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MaryKaithe

Where to put the Icky stuff when you write about you?

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Dear Writers all,

I have had a very difficult and painful life. Many hurdles that Christ has helped me overcome. I come from an emotionally, physically and sexually dysfunctional home.

I believe Christ wants me to write and share about my struggles and how I have overcome so many of them. But I am wondering if there should be a boundary, as a writer I should not cross. People love to say, when you get lemons, make lemonade.  It is important I rewrite my story for my health and recovery. I have forgiven all these criminals through Christ, but some hurts are so deep, I can't share them with innocent readers. the reader does not need to know every detail. When you are writing  about yourself, what boundaries do you put in place?  I  can get awfully  wordy, semantically ostentatious, and turn the reader off.  Have you ever read something and thought "Oh great! now I've got that image in my head!"  Boundaries are not very clear for me, which is why I write poetry. The East Wind is the story of my ancestors and family. How much truth is too much truth?

 

Thanks for riding the mining train,

 

MaryKaithe

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First, what about those you'll be writing about? I think you might want to get permission. After publication, things can turn to really sour lemonade if others don't like that you wrote about them.

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And the expose - they can't sue if you have evidence that what you say is true.  God said vengeance is mine.

But he never said we could not tell the truth.

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It sounds like you've already made up your mind to write about them.  I would caution you to be careful, though, because yes they can sue you, even if "...they can't sue if you have evidence that what you say is true."

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I come from the same background, both in childhood and adulthood.  And at times I do share a sort of synopsis of it with some people who have been hurt because it seems to help them open up and know that I understand (and) it is a good witnessing tool when you let them know just how much God helps you through it and helps you forgive. ( quite honestly, I have a feeling that over half of the world has been harmed in those ways.  I'm serious).  

 

But I would have to wonder if writing the story is more for you letting your hurt known.  Where it should not be a secret, as we were taught when it was done to us, I think, sometimes, being a good listener and putting in only what you need to in a private conversation does the most good.

 

If you do want to publish it, take a cue  from Joyce Myers.  She does not hide the fact that she was sexually abuse, and she will use it in her lectures, but she doesn't dwell on it.  She is a motivational speaker--pointing the way to God, forgiveness and the road to healing.

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Thank you both for your wise counsel.  I hear truth in what you have taken the time to tell me.  Nick, I think I am still quite bitter with the betrayal and trauma I went through from a toxic work environment.

Looking at myself honestly, I sense a part of me wants revenge. They lied about me, slandered me and finally  "resigned" me at a board meeting. All of them knew I had not resigned, that the Superintendent was lying, because I had written a certified letter to each of the board members telling them that I never left a "voice message," over the phone saying I was retiring. 

 

I pursued them legally, went through the EEOC, who agreed with me that I had a case, but was too busy and short handed to take on my case. I then had 90 days to find an attorney, or the statute of limitations would expire. Naturally, I could not find a law firm or an attorney who wanted to get involved in legal action against a school.  I want others to know how school administrations are running our school system into the ground. How anemic our unions have become.

 

This is the pattern happening all over the States to get rid of tenured teachers. They target the individual they want to "fire" and harass them into complete nervous breakdowns.  This has happened to at least 7 other teachers in the district.  The state is even offering seminars to school administrators on methods to use to get around the teacher tenure statutes and get rid of them.  I taught for 24 years when they went after me. They treated me like I was a criminal. 

 

Our jobs and workplaces are becoming so toxic and cruel, and it does not feel like anyone is fighting back. Everyone who knows me says I should let it go. It sits in my throat and won't come up or go down. 

 

I can fictionalize the names and places like the author of "The Help" did, or I can let this injustice continue ad nauseum.  I'm open to any suggestions.  I've prayed, and waited and meditated, and still have no answer on any action I should personally take.

 

I am a fairly decent writer and can self-publish, but is that the right thing to do? I would appreciate any and all advice and prayers.  I am a warrior for Christ, for only He can reveal the truth. I wish I could let this go, but my heart tells me America needs to be awakened to who is dictating policy in the schools, and the garbage they are forcing our children to endure.

 

The violence in our schools isn't just the fault of parents, I wish everyone could see how the staff and office react to children being bullied. Very few teachers even bother to stop the bullying. In fact, many teacher's bully other teachers. What would Jesus Do? I am praying, but do not be surprised if this story is presented here. What do you think?

 

Sincerely,

Marykaithe

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Note to Suspense Writer,

On what grounds can the sue? I've studied different aspects of the law, but not this area. Wouldn't they then be able to sue on the grounds it is obvious of whom I speak?

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Trust me- you don't want to go there.  They have way more money than you have.  Have you considered setting up a non-profit to help teachers with bullying by school boards?  You might think I'm crazy, but I sense this is a bigger issue than just you, and you might have grounds for a class action suit.

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How much to include?

Who is your audience? Keep in mind your audience and that starts getting resolved. I know I wouldn't want to read a story about mobbing syndrome, because, like you, I was at the painful end of that story. So who would want to read it? And there is no clear cut answer to that. Every sentence we write, every chapter, every word, pushes away some readers and brings in others. The fine tuning will be when you start getting who your audience is. And that will tell you what to include.

 

Can they sue you?

I can sue you. All I'd have to do to sue you is find some excuse, a very thick wallet, an obnoxious spirit, (and sounds like you found obnoxious spirits galore already), and time. 

 

I've had a few times in my life where, by all rights, I could have sued. What stopped me was I don't want to spend years in court, and I lack the money. Mostly, I didn't want to spend too many years harboring ill-will to people who harmed me. Not conducive to forgiving, loving, and working towards what the Lord would have me be.

 

Obviously, I'm not suing you, but don't think someone who will sue you needs a good case to start. Every single family of people who were shot by the police in the commission of a crime gets paid because the family member was killed. Suing is the way of life in America.

 

Personal note.

I have stories of what has happened to me that could make for interesting readings. But I will not for this reason: It's hard to forgive people/to love people like the Lord will have us do, when we harbor anger/justifiable rage. Forgiveness isn't a once-and-done. It's on-going, because we keep taking it back. And, I have a tendency to try to prove I'm right, above what I'm thinking I'm showing others.

 

The good news is you're not me. It's probably different for you, but do check out why you want to write this book. 

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5 hours ago, MaryKaithe said:

All I can say is thank you. I hear you.  Don't you wish you could write it away?

I cried when I killed off a fictional teddy bear, written specifically to kill off. Writing about the real would just make me cry on and on and on.

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Becky...You really hit the nail on the head, which is not easy to do with a slippery sneaky snake.  No, Seriously, you were right.  I think my writing has been for my benefit and to tell on the guilty.  It was hard to hear, but true. I need to focus on who I want to write for and what they currently need.  I'm going to be praying about this .  But try to Break the habit of being the "Narcissistic Poet."

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Sorry, MaryKaithe, I just read your last comment.  By now you may have your prayer answered.   I hope so.  If not I lift up my prayer on your behalf, too. :)

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