The Haunting Past

I’ve noticed a trend in the books/stories I write.

More often than not, my leading characters have some sort of sordid past that they are trying to escape from. A past that they are trying to claw out of in order to define themselves. More often my leading, and some supporting, characters have issues they have been working on since childhood and most of them are the cause of adults treating them unfairly in some way. Their pasts are mostly brutal and make other uncomfortable knowing about them, but I have a hard time shying away from that.

I watched a TED talk by Nadine Burke Harris about how childhood trauma can affect people even when they are adults.

You can watch the talk here: Nadine Burke Harris TED Talk

I had a pretty rough childhood. Was it as bad as many people out there? Probably not. I saw my share of family violence and withstood my share of abuse growing up. I realize a lot of the decisions I made when I was younger are shaped by the environment I grew up in. I am working on not transmitting that environment to my children and so far it is going good.

But as a writer, and I’m sure many can attest to this, I cling to those emotions. When I write and my characters go through something similar to what I went through I think I do it as some form of self-therapy. But even so remembering those emotions and those situations is hard and it’s easy to get depressed.

Our past will haunt us and while it may seem like it’s difficult to overcome them it’s important to understand that you don’t need to deny that these things happened. You don’t need to walk around pretending that you’re perfect and that your life has and always will be perfect. We are people, and we need to remember that that’s okay. It’s okay to be human.

Here's a cute frog to help you along.

Here’s a cute frog to help you along.

Posted by Sarah Jayne

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