How can I write honestly even though it may hurt feelings?

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  1. profile image0
    Baileybearposted 13 years ago

    My hubs are memoir about personal experiences.  In some, family aren't portrayed in the most attractive light.  I have tried to be objective, but I am aware of hurt feelings. 

    How do I get around this?

    The hub that tackles this delicate issue the most is my one on religious abuse. 

    My sister pointed out it may hurt our parents feelings because of the things they said or did that I refer to.

    1. akirchner profile image93
      akirchnerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I agree to a certain extent but I have written things as well about very personal troubling experiences.  I try to do it in a kind way or a 'from my perspective' kind of way and emphasize that good folks do bad things sometimes without meaning to - we all do.  I also feel free to express myself because all these issues HAVE been discussed within my family before (not always pleasantly but not everyone agrees all the time).  I go by the premise that my writing is perhaps going to help someone else go through a difficult issue or figure out alternatives.  There is a time for being honest and a time for hiding feelings but I have never found the latter to be very beneficial to anyone since they usually come out somewhere along the way.  Good luck with your writing - it is a tough issue when you want to express yourself but not hurt those you care about.

    2. Doctor  Love 69 profile image61
      Doctor Love 69posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with everyone else who suggested using a new name.  Open a new account.  Even if someone knows your writing style they still won't be able to actually prove it is you.  Don't censor yourself!
      If you open more than one account under different names there is no way to prove with one hundred percent accuracy that the writer of the material on the multiple accounts is you.
      Someone might THINK there is a way but they will not be able to prove anything with 100% certainty.
      After all, there are only so many stories in the world; there are only so many words in the English language and there are a lot of people in every city in every country.
      if anyone THINKS they recognize you under the new name--simply deny, deny, deny and do your own thing.  Anyone can say anything but proving it without a shadow of a doubt is another matter entirely.  (You know what they say about people who assume.) Again, open new accounts and do not censor yourself.

    3. ceciliabeltran profile image65
      ceciliabeltranposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      If you're hurting people's feelings then you are telling something they know to be true but don't want to be accountable for.

      Also, that perhaps you write it with blame and with no accountability.

      So its not about not being honest with your writing, but with yourself as well.

      Anytime you feel the need to blame, ask yourself how you allowed somebody to treat you that way or why whatever it is that they do bothers you.

      By validating other people's psychic needs and yours, you will be able to show compassion despite your disapproval.

  2. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    You could start again under a different name, and write the stuff that may hurt someone under that name.  Then don't tell anyone the new name.  You could either leave the non-problem Hubs up under your present name; or transfer them to the new name.  I don't write anything about anyone in my life that they don't already know what I think about it.  (Bad grammar there, but you know what I mean.. )

    1. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I guess I want them to understand where I'm coming from, even though it may hurt their feelings.  but then there are some topics that I don't think I could write about at all unless they didn't know

      1. profile image0
        Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        can I start a different name under the same email?  Or do I need to use a different email address?  I have temporarily removed the "sensitive" hub.  There are others I'd like to write about, but don't want my family knowing, as very senstive topics (stuff about me they don't know)

        1. LaMamaLoli profile image59
          LaMamaLoliposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I know exactly how you feel, I have the same problem, but I'm not ready to do it yet. I would choose a new name, get an email address under that name and start a new account with that. It may not matter but that way if anyone searches for you under your real name it won't pick up your new name hubs - do you get what I mean? I am probably paranoid but that what I would do!

          1. profile image0
            Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            good idea

        2. Slainia profile image60
          Slainiaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          This is something I've wondered about almost daily, ever since I created my website. My family, or more specifically my birth mother, reads the site, but my dad, who doesn't know about the sexual issues, doesn't. The thought that he may find it some day scares me, and yet - that's part of what being a writer is, isn't it?
          It's incredibly painful, but... Well, there may be one or two things you can do? I think.  A disclaimer of sorts at the top of the hub stating that these are your personal views, and specifically ones you've given a great deal of thought to? (this is of course assuming yous tuck with the one account.)
          Note: I'm not saying to apologize. If its abuse, then speaking out about it may be something important for you.
          The thing is, just because it's abuse, doesn't mean it was done with malicious intent.  For something like this, given how complicated religion is, maybe it would be good for them to read about it - a way of...healing, moving on for all of you. A lot of that would depend on your relationship wiht your family, but it sounds like you care about them a great deal.

