Tag Archive: Animal Person

Who am I?  I’m terrified to let people really see me for me.


In fact, I’m quite certain that a few of my friends know more about me than my parents do.  But in reality, I’m certain that I barely know who I am myself.  I can put all sorts of labels on myself to make myself feel comfortable, but in the end they all really mean nothing.  The label of “agnostic” means absolutely nothing.  The label of “therian” means absolutely nothing.  They’re very good for finding people to relate to…sometimes.  Though I consider myself agnostic, I really don’t relate to many agnostics since I lean towards Christianity and most other agnostics lean towards Atheism.  And though I consider myself a therianthrope, I’m not the best at fitting in with the online community.  And it’s difficult not knowing anyone in person that is like me in that respect.  Because then at least I’d know one person that could understand what I go through.
While I understand this idea of not being afraid to be yourself, there’s a part of me that believes that only works in theory.  Now I’m not afraid of people knowing what I’m interested in.  I’ll happily admit that I’m a furry and an otaku.  Though some people might see those things as embarrassing, the fandoms are fun for me and a good escape from the troubles of reality.  And good outlets for my interests in different facets of art.  But when it comes to me as a person, I’m no good at fully being myself.  I’m constantly holding back on, suppressing, ignoring, or denying aspects of myself because not even I want to face all of them.  And I wouldn’t like other people knowing them either.  So even if I’m not at my happiest, I’ve gotten use to putting on a smile so I don’t have to burden anyone else with my thoughts.  ‘Cause it really isn’t anyone else’s business.


But there are things that bother me on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis.  Right now it’s my therianthropy.  Generally I’m fine with it.  I’m fine with not telling people and I’m fine with hiding that.  Well…not really fine with it, but it’s just something I have to do to get by.  Although normality doesn’t exist, there are some things that can and will send people to a mental hospital and I’m sure therianthropy is one of them.  Because what I’m saying is that there’s a part of me that doesn’t feel human.  Specifically, there’s a part of me that feels like a dog.  And not only do I feel like one, but tend to express it through random behaviors and vocalizations like barking, growling, and howling and have some strange urges like chewing and digging and scent tracking.  Though it’s a big part of myself, I do have to suppress and hide it a lot.  Let’s face it, a person acting like a dog in public would grant a lot of weird looks at the least.  And I was at the very least okay with it.  Because there’s very few people in the world who could ever fully understand it.  And other therians just accept it as something that needs to be done.  And I suppose it does.  Because I’m sure I’d be ridiculed quite a bit if I didn’t.


But it’s one of the most uncomfortable things to work against my natural feelings.  Which I have to do on a daily basis.  Because I only have about…3 friends that know this about me and one that I’ve really talked to about it in person.  But even so, I’m not going to behave like a dog in front of them.  Or at least I do my best not to display any of my dog like behaviors in front of people.  It get’s harder when I’m being pestered and annoyed.  If I can think about my reaction before I act on it, then I won’t act on it.  But sometimes the reaction is much quicker than the thought.  Not to mention it’s much easier to growl at someone as a warning rather than say “Stop doing that”.  My family probably can hear me when I’m in one of my doggie moods.  I know my brother can hear me howling and barking at all times of the night.  But I have to reserve those behaviors for nighttime.  I’ve had days before when I’ve gone through an entire day in a dog like mindset and I couldn’t do anything about it.  It was frustrating and uncomfortable.  I had no choice but to keep it all locked up inside.  I wish I didn’t have to keep it all to myself really…And I wish I could explain it better.  But I can’t explain how I feel…it’s a near impossibility when I don’t really have anything to compare it to.  I wish I had some other ways to express this side of myself.  Some people say that running and exercise helps.  Or going out camping so they’re just out in nature away from other people.  Or dancing…or really anything else that they can think of.  I just haven’t found anything that helps for me.  Exercise is a chore and painful as I’ve got quite a bit of weight to lose.  I suppose I’d like to go camping one day…But for now, I need to find something else to channel this energy into.  Because I just can’t keep suppressing it all.


And for spirituality, I feel a bit like the odd woman out with most people I know.  My family’s all Christian.  My friends for the most part are all Christian as well (or at the least very spiritual) aside from one friend who’s Atheist.  And it’s not that they’re spiritual that really makes me feel like the odd woman out.  It’s the fact that they’re really comfortable with the decision they’ve made.  You know when I was little I didn’t really think about it too much.  I was Christian because I went to church and because my family was.  But then I grew up…and with growing up came more questioning of things.  And of course a non-answer to my prayer of what was “wrong with me” (AKA, my issue I mentioned above about therianthropy) sort of helped me move from being Christian to Agnostic.  I really don’t consider myself spiritual at all.  And I’ve tried to be.  I’ve looked at animal totemism and Shamanism because I thought it would be a help with my therianthropy.  At the very least I could learn how to spiritually shapeshift at will rather than doing so sporadically and at inopportune moments.  But after reading more about it, I just lost the interest that I previously had.  Not to mention reading about magic sort of turned me off to it.  I have nothing against magic.  I just don’t believe in it.


