Here are the reasons I don’t want to write my book anymore. I asked for advice on a book writer forum and these are 2 of the replies I got. It made me pause for sure. I just wanted you all to see the reasons why maybe writing about her is not a good idea. If people will take what I write the wrong way, why should I write it? I will post the two replies I got that I’m referring to and last I will put my response. This will be the last blog post I will post about it. I remain however, confused. I don’t feel these people were mean, but it did not make me feel good either. But it may be what I needed to hear.
I’m not going through this anymore. I can’t continue to get on here and publicly wonder about what I should do or not do and then ask people about it and get mad at what they say. Kaitlyn’s memory deserves better than that and if this is all I can do, I quit. I will not do it. Apparently I’m going through a horrible period of depression myself and add that to everything and it makes for someone that has no idea what they ought to do and I feel like a fool. I’m sorry I ever brought this up. And to Kaitlyn, forgive me. My intentions were good. You know how much I love you, why I love you, and I don’t have to defend that to anyone.
First person’s post:
“My deepest sympathies for your loss. I have lost a friend to suicide in the past. It is difficult to get through just as a friendship. The grief of a mother I can’t even imagine.
I would, however, counsel against publishing a book about your daughter until you know you are doing it for the right reasons. I read your posts and I see a lot of love. But I also see a lot of pressure being placed on her memory. I’ve been “that daughter.” The overachiever. I went through a clinical depression while in college. I was working full time, going to school full time (with two specialization, the equivalent of being a double major). I was the golden daughter who always did what she was suppose to and never got in trouble and I was falling apart inside. Nobody in my family realized it. In fact, they kept putting more pressure on me because they said I could handle it. I’m forever grateful that I got the help I needed.
My concern is that you are still fixated on the perfect daughter you thought you had and not the woman she actually was. Even in your sample, you are fixated on her achievements and not her person. I would never think you were willfully exploiting her. I think your heart is in the right place. But having been “that daughter”, I also have an uneasy feeling you are unconsciously making her an object and still haven’t come to terms with who she really was.
Of course, you should finish the book. Get it all out of your system. Cry and rage and scream and put it all out there. But then put it away for a while. Reflect on what you wrote. When it is all done, ask yourself if you are publishing this for her or for yourself. Then, and only then, come back and talk about publishing it. I suspect that, with reflection, the book you eventually publish will be very different from the one you are writing now.”
2nd person’s post:
+1 I’m quoting Julie because I agree (I’m another such daughter), and she said it more eloquently than I could have.
Also, think long and hard about whether you want to expose your daughter’s memory and your family to the general public like this. Are you emotionally in a place where you could handle reviewers ripping apart your daughter’s life and blaming you for her suicide or making mean and rude statements about her and you? Are you prepared to handle people accusing you of profiting off of your daughter’s death? I’m not saying it will happen, but there is a very real chance. People can be heartless and cruel. For that reason, I think it’s great to write it now to help you process your feelings, maybe circulate it around your personal circles and suicide support groups, but maybe hold off on actually selling it on Amazon until you’re in an emotionally healthy and secure place. I’d hate for your good intentions to end up harming you and your family (especially if there are siblings involved).
If you do move forward with making it available on Amazon, make sure you’re clear about the purpose of the book in the blurb. If it’s a memoir telling your experience, then it can be a benefit for people to simply know that someone somewhere has gone through the same thing. Sometimes just knowing that you’re not alone, that someone else has survived this kind of pain, is half the battle. If it’s meant to be more of a guide with tools and takeaways, that’s helpful too. Just make sure you make it clear to potential buyers what they’re getting.
Regardless what you decide to do, my thoughts and wishes for healing are with you and your family. I have much admiration for your strength in speaking out about suicide. Not only does it help other survivors, but I think it also helps those who have contemplated suicide to see the effects.
You’re right. I’m not in the emotional place that I need to be to write this book and if people take it the way you said they might then I won’t do it. I was just trying to help people. I would never exploit my daughter. And to the person that you quoted, I don’t think of my daughter as an object and not a person. I just don’t understand why anyone could take it that way. She showed me what she wanted me to see. That’s the person I saw, how could I see anything else? We were very close but she hid her depression from me. But we were kindred spirits in the way we shared so many other things which were NOT just what she achieved. I realize I put myself out here and asked for advice here. I was just not prepared for what I would read in these replies. It hurts me to think someone would think I thought of my daughter as only an achievement machine. If I have portrayed that, then surely I can’t portray my real purpose of the book. I loved my daughter more than life itself and I would have died a million deaths in a second to have saved her, if only I could. I thought that by writing about this it would help highly achieving people that were depressed realize they are not alone and would help them realize they need help and not suffer in silence like my daughter did. I thought that maybe people in their lives might read this book and realize that yes, your highly achieving child may be suffering depression. But I guess I was wrong. Thank you all for your replies because I asked for them. I hold no ill will in getting what I asked for, but I’m hurt nonetheless and if these replies here hurt me, then I have no business writing a book that will be criticized by the world. So….thanks.