Every child suffers from the volcanic eruptions and residue of their parental relationships. I was no different. Every child finds a way to cope. Amid my many many unhealthy coping mechanisms, there was one extremely healthy one. Reading. It was my escape, my solace when situations at home were not favourable.
It is the reason I love fiction so much with its endless possibilities. It is also the reason why I love dark fiction so much with its ability to keep me grounded, and pragmatic. That is not to say that I am not an emotional rollercoaster on most days! But it provides me with the getaway I need. In a fight or flight response, reading is my way of taking flight.
When things were hard, confusing, volatile and not in my control, there was a certain comfort and assurance in escaping into the world of Harry Potter where the anxiety of being chased by Voldemort seemed so much larger and graver than what I was going through. The strength, resilience and willingness of not just Harry, Ron and Hermoine but every one of J. K. Rowling’s characters, subconsciously taught me so much. The grey-ness of our lives being one of the most important lessons learnt.
There were obviously other authors that I read during that period too, however, few have had the impact that she did. If I had to name a few, Daphne Du Maurier, Paulo Coelho, Khaled Hosseini, Jane Austen, a few mystery and thriller writers and many of the classic authors are those that come to mind. It is difficult to note down these life lessons because they are so inherent in my personality now.
When I look back at my difficult times, amongst all my closest friends who helped build my protection shield, I also had the world of Harry Potter to fall back on when I needed solace.