The Owls' Nest
The Owls' Nest

About Us

Who We Are

We're a brainweird and genderqueer collective that mostly uses plural they/them and xey/xem pronouns. Some of us use other pronouns, and we'll provide those if they're needed. Our body is an adult, but we would prefer not to disclose our exact age for privacy reasons- we're a touch paranoid about strangers on the internet thanks to a few bad experiences in the past.

We discovered our plurality in late 2015 and found the community in the summer of 2016 or 2017; since then, we've continued to find more of ourselves over time and have been working towards peaceful co-existence. At the moment, we're not trying to keep a count of how many of us are here and see no point in our doing so. It's very difficult (if not impossible) for us to get a count in the first place, and we don't find it to be worthwhile thanks to having a fluid system structure that quickly negates any headcounts we do manage to get. We also do not want to use origin labels or debate origins with others; we make a point of being inclusive of all benign differences, system origins included, and we feel that origins shouldn't matter as much as they do in the plural community. We're much more interested in learning about the diversity of plural experiences and discovering who we are.

Understanding ourselves is very important to us and we spend a lot of time exploring who we are and how we work; if you ever want to have an in-depth discussion about consciousness, identity, selfhood, or similar topics, we're probably up for it. We're currently in the midst of rediscovering ourselves after going through an identity crisis in December of 2020. That crisis ripped apart our previous self-concepts and forced us to get to know ourselves all over again; it's been a process of making new models of self and identity, but we're getting there.

Collectively, we identify as various flavors of nonhuman for spiritual and psychological reasons that aren't within our control. While we are fully aware that our body is human, the way we experience ourselves does not line up with that. We spent years hiding this identity and trying to deny our experiences because it all sounded ridiculous, but we're working to accept ourselves and be more open about who we are.

We strongly believe in accepting all benign differences in existence and identity no matter how weird they might be- as long as you aren't intentionally hurting others (e.g. transphobia, pedophilia), we'll support you.

How We Work

The best metaphor for our collective structure is a flock of birds: a large group made up of many individuals that clump together.

If you look at us very closely, we're all made up of a bunch of identity fragments that we call peeps. These peeps each hold memories, traits, preferences, opinions, or other pieces of what makes a person who they are. On their own, they can't do much. They're too centered around what they hold, and they often lack the wider perspective needed to get through life. If you isolated one of them and put them in their own body, they would be unable to cope with life and would quickly fall apart. To compensate, our peeps cluster together into groups with shared identities that we call aspects. They're still peeps within that aspect, but they gain a collective identity and are able to act together as a larger person with much less effort. Together, they're able to handle the basic demands of life.

Aspects still tend to be flawed. Peeps clump together most easily when they're similar, so aspects often wind up being centered around one perspective or idea. This leads them to be fixated on what they deem important, which is a problem when life requires us to adapt and deal with things that aspects might hate on principle. To mitigate this, aspects tend to group up into archetypes, creating more rounded individuals that are better able to adapt to life's demands. Aspects remain their own individuals within archetypes much like peeps remain within aspects, but like the peeps, they gain a collective identity and are able to work together quite fluidly.

All three layers of identity are important to who we are, and we work on each level to get through life. As time goes on and demands change, our collective reorganizes itself to adapt to our situation by moving groups and individuals around, changing how we're grouped together while keeping the same basic components. This allows for memories, traits, and other essentials to be moved around or compartmentalized without splitting new peeps most of the time. It allowed us to adapt to very different demands in the past but has made it difficult to learn how we work. Further complicating self-discovery is the fact that what we believe about our structure can change how we're actually structured. If we think an aspect exists, we might unintentionally restructure ourselves to match that expectation. We have to be careful not to cause any changes that we don't want.

In addition to our peeps and groups, we have what we call our lower and upper executives. These are our unconscious mind and body consciousness respectively, and we constantly interact with both. Our lower executive controls much of headspace and frequently keeps secrets from us. If we've forgotten something and can't find it, our lower executive probably has it. We usually interact with it via symbols that it creates in our headspace. Our upper executive controls fronting and blocks peeps out of front, as well as acting as our autopilot. On its own, it lacks identity and purpose but is able to keep us alive and perform basic life tasks. When we front, we blur with the upper executive and it takes on our identities and traits. It's a lot like changing out the lenses of a pair of glasses; the glasses are still there, but the lenses change what it's like to look through them.

What We Like

We're passionate about almost anything creative; if it involves making something, we'll enjoy it. We acrtively or occasionally draw, paint, compose music, bind books, needle felt, customize dolls, sculpt things, DM tabletop games, and participate in all sorts of other creative pastimes. We also program sometimes- at the moment we know some HTML, CSS, and Processing-JS (which we really need to brush up on).

Outside of creative pursuits, we're passionate about rhythm games, human anatomy and pathology, and neurodivergence. We enjoy learning about the experiences of those different from us so we can further our understanding and better accomodate others, and we're always happy to discuss the human mind.

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