Plus I guess I still felt Christianity had something to offer me.  If it didn’t, I probably still wouldn’t be researching it and hanging around Christian websites (granted it’s a Christian furry and a Christian therianthropy page but still…).  But yet I still feel like I’m held back from really making a decision one way or another.  Because I care too much about what people think about me.  And it bothers me that people think that people are less intelligent just because they decide to believe in God.  But then again, I suppose I play into that a bit.  And as much as it pains me to say it I suppose deep down a part of me must believe that to a degree.  Even though I know it’s not true at all.  Because I’ll defend my friend (or anyone’s) right to believe as they wish and not be ridiculed for it.  Because being an Atheist doesn’t automatically mean that you are smarter.  Many atheists just parrot points just as much as many Christians do without doing the necessary research.


In all honesty, I can intellectually accept the idea of God.  And intellectually accept that God exists.  I just don’t place my faith in him or make any vast leaps to convert to Christianity.  Because 1) it still calls for me to give up a lot and 2) it’s not a leap I feel I’m ready to make.  But I honestly envy religious believers more than non-believers.  It’s much more beautiful and eloquent to believe and see that there’s more to the world, universe, and life than what’s visible to the eyes.  I suppose that Atheists have a point as well.  It’s beautiful to see the world for what we can see in front of us.  But that also seems quite limiting.  Though I suppose I’m just not comfortable with the idea that I’m here and don’t have a purpose and that what’s in front of us is it.  And how am I suppose to be okay with it?  Why wasn’t I born just a regular person instead of this weirdo who has dog-like tendencies?  Why can I draw but not really do anything else right?  Sure we can go with the age old answer of “genetics”…but I’ll never really know my full genetic make up as I’m adopted.  Perhaps my real parents are artistic and that would explain why I am too.  But for therianthropy…there are many therians that don’t have therian parents.  Actually very few have therian parents.  There’s really no explanation for it as of yet.  And if in the end I’ll just die and turn to dust, why the deuce am I wasting my time with school and earning a degree and money!?  There’s no point for it right?  I can just do what I want to do…or rather should…


I barely know who or what I am.  I spend all this time fretting over what I want to do in life or how to please other people while trying to please myself and please this entity known as the “world”.  And really they all can’t be done.  Only two can be done at a time…but just barely.  If you ask my parents, they’ll say that I’m really childish and that I refuse to grow up.  And in a way that’s true.  Growing up just…sucks.  And no one can convince me that it’s any good for you.  And I don’t want to.  If I were still little, everything would be so easy.  I wouldn’t have to worry so much about being dog like ’cause people would just think I’m playing pretend like any other little kid.  And religion…I didn’t understand it then and don’t understand it now.  Only difference is that kids aren’t suppose to understand it.  And kids are always thought of as innocent anyways.  And no jobs or money to worry about…


Now I’m just getting utterly depressing.  But yes…yet another thing that bothers me is the whole thought of getting older.  But enough of that.  Unfortunately I’ve got to deal with all these things.  Really it all boils down to I just need to stop caring what people think of me.  Which is such an impossible and difficult thing to do.  Because you have to present your way to the world in some way that is thought of as “normal”.  But I don’t fit in this mold called “normal”.  Well not all the time.  And I just don’t want to fit myself into the world at least in the way the world wants me to fit in.  With the 9-5 job, white picket fence and family with at least 2 kids.  It’s not what I want.  The ultimate goal in my life is to just be happy.  The secondary one is to find a way to really be me.  And lastly is the job/monetary goal which is to work solely for myself (possibly with friends) doing illustration and craft type work.  If I can find a way to do all three by time I die, then I suppose I would’ve achieved all my goals in life.  But how can I even begin to do it?  I just don’t know how…


I envy people who know what they want to do, know who they are, what they are, and have everything put together.  I can pretend to be completely stable all I want to…but that doesn’t make it true.  On the outside I can smile all I want.  On the inside, I’m sure I’m just falling apart.  And I’m sure I can’t put up with it much longer…there’s no way that I can…


I often feel like the odd woman out in the therian community.




