And this is all I will say again about the book

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.

My Reply:

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.

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About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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31 Responses to And this is all I will say again about the book

  1. Denise says:

    Rhonda, please breathe. First of all, I want to say that I subscribed to your blog but wasn’t getting any posts. Turns out WordPress had the setting on “receive no posts.” Anyway, that’s why I haven’t seen what you’ve written.

    I’m writing a book. My blog is going to be turned into a book. I’m a serious writer, and I’m writing for my life. It’s nobody’s business what I say or why I say it. Thing is, to say, “I’m writing a book” sounds like a big thing. So I need to chop it down. It’s a sentence at a time. That’s all. I write one sentence that feels right, then another, then another. Do I want people to read it? Of course I do. Am I writing it to save the world? No, I’m not. I’m writing it because it’s my need and it’s the work I’m called to do. I’m writing it because Philip is my muse and he’s urging me to. I’m writing it because I want to get every sentence as perfect as I can and I want to bind all those sentences into a book that I can feel proud of.

    There’s so much to writing a book; you’re already getting advice on getting published, and you’ve not even written the thing! It isn’t easy getting published, unless you’re self-publishing. But that’s not the goal; it’s the writing. The writing is the goal.

    It’s all about the writing.

    If your grief leads to write, then write. Don’t tell your plans, tell your story. My grief led me to silence for over a year; I couldn’t write a word, not even an email. I’d been writing a memoir when Philip died. That’s over. But then in March, I started the blog with the intention of turning it into a book. I’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll try to get parts of it published as essays. There’s so much you can do; but don’t tell anyone your dreams unless you trust them. And remember – you are too raw and vulnerable right now. You’re heart is beaten and bruised and you’ve got to take care of it. If you need to write, just write. And if you ever want to have a private conversation with me, my email is dsmyth693@aol.com

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  2. Christine O. says:

    Denise – very well ‘said’. I wrote what I wanted to say on your other post and I will only add this: You knew your daughter/ those people did not. You know your motivations/ those people know nothing of your goals. This is your story to tell, not theirs. Do NOT let what other people think turn the course of your life. Is that what you would have taught or advised your daughters to do? Think about it. Pray about it (if you are led to do so) and do what feels right to you and only you. And stop taking advice from those who didn’t know her like you did. You already know what she would want you to do. And if that means continuing the book and not publishing it, so be it. But I know at least that was helping you. “I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” -Christopher Reeve

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  3. Writing a book is a process, your process, involving many stages. The first being a writer vomits out what they want to write. Might happen several times before it even goes to an editor. Feedback from others way before the manuscript is ready is not advisable even with a fictionalized non-involved emotional writer, because it can stop the process prematurely with well intended but misguided feedback. At the stage you’re at, it’s a process a singular journey between you and the page. You can’t know where this journey will take you if you don’t step in to it. Let your heart be your guide, nothing else. If your heart dictates to not do it, then let it be. If writing is what’s speaking to you don’t let anything stop that. Once it’s ready, if you decide you want to go that route, for others to read it, choose wisely supportive readers to guide you, supportive editors for honest constructive guidance on moving the writing along, and then if it gets to publishing and marketing the above issues can certainly be taken into consideration as once your book goes out to press, whether indie or published it’s open to God only knows what. But the latter is way up the road, maybe years ahead so why get that far ahead of yourself now? I hope in some small way this has offered help for you to be your own light here and do it if your heart give you the green light. Love, Paulette

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  4. WOW….I’m “APPALLED” AND “SHOCKED” of those 2 reply’s left for you Rhonda.!! Let start by saying this….I WAS YOUR Daughter, just that my Suicide Attempts failed, as bad as they were, in the Hospital and then to a Mental/addiction Crisis Center twice for 15 days each time. THESE 2 commenters have NO CLUE what they are talking about. SORRY….I just get so ANGRY when others seem to think they KNOW ALL about sharing the loving memory and TRIBUTE to your daughter’s Life and Loss. You have to FEEL what is inside your heart. If your heart is telling you, as a healing process to write a book, then it is your CHOICE to do so.

    It’s not ABOUT just the loss of your daughter, it is about educating people as to HOW you are also dealing and living with the tragic loss. YOU NEED NOT WORRY about what OTHERS THINK ABOUT YOU, OR your choice to write a book. How do you think the *STIGMA* is broken around these issues if we don’t write, or Speak up and speak out on HOW WE can prevent this from happening to another mom, or anyone else. I wrote my book of Childhood Trauma & sex abuse, family secrets, and life challenges with Mental illness, which all lead to my poor choices, and into addiction, and then into recovery now almost 7yrs.

