Bad memories that feels like a nightmare to your characters!

Does your character from any one of your stories have a particularly bad memory that feels like a never ending nightmare to them?

What is that memory? How does your character cope with it?
What helps that character try to move towards positive memories whenever it pops up?

Is there a certain trigger that bring forth the memory for the character?
Does your character tries to ignore the bad memory even though it won’t go away that easily or do they embrace the memory to strive to put a handle on it?

Anymore thoughts on this topic?!


My MC (a synthetic human) went through some trauma when one of the people who made him stole him away from the other creator, and kept him conscious while tearing him apart and essentially tortured him both physically and spychologically to try and figure out why he has free will (they didn’t design him that way intentionally). Anyways, it gave my MC pretty serious PTSD and now the memory of that time haunts him. Now, because of what happened to him, when people touch him without his permission it makes him anxious. That’s just one of many triggers he has now because of what that antagonist did to him. It’s an awful memory that he refuses to talk about with pretty much anyone and constantly tries to bury and forget, but can’t.


Damn… that sounds awful.

Is he seeking help or anything that will allow him to cope better?

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One of my MC’s has a memory that haunts him every eight years.

Upon the eve of Arched, and the last day of Butari (second and third month of the year), there is the Longest Night. The sun sets and does not rise for two whole days. There are tales told of a war within the heavens, when the Sun and Moon fought for supremacy of the skies. In that fight the moon was knocked from it’s path and set upon a course that now gives rise to the longest night. The moon’s path follows the Sun’s and it is locked in an eclipse for days. Within the four days of this passing, the Moon covers the face of the Sun for two whole days.

It was during this time when Geldrid lost a friend, a childhood friend who was taken too soon. Being forgetful of time, and fishing late into the evening, the Moon hid the face of the Sun, plunging the world into darkness. During the longest night many creatures venture forth and do horrid things to the lost, and those who would dare to travel upon this time.

It was with horror that eve when the friends did come across something they did not expect… Darkmanes. Twisted and corrupted Unicorns. Dark smouldering limbs of deep violet fires which burn from within, crackle and spark with each footfall. Their eyes burn with a hatred of the light, and their manes shimmer with the toxins of smoke. Deeper than the darkness of the night they are in colour, and their single horn splintered with malice is adorned with lightning like markings of the same violet hue.

Fleeing for their life they entered the river not far from their homesteads, but only the strongest did reach the other side. The Darkmanes could not cross, and cursed the boy who lived to an eternity of torment by their power. He who looked upon them without fear amidst such a horrid baying of voice. But the screams of his friend could not be denied, nor ever forgotten. And in time the memory eased a little, but not upon the coming of the Longest Night. For upon the eve of that night Geldrid did fear once more, that the curse would come true, and the torment and pain would be eternal.

Long years passed, and in time the peoples of Arillion gave tribute to the Longest Night in way of carvings of horrid craft. Creations of grotesque imagery to adorn their doorsteps, and repay fear against those which haunted the lightless ways searching for the lost and misguided. Runes of power also accompanied them upon panels with equally disturbed purpose. And lanterns would be hung to disperse the dark… While behind closed, locked doors and windows the people did prey. Prey to see the light in the east once more…

And Geldrid remembers his loss…



He has a support system in his other creator (not the one that hurt him) and her team of scientists that also work on the project that my MC is a product of, as well as one of the other synthetic prototypes who has free will and sentience like he does. But there aren’t really any sort of mental health resources for synthetics because the vast majority of people don’t consider them to be real people. They would consider it to be comparable to trying to give therapy to a roomba. Kind of laughable. Plus, my MC is very closed off about it and always tries to change the subject when his trauma is brought up. He’s very bad at confronting his own emotions, especially because so many people try and tell him that, as a synthetic human, he shouldn’t have emotions at all.


That was amazingly well told. I feel for Geldrid.

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It doesn’t happen until the end of the first book.

Andras is a werewolf unlike other werewolves, for he was cursed to be one. See, in their world, werewolves are often born into a pack where they live their lives in a community–guided by the loving hands of the leaders of the pack who are meant to represent mothers and fathers. They live their entire lives protected by the pack, one huge family.

Andras, on the other hand, was once a wizard (should mention here he was an actual child, around eight) who was cursed to be a werewolf after committing an insidious evil. His family was stripped of their magic, and they were outcasted by the wizarding community forced to live their lives as and amongst humans. He looks different than other werewolves, tall and twisted and bestial, worse off he often grapples for control in his form and becomes dangerous.

For his own safety, Andras ended up in a pack of werewolves who hesitantly allowed him into their ranks. It took a long while, but the pack ended up fully accepting Andras (and his family) into their ranks. From the time he was a confused, outcasted boy he has thought of the werewolves as family.

So–skip a few years, yeah? The events of the first book take place. He and his companions have defeated a great evil, and in an almost dreamy final chapter Andras rides his bike happily to the main house, where the werewolves are gathering for a Great Feast (a cultural tradition). He’s happy. The sun sets, the day is clear and warm, wind brushes through his hair. He rides higher up the hill and then–the heavy scent of blood fills the air.

He begins to panic and arrives at the house to find the body of every single pack member, man, woman, and child strewn about the home which is covered in blood.

That memory haunts him especially since, later on, he discovers that the murder of his pack was only able to happen because of something he did. Making him (in his mind) partially responsible.


Hell yeah…although I don’t explain it that way .

Sssyraine is a half Lizard…like all the half Lizards, the females have an egg cycle, and during the weekish window for “fertility”, they’re kind of out of their mind.

And I have to say kind of because you don’t sleep much during that, and the nature of dreaming is for your subconscious to process your daily routines, so I have them processesing that in a compressed amount of time, on top of cycle issues.

If you have a male to take care of you, it’s fine, but without one, it’s a bad state to be in without someone to guard you, so older female lizards tend to care for younger single females, in a kind of “religious leader” or “therapist” relationship.

So yeah, the fear of becoming involved with a male, having two males subconsciously in mind, but not being consciously aware of it, on top of being one of the stronger species on the planet? Yeah, that’s just messed up.


I have a feeling you have a character like this or you’re thinking of having a character like this :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, where do I begin? XD Let’s see, Pinti’s going to be plagued with the memory of her dying family later on. She does not cope. She suppresses the memory because it hinders her from surviving in the world. Even good memories make her break down, so she suppresses all memories. Triggers for her are scents that remind her of home, little kids that were her sister’s age, and certain foods.

Jack Ogswold from Jack Of All Trades has a horrific childhood memory of betrayal. It was so devastating for him that eventually he’s blocked it from his memory, but when his childhood friend breaks out of jail to come find him, it comes crashing back. Jack does not cope. He lies to himself and everyone around him, trying to become another person to erase who he was. It doesn’t work, of course. Still, he tries as he has a difficult time facing the truth of not only the betrayal, but what he did in response to that. On one hand, he’s guilty, but he’s also not sorry and he doesn’t know what he should do about those feelings.

Richard from Alive At Crepusculum used to have a nightmarish memory of his childhoods. Yes, plural. Despite being immortal now, Richard has had seven lives and not all of them were great. The bad memories, he does remember, but the longer he’s lived, the easier it has been for him to not dwell. He’s also talked it out with his demon, so it’s not like he’s had it built up over the years. Despite being one the of the most problematic, insane villains, he’s coped with his bad memories the best. The only way he gets triggered is if someone attacks him and takes him by surprise which rarely happens. I guess Richard has embraced the bad memories.


Many of my characters have bad memories that haunt them. Here are the unpleasant memories my current main characters have…

Krista Gallant (14)

Krista was very close to her older brother, Gur. They raised each other as their parents were often working abroad (career mercenaries). Krista used to have nightmares about their parents being wounded or killed overseas. The best cure for her bad dreams was to sneak into her brother’s room and sleep in his reading chair, and later sleep beside him in bed (Gur’s solution to Krista’s lack of decent rest and her frequent chills).