          Anyway, I'm sorry for the wall of text. This probably doesn't even make sense, but the only other thing l can suggest - if there are still positive emotions, show those too. I hope it helps somehow, Bailey. Good luck.

          1. profile image0
            Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            I guess it makes me think about why we write such intimate stuff on the internet in the first place.  I am a private person that wishes to remain so.  Yet I know my stories might help some people.  And perhaps purging is healing, not just on pages kept hidden away?  Is that why people blog intimate things in a public forum?

            There is some stuff that family don't know about me.  I'd like to write about it.   But I wonder why I need to do that?  I've already written for myself. 

            I've considered writing a memoir book, but there's too much stuff that I don't feel comfortable sharing where I can be identified easily.

            1. Slainia profile image60
              Slainiaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              That's what it is for me, Bailey. but then you have to remember, I lived in shame and secrecy for pretty much... the last 24 years. For me being open and saying here l am, this is why l did things l'm not proud of, and this is what happened - that makes me feel ike it matters. I can't take away the pain, or make the things people did to hurt me not matter, or go back and erase my mistakes, but l can learn from how l handle them, and as you said, let others know they're not alone. It happens - bringing it out from the shadows makes that less likely, less painful in a sense.
              By the sounds of it a 2nd account would work well - allow you to get it out there, but keep some anonymity.
              also - my lasting hope is that parents, if they read me or any fo my work on childhood sexuality (funny calling it work btw) is that they can approach the concept of child sexuality without layering on the shame or embarrassment. Anyway. Sorry for the soap box.. l should probably sleep now.

              1. profile image0
                Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                would I need to change some details so not instantly recognisable should someone I know stumble across it and recognise it and then read the other stories?  Or am I just being paranoid?

                I guess I find the process therapeutic, yet I know family would not be able to handle some topics, and I guess I don't really want them to know everything about me in detail.   Even what I've read already is probably quite big for them to digest.

                1. Slainia profile image60
                  Slainiaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  I can't answer that directly. I do know that might help with a sense of objectivity for you; in other words, change the names, and other non-essential details. Start a new account with a completely different style of user name, post a bio about what youre' writing about, and go from there. Just remember - you can protect your family, and in mnay ways tehres something special about doing that. But you can't lock them away from reality. They may find out about it some other way; ask yourself the question "is it my responsibility to protect them from this?" Was it something they may need to face? If it is, I would say post it and just dont' tell them. Or, perhaps find another site you can post on, if you want to go that route (the second account works too, but it to me would get draining after a while. Like living a double life of sorts.). They're adults, tho - that's all I mean.

                2. Polly C profile image91
                  Polly Cposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  Change the names...that's my advice, otherwise you will forever be worrying about it. It is the content that is important. Even published authors who write memoirs often do not disclose the true identities of the characters.

            2. Polly C profile image91
              Polly Cposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Writing is one of the best ways for expressing your innermost feelings and thoughts. It can help you to release negative feelings carried deep inside you, even if your writing is not being read by those involved. If you feel that writing about certain things will help you, or other people then that is your reason for wanting to write your memoirs on here.

              As for opening a second account so that you, as the author, remain anonymous to the people in your life you may wish to include in your writing, that almost definitely that is the path to take. Not only will it protect your family from being hurt, but it will give you free reign to write whatever you want, in the way that you want, without constantly wanting to monitor it, or hold back.  I don't like people I know reading a lot of my writing even though it isn't about them, as it can make me feel self-conscious.

              Good luck with your writing smile

            3. Lisa HW profile image63
              Lisa HWposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              I do much what akirchner said above - present things with the idea that we all make mistakes, or the idea that I know people didn't intend to do some things (that kind of thing).  That has let me write the story while leaving out pretty much all of the more "innermost thoughts" type of things because there's no way I'd want anyone in this world knowing them.  The negative consequence to that is I'll tell one story or another (and a true one) without really telling that "innermost-thoughts" aspect of it.  That pretty much amounts to a "just-the-facts-M'aam" kind of story, even if I present it as if it's more than that.  Not very satisfying for me.

              When it comes down to it, I'm very skilled (in non-writing life and in writing life) at coming across as someone who shares all kinds of "inner-most thoughts" while, in reality, being someone who shares only "surface stuff" and a few "innermost things" that I don't care about anyway.  As a result, after all these years of using this "skill", I pretty much feel like my head is going to explode.

              I vote, "Go with the fake name and fake e.mail and write what you need to write."  You can even let readers know you're writing under a pen name if that helps you feel like you're not "pretending to be someone else".

