There is what amounts to a year of my life that I cannot remember at all. A dark space of missing time remains in the wake of my choices over roughly the last seven years. The worst of the traumas occurred between September of 2001 and the spring of 2004. But I believe the majority of my lost time comes from 2003. I’m not sure if that is subconsciously repressed or simply gone forever.
I never really talk about the traumas. The experience is always painful, no matter which incident I attempt to divulge -- something like coming very close to having a catharsis, yet being unable to find the release and healing. Sometimes I think of myself as damaged. I wonder if the decline in my physical health doesn’t somehow correlate to the remains of mental trauma. Perhaps being unable to let these things pass is gradually breaking me down.
You know, I was always an odd child. I had an overactive imagination when I was small. Since I turned thirteen I have had nightmares (since 2004, night terrors occasionally, too) every time I would sleep. I used to hate that. Even on the exceptionally rare occasions when my nightmares weren’t horrific, they always ended tragically. I almost wished they had been horrific when I woke up. Due to this ‘nightmare condition’ and the traumas in my life, I think I covet peace more than any other miserable soul I know. Yet, that is one thing I am continually denied. But I say ‘used to hate’ because my writing draws primarily from them, and writing gives me a purpose as well as a distraction from living on the darker side of the hill.
Who is to say what feeds nightmares? Is it what you eat before bed? What you watch? The collective remains of your day? The traumas you can’t let go of? Perhaps something you’ve heard? Science has a lot of explanations for nightmares.
My ‘Nevaeh Series’ was inspired or guided by nightmares. In a way, I created the entire storyline from the subconscious. I believe that, at least in my case, nightmares are part science and part spirituality. ‘Nightmares of Nevaeh’ was inspired by one, yes, but I cannot recall anything scientific from the days preceding that particular nightmare to explain it. I think the nightmare was actual a spiritual one, if it can be termed that way. And every time I became stuck on where to take the story next, another nightmare fed me information…like pieces of a puzzle I had to put together when I woke up. Maybe those nightmares were more subconsciously pushed by scientific factors than the initial nightmare. All the same, my protagonist has the same nightmare I had originally in the first chapter of the book.
The title of the book is rather obvious in this way. :)
I could speak metaphorically… If my writing were a living entity, then my nightmares would compose the skeleton. Every trauma as well as each small joy would create and shape the flesh. Except for the heart, this would be the sickness, Guilt. Blood would be the essence of Grief. Seen this way, my writing is perhaps a strange creature, darkly beautiful, tragic, yet not entirely without hope.
No matter my circumstances or experiences, I have yet to lose that last essential message. Even in nightmares, hope exists. Surrendering to fears merely blinds us that perpetual flicker of light in the darkness. I believe that is one of the main philosophical points I wished to make in ‘Nightmares of Nevaeh’.