How did Sean Chase Devlin, the hero of my book Maximum Speed: Pushing The Limit, overcome his horrible childhood memories? Are his adult nighttime terrors and nightmares manifestations of his childhood struggles? How do any of us overcome our bad childhood memories?
I always remember my parents trying to soothe a terrified little girl’s nightmares (mine) with the words, “There, there now honey. Just think good thoughts.” Like that would chase away the goblins lurking under my bed. Speaking of goblins, my older brother would pull warped pranks on me whenever our parents would go out for the evening. One prank in particular still stands out the most: As I lay sleeping, he banged loudly on my bedroom window startling me awake and as I looked out into the dark a grotesque glow in the dark Frankenstein mask peered in at me and I ran off screaming and hiding under the bedcovers crying hysterically until our parents got home. Of course my brother would deny everything and just chalk it up to, “Oh, she had one of her nightmares.” Yeah, right!
Haven’t we all experienced scary dreams like falling off a cliff, being chased by evil people, not being able to find your way home? After a lifetime of stored memories good and bad just like a safety deposit box that is a repository of all of your important papers it starts to sag under the heavy weight of our subconscious and has to make room.
As adults we develop different coping mechanisms when dealing with frightening situations: like biting on my finger as the dentist is about to give me a shot of novocaine, or just as the nurse is about to take your blood you start thinking about your loved ones, favorite pet, swimming in the beautiful ocean and splashing about, etc. Maybe if more people shared their methods of dealing with their nightmares or past and present struggles, it would be helpful to all of us who have suffered and still do.
So, whatever works for you works!