    WHY did I write my Story?? It was a CALLING upon my HEART after reading a Newspaper Article in my community about a woman who was found dead in a Indian Casino & Resort Hotel room. She committed Suicide by shot gun to her head. They found a note to her family saying, “she was sorry that she couldn’t stop gambling and had a Relapse.”……..I wrote my book because THAT WOMAN COULD HAVE BEEN ME! It almost WAS ME twice! I also used my FULL NAME as Author of my book, not hide behind ANONYMOUS….WHY?? It was part of my Healing process, and more important, it was taking Accountability for the choice’s I made within my addicted days, and a way to make amends to those I HURT. I didn’t care what my family thought about DISCLOSING FAMILY SECRETS, because those secrets TORE our family apart. I have been estranged from my Father for 8yrs, HIS CHOICE…I’VE Forgiven him, and it’s HIS LODD NOT MINE.

    Rhonda, I always say this to others who don’t understand people in Recovery from Addiction,….
    “Addiction & Recovery have ONLY one thing alike……THEY ARE BOTH SELFISH….Addiction is selfish because you don’t care who your hurting around you, and Recovery is also Selfish because in order to get better and have long term recovery, it HAS to come first, and that seems selfish, but it is what has to be done in order to get Healthy again.

    So….Long Answer is DO WHAT YOU FEEL will help you HEAL and keep your daughters memory alive. If that means writing a book to get there, then I say start writing & don’t worry about what people you don’t even know will think. They will either Buy it or Won’t…That Simple! I know I’ll be first in LINE!…LOL.. 🙂 🙂

    May God Bless you and your Family,
    Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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  5. gatito2 says:

    Where can I buy your book? Amazon? I’m there if so. Thank you.

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  6. gatito2 says:

    I posted this in my other thread also and wanted to put it here too in case you didn’t see it there:

    I just want to say all of this to you as a group that have commented to my post. Thank you all so very much for your support and advice.

    Everyone I’m sorry for the horrible show I’ve put up on my blog and the dragging of you all through my personal dilemma and my hurt feelings. I’m just so many things I don’t even understand right now since Kaitlyn died. I hurt easily and that is my downfall. I think I will write the book and sit on it awhile, a long while to make sure it’s written the way I want it and give myself time to reflect. Maybe publish it, maybe not. I so regret mentioning this publicly when I had sworn to myself I would not for the very reasons that happened and I got very discouraged. I can’t write this book 5 years from now. It needs to be written in the heat of what I feel which is the only way I can write. Not that in 5 years I still won’t be crushed. I will, I always will be. I will write it now and sit on it making sure it’s something that should be done and could help people and not do my daughter a disservice.

    I’ve always been bad about easily getting my feelings hurt and then being angry by being hurt then saying things I regret. I just never have done it on Facebook or a blog before Kaitlyn died. Where did my private personality go?

    At any rate, I’m sorry for the drama. I have SO never liked drama and now look what I’ve done.

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  7. Yes, it’s in paperback or eBook http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485 “Addicted To Dimes” (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat”
    I wish you all the best if you write your book, and I’m here to help if Needed! Hugs! *Catherine* 🙂

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  8. gatito2 says:

    Bought for my kindle! Thank you, can’t wait to read it. You have really great reviews too.

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  9. David says:

    We have a commercial here in my area for an anti-depressant med or something that shows people who are depressed as looking sad, gloomy, tired and alone. Even the dog in the commercial looks sad because the owner doesn’t want to play. Reading your blog and story has shown me a different side to depression that I never realized existed. We never know what a person is really going through and things are not always what they seem. I’m looking at people in a different way now.
    I think you are onto something bigger and more helpful then you realize.

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  10. gatito2 says:

    We have that same commercial, and it’s true, lots of people look that way and act that way when they are depressed, I do. But not many people know what can be lurking in the mind of a seemingly well adjusted person that achieves like they are the happiest person on earth. That’s why I wanted to write this book. NOBODY KNOWS about this except for the people going through it, and people that read their suicide notes. Thank you for making my point.

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  11. jmgoyder says:

    I still think writing the book is a good idea, Rhonda.

