Telling the Truth

We all have aspects of our lives we would rather move past. We might have treated someone else badly, been mistreated by someone else, as well as many other possibilities.

In my case, my secret involved a medical illness. I was terrified to expose myself and write this memoir because it was an extremely personal topic and I was unsure how readers would react. In the past, often times when I told someone about my experiences, they would freak out. I can vividly recall one instance in which I told my homeroom teacher about it after everything was over, and her reaction threw me completely off guard. She said, “Oh my god! Did you talk to one of the school social workers about this?”. She clearly did not know what to say, so she just passed off responsibility to someone else. I didn’t know how to reply, so I simply did not respond to her. Teachers are supposed to be supportive, but this one clearly was not experienced in keeping calm in difficult situations.

The key takeway from this is some people might have good intentions, but their reaction might make the other person uncomfortable. This was the main reason I was hesitant to write this memoir. I was also hesitant because there were some people who treated me less than ideally during this process. I didn’t want to include them out of fear of hurting their feelings. I have spoken to numerous people about this, and there has been a common response: “If they didn’t want to be portrayed truthfully, they should have behaved better”. This is so true, since each of these people played an integral part in this story. A main job of memoirs of to tell the truth, whether good or bad.


Filed under: Memoir, Writing, cancer

Leave a comment