Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Alternate Reality

“Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.”  Neil Gaiman “The Sandman”

Who needs reality?
I spent my entire life trying to build world to get away from my reality.
Who wants to face reality?
When you’re a writer you create your own reality.
When I was a child I was never satisfied with my life, with my own reality. I was a child who happened to be very nerdy, sensitive and precocious for my age. I always felt much different than my friends and even my family that surrounded me. They seemed to never understand what I needed or cared what I was going through. I know that they loved me but I felt alone in a house with both parents and 8 siblings.
Who needs reality?
When I was a teenager I was tired of living the life that I was living. I didn’t know what to do so I spent hours drowning myself in books living my life through them. Eventually I created my own stories, created my very own new world.
Some days I would be so far gone it would always take me a while to come back. It felt like when your eyes adjust to the dark when you have been staring into the bright light too long. No one understood how a single person could read so much or stay locked in their room for hours. It was the only place I wanted to be. Trapped in my own mind.

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.” Lloyd Alexander

When I was finally jostled back to reality, I would suffer a great depression and yearned to be back in the world of my creation.
Who needs reality right?
I always assumed it was a childhood obsession or just as phase.  Eventually I thought I would outgrow this long stint of only being surrounded by the people in my head.
Well, it wasn’t a phase. I didn’t grow out of it. I had all these people roaming around in my head tormenting me. Even when my reality was no long grim, I still clung to my false reality.
It was like a drug.
I was addicted.
I continued to hear the whispers…
Who needs reality?

“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin 

I realized I was afraid to face reality because some of that reality involved facing some things about myself. Things that I had kept hidden for so long.  So I started to write and write like crazy. I found it was the only way to keep me sane. The people making themselves home in my head just wanted … No, they needed me to tell their stories.
So I wrote like hell until I wasn’t drowning anymore. Until my depression and my alienation from real reality subsided a little.
Until the whispers were gone…


  1. Thanks for showing us the "magic" of writing. I'm happy your whispers are gone and now you can shout!

  2. Wow. I relate completely. If not for the stories I created, read and wrote I think I would have gone insane. Poetry, stories was a way for me to believe there was another way to live, there was more to life then what I knew within the walls of where I lived.

    1. Yes! Thank you. It feels great to know that there were others like me ;-)

  3. I can certainly sympathize. I would read series because I got to stay in that world longer. And that quote by Alexander reminded me of a thought I once had "condensed cream of reality soup". Not exactly natural, but really useful.

  4. I like the quote by Gaiman, as I know we all have our secret worlds inside us. As writers, we can put these secret worlds on paper. Truth or fiction, it doesn't matter. Those characters and stories inside us, the ones that wake us at 4 AM or keep us from sleep all night, need to get out.
    Thanks for sharing Donnee, I understand what you are talking about. :)

  5. Your thoughts are powerful and the selected quotes riveted your points to my consciousness. As I grew up, I felt like a stranger in a strange family. Often I was lost in the shuffle. The youngest of five, I was often marginalized and ridiculed by my older siblings for being an egghead or bookworm. After meeting my father or my siblings, my college friends and later my wife would say, "Are you sure you're related?" My mother was my only touchstone, yet she was overwhelmed by her own troubles.

  6. Quite often I like fiction better--neater, the good guys win more often. reality has so many downsides. T