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  12. I can only echo what others have written. If you feel that the book is inside of you, waiting to be written, then it must be written. If only for your well-being. That right there is reason enough.
    –JW

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  13. Dear new friend,
    There’s no apology. If it helps to write it here then there will be varying comments that can hurt, but there will also be a lot of love and support. Had you not posted this you would have never heard back from the lovely woman who wrote to you, Catherine, about her experience and book. You’re a nurse, so am I (an NP), and we so know that were anyone else to share their pain with us we’d understand this is what it is to be human and risk opening. If it feels better to your heart to have a quiet private personal self than by all means, but please my friend, with all the pain you’re living with be gentle on yourself and make no apologies for sharing something so delicately painful. Sending you lots of love.
    Paulette

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  14. meant: there’s no apology needed.

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  15. Thanks Rhonda!
    I’m very interested in your *Honest* thoughts when your done. I wrote in 2011 into 2012, so much has happened since, but I’m thinking of a 2nd addiction to rewrite the last 25% of the ending of the book. So your thoughts would be very helpful. And THANK YOU for supporting my Recovery! LUV, Hugs & Blessings! *Catherine* 🙂

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  16. nanette says:

    You are a lot like me in many ways. I too, am a mother that has lost my 30 yr old son. Its been 3.5 yrs now and I am still going through the stages of grief. I pray that your heart leads you with Gods help. It may very well be that you should let yourself go through the all the stages of grief. Who knows when that may be but allow yourself to go through the most difficult time of your life. And one day, we don’t know when, but you will know when the right time to finish your book. In the meantime, Its very healthy to continue writing in a journal all that comes to your mind. I look forward to reading your book in the future. Don’t give in or up just give yourself time. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. God Bless!

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  17. gatito2 says:

    Thank you and I agree with everything you said. I should have followed my original plan to tell no one but the people I asked to contribute. But NO, I wanted advice. I got what I asked for and I didn’t like it. Lesson learned. I’ll write it and then get professional advice.

    It’s easy to get published now. You don’t have to go through a publisher anymore. Many, many authors don’t go by way of a publishing agency anymore. There are ways to do it online. If you aren’t familiar, send me a message and I’ll let you know. My email is welding81@intrstar.net

    Thank you!

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  18. gatito2 says:

    Listen closely; can you hear me applauding Christine? I am. Thank you again for your wonderful encouragement. You are very wise.

    But I will say this, once my girls got a certain age they would never listen to a word I said about what they should do. Both are/were very stubborn and followed their own thinking. Not a bad thing….most of the time. I always told Kaitlyn that though she was smarter than I am, I had more experience with life and I knew some things, especially about the ways of the heart. She merely smiled that smile and did what she wanted. All but a few times she made great choices. That last choice was NOT good though.

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  19. gatito2 says:

    Paulette, I think what you are saying is very wise and I’m going to follow everything you said because it makes so much sense. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I agree with you so much. Now that my hurt from those idiots has died down, I see more clearly. Thank you.

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  20. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement Catherine. I admire you very much for what you are doing.

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  21. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Paulette. You’re a nurse practitioner? Every one I’ve ever gone to spends so much time with me and everyone else.Sometimes MDs spend 2 minutes. Wonder why that is? I like it. I admire what you do. I don’t know whether or not I can work as an RN again, but I renewed my license in July just in case. I feel like a very burned out nurse.

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  22. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much JW. I agree.

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  23. gatito2 says:

    I will Nanette, thank you very much.

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  24. Yes, I’m a nurse practitioner now specializing in women’s health. I think it’s a good thing you renewed your license. It’s much easier to do that than let it expire and change your mind up the road, and have to go through the studying etc. Your process now is healing, and up the road you may want to involve yourself with some form of nursing (there are so many different things to do outside hospital, clinic and even direct patient care), but right now how could you possibly even be thinking about that with all you’re experiencing? Sending you love, Paulette

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  25. Thanks Rhonda,
    And I admire your Courage and Beautiful Heart of what you have endured with the loss of your daughter. We lost Tom’s (my husband) Sister a year ago to Intentional prescription overdose/Suicide of here Bipolar meds, so I know some of the pain & hurt & shock you are dealing with. Just remember, your not alone anymore. Hugs & Blessings, *Catherine*

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  26. Christine O. says:

    Very true. My own mother would say (and has said) the very same about me. 🙂

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  27. mainbean says:

    Write write write and write some more! We don’t have to follow advice others give – we have to make our own choices and your writing helps me!

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  28. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. And I’m glad it helps you.

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