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I Want To Write A Book About My Childhood, But Unsure Of How To Stay Anonymous

I have been writing for nearly my whole life, mostly for my own therapy. My last therapist had me start doing Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and he said that he thought I should be a writer. Looking back, I remember an English teacher telling me the same thing. Being a person who dismisses compliments and embraces insults, I never attempted it. Lately I have been sharing my writing with my spouse, and he been very encouraging about my doing it. Since the writing that I do is about my own painful experiences, I think that the only way I could accomplish this is to be anonymous about it. Can this be done and how risky is it? In the long run, I would like to be open about it, but I am concerned about my children and how it would affect them. I am also concerned about being recognized, particularly by someone from my troubled past. I am unsure of how I would handle a perpetrator if I were to come into contact with them. I'd like to hear any thoughts on this topic.
iwanttobeme iwanttobeme 46-50, F 4 Responses Mar 31, 2012

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I plan to also write about my experience and have no shame in whats occurred to me because there are many people that would like to identify with you and in some weird way want to put a face to the issue. Bethany Frankel is a great example in my view because i share her pain and appreciated her for putting everything on the table. As per the children, i will graudually tell them information according to their age because i have a 15yr old and a 9 yr old and speak to them so, that they learn to apprreciate how fortunate they are and be fully aware of why i am not perfect and perhaps over protected with them. Please excuse any errors in my writing, as i am not so great but certainly have a story to tell. I believe that children now and day should know what truly happens in this world. For therapy purposes i have shared my story with many and have come to find out that many have lots in common with me and the beauty of it is, that it has been much needed. My children have grown to be realistic young men that have appreciated my truth. As per, those who i want to protect or not mention them, I have learn to be real, fair, honest, open and all of the above for Myself because i have been the one hurt. I will mention who, why, what and how i was hurt and i will not hold back because it will set me free and frankly i am the only one concerned. I can't think about others because it is my truth and if they did not want any participation then they should of not participated. I wish you the best and in no way i want you to do what i feel. I just want you to get my perspective so, that it can help you decide.

I hope you go for it. Good Luck.

Definitely ask permission from people if you intend on writing about them identifying them by name. I did that with my book. Or give them a different name and even change the details of the incident if you can. Therein lies the problem of a memoir though, when you change so much it becomes more fiction than non-fiction. I tried as much as possible to be kind to the people I wrote about, because by then I had accepted my part in the pain of my story, but it depends what you are writing about. It hardly seems fair for horrible people who have done horrible things to get off scot free with their "crimes." On the other hand a memoir needs to be about you, not an act of vengeance on your part towards those who hurt you, if you get my drift. Certainly where your children are concerned I would be very careful not to damage them in any way. Hope these few well meaning words will help you with your endeavor. Good luck !

I am doing exactly the same thing, mainly for therapy. And with the encouragement of others, I'm now thinking about publishing. But if I do, it will be under a different name, for sure. In fact, all the names in my story will be changed. It's an easy way for us to share our stories with out people knowing just who we are. Good luck!!