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[personal profile] sushidog
So, I've been thinking about the parts of ourselves, prompted in part by [livejournal.com profile] jhaelan's exploration of himself, and partly by some thinking I've been doing about who and what I am, and I found something interesting. Well, OK, _I_ found it interesting.
It's not great surprise, I think, that many people feel that they are made up of several different selves, or aspects of self; Jhaelan refers to them as masks. In some extreme cases, they may even manifest as completely seperate personalities (although the jury is still out on that one). Sometimes they live happily side by side, and sometimes, often perhaps, they cause internal conflict, and then they need to be explored and reconciled.
My way of exploring my aspects has been to visualise and personify them, so I thought I'd introduce you all to them.


First off, there's my maternal aspect. She's a big, comfortable, soft woman, tied in to her female ancestors, and quite traditional. She's the one who cooks and provides comfort. She's warm and generous and safe and kind and she's also happy and secure; she has a clear role, and it's one that she is well able to fulfill; after all, _everybody_ likes home baking, right? She's modelled a little on my grandmother, and on my great aunt, but she's also a little like Ma Larkin, and a little like Mama Morton. She's earthy and has a sort of old-fashioned sensuality. She laughs a lot.

Secondly, there's my intellectual aspect. She looks surprisingly like Miss Hardbroom from the Worst Witch series; she's thin and slightly forbidding, dressed in sleek black clothes which manage to be stern in a slightly slexy, perhaps even fetishy way. Her hair is pulled back tightly into a bun. You wouldn't mess with her. She's clever, agressively so, and she's intolerant of stupidity, and of weakness, and of emotion. When I'm hurt or upset, she tries to take over and think her way through whatever situation I'm in, and she becomes frustrated if that doesn't work; she feels that her brain should be able to get her through any difficulty. She works too hard, and analyses everything, but sometimes, because she's so logical, and not at all emotional, she misses the point.

Finally, there's the emotional aspect. She's a little girl, perhaps six years old. She has long messy hair which falls over her face, partially hiding the slight air of grubbiness around her mouth, and the dark circles around her eyes. When she laughs, she laughs with her whole self, as children do. But she spends rather more time curled up in a ball, crying. She's very scared of Miss Academia above, and Miss Academia disapproves of her. Lately though, they've been trying to communicate a bit more, which is probably a good thing.

So that's me, or three of me, at least. What I found interesting is that having identified these three selves, it occurred to me that I'm not the first person to describe them. They are maiden, mother and hag. They are id, ego and superego. They are youth, adulthood and age.
In a way, I'm glad; it's nice to feel tied in to something bigger than oneself. At the same time, perhaps I'm a little disappointed; to think you are unique, and to discover that in fact you're unoriginal, is a little flattening...
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