Content Warning: This page discusses possession lightly from a disambiguation or self-examination perspective. It's more at "walk-ins" than classic possession. The article could be a rationale for what is now called a quoigenic system. We were not given our diagnosis by our therapist from 1986 to 2001, and didn't see it on the insurance paperwork until 2005, leaving us not 100% certain that we had a diagnosis. Included for personal documentation purposes.
Multiple-Personality, Past Lives or Possession?
by The Crisses
You gotta bear with me here...this is a difficult concept to take the average person through. If you can follow each sub-section below, then go on to the next section.
First lets start with Past Lives...simple concept right? Souls are recyclable...or at least reusable. One dies, and sometimes you don't go to your "final resting place" but are reborn to learn more, to finish unfinished work, to re-meet your loved ones, to make up for debts accumulated on your soul, etc. Often people don't remember a thing, sometimes they remember much, sometimes, as with memories of Atlantis, the memories are strange and difficult to believe. Often, because one is usually "normal joe" in a past life, it's difficult to prove if the person you think you were existed for real. This concept does not have to be against most major religions...you can still be reincarnated and go to heaven or hell as your final resting place. It possibly explains some feelings of deja vu, strange memories, why you might meet people and really feel you know them, but can't figure out why.
I have some things in common with the people who remember past lives. I remember or have had glimpses of some of my own. I can even speak about much of it, or write poems about it, or stories, etc. But wait, there's more...
Multiple Personalities/Dissociative Identity Disorder
And you probably have heard of multiple personality disorders aka Dissociative Identity Disorder...some people call them schitzophrenics, but that's really a misnomer although both illnesses might be found in the same person. Anyways, the most extreme of these people are usually very ill--their mind is almost literally divided up into personality compartments...each one controls the body separately, one at a time, they keep memories from the other compartments, switch either erratically or with predetermined trigger responses. I'm not one of these. Never have been, I don't think...although I guess there are lapses of memory, I never "woke up" and said "why am I here, what am I doing?"
On the surface, I have some things in common with a multiple personality. Here are some things that contrast between myself and a "classic" case of multiple personality disorder: I have shared memories. When one person takes over my body, everyone else is free to comment mentally, and observe what is going on. We all have mutual respect for our needs, the needs of the body, and work towards harmony with each other. I don't feel my brain or awareness have been compartmentalized. There are trigger events that can encourage specific individuals to come out, such as seeing a loved one, a pretty sunset, etc. but we retain control of ourselves, we don't get violent, freak out, or have MAJOR personality shifts, it's kinda subtle usually, unless we're being really open with people (ie: allowing ourselves to be truly individualized rather than trying to blend in with the other personalities in here). The only thing I'm subjectively sure of is that the other people in my head, all talking at the same time, are not only past lives coming to haunt me. I'm pretty sure they're really all there.
Then there's my memories...what is it that these "personalities" or guests as I like to call them, remember....
I remember lives on other worlds, as species other than human.
Yeah, we have no real proof that there are other alternate universes, or even life on other planets. But the Star Trek generation should at least be able to grasp somewhat of the concept. It doesn't matter much to me whether you think we're aliens from another planet, or beings from another universe. Just understand that most of us remember places distinctly OTHER than Earth, and are species OTHER than Human. That puts us neatly into a label-box called Otherkin (there's resources and faq's on my site for this stuff...). The types of beings I remember having been are somewhat mythological in origin for the most part. And there are a few who seem to be human (or at least don't recall being anything else).
Bringing it all together...one theory
Next is the concept of WHY?? Why am I the way I am? Well, there are many precedents for this sort of thing: changelings, possession, total delusion following total amnesia, etc.
The way I'm thinking it happened (because I can't remember, really) is that some really nasty stuff happened to the child who owned my body. Children that young are still closer to God/Divinity/Pre-Birth-Place-Where-Souls-Come-From, whatever you want to call it. When a child suffers trauma (heck, I've heard of it happening with older people too), sometimes they just choose to leave. Poof! This place isn't the way they described it in the brochure: I'm outta here!
