Though I didn’t want to make this public knowledge until I got well into the project, I want to say that I’m writing a book about Kaitlyn, though I have sworn in the past not to do so for various reasons; not wanting to seem like I was exploiting her memory; unsure that she would want me to do such a thing, etc.
What I want to do in my book is write about her and her achievements at first and the reason I want to do this is to drive home the fact of what I’m wanting to convey in my book, that there are many people in this world like Kaitlyn, who over achieve and people you would never expect, could in fact be harboring a horrible depression that could lead to suicide. I don’t think many people know this. I feel this needs to be known and my target audience would be those that are teachers, parents, and high achieving teenagers and young adults to let them know that if they do not seek professional help it could lead to suicide. I feel very moved to do this and the only way I can make that point is to bring out Kaitlyn’s achievements.
But I have my worries. I posted what I wanted to do on a writer’s forum just for some feedback and though most were very supportive, one person said that she questions my motives in that I was mostly focusing on Kaitlyn’s achievements and not the person she was inside. She said she herself knows what it feels like to be thought of just by your achievements and not for the person she was. Though she thought my heart was in the right place, she didn’t think I was focusing on her and who she was on the inside. I thanked her for her constructive criticism and I was sincere by saying that. But I said talking about her achievements was what was going to drive the point of my book home. That people who are high achievers could be suffering.
I’m going to include her story, my grief, and writings from friends, professionals that have said they suffered the same thing, resources, and a cry out about the stigma of mental illness which is why so many people don’t seek help.
Also another person said that if there are no signs, how could my book help anyone? Another constructive criticism that did not insult me. Point well taken.
However, I do feel mixed feelings. My heart is in the right place, my reasons to write this book are to help prevent other tragedies like this and for parents and teachers and the people who suffer themselves to be aware. I don’t want to exploit my daughter.
Yes, much of my writing does focus on her achievements but it also focuses on my love for her. The reason I focus so much on her achievements is because I can hardly believe someone like this could take their life. I’m still trying to process this. Her achievements were so much a part of who she was; how can I separate her love of art, poetry, writing, and academic success from anything else because this was so much a part of her. It was nothing I pushed. It was her. I don’t understand why doing that would be doing her a disservice. I do however feel great guilt. I never pressured her to achieve, she did that herself, but I do feel guilty about expecting it from her after she had done it all her life. But I always believed in letting your children know you were proud of them for their achievements. How could I know that it would put more pressure on her?
So now I am really ambivalent. I don’t know whether to proceed or to stop. I’m already on chapter 4.
I’m also so sensitive that if anyone questions my motives, it hurts my feelings and I don’t want to open myself up to that. I am torn and don’t know what to do. All I know is that I think Kaitlyn would want me to do anything I could to help others and I think this book would do that.
I don’t know any more what to do but I know it is ultimately up to me.
Open for constructive comments and if they are not what I want to hear, yet are polite and constructive I will take them graciously.
Update to this post: I had posted on a forum that has medical students on it that ask questions etc. I had looked on this forum before and while Kaitlyn was in medical school. After she died I posted on there about it for the simple reason to give warning to those that suffer depression needing to seek help. I received dozens of wonderful replies with many private messages from pre-med, med students. Residents and doctors who experienced the same thing.
Someone on there once suggested I try to get the deleted emails and writings by her off some of the sites she may or may not have used by asking the company for them. I thought about doing this and posted that, but since decