My daydream characters have such messed up lives!

Anyone else have a totally normal life with not much in the way of bad things happening to them, but have characters who have been through the most unbelievably awful things that can happen to a person?

Except for my alter ego, who has the same normal life as I have, the rest of them have had really messed up lives.

So far, my characters are a pair of sociopathic sisters who tried to kill eachother several times as children, one stole the other's husband (and then manipulated him into getting their daughter pregnant so she could steal the baby), they abuse their kids, except for one sister loves her oldest kid in a creepy, unhealthy way, but is absolutely awful to her other two. They both joined a cult, out of trying to one up eachother in being religious to impress a religious boy they both had eyes on (he is now married to one of them, has kids with both and a few other people too, and is deep in the cult. He also abuses his kids when he is angry). One is currently claiming to be pregnant with the second coming of Jesus, has been for nearly 3 years, and is desperately trying to find a way out. My 8 month pregnant character is afraid she is going to steal her baby (especially as she is the same daughter who was tied to a bed and forced to carry her father's children for her parents to steal, but then was rescued a few months before they were born)

Most of their kids are regular characters, and experienced awful things under their parents control. Luckily they are all safe now-Lisa's three kids are adults now, and they all moved far away from her. Sally's oldest was rescued before her babies were due, and was helped to live a normal life with them and adapt to life in the real world by their extended family and someone who used to know her family before things got crazy. The other kids were adopted by relatives, including my alter ego! Other than the baby stealing plot, Lisa pretty much kept her daughters as slaves and never even sent them to school, they didn't know how to read until they were 19, but has an unhealthy relationship with her son because he reminds her of his father. Sally punished her least favourite child by having her uterus removed (and she tried to have it put into herself so she could carry on having more babies, but her plan failed), because she wanted to ruin her chances of marriage and have nobody ever want her, as the cult they were in sees having loads of kids as very important because they want to outbreed regular people and control the world. The others were neglected in a filthy house and hardly fed because their parents were paranoid that the world was going to end today so cleaning wasn't important, all they did was hide upstairs and pray while their kids went feral. When their parents did pay attention to them, it was by hitting them, locking them in a closet for days and yelling at them about how they are all going to die. Jason got it pretty good with Lisa, but he spent weekends with his father and aunt Sally, who hated him because he was evidence of his past sin, Jason was forbidden to even call his father dad, and was abused just as much as their other kids.

I have a pair of abandoned kids, their parents were controlling so they ran away from home, regretted it, but by the time they had come back, their parents had moved on and pretended they didn't exist. Luckily they were taken in by my alter ego, and later adopted by a couple who treat them well.

Then there is Alyssa, who comes from a horribly dysfunctional family-her father is an alcoholic, her mother does drugs, and her siblings all have their own issues. She was molested by her dad's friend, and her parents let it happen as long as he paid them for it so they could feed their addictions. The story really starts for her when her father gets drunk and angry and beats her, then she ends up in a coma and wakes up with psychic powers.

I also have another even worse cult (well, more just one family) who live in a cabin far out in the woods. They have brainwashed their kids from being toddlers into being weird childlike slaves (they are all adults at the time this happens), the father hears voices in his head that he thinks are from God, starts to believe he is some kind of prophet, then the parents kill themselves believing they would resurrect, and the kids are stuck there waiting for it to happen, not knowing what to do as they have never been without their parents telling them what to do before. Eventually they are found by someone walking their dog. The main character from my daydream is a writer (as well as paranormal investigator), and writes for a magazine about weird events and the paranormal, and she comes across this story and goes out to meet these people.

And yet I am perfectly normal and have never experienced any of these things-I think it is influenced by my interest in cults.

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oh yeah, same. most of my characters are pretty messed up, like abandoned by their parents and things. since we are pretty normal (so it seems) maybe we just need to let the crazy out :D

Yes me too.  Crazy horrible things and destroyed lives and lots of pain.  Though that's not all that's there- sometimes I get lost in the scenes that are happy too. 

As to why...  Part of it is just stuff you are interested in.  You are interested in cults, so there you go.  I'll often read about something and then think that is neat and want to incorporate it into my daydream, and often I have to come up with some really crazy plot to make it there.  If you want to daydream about cults, you can't have a cast of well-adapted perfectly healthy characters because they wouldn't join a cult.  I've done stuff like that.  When I was studying microbiology, I ended up in a focused study group that worked with infectious disease in patients with amputations.  So in my daydream, naturally  I had to give one of my characters gangrene.  At that same time in my life, I was a hobby hiker and climber, so naturally I had to make one of my characters an awesome mountaineer.  Then the two combined, and I'm sure you can imagine all sorts of horribly graphic and exciting (and deeply disturbing) plots that resulted to explain how you could end up with a mountaineer getting amputations under conditions conducive to gangrene.  When I explain it this way, it makes sense that it happened.  But if I just consider that here I am, staying in bed all morning imaging in extreme detail a fantasy of graphic and painful traumatic injury, amputation and gangrenous rotting stumps- well I find myself wondering if I'm mad.


One thing I did when I realized how dark many of my daydreams were was to think about what aspect of them it was that interested me.  Emotionally, I mean.  Not just the subject matter, but why did it appeal to me to create these characters with horrible tragedy in their lives?  I came to a lot of conclusions, but eventually I realized that a common thread of all my plots and interactions was that I am very interested in intimacy between people and how this brings out their vulnerabilities and commitments.  It wasn't so much the terrible things that interested me, but rather how my characters responded to one another's sufferings and joys and how it affected their relationships.  This is what I want to feel.  Once I realized this, it made me feel a lot better. I mean, this is basically what all drama is about- the terrible things in the plot are just vehicles to get to the intimacy between the characters.


Your motivations and interests might be totally different, but since your descriptions sound similar to mine, I'll ask you the question that I asked myself to arrive at this conclusion.

Does anything terrible ever happen to your characters that is not either witnessed by another significant character or later revealed to that other significant character?

Like I said, it might be different for you, but for me, I realized that even though I've been daydreaming for YEARS, the answer to this question has always been no.  So, like you, I've had characters exploited by adults during their childhoods.  I've had people tortured and brainwashed and all that.  But I never just imagine the dark stuff alone.  Either someone witnesses it and this results in some bond with the abused character (revealing a vulnerability, leading to intimacy/trust/love, etc) or else the character gets to brood about it and carry it with him/her until he/she gets to a point in life where he/she can share it with another person and have that same effect (vulnerability and intimacy and trust, etc).  

So it's not just that I like to picture terrible things.

I don't know which is more embarrassing though.  The fact that I spend a lot of time thinking about horrible things or the fact that I do this out of some deep desire for intimacy.  Both are weird in real life since I'm actually a nice person with lots of close relationships.  The mind is a bizarre playground.

 

I'm quoting this part from Emma because it is the same for me. My main alter ego has been sold to a ship, raped, rescued but taken on as a slave, abused by her masters, fell in love with another slave, got pregnant, finally managed to escape and not knowing what else to do, she is now back in service on another ship, with a hardly better status. Beneath all this there is still a war going on, with both ships she served either fighting in the war or trying to survive it and make some living out of scavenging stuff. 

I'm interested in the intimacy this fosters between people but also how people survive that kind of things and I think human connection is primordial in any case. Interactions between characters and what happens within the characters themselves. Sometimes I will make up a secondary character to have a short interaction with my primary then daydream the scene from that secondary's POV. Or sometimes a secondary starts playing a much bigger role I hadn't see coming.

Recently I've also become very interested in my character's kid, since he grows up in a world that is rather brutal but he's basically a good kid. I had a thing for her captors too for a while. I like to really get into the head of people who enact such brutality on others without flinching, I want to understand how that is possible and how they reason, what makes them do such things.

The thing I always think about is that it's only very recently that humans (especially women) have been able to have lives like we live, where we are actually independent beings (so not belonging to either a husband or a father) and lives relatively free of war and disease. The sort of lives I describe still exists in some parts of the world. So it is "dark" but maybe it is simply the rest of the stories of our culture that are too light. 

Anyhow, I've been told before that I have a "toxic idea" of what constitutes an "interesting" relationship. Boy meets girl stories bore me to tears, I need some drama or some sharp edge to it. To be honest I tend to be a bit of a white knight in real life too.


Emma said:

  I came to a lot of conclusions, but eventually I realized that a common thread of all my plots and interactions was that I am very interested in intimacy between people and how this brings out their vulnerabilities and commitments.  It wasn't so much the terrible things that interested me, but rather how my characters responded to one another's sufferings and joys and how it affected their relationships.  This is what I want to feel.  Once I realized this, it made me feel a lot better. I mean, this is basically what all drama is about- the terrible things in the plot are just vehicles to get to the intimacy between the characters.

[...]

I mean, this is basically what all drama is about- the terrible things in the plot are just vehicles to get to the intimacy between the characters.

Reading this thread inspired me to add some "messed up" elements to my own world. Before it was a world that was almost completely devoid of drama and I was starting to get stuck in a rut - I've been focusing on the same group of characters for the past 2 years, after all. But I didn't want to get a new group of characters, because I love my current group too much. So my solution was to add drama, and lots of it!

I have to say, it has worked wonders for my world - I find it much more exciting than I did before! Part of me wants to keep introducing new characters, just so I can mess up their lives even more. Hehehe... >:)

In regards to how messed up characters' lives can get, well, my reaction is more "pass the popcorn" than "I think I'm going to be sick"! Though that's probably because I have always been drawn to "dark" stories. Your alter ego's "horrific" experience actually sounds kind of... well.. erotic to me, if I am to be completely honest. You may have just inspired a new daydream scenario for me! Hahaha!

Yanne said:

I was thinking the same thing!  LOL

I don't know if I have the heart to mess up my sessions so much to just give my alter-ego a horrific experience to go through and stick with it.  I tried doing it only one time in my life. 

DD:  I was taken hostage by a backwoods madman (played by a celebrity who I won't name) who kept me in a cage inside his shack and impregnated me and made me give birth only to discard the children (yes, plural) that I bore him.  If I wasn't in the cage, I was tied to a radiator.  After much mental and physical abuse, I escaped.  I ran back in to town wearing only my underwear and was picked up by a man I nearly dated before my abduction.  He took me in and tried to soothe me back in to a normal life again.

After having this DD, I would feel sick.  I stopped having it after a couple of weeks as opposed to my normal several months to a few years like other scenarios seem to last for.  This one just made me want to puke all the time even know I was giving myself a happy ending.

Yikes... Your imagination is so vivid that for a moment I had to re-read the thread and make sure we weren't talking about, you know, an actual kidnapping! Out of curiosity (you don't have to answer if you don't want to) what caused you to start having such a twisted daydream, and why did you feel the need to keep going back to it even though it was making you sick?

Yanne said:

Erotic is what I was hoping for.  It's just the baby-killing and other things got in the way of it.

The famous celebrity who I used another name for within my session did many sexual things with me, but he also included making me witness the murder of his only neighbour who suspected he was holding someone captive, only to get me to clean up the blood afterward.  He never once allowed me a moment to be untied, even to clean myself up or go to the bathroom, which he witnessed all the time.  More often than not I was very grimy.  Otherwise, I lived in a dog cage that was cramped and I had no choice but to lie curled up, while his own dog had the run of the house. 

The only way I felt comfort, ironically enough, was to have vivid thoughts of the man back home who would keep me company almost the way an imaginary friend would.  Picturing his face is what got me through the sex with my captor.

I was tied with rope at one point and my captor left, and I managed to smear dog food on the rope and the dog chewed at it, weakening the ties so I could break free.  He was at work, and would have returned anytime, but I left the shack in my underwear, and took his dog with me running through the woods away from the shack finding a way to a main road where I could flag down any vehicle.

If you can use it, by all means, please do.  I hope you have better luck with it than I did.



Cruel Ella said:

In regards to how messed up characters' lives can get, well, my reaction is more "pass the popcorn" than "I think I'm going to be sick"! Though that's probably because I have always been drawn to "dark" stories. Your alter ego's "horrific" experience actually sounds kind of... well.. erotic to me, if I am to be completely honest. You may have just inspired a new daydream scenario for me! Hahaha!

Yanne said:

I was thinking the same thing!  LOL

I don't know if I have the heart to mess up my sessions so much to just give my alter-ego a horrific experience to go through and stick with it.  I tried doing it only one time in my life. 

DD:  I was taken hostage by a backwoods madman (played by a celebrity who I won't name) who kept me in a cage inside his shack and impregnated me and made me give birth only to discard the children (yes, plural) that I bore him.  If I wasn't in the cage, I was tied to a radiator.  After much mental and physical abuse, I escaped.  I ran back in to town wearing only my underwear and was picked up by a man I nearly dated before my abduction.  He took me in and tried to soothe me back in to a normal life again.

