Lying underneath the floorboards of Delphine’s home, he watches her. He doesn’t know why, he doesn’t know anything, but he is compelled to watch. The intimate synergy between someone imprisoned and someone free, but who is trapped in her own dark emotions. This is a story about depression, how tough it is to feel connected and even when there is someone right next to you, how you feel so isolated and alone and helpless.
Welcome to the world of Delphine. I guess. I’m not sure if ‘Welcome’ would be the perfect choice of words for an introduction here. This is continuing my Uncovered series where I look at one of my stories and reveal the inspiration and meaning of it. Here comes the turn of Delphine which has been with me a long, long time.
Delphine is simply a portrayal of depression and this is very personal to me and Delphine is a very personal character to me, because she is probably the rawest form of myself which I have ever put on the page. The concept started with just the simple though of someone constantly watching your entire life and yet you knew nothing about it.
I found this intense, claustrophobic, disturbing and frightening. A powerful and raw piece of writing, I felt I’d been allowed deep inside the thoughts of the central character. The detachment and numbness of depression are portrayed so well here that it’s almost painful, though utterly compelling, to read. – Caroline Wood
What this led to, was the stripping away of all pretences. If you didn’t know you were being watched you wouldn’t play the games of fitting in with society, with trying to keep other’s happy and playing along to accepted norms. The pressure of normal behaviour.
When you are alone you can truly be you. We all have other sides to ourselves that only come out behind closed doors, whether it’s bursting out in to song or scurrying away to a dark corner and crying your heart out. In writing Delphine I took a step back and away from myself to look at myself and what I was going through at that time of my life (depression – no secret there).
Delphine Spoiler Alerts
I tried, as best I could, to look objectively at myself from an external source. That is what is represented by the other character who is watching her every move, getting intimate with her without her every knowing that he is there. Why is he there under the floorboards? That’s the biggest question of all and it is a simple answer. I wanted the character to be in its rawest form, with little comprehension of himself and just clinging to someone else to give him some sense of life, again that being in a feral form. I basically wanted him to be as close to Delphine as he could possibly be without her being aware of him. That had to be in her home where she would literally be stripped bare.
The reaction to Delphine has been fairly mixed. It has been hard to find a lot of readers who have connected with her, which I can full understand, because she is a very dark place. It is a place which not everyone of course, has been to. The people who have connected with the story really connect with what Delphine is feeling and those feelings of depression is the heartbeat of the story. I’m happy with her on a scale that puts her at the top of my list of favourite characters, she resonates loudly in me still.