I’ve been struggling. Stuck between wanting to use my voice and wanting to hide. I often feel angry that the career I choose many years ago forces me to put myself out there—necessary to keep a steady enough flow of clients coming to keep myself financially sound. Anytime you share a part of yourself that feels vulnerable, or valuable, you risk someone taking it the wrong way. You risk someone’s backlash.
The choices I’ve made carry consequences, as do the choices of my readers, you. And lately, I’ve felt the heavy weight of being shamed for the choices I’ve made. I sit and dwell on if I made the right ones, fully aware that my happiness should speak for itself. I try to consider the people who project their dislike and even hate towards me for things they don’t fully understand. Circumstances they have never cared to understand. It makes me sad.
I shared a post a month back, Deeply Dealing, and I received kind messages from friends and some of my family. But I also received unkind messages and comments. It made me want to curl up in the corner and be silent. I didn’t want to write anymore (an issue as an MFA student focusing on creative nonfiction). I didn’t want to share with anyone, not even my friends. In general, I process out loud and this pushed me to internalize.
I’m pretty sure that’s what they wanted to happen.
As a nonfiction writer, I have chosen to write about myself and my personal life and when I do that it means that all the people in my life are part of my story. *Newsflash* sometimes that isn't well received.
Have you ever read a really good memoir and thought, "Wow, that would be really hard to write! I can't imagine writing about my mom/husband/second cousin (whoever it is) like that." Yet the book was really powerful and you respect the writer for their honesty and openness?
Yes, I have read those books too. And I too respect the writer for being so brave.
Right now I am questioning if I can be brave like those writers.
I reached out to Armando, asking him again if he was comfortable with me telling our story, his story. My initial thesis project was writing about what it is like to be a caregiver to someone with cancer AND the process of finding out you or a loved one has cancer. He not only has given me permission to write our story but has encouraged it. I know I don't need his permission, anyone's for that matter, but validation feels good.
If you're struggling with the haters in your life--I feel you.