And I thought I had already achieved the crown of ‘strangest thread ever created here’... OK, y'know how sometimes authors write stories to deal with their inner demons? Well, this is one of them, and I don't know how to approach it. Spoiler: a history behind this... Long story short, I was cyber-bullied when I was in high school. The history forum I often so complained about, that's where I was cyber-bullied. By a British man old enough to be my father (56 at the time), who kept giving me crap because I was American. Saying that because I was American, I had no right to an opinion, that I lacked the capacity to even hold an opinion, that, to quote him, “There is no removing the glasses of arrogance from the Americans.” Would go on anti-American rants whenever he had the chance, no matter the subject. It could've been about what underwear George Washington wore, and he'd still find some way to ram in a rant about how Americans were the scum of the Earth, and he would play the victim whenever he was called out on it, claiming it was an American bias against him. I didn't think that would affect me, but apparently it did. In short, any perceived slight against Americans or the US sparked off my fight-or-flight response and gave me flashbacks to that British guy I hadn't talked to years now. Made me ashamed to want to write stories set in America about Americans. This guy really kind of effed up everything to be honest... He was the reason I left the forum in the first place. The reason I keep talking shit about the forum. It used to be a great place for me, a place for me to learn about history...until he ruined it. To sum up: I'm tired of having this feeling. I'm tired of holding a grudge against some dude I've not talked to in years -- tired of carrying this grudge. Tired of not being able to create non-American characters set in our world because I keep hearing this guy in the back of my head, feeling him taking them over like a dark force overtaking their minds, forcing them to become his voice rather than their own, making them go on anti-American rants even when -- in character -- they probably wouldn't have cared. I can't even do a mystery series I've toyed with for so long because my main character (a Canadian) is being overtaken by this guy's voice -- by my memory of this guy. That's kind of why I've mainly been doing my fantasy. At least then I could pretend he isn't there. And the reason I neglected Amos, my Colonial detective for so long... ...Because, y'know, the American Revolution and all of that... I can already hear him going, “Typical American arrogance; they think they're so important!!” Just so people know: This is NOT me asking permission to write about a Canadian character, or a story set during the American Revolution. Both of these characters are doing just fine in their respective stories. I'm not worried about them at all. Though my poor Canadian character would like to speak for himself, though. What this thread is about is simply, how do you tackle a story that, for all intents and purposes, deal with your inner demons; deal with the thing (or things) that hurt you the most? How do you write a story that forces you to face the thing that causes you pain/fill you with bad memories, but you know you need to in order to get the inner demons out and deal with them? How do you make yourself write the thing that involves the last memories you'd ever want to relive? The reason I ask is because I think I clearly need to write this thing down to get it out of my system, but I'm not sure I want to/afraid that my character(s) might come off as whiny, pathetic, sissy-babies. I mean, seriously: imagine a scene where one of my characters, after praising Canada in the heat of the moment, suddenly breaks down sobbing, wanting to go back to the States because a Canadian went on an anti-American rant on her for no reason. Kind of pathetic, don't you think? Yet...somehow I feel it fits. That scene is supposed to happen. I want to explore how this feeling can lead to resentment, how it can lead the ‘victim’ to becoming the ‘bully’ and not even know it. So...how do you tackle it? A story that deals with the thing that causes you the most pain/grief/discomfort? Sorry if I'm not making sense, it's 11:23 pm Central here and I'm getting kind of tired. But this had been on my mind all day, and I've only now gotten the chance to write it all down before I go to bed..