        3. psycheskinner profile image80
          psycheskinnerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          You can easily get a new email address and start again.  A pen name means you can be honest and help others--but you aren't "gossiping" about identifiable people in a way that their family, friends and employers might see.

  3. fordy1124 profile image61
    fordy1124posted 13 years ago

    how do you send links to other sites anyone help me please

  4. Dame Scribe profile image59
    Dame Scribeposted 13 years ago

    I would suggest writing it as ..present a situation (problem) then write the actions that were required, effects of these actions and then make a 'recommended' action with supporting benefits. In this way, no names are truly revealed. big_smile just some thoughts.

  5. Kimberly Bunch profile image61
    Kimberly Bunchposted 13 years ago

    I wrote about my family and my life without to much concern for how they would feel because I felt the truth needed to be told. That way I was teaching by telling. I could help others and you may be in the same vote.

    The other day I thought to myself "My autobiography memoir paints my life so disgraceful!"

    I was have second thoughts about telling my life story with the paranormal. … sts-Part-1

    Right after I thought those negative words a lady walked by for the second time around on a path in the park and I so happened to notice as I stood up and headed behind her to leave that there was  writing on the back of her shirt and above the words was an upright feather. It read "If you have a story in you... it needs to be told."

    That was my instant message from the Universe! To me the feather stood for spiritualism, and Native Indian shamanism, along with mysticism.

    If you have a story in you that needs to be told then tell it!

    Peace smile

  6. Aficionada profile image83
    Aficionadaposted 13 years ago

    In some instances (not necessarily this one), it might be wise to start first with publishing the experiences as fiction, perhaps with a postscript that the situations described actually do happen to some people.  I think a lot depends on what the actual situation is, the relationship with people mentioned in the article, etc.

  7. Shadesbreath profile image80
    Shadesbreathposted 13 years ago

    This is a common and complicated question that comes up all the time in memoir classes and workshops. There are, if crudely broken down, two approaches to absolute "truth:"

    1. "F--- them; tell the story."
    2. "Wait for them to die, and then tell the story."

    However, there is a third consideration, which is simply to write it as "fiction."  Change settings, switch a gender here or there, add a sibling, give different jobs maybe, new names, blah blah.  And never admit to anyone that it's anything but fiction.

    Mom: "But that character is me, and we both know it!"
    You: "Mom, it's fiction. That is not you. It is a character named XYZ. I'm a writer, I make stuff up."
    Mom: "But this is based on that time, blah blah..."
    You: "Mom, I'm a writer, I make stuff up.  If some piece of a memory pops up and I twist it into something else for the story... that's how it works.  That's why it's called FICTION."

    If you stick to your guns, you can, possibly, have your memoir cake and eat it too.

    1. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I wonder if I'll feel more comforable about the waiting for them to die before writing the uncensored book LOL

      1. Shadesbreath profile image80
        Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I know I am.  LOL.  I find other parts of my life to reflect on if I'm doing memoir, the "what I learned about such-and-such" stuff.  Tends to be better for short work.  Long stuff is all fiction.

    2. Lisa HW profile image63
      Lisa HWposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Shadesbreath, this is funny.   lol   I've actually used my own modified version of that last approach:  I've made it a point to point out to people that as a writer I may decide to say one thing or another to "make the writing do what I hope it will do".  In other words, I established that I "reserve the right to "color things" if I see the need.   Whether or not I actually "color things" is a separate matter.

      I've actually considered coming up with a different name nobody has ever heard and writing "fiction" (maybe even in a book) that closely resembles the story of "a certain person we know".  I realize, though, that if I can't tell my story in my own name, it won't feel like I"m telling it at all.  I pretty much need the satisfaction of naming names.  lol

  8. Rafini profile image70
    Rafiniposted 13 years ago

    Not meaning to be critical, but to give suggestions:

    Be creative.  Write in the first person. 2nd or 3rd person.  Write it as a fictional story or an honest look at a situation.  Write with metaphors.  Definitely change the names of people involved.  Use opposing points of view. 

    Or, write it in a journal.  No matter which you choose, I feel it's important for you to release the feelings.  Just do it, in whichever way feels right. smile

    1. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I recall a great piece of advice about "composting" - when it's raw and fresh it stinks(to release but be kept private) but when it's had time/maturity it has a different quality about it (which has sufficient objectivity/detachment to make a worthwhile read)

      1. Rafini profile image70
        Rafiniposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        very applicable, isn't it?  smile


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