After having this DD, I would feel sick.  I stopped having it after a couple of weeks as opposed to my normal several months to a few years like other scenarios seem to last for.  This one just made me want to puke all the time even know I was giving myself a happy ending.

Whew, OK, you scared me for a minute. Your DD sounded so realistic that I thought you were describing actual abuse! Then I felt bad because I called it "erotic", which is just about the worst thing you can say to someone who has experienced it IRL... I'm relieved to know that it was a scenario you made up.

I agree that anger can be sexy. In one particular scene from a recent DD of mine, two characters get into a physical fight that ultimately leads up to intercourse.

Yanne said:

No need to worry.  It's just my MD acting up. :)

The only thing I can think of is that my chosen male celebrity has an anger about him that he applies in his films so it was easy to put him in the character of "Phil".  I know, kind of a safe name, sounding a bit like someone responsible, right?  I chose that name because it's so adverse.  You might expect a Darren or a Mick to be out there in the shack, but Phil sounds like a dentist's name, which is why I thought it would be interesting.

Since my celebrity - who looks and easily takes on roles of angry guys - was put in place, I have to admit there is a strange sexiness about him.  Anger+sexy= there you go....

I did include him in one brief scenario a long time ago where he was an ex-convict and got out of jail after 20 years only to move in next door to me and my loving little family, where he slipped in to tendencies of causing harm.  Broke in to my house and tried to kill my husband.  Stuff like that.  But I wondered once, "How awful can I make my thoughts go?"  It turned out, pretty awful.  There was rape, abuse, forced unwanted activity of all sorts.  It was just brutal.  I think I was testing my mind to see how bad I could make it.  Most times, I travel to exotic places as a wandering gypsy.  Then this??  Anyway, I think that's why I created it to begin with, and how just starting with one celebrity who could fit the profile of a madman made it a bit easier.  And since I find him sexy, it made rape and sex scenes not so difficult to imagine without being truly scared or sick.  It was all the other awful things that I pushed the envelope about that bothered me.  Needless to say, I don't go back there anymore.  I got to see how far I could take it and now I know.



Cruel Ella said:

Yikes... Your imagination is so vivid that for a moment I had to re-read the thread and make sure we weren't talking about, you know, an actual kidnapping! Out of curiosity (you don't have to answer if you don't want to) what caused you to start having such a twisted daydream, and why did you feel the need to keep going back to it even though it was making you sick?

Yanne said:

Erotic is what I was hoping for.  It's just the baby-killing and other things got in the way of it.

The famous celebrity who I used another name for within my session did many sexual things with me, but he also included making me witness the murder of his only neighbour who suspected he was holding someone captive, only to get me to clean up the blood afterward.  He never once allowed me a moment to be untied, even to clean myself up or go to the bathroom, which he witnessed all the time.  More often than not I was very grimy.  Otherwise, I lived in a dog cage that was cramped and I had no choice but to lie curled up, while his own dog had the run of the house. 

The only way I felt comfort, ironically enough, was to have vivid thoughts of the man back home who would keep me company almost the way an imaginary friend would.  Picturing his face is what got me through the sex with my captor.

I was tied with rope at one point and my captor left, and I managed to smear dog food on the rope and the dog chewed at it, weakening the ties so I could break free.  He was at work, and would have returned anytime, but I left the shack in my underwear, and took his dog with me running through the woods away from the shack finding a way to a main road where I could flag down any vehicle.

If you can use it, by all means, please do.  I hope you have better luck with it than I did.



Cruel Ella said:

In regards to how messed up characters' lives can get, well, my reaction is more "pass the popcorn" than "I think I'm going to be sick"! Though that's probably because I have always been drawn to "dark" stories. Your alter ego's "horrific" experience actually sounds kind of... well.. erotic to me, if I am to be completely honest. You may have just inspired a new daydream scenario for me! Hahaha!

Yanne said:

I was thinking the same thing!  LOL

I don't know if I have the heart to mess up my sessions so much to just give my alter-ego a horrific experience to go through and stick with it.  I tried doing it only one time in my life. 

DD:  I was taken hostage by a backwoods madman (played by a celebrity who I won't name) who kept me in a cage inside his shack and impregnated me and made me give birth only to discard the children (yes, plural) that I bore him.  If I wasn't in the cage, I was tied to a radiator.  After much mental and physical abuse, I escaped.  I ran back in to town wearing only my underwear and was picked up by a man I nearly dated before my abduction.  He took me in and tried to soothe me back in to a normal life again.

