Welcome back blog readers,
Those of you that have been following my blog, also know that I have written a book about the trauma I endured as a child. Before the book was finished and ready to be published, I made the decision to use a pen name. When you write a book that depicts your family dysfunction to which some family members will not come out smelling like roses; I thought it was best to change their names as well as my own.
I wanted to avoid any possible backlash from family members that may be upset about my truth/experience that I shared as a means of self healing. There are family members that know the truth or some bits of truth, there are others that have no idea and others that I am trying to protect as they are innocent and don’t need to be harassed.
For those of you that are considering writing a memoir, you have two choices. The first is that you get consent from each person you are including and get that consent in writing so they can’t take legal action and file a claim of slander against you after it’s published. The second choice is that you change the names of the those which also includes your own. The name is not as important as their actions that you wish to depict.
Before my book was ready to publish I shared the final draft with my brother because he needed to know what my intention was and I wanted to get his thoughts on my idea before it went public. My brother was fully supportive and read the rough draft to which he found it difficult (emotionally) as it brought many feelings to the surface. Even though it was a difficult read for him, he was able to piece together events that were fragments because he was either too young to understand or information was withheld.
I let my mother know of my intention, but she is unaware of my pen name and the fact that I have a separate Facebook page for that aspect. My mother is supportive of the fact that I found a means of healing and she knows that she was a HUGE factor in abuse that I endured. There is a small part of me that feels that she has paid her dues for her choices and she’s living in her own version of hell; I didn’t want people harassing her and making her miserable life more miserable.
It was not my intention to write my truth to further embarrass my family and bring more shame. I was not responsible for the choices the adults made on my behalf, and if their actions make them look bad, I can’t help that. My book is personal, it was my creative outlet that allowed me the opportunity to move past the mental blocks and helped me to make sense of how the actions of others really had an effect on me.
I know I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it; my book was not written with the intention to become rich/famous or hurt anyone. It was my hope that in coming forward that I could encourage others to come forward, leave their toxic relationship, start healing, and seek justice for their trauma.
It was never my intention to share my accomplishment (if you want to call it that) with anyone in my family besides my brother. Earlier today I broke character (so to speak) and shared the information with my Uncle. For those that have read my book, the same uncle that is four years older than me. Will he read it? I don’t know. I’ve never had any ill feelings toward him, so I hope he can be objective should he be curious enough to read my book.
I kept second guessing myself as to whether I should bring it up or not. I typed it out, then deleted the message, then retyped it and sent it trying to gauge his reaction. Even now, I’m starting to regret sharing that bit of information, but it’s too late now. I’m sure it won’t be easy for him to read the not so nice things about his mother and his older sister (my mother). What’s done is done and those events took place 30 years ago. Who knows, maybe he’ll finally learn what really took place as his mother (my grandmother) was never 100% honest and liked to cover things up and play the victim.
Honesty is the best policy, right? ~ Hannah