Karen answers Max

Comment by Max on December 29, 2008 5:19 pm

Hi, Karen..

I have to say, your story is one of the most powerful, if not THE single most powerful I have ever read in my life. To think what you had to go through makes all my trials in life seem trivial. I’m so amazed and inspired by your ability to pull through and come out as a content, wholly-functioning person after years and years of hell on earth. Your tale is certainly one filled with tragedies, but it makes it all the more powerful to find how you survived it all and turned your life into something pleasant at last.. and I admire that greatly. I really do.. having suffered clinical depression and anxiety disorder stemming from but a few instances of people who treated me badly, I cannot imagine how hard that had to be.

I just had a little question, and it might seem silly, but I am curious and I haven’t seen it asked here yet: Did Jensen like Shel Silverstein’s book Where The Sidewalk Ends? Because he seems to have redrawn some illustrations out of that book right from memory, like the head-on-top-of-the-head and the bandaged Miles. I’m wondering if it was an inspiration for you as a whole, or more specifically just for that alter, and what other roles it might’ve played. I’m just curious because it was one of my favourite books as a kid, and that’s how I recognised some of the characters.

It’s so interesting, because the poems in the book and the drawings re-created that originally went with those poems are completely different; I’m fascinated with how other works of art might “hit” someone when they first see it.

Dear Max,

Thank you for your compliments! I’m sorry to hear you suffered from depression and anxiety.  I know how being treated badly can cause emotional illness.  As I continue my journey to wellness, each day brings something new for me to learn about myself.  I continue to have a bad day now and then, but when I do, I try to remember where I came from, remember my old inner pain, and seek a few moments of gladness to get me through.

Your question about Jensen is definitely not a silly one!  It’s a question I continue to ask myself.  My ex-alter, Jensen, was an eleven year old boy who loved to draw, paint, and create a world of color for me.  I wish I knew where his inspiration came from.  I understand that children copy drawings from books; I just never knew whether Jensen did this.  I’ve always felt uncomfortable sharing any art by Jensen because I didn’t feel I could claim it as my own.

I don’t recall the book you are referring to, but I will definitely check it out.  I believe Jensen may have been inspired by many children’s books.  I’m always interested in finding out where my mind came up with everything.

There are many things my alters have done that amazed me and left me wondering where their thoughts and ideas, including the way they chose to survive, came from.  I guess that is one of the great mysteries of multiplicity.  Anything’s possible.  For me, what’s most important is that through Jensen’s creative ways, I grew to enjoy and express myself through art.

Thank you for your insight, it may very well help me come to a better understanding of my ex-alter, Jensen.



1 Comment

  1. Wow! I didn’t expect you’d respond to my question, having so many of them every day. Thanks so much! ^^ I just think it’s amazing what art can do for a person; as an artist and composer of music myself, it’s my primary way of getting out any emotions that are too strong for my system to handle (and most of the emotions end up becoming that way! :O). Maybe Jensen saw those pictures and was just immediately able to identify with them in some way.. it helps a lot to relate someone else’s work to your own life, and I know kids get inspired by others’ works all the time. I was inspired a TON by 90s Nickelodeon cartoons when I was really young. 😛 It really helps you feel like you’re not alone in this world.. to look at another person’s creation and think “That’s just like me.” or “That’s just like how I felt when that happened.”

    Multiplicity is really interesting to me in that respect.. since your mind had to come up with so many different, distinctive personalities, it makes me think just how much more the human mind is capable of doing to save us from pain.. and how much more it’s able to do in general. Certainly out of this came a wonderful artistic ability that helped you out as a whole.. it just proves to me more how important art and creative expression are for survival, whether it’s yours to make or yours to enjoy from the outside.

    Thanks so much for answering =^) I wish you all the best.


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