
Monday - Active: 40 minutes
Tuesday - Active: 40 minutes
Wednesday - Active: 40 minutes
Thursday - Active: 40 minutes
Friday - Active: 40 minutes
Saturday - Active: 2 hours
Methods of forcing I’m thinking of using:
101 Things To Talk About With Your Tulpa
This has been a problem of ours recently, especially since we're ditching the one-person-always-fronting idea and changing to more of a switching-based-on-situation look. But, my host is not very used to switching. While we have switched a lot, they personally haven't, and they prefer co-fronting to actually being switched out. Their role in our system is actually to be the primary and only fronter, which might be why they're having this problem. Something I'd note about them is that they value individuality, and without dissociating fully, they dislike switching out because it still feels like them fronting and it still feels like their actions. Even as I type this, they're co-fronting with me, not switched out fully.
So, any advice? Are there any ways to make switching more comfortable for them? Any responses are very much appreciated!
Allow me to clear something up-- Perfect Possession isn’t all that perfect. The name originates from the game Touhou 15.5, though the actual technique and in-game version are quite different. Nevertheless, this technique requires a strong foundation in possession. It is intended for those that cannot switch or co-front but can possess.
What Is Perfect Possession?
Perfect Possession is a technique in which two tulpas(It may be a tulpa and the host, but it isn’t recommended) do a little “ritual” before they both possess at once. The two participants maintain possession until the front is secured, where it then turns from possession to co-fronting.
Participants in Perfect Possession each have a designated role, decided beforehand. The “primary” tulpa is called the “Master”, and the “secondary” is called the “Slave”. I urge you to ignore whatever historical or sexual connotations these terms may have. Though the assigning of roles is arguably an arbitrary step, it assists with “getting into the groove”, so to speak. Perfect Possession relies at least partially on the thematics of the process. If the terms Master and Slave make you uncomfortable, feel free to substitute them with whatever you please(ie, “Primary” and “Secondary”).
How do I initiate Perfect Possession?
1. To start off, have the two system mates designate which role they each are assuming. As previously mentioned, it can be argued it is an arbitrary step, though I personally think the thematics are one of the greatest contributors to the success of the technique, especially for fledgling systems. A word of advice regarding who's who, we've found that having the more "sensible" or generally more forced system mate (either or) act as Slave works best, essentially serving as a mental anchor of sorts for the Master. Of course, this isn't some hard rule, merely a suggestion. These instructions are but suggested guidelines for Perfect Possession, not hard by-the-book rules you must abide by.
2. Second, have the host do a little ritual of their own. “I am <Your name>, of <Your system name>. I am henceforth withdrawing from the front. I am no longer the primary thinker.” The wording doesn’t have to be precise or formulaic, do what works best. Immediately after, have the two tulpas begin possession, preferably of the full-body variety.
3. Next, have the Master and Slave recite a ritual themselves: “I am <tulpa 1 name> of <System name>. I am the Master.” The Slave continues, “I am <tulpa 2 name> of <System name>. I am the Slave.” Then, at once, they say, “We are in control. We henceforth commence Perfect Possession. Begin!” Again, exact wording may vary. It’s whatever works best. The two tulpas have thus begun Perfect Possession. For reference on what it may feel like, think possession, but better.
4. Thereafter, the two tulpas should maintain the front together. They should speak in mind voice each other constantly (Or, if you prefer, in verbal whispers. Works best with a mask on) throughout the process, taking turns doing things as though handing off a game controller. If they aim to do something together, they should each envision controlling half of the body. I only suggest doing movements in this fashion, however, once you get the hang of things.
5. Lastly, as time crawls on, the duo will become more used to the front. Accidental switching in on the host’s part becomes less likely, and manipulation of the body becomes much more natural. When the duo wishes to cease Perfect Possession, they again commence a small ritual. “I am <tulpa 1>...” “...And I am <tulpa 2>” (Together)”We Henceforth cease Perfect Possession and relinquish the front to <host’s name>.” As always, exact wording is irrelevant. It’s the intent that matters most.
And that’s all there is to it!
And that’s all there is to it. Perfect Possession is a stepping stone to switching. Switching isn’t hard, rest assured, though some may beg to differ, which is where this handy-dandy technique comes in. Just remember-- It’s easy. You can do it, I believe in you!
For those that want a more in-depth explanation of things, (I do not recommend viewing this unless you can already switch and/or Perfectly Possess, as it can mess up your perceptions of things which can prevent you from executing Perfect Possession)
Ranger and I have been taking turns switching in since March. This has been a pretty good experience for us, but it came at the cost of we're struggling to stay separate. Not when we do activities unique to us, but when we're doing stuff like sitting in bed or working. At first we thought it was a different problem that has been solved, but it seems like an annoying evolution of the doubt question.
I think it has been a really positive experience for Ranger in particular because he gets more time and he has felt more like a second host now that he interacts with us switched-in a lot more. Even though Ranger struggled with our autopilot in the beginning, he learned to accept it and things have gone on smoothly since.
The problem is more recently, Ranger and I have started to feel like the other even after the first day. It's hit a point where randomly I'll think I'm Ranger and think like Ranger for a few seconds until I go no wait... I'm Gray, even though I have been switched-in for 3 days now. Ranger said he doesn't struggle with thinking like me or if he noticed it, but he has thought he was me recently. I think Ranger does more thinking in general between the two of us, it could be Ranger's ghost is causing me a lot more trouble simply because Ranger seems to spin his wheels more or maybe I find it comforting or relaxing for whatever reason and give him the opportunity to think more. The period of time Ranger was thinking every time I zoned out was really annoying and I drew a line there, but that was going on before we started sharing the front and seemed to quickly resolve itself once I started getting used to having less time.
When we first started sharing the front, Ranger and I took turns everyday. We quickly realized that made us super confused about who was who, and we assumed that something about back-to-back switching just confuses our brain. By doing 3-4 days, we still had some doubt day 1 but it seemed to have resolved that issue. 5-8 days starts to feel long, and while Ranger could do a week now, he struggled to do more than a week due to his depression. I didn't find it difficult to be switched-in for roughly a week. However, I want to be switched-in for my classes and Ranger still wants at least a few days switched-in, so we're planning on sharing the week. We actually really like our set-up, it's this problem of not having better separation that's really annoying and disorienting.
On the bright side, our switching schedule is going to shift and we will end up splitting our fronting based on who does what. I'll be fronting for school, Ranger will be fronting for DnD (once we get that ball rolling), and both of us (but mostly Ranger) will be fronting for work. While our schedule may become more complicated, it also simplifies things because our schedule will follow the week instead of whenever it's convenient according to our shifts. While I think this will help establish some speration, long term we need a better solution.
While I'm pretty sure we need a different mindset, I'm not really sure which one to use. I'm not even sure what it would mean to "feel different" when switched-in, especially since our stream of consciousnesses (SOC) is neutral, and quickly becoming very neutral now that Ranger fronts a lot more. I'm against saying my name over and over, I already say who I am as reassurance and to say it all the time would be really annoying and dig up the feelings of insecurity Ranger struggled with when he feared he would lose the front. We don't want to wear different jewelry or anything like that, it would be really annoying to keep up with and extra annoying if we accidentally wear the wrong thing.