So there's this body, empty, and there's a soul in need of a body floating out there somewhere (or someone who still likes the brochure) and they step in. Who knows WHY, we just know it happens.
Most of us think this is a voluntary exchange, one spirit leaves willingly, one enters willingly, so it's concentual. Some even think the two spirits make the agreement between them.
I'm caught in a dilemna of wondering if that's what happened to me.
I have one more possibility: the child may have been reincarnated, and remembered her own death or similar trauma from her past life (or more normal trauma), and thought she was leaving the body, but hovered near it. A passing by helpful spirit-tribe who had lost their body guided the lost childspirit back to her body, and stayed with her, coaxing her to take care of herself. When the child spirit, broken, abused, and with these traumatic memories, refused to do so, some of the guest spirits took over for her and cared for her body, hoping someday she'd want it back.
Regardless, I know a bunch of spirits moved into my body, mainly because they were attached together, bound to one of those spirits. Where that one spirit went, the others had to follow. And they followed her into here. I also know that there's another spirit separate from that conglomerate, the one who might be the childspirit that belongs to this body (and who is reincarnated). If she's not the childspirit belonging to this body, then she moved in with the head of the spirittribe, and they are more or less equal.
A can of worms
That reincarnated spirit has some strange abilities. She can speak with ghosts at times, and when she does, sometimes those ghosts choose to remain with the body, kinda like moons or satellites. She has done this a few times, for different reasons, without knowing it. It's like she put out a call while she was growing up for helpers, and they're here, still in her, and she doesn't want to give them up.
OK, so by now you're probably wondering what that means in summary:
There are about 4 spirits (Chrissy, Hawthorn, Eve and Ice) which seem to belong to this body. Sharing the body with them are a whole lot of other spirits (approximately 15 of which are in our conscious mind, the rest are suppressed with their permission to help us retain functionality as we feel there's only so much mental activity one body/brain can handle). Of those 15 "resident" (as opposed to birth) spirits, 2-3 are satellites, and the majority are from the spirit tribe. So there are a total of 19 presences in my head at this time.
The demographics in my head: 5 elves (not the santa helper types: those are technically gnomes, think 5'+ tall fairies without wings), 6 (probably) humans, 2 elf-human hybrids, 1 treespirit (dryad/nymph), 1 sprite (fairy with a mischevious streak), 1 fire-elemental (kinda like a humanoid flame, but she shapeshifts too), 1 dragon, 1 being who never really had a body, 1 succubus.
Sometimes I call these spirits "Past Lives", "alters" or even "personalities" when I feel that people can understand me best when termed that way. However, they're best termed as "residents" -- they live here, like roommates in my head.
Disclaimer for all the people who get chills and are afraid: I do not personally believe I am possessed by evil spirits. They've been with me on a conscious level since 1986, and I can trace their presence in my life back to appx 1976. We are all quite happy with living together in this way, and we have worked out (with the help of our psychiatrist) that we do not want to change it. If we decide to make different arrangements in the future, it will be by our own internal decision process. Right now, we're fairly sure that Chrissy and Heidi (Hawthorn, Eve and Ice) are splits who originated with the little girl who decided to attempt to abandon this body...however the possibility exists that that little girl "died" then. If that were the case, and we decided to leave the body/life, maybe no one would be left.
I also know people who have similar beliefs to mine, who have multiple persons inside of them along with the person who was presumably born to the body. I've created a good portion of this website to support these people, and to provide a communal webspace where we can share resources and the things we learn as we explore this different way of existing.
There is a group of people who calls us Otherkin, meaning people who are spiritually other than humans from this-world/time. It includes people who remember past lives as other than human, and things like Dragons, Elves, Fae, Dwarves, etc. Some of them are like me, who have multiple Otherkin residing in their human host, while some are "trans-species" they believe there was a glitch which put them into a body with a different race/world/time.