Dear readers, please note: I have changed names in my Memoirs, in various cases, to protect the innocent — mainly myself!
I also acknowledge that in writing my memoir blogs, I know I can’t avoid hurting my family, relatives and past friends I grew up with. Anything I say at all against their church, or their religion, for example, hurts them.
In fact, just my leaving their religion I grew up in hurt them, as did other choices I needed to make for myself — such as dropping all contact with my family for many years during “the Ervil scare.” I decided back then that if my choices had to do with the safety and well-being of myself and daughter, I had to do what I had to do, even if it hurt them.
But when it comes to things I do that violate their rights or ability to consent, that’s where I try (and sometimes fail) to draw the line. If I need to say something bad about my family because it’s also part of my experience, I’ll try to be vague, keep their names out of it, and not demonize them. I’ll try to keep them humanized.
I was fortunate to have a fairly good family who simply made mistakes. I see any mistakes they made as coming from ignorance and misinformation. We all make mistakes. We wouldn’t be in this world if we were perfect.
None the less, I like what Anne Lamott said, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
I am hoping that by “telling my stories,” I will be helping to make a better world through further enlightening and thus alleviating some of the world’s ignorance and misinformation. In so doing, I can’t help but enlighten myself in the process too — And isn’t that why we’re here: Enlightenment?