In my new novella, "Twice Shy" (thanks, DeAnna, for the title inspiration!) my heroine is haunted by a dog attack that occurred in her childhood. Rebecca Madison's story came from my own experience.
When I was in elementary school I had a half mile walk from the bus stop to my house. Every day a pair of Dobermans would race from their porch to the road, snarling and barking and growling, prompting my neighbor and me to pick up sticks and rocks after we got off the bus in case the dogs attacked us. It was a terrible way to end a school day.
Fortunately, we were never actually attacked, but the fear stuck with me. Even today, as an adult, I have to tamp down my nerves when I walk past a dog that isn't fenced or leashed.
I tended to discount my experience because it didn't end in real trauma, never realizing how much those events affected me as an adult.
So, in Twice Shy, my heroine discounts her trauma because it's not as traumatic as that of the hero, who as a foreign correspondent in a war zone experienced "real" trauma.
What we don't realize is that the human brain doesn't differentiate between degrees of trauma. It's just traumatized, and it responds accordingly until we process the events in a healthy way. One person's "that's dumb" fear is another person's nightmare-inducing phobia.
A little grace and mercy go a long way toward healing, whether we're dealing with ourselves or someone else. That's a good thing to remember, as everyone we meet is dealing with something.
Twice Shy is available now for just 99¢ on Kindle.
Niki Turner is a novelist, journalist, blogger, and the co-owner and editor for the Rio Blanco Herald Times weekly newspaper in northwest Colorado. Niki is also the current president of the ACFW CO-Western Slope chapter.Married 28 years to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of 4 adult children and "Mimi" to 4 grandchildren. She currently has 10 published novellas, all available in collections or individually on Amazon.com. Connect with her at: www.nikiturner.net, Facebook Author Page, @NikiTurner716, Goodreads, Amazon