I was speaking to someone earlier this week and she commented that she was surprised that I liked (and wrote about) such dark subject matter as post traumatic stress disorder, drug use and recovering from assault since I'm generally a cheerful person and I love happy endings.
It took me by surprise and I wasn't able to put together a satisfying answer. (Um, I guess I'm a weird combination multiple personality freak?) It honestly hadn't occurred to me that the two sides were somehow non-compatible. Because to me, they fit together perfectly. The dark side of the human experience fascinates me. People are subjected to experiences which defy even the most pessimistic imagination. The sort of things which make people legitimately question the existence of any kind of benevolent and omnipotent divinity.
And yet, people also rise above those experiences. Not all of them, which makes me sad and angry that such things are allowed to happen. But some rise to shine after being put through a life so awful that we all would have understood if they'd only wanted to crawl into a hole for the rest of existence. Like Cindi Broaddus, who was horrifically scarred by a jar of acid thrown off an overpass at random. She fought back to regain her health and keep her family together. Or Randy Pausch, who wrote The Last Lecture after being diagnosed with incurable cancer. He talked about how he saw obstacles as methods for proving who was really determined to get to their goals.
I admire people who keep fighting against the odds (regardless of whether or not they succeed) and they give me the strength to keep climbing over the obstacles in my life. That's why I explore people who have been deeply hurt in my writing and show their fight to recover. Life isn't always kind or easy, but it doesn't mean there isn't good in it and those good bits are worth fighting for.