When Gur was killed (serving with the IDF Paratroopers) in the 2014 Gaza War, Krista began to have nightmares about his death. Krista was only told that Gur’s patrol was ambushed while searching for cross-border tunnels. So her mind filled in the missing details, turning her dreams into nightmares. The only cure Krista could find was to raid their home’s cellar, pinch a bottle of wine, and drink herself to sleep. Gur’s death also completely changed Krista’s personality…but that’s another entry…

In the story Krista discovers a new trigger for her bad dreams is witnessing her friends (Dov and Freyja) being exposed to danger. Example, standing on the sundeck watching an incoming rocket salvo being intercepted by a nearby Iron Dome battery. Dov discovers Krista’s wine solution to her revived nightmares and suggests a healthier solution; waking and talking with Dov (or just hanging out with him) and / or sleeping beside Freyja…Krista’s parents also gave Gur’s room to Dov to help her recover and move on from Gur’s loss…

Dov Shaul (28)

Dov (a former Australian Commando) survived three tours in Afghanistan without many side-effects…no lingering PTSD at least…However, he is haunted by the ending of his post-Army visit to Israel. Dov had met and was befriended by a young kibbutz girl, Aviva. About a month later Aviva was killed protecting Dov from a Gaza rocket, and Dov’s left army was shredded / flayed by the blast. Yet when Dov awoke from a two-year medical coma his left arm was undamaged. Dov expected his limb to be amputated below the shoulder. Instead the arm was there with no signs of injury.

After rehabilitation therapy Dov returned to Australia. The memories of Aviva’s bloodied remains lying beside a barely conscious Dov soon filled his dreams. The unanswered questions about why his arm still exists didn’t help either (the reverse of phantom limb syndrome). Dov tried making silver jewellery, and some other crafts, to take his mind off the bad memories, but soon realised he had no artistic talent. Dov also discovered the typical wine cure resulted in hangovers worse than the nightmares, so that tactic was abandoned as well.

Two years later Dov received a letter from doctor Lander in Israel. Lander had mended Dov’s arm, and guided his rehabilitation. The letter offered a new job and possible solution to Dov’s issues. Dov flew back to Israel the next day. His new job is to mentor and nurture Freyja…with Krista’s help…The theory being looking after Freyja, and dealing with Krista, would keep Dov too busy / exhausted to worry about his past (Dov needs to abandon his old life if he wants to succeed with Freyja anyway). The companions soon discover that Freyja’s presence, and her touch, can keep Dov calm and focused. Dov’s first night in Israel, sleeping on the hardwood floor beside Freyja’s bed, was the best rest he had in a year.

In a future event Dov will be revisited by old nightmares, a delayed effect of the rocket-Iron Dome incident and his lingering guilt over Aviva’s loss (to Dov, adults should protect kids not the other way around). Krista devises two solutions. Whenever Freyja senses or predicts Dov’s bad dreams he will be ordered to sleep on the girls’ floor, or to shuffle over so Freyja can sleep beside him. And Dov is taken on a road trip to his old kibbutz, where he spends a day with Aviva’s parents…Dov tries to talk about Aviva but they’re more interested in Freyja, and his future plans for her…By the day’s end Dov is assured (again) he is not to blame for Aviva’s loss.

Freyja Mendel (14, by appearance)

Freyja is an accelerated growth hybrid clone* created by doctor Lander. Freyja’s life begins at the apparent age of fourteen (she’s only existed for four years and been a self-sustaining lifeform for two weeks), but she has no memories. Sometimes Freyja’s complex, yet inexperienced, cybernetic brain tries to account for the absence of memories by creating random ones in her dreams. These random dreams are never pleasant.

Fortunately one of Freyja’s talents is her heightened emotional intelligence, especially in regards to her friends (Krista and Dov), and her nature of both calming them and being calmed by them. So long as Freyja is resting in the company of her friends, or she at least knows they are comfortable and safe, the random dreams are unlikely to upset her.

*Most of Freyja’s DNA came from Aviva. Only Lander and his team know the clone project was also used to grow a new left arm for Dov. The rocket had destroyed his original limb. Dov and Freyja’s instinctive bond is based on genetic familiarity, but Lander keeps this a secret (for entertainment and chutzpah).

Note: The characters live in a fortress-villa south of Be’er Sheva (in Israel).


Marceline is a werewolf who is introduced chewing on the bones of her best friend.

