“…I have better debates with the voices in my head that with my class mates!…why are you laughing?”

My daughter is a born story teller. For any other child a mention of voices in their head might cause a mother to worry about the child’s mental health. I don’t worry about the voices. I know them. I don’t just mean I know what it’s like, I mean I know the voices in her head. By name, their likes and dislikes, their insecurities in some cases their sexual orientation and kinks. I’ve seen them develop from vague idea and rough sketch into full characters that took on a life of their own. Sometimes they visit my mind as well. Nowhere near as vividly as in her’s though. She says she knows what their singing voices sound like.

It’s a strange thing that while you are creating these characters in your mind, once they take on life you can’t actually control them much. She struggles with that sometimes. A couple of days ago as she was telling me what kind of antics they had been up to, she said:

“…I’m not making this shit up…I mean I did, but I didn’t…”

She asks me regularly “What’s wrong with me?” I know that is frustration. And I keep telling her there’s nothing really wrong. What she has isn’t exactly common, but for storytellers it is kind of normal. Of course that doesn’t help much because to her mind she doesn’t tell stories, all her characters do are “stupid things”. My daughter tends toward humor stories. This is in a large part where her frustration comes from.

“But it’s not funny. I don’t think it’s funny”

She does. I know she does. I’ve seen her sitting with her sketch pad, laughing at whatever her characters are up to. It’s just by the time she has drawn it halfway, the joke has played itself in her head so many times the funny has sort of rubbed off. By the time she finishes the drawing she can maybe manage a smile. If she finishes it and doesn’t abandon her attempt because she can’t get the leg right.

My girl doesn’t make it easy on herself. She is a story teller, but she doesn’t write. She draws. All of her drawing, from the moment she put a pencil to paper, have been stories. Her kindergarten teachers loved to point that out to me. Here’s what a normal kids drawing looks like: house, family, tree. Here’s what her drawing looks like: two of the family playing catch while the third is watching from the window inside the house. And the wind is making the tree lose leaves.

This is what she did at 10 years old. A carnival parade. The stories are mostly happening in the audience.
This is her now at 17. These fantasy creatures are siblings. The eldest is a bit moody

As the stories in her head get more complex, her frustration with getting them on the paper grows. It’s hard for me to encourage her. As mom all praise is suspect. I’m ‘just saying’ things because I’m mom. All I can really do is make sure she has all the supplies she needs and trust she will figure out how to make what she has to make.

Has to, not creating isn’t an option.

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