A part of me really identifies with the label.  When I first discovered what therianthropy was and that there were other people out there who felt like animals…that I wasn’t alone in the world and that I wasn’t (completely) insane.  So as skeptical as I was then, I felt that the label fit.  And to a point I still do now.  But I can’t help but keep questioning whether or not it really is a correct label for me.  But at the same time I feel very awkward using it.  Most therians admit that their animal sides were always a part of them, even during childhood.  The first time I ever had an inkling of my animal side was when I was eleven.  And at that time I honestly thought something was completely wrong with me.


My experiences with my canine side though seem fairly “weak” in comparison with others.  I suppose my main problem has always been that I compare myself to other people.  It’s a habit that’s very hard to break.  In the back of my mind I know that if “therian” is the proper label for me I would have different experiences than other therians because I’m a different person.  It’s just hard for me to get over that hurdle of comparing myself to other people.


For example, I generally compare shifting experiences.  No I don’t mean physical shapeshifting.  That’s a complete and utter impossibility.  “Shifting” in this light refers to other things (mental, phantom, dream, aura, astral, etc.).  But describing terminology is for another post.  I’m predominately a mental shifter.  Meaning that at times my canine side tend to be more prominent in my mind.  Though I always retain my human mindset.  I think of my “shifts” as if they were on a sliding scale.  One end of the spectrum is human mindset.  The other is canine mindset.  The bar is mostly set on the human end.  But if I encounter anything that triggers a shift (scents, strong emotions, etc.) it will get pushed closer to the other end but never far enough that I have no idea what I’m doing.  I wonder if I should even count phantom shifts as 1) I didn’t experience them after I found out about therianthropy and 2) I don’t experience anything more than awkward sensations.  Since I recognized that I tend to ignore phantom shifts.


It’s the fact that my shifts are generally weak that make me question things a lot.  I think that I’ve only had a few stronger shifts but those are extremely few and far between.  Plus I’ve spent a lot of time suppressing them so my natural urge basically is to suppress them.  Even when I’m alone.  I’m learning to get over that, but still…it is quite awkward.  Humans shouldn’t feel like anything other than humans.


Also, (even though I know better) I generally see the term therianthropy used in a spiritual light.  It’s nearly impossible to look up a definition for therianthropy and not see some sort of spiritual connotations behind it.  I on the other hand (as a non-spiritual person) look at it in a psychological light.  At one point in time I did believe something spiritual.  Either that I had the soul of a wolf (at that time that’s what I narrowed down my therioside/animal side to) in a human body or that in a past life I was a wolf.  But after thinking about it, I realized that I didn’t think that at all.  I figured that mundane reasons should be considered far before spiritual reasons.  There’s so much we don’t know about the brain and how it works.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all if therianthropy was just caused by atypical wiring of the brain.  Or even perhaps recessive genes that are triggered under certain conditions.  I’m no scientist, but speculating these mundane reasons make far more sense to me than skipping that step and believing I have the soul of some animal.


And to top it off (for now), one of my shifting triggers (aside from the ones I listed above) is werewolf movies.  I’ve seen other therians admit this.  Not a lot.  Just a few.  But this is one that make me believe that whatever it is I experience now is a product of one of two things.  The first being my love for (bordering on obsession with) werewolves/were-creatures.  The second being the fear of dogs I used to have when I was little.  But this is more focusing on the werewolf movies/TV shows.  This is why I believe that this is a psychological construct for me.  Well one of them.  I love the idea of shapeshifting and I’ve loved it for quite a while.  So maybe it’s been ingrained in my mind.  That seeing werewolves or a person turning into an animal brings out a more animalistic nature in myself.


Of course I mentioned my other reason why I believe this is a psychological construct.  My past phobia of dogs.  I was absolutely terrified of them.  I wouldn’t allow myself to get close to them.  It was around the time that I began to get over my fear of dogs that this canine nature began showing up in me.  Perhaps it was a way of helping me cope with the fear?  I’m not sure in the least bit.  It’s just a personal theory.


Where does the term “animal person” play a role in this?  Well, it’s a very vague label.  It could mean just about anything.  A person who loves animals.  A person who’s an animal totemist or shapeshifter.  Or a person who’s a therian.  It’s a term that I could use instead of therian.  I wonder if it’s better.  I’m an human being with somewhat of an animalistic nature.  Whether it was always there or if it was caused or triggered I may never be completely sure of.  All I’m sure of is how I am now.  That I’m still confused and slightly skeptical about the whole thing.  That maybe something is wrong with me.  That there is a part of me that’s very intriguing and odd, but I still like it.  For the moment, I’ll keep learning, keep “soul-searching”, keep questioning.  I’m sure I’ll figure it all out eventually.  It’ll just take a little more time.  I got this far in about 10 years.  What’s another 10 going to be to me?