The thing that makes it more disturbing is that she knows that her best friend would do the same in her place and not feel bad about it.

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Most AI generated content is kind of weird.


Yes… :sweat_smile:

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Throughout the novel, I share memories of the night my MC fled his village and how his entire family was murdered, along with everyone else around. He’s stuck in his head quite a bit, so when he’s truly feeling depressed, it’ll come forth. Other times, it’s based off sensory things like if he sees a burnt village or when he’s in danger. He does, however, try to ignore it and even hides his emotions because he believes that they are no good to him in battle or on his mission to kill the woman who murdered them. Though that is where his girlfriend comes in as she has helped talk to him, give him clarity, and let her be a shoulder to cry on.

I have a scene where my MC took a joy ride on a dragon and found a burnt village that reminded him of that night his family died.

This is that scene:

Borris bent forward, decreasing their elevation. As they descended, an odd, bubbly feeling churned in Nicolas’s stomach. It wasn’t the kind that led to vomit, but the kind where his body felt the thrill and adrenaline kick-in as he looked straight down. He theorized it could’ve been his flight or fight response, which would’ve made sense based on their circumstances.

After a few moments, they began to hover over a grove of burnt trees. This would’ve been a forest if it weren’t for the Victorian sorcery that destroyed it. Past the trees, however, was a ruined village. Stones and wood scattered across a field of dead grass and sand. He wasn’t sure which direction they were heading toward, but he guessed North. For all he knew, this was Hiroko’s home. The place she grew up. Dilapidated.

A surge of depression and trauma overwhelmed him, crashing into his veins like a wave sucking him under the depths of the sea, grasping his legs and pulling him deep into the sand, into the trenches of the ocean. A flashback of when he was a boy sprung into the corners of his mind and engulfed his vision with his past.

Fire. Lots of fire. Everywhere.

Blood curdling screams filled the air.

Smoke clouding his sight. Couldn’t see which way to go, what was in front of him.

Adrenaline raced through his body as he searched for someone. My brother. When his eyes landed on his little brother who had lay motionless on the floor, soaked in a pool of blood, Nicolas knew the answer to the awful question that poked at his brain. But as he kneeled, sobbing uncontrollably, Nicolas couldn’t let go. He couldn’t turn away despite the crackling flames that grew higher and bigger, obliterating the house piece by piece. This was his six year old brother, his best friend; the one who he talked and vented to every day, who was the reason he woke up every morning and got out of bed for. His brother meant everything to him, and now he was gone. Now, he had nothing. And now, he didn’t know what to do with his life. How could you spend the rest of your life knowing you could’ve prevented this? How could you live each day in a void that crushed your insides because of this incident?

Nicolas didn’t have the heart to. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t.

But being twelve had its moments of realization. He knew Dirk wouldn’t have wanted him to take his own life because his wasn’t spared, so Nicolas decided to continue and get out of the burning house. Start his life over. Hit the refresh button. Live like any other person in this world.

As Borris circled the burnt village, Nicolas gasped as if oxygen had just reached his lungs. These wounds were old, from a life he tried to bury deep inside his chest, and yet here they were, fresh and scorching every fiber that dared to come near it.

The remains of this place punched him in the throat; he couldn’t continue looking at this tragedy, but he couldn’t bring himself to face the other way. Maybe it was a sign, something the universe whispered in his ear about how this was his destiny.


Thank you kindly.

Geldrid is over thirteen thousand years old, and has many regrets… But this, this was his first in life. And one he will never forget.



Thirteen thousand years old? Wowzers! LOL!

Is immortality a common thing in your story? I have some immortal characters in my story…mainly the main cast…sorta. My immortals are much different because they can live to be trillions of years old, but still die like any common human. Well, most of them aren’t like that.

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Inspirobot used to be an app on my phone.

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Not a common thing, but there are some… Annnd, I don’t want to spoil anything regarding them as there are connections and plot points regarding the few who are immortal.
Like most “Immortal Tropes” they can be fatally killed, and can die from severe wounds and diseases.
Like in The Highlander films “Don’t loose your head…”



Cool. Thanks for sharing.


My immortals can survive after eating nukes.

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