To write a memoir or not write a memoir?

In my previous post, I mentioned about writing a memoir. There are so many things that go into writing a memoir:

  • Who am I writing it for?
  • What’s it’s purpose?
  • Who would be in it?
  • What time would it surround?
  • Who could be offended?
  • Who would approve/disapprove?

Other questions often go through my mind as well:

  • What if it’s not interesting enough?
  • what if people do not like it?
  • What if I do not like it?
  • Will I regret it after I click submit?
  • Will I be too vulnerable after I write it?
  • Is it worth it, to open up?

Among other questions and concerns. I certainly go through many more thoughts than just those listed. Which is why I go back and forth.

Telling my story to people, just in general conversation-a lot of people are impressed that I have made it well for myself. They often tell me that I have a lot to offer other people that would help them through their situations. I once worked with a friend who was going to school for neuro psych. She needed volunteers to run thru her tests/study. I said sure without knowing the full details but she had me in mind to begin with because of my family history vs my personal being, etc. These were general tests, almost like IQ tests. She told me, “I think you would be good for the study because of your background.” And of course, as I mentioned in my last post-my 9th grade English teacher said that I should write one.

I came from a broken home. My father left when I was about 3. There was question of him doing some inappropriate things, however-I do not know him, so I cannot speak on that. Eventually my mother re-married. My step-father had 4 boys. One of which did something inappropriate with my sister. The other, sexually assaulted me when I was 7 (he was about 18). My step-father physically choked my mother. We spent 3 months in a Woman’s and Children’s Shelter. Only to leave and one morning my mother woke us up from a deep sleep, we took the city bus to the greyhound station to take another bus 5-6-7 hours to my step-fathers house in another state. They would fight, we would move back to our home state-the wound make up, we wound move back with my step-father; fight and leave, make up and go back. Back and forth, multiple times. In fact, I was held back in the SAME year at the two schools; the teacher in my home state said it was because I was “missing too much school” (though I wasn’t); the one in my step-father’s state said it was because they “couldn’t understand me”.

By the way, I was born with cleft lip & cleft palate. I was a preemie, I had about 15/16 surgeries from about 6 weeks until I was about 18. I had a rhinoplasty (nose job) when I was 14. So I looked physically different from my peers. I had/have a speech impediment. I was suicidal from about 9 until I was about 13 years old. I was suspended from school 3 times; including fighting with a boy. I was physically assaulted in middle school, while the teacher was present and did nothing to stop it.

I eventually did go to high school, I managed to go to 4 different high schools in a year and a half (my mother called herself a gypsy). I, however, never felt like I fit in. I eventually dropped out of high school; took my GED. Moved on the other side of the country without a job or perm place to live-by myself. Sooner or later-I made my way into college-eventually graduating Nursing School and now I’m a nurse that travels.

My mother had a mental illness, often self medicated with alcohol. Won a large amount of money at BINGO, bought a bar, lost the bar. Was never physically abusive but had her share of being emotionally abusive/manipulative.

Every now and again, I read on a cleft lip/palate board of someone struggling. Struggling with life. Wanting to give up. Hating people. Hating themselves. Hating the way they look. Hating the way they sound. Hating the way people are treating them. Not being able to see the bigger picture in life. That life can be good. When I read things like that, I want to write the memoir. But I think will those types even read it?


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