After having this DD, I would feel sick.  I stopped having it after a couple of weeks as opposed to my normal several months to a few years like other scenarios seem to last for.  This one just made me want to puke all the time even know I was giving myself a happy ending.

When you're acting out these scenarios, what are you doing? Do you lie on your bed and do this? Do you make facial expressions, pace etc?

I tend to lie in bed but I make the facial expressions and I mutter dialogues somewhat. Unless I'm sleeping next to someone, then I can totally turn off the mimicking and just lie still, as if I was asleep. 

Canna said:

When you're acting out these scenarios, what are you doing? Do you lie on your bed and do this? Do you make facial expressions, pace etc?

Lately mine have taken a dark twist.

Sally, my psychopath character, who is currently faking a pregnancy, stalked one of my other characters when she was heavily pregnant, including showing up at the hospital to visit the baby when he was born. She didn't even want to steal him, she just wanted to taunt her because she has spent the past nine months in fear that she is plotting that. She already has a secret surrogate lined up, who is due in a few months. Ive given her a backstory too, of course we all know that Sally would not go about it the legal and normal way, then people would know. She is in a cult, and she paid another family to give them their daughter, who looks like her. Nobody would notice the girl (who is about 19) is missing, they live out in the middle of nowhere, isolate themselves, and their cult generally doesn't register births and flies under the radar. They plan on using her for that for as long as possible.

Also Alyssa is having some trouble right now-her abusive parents are involved in criminal activity to feed their addictions. She thought she would be safe now she is living with her friend's parents after her father tried to kill her and she discovered she has psychic powers. Shes just getting to grips with her powers, and cannot control them at all. Now her parents (who were bailed out of jail) and a group of their dodgy friends kidnapped Alyssa's older sister, her baby, and her youngest siblings, who were split between the two oldest sisters when their parents were arrested for beating Alyssa. Now my three main characters-Alyssa, Caitlyn and Finn, Alyssa's oldest sister Maya, the kidnapped sister's boyfriend and a few members of the movement that was inspired by her somewhat political acts of vandalism in their town, have to save Abby and the kids.

This may be a bit hard, because although Maya is 25 and the boyfriend is 19, Alyssa is 15 (and has just recovered from major injuries) and Finn and Caitlyn are 14. The others are somewhere between 15 and 18 too. At least they have Alyssa's powers on their side, even though the only times so far she has been able to use them is destroying alarm clocks (she is not a morning person and they end up smashed) and making lightbulbs pop, electrical things malfunction and things to fly off walls when she is mad. She also once knocked someone over with it, and knocked a bookcase over onto her abusive dad.

That's exactly how it's always worked for me. Tons of hardship and pain in my MCs life. Father left her mother when she was little, lived in poverty. Her mother remarried to a guy she totally adopted as her real father and they just recently broke up. Physically abused by her aunt, sexually abused by one of the villains, who turned her into a killing machine for the war for which she's basically become the only hope for the "good" side while her peers are dying. And as for me, my life is boring as heck, and that's why my MD probably started whenever it did around the beginning of elementary school. I probably wouldn't want my MCs life, but I think I prefer excitement to monotony.

Oh my goodness. Thank you.

I have been looking for this post since I joined this site.

Yes, I am a COMPLETELY normal person who has had hardly anything bad happen to me. Ever. And I daydream about horrible things, about people being physically, sexually, and psychologically abused. It has actually always been this way, from the time I was a kid, when I would DD about people being sold into slavery or in a war, all bad things.

Since joining this site a year ago, I have felt a little out of place among people who have really rough lives, and DD about a fantasy world where they can escape. That is basically the opposite for me.

In the interest of full disclosure, though, my DD are not 100% bad. It is normally good people in a bad situation, and the bad things are interspersed with moments of sacrifice and love. Normally it is the version of myself being cared for. For example, if I DD that I was horribly abused, after that I would DD about being cared for. Once my character feels comfortable and happy again for a period of time, normally, something else bad will happen. It is a pretty twisted cycle. I know that. I am honestly embarrassed to be writing about it. It's just good to know that I am not the only one who DD in this manner, even if our experiences are slightly different.

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