I used to read horror stories. I went through a Stephen King phase. My favorite book of his was actually one of his less horrorble: The Eye of the Dragon. But I didn’t read a ton of his.
I also, at around that same time, was reading Koontz. Man, that dude can write some creepy stuff. Dean Koontz is very good at getting inside your head and giving you the heebie jeebies. I still sometimes think about his book Whispers and it’s been 20 years or so since I read it. I only read a few of his books as well.
The reason is that while I was reading these types of books I could feel the sad and the bad seeping out into my day to day life. I was less happy and more gloomy.
So I quit.
And that was a good call.
Now, every once in a while I’ll nudge up against the darker stories. Heather Graham does some that are labeled as romance, but are a bit darker and usually have a creepy scary plot. Not alway horror or gruesome, but sometimes.
Another author who writes darker stories (still with my romance requirement) that I like is Sharon Sala.
But I can only do a little of those before I have to scamper back to my more sunny place.
I do the same thing with info on the Internet. I know that bad things happen in the world. I don’t hide my head in the sand. But I cannot stand to be fully informed of the details of many of the terrible things that go down out there.
There are things, like abuse, that collectively we need to know about and bring out into the light of day. But once the light has been brought, then the specifics of a trial and divorce are private to the parties involved and are not my business. Reading about the evidence and everyone’s opinion about who did what and the haranguing and caterwauling about a situation that is already bad enough is more than my little heart can take.
If I thought that it was important or useful for me to have that information, I would do so. But these are not things that happen near me, to people I know (except as famous folk), and nothing I do in any way can effect the outcome. So I feel that my absorbing this darkness does no one any good and, in fact, does me harm.
I have seen abuse and violence in real life. It’s part of why I am so sensitive to it. So I shield myself from as much of it as I am able to.