Today, we’re shining the book spotlight on the psychological/paranormal novel, The Unholy thanks to Rebecca’s Writing Services. Paul DeBlassie is an International book awards winner and he shares his motivation to write about his experiences working with trauma survivors in a fiction novel rather than a self-help book.
by Paul DeBlassie
Writing The Unholy was motivated by my work treating survivors of the dark side of religion for over thirty years. The dark side of religion generates a shame-based spirituality, and when people experience the dark side of religion their unconscious minds are profoundly violated. Rather than writing a self-help book for people who have encountered the dark side of religion, I decided to write a novel because images and symbols in fiction affect the unconscious mind in ways that information in nonfiction does not; they move straight into the unconscious mind, while information in nonfiction self-help books stays on the level of the conscious mind. Only by accessing healing images and symbols at the level of the unconscious mind, such as through stories like The Unholy, do people who have been injured by the dark side of religion begin to heal. And as they heal, they are able to free themselves from the effects of a shame-based spirituality and instead embrace a soul-based spirituality.
The Unholy Excerpt
“Help me? Help yourself! Face what is yours to face,” Elizabeth hissed. She yanked the door open then forced it to slam behind her.
Claire stood still for a moment, feeling as if a tornado had swept through the room.
Elizabeth’s demand had left her shaken. She drew a deep breath, then went to her desk and picked up her tea, noticing her trembling hands.
Turning toward the window, Claire say a muscular orderly accompanying Elizabeth to the locked ward at the far end of the hospital compound. A flock of crows circled high overhead, seeming to follow the two receding figures. As they arrived at the outer doors of the locked unit, the orderly reached for his keys. The crows circled while the two crossed the threshold of the unit, Elizabeth suddenly pausing, turning and looking outside, her gaze riveted on the flock of birds.
All but two flew off, disappearing into the pinon-covered hills. The two that remained came to rest on the red brick wall adjacent to the locked unit, their black eyes boring into Elizabeth. She looked panicked then enraged and, shaking a finger at the creatures, yelled something. Her frantic gestures told Claire that she was screeching curses to ward off evil.
Claire took a step back from the window, from the impact of Elizabeth’s rage.
The orderly grabbed Elizabeth roughly by the arm and pulled her inside.
The crows waited, watched, and then flew away.
PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.