Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG: When you lose your identity.

Someone close to me is going through a very difficult time. She's going through a hard point in her life where she now questions her identity. When one great part of you is taken away and you have but a few scraps of yourself left, how do you step back and rebuild your life?

I'm being vague, I know, but I just wanted to pose the question of identity. How do you identify yourself? Or even the characters you write about? Is it by heritage? Your past history? Your likes, and dislikes? Is it simply by how one looks? Or one's intellect? Or the sum of it all? Comment below.


This was a post for IWSG, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh to 'To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!'

Thanks also goes to his co-hosts this month:
Charity Bradford, S.A. Larsen, AJ, Tamara Narayan, Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda!

18 comments:

  1. I've seen a few friends and family members go through this - identity crisis. I tried to tackle this topic in college once. My point was kind of that when our culture or heritage or just one thing is the whole basis of our identity, if we're ever away from it or if we ever feel like we have to choose between two cultures or talents or whatever, we fall apart.

    My entire identity is in me being a writer. Without it, I fall apart. I don't ever think about when I'm writing. They are a sum of parts, just like rest of us. I guess it's just easier for them because they live in a controlled environment.

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    1. Yeah a controlled environment can either be helpful because a normal routine can be comforting. At the same time, I feel like it would also be stifling.

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  2. I seem to write a lot of identity crises, for whatever reason, and it might be because being a writer, parts of my identity are kind of fluid--they change with whatever I'm writing or not writing. Nicole is very pragmatic. Victoria is very dramatic. I have both traits in me. I don't think identity is a rigid thing. It has to change and grow as we do and it needs to be based on a lot of different factors in your life or else your whole concept of yourself will crumble. And that's not good.

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    1. Yeah I feel like questions of identity turn up in my work too. And I think as humans it's natural because we are trying to figure out our place in the world. It's similar to animals finding out where they fit on the food chain.

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  3. I think we constantly discover who we are, and sometimes that includes losing a part of ourselves.

    Good luck to your friend. Suggest writing it all out in a journal. It's very cathartic and may be the path back to identity.

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    1. Thanks. And yes. I've made that suggestion, too.

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  4. I identify myself first as a child of God and I think everyone is. After that, I can always remind myself that no matter what other definitions follow, "failure" is not one of them - ever, because God doesn't make junk.

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  5. A few things: an ally, a writer, a feminist, a woman, a wife...
    How terrifying to lose part of one's identity. I hope your friend is ok. <3

    Happy IWSG Day!
    AJ Lauer
    an IWSG co-host

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  6. This is something I really can't relate to myself, but maybe because I'm more with Tyrean on this. As to characters, my current MS actually does address this as a boy realizes his whole life was a lie and learns that he's a clone. At least in this MS, he realizes this knowledge doesn't really change who he is, but it does define how others look at him and what they expect of him--and it's exactly that which he has to deal with and ends up changing him more. (Although the book isn't all that deep ;) ). Here's hoping the best for your friend!

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    1. Thanks! And your MS sounds so interesting!

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  7. I know who I want to be, and therefore I try to make that who I am. I guess the vision I have of myself is comprised of attitudes and actions, so that would probably be my identity.

    That really sucks for your friend. I don't know if it's a matter of lost identity or identity theft, neither is much fun. I hope she finds herself if it's the former, and I hope she gets her life back if it's the latter.

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    1. Thanks. I love your first line. This will have to be something I past on to her.

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  8. very powerful question you posed, Michelle.
    Perhaps it's easier to culturally, ethnically, even religiously identify yourself if you live in more of a homogeneous society. In the States, well, we're a big ol' mix of everything. It can be very messy. Spiritually, I know who I am what I believe in. Looks wise--sometimes people throw these attributes at you because you look a certain way. It clings to some people. Gosh, there are so many aspects. This needs its own book, lol.

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    1. haha I'm sure many books have been written about it. Existential literature is always pretty interesting!

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  9. Great questions... they come with hard answers. I had a personal identity crisis a couple of years ago that meant giving up on some expectations I had assumed to be self-evident since I was a little girl... I think the creative side of me took a huge hit from that, but I'm slowly building myself back up. I think part of it is forging new paths, because the familiar will only serve to remind you of the hardships that may still be too close. (Switching from fantasy to science fiction for me, for example.)

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    1. I love your idea of forging new paths and I hope my friend is on track in forging a better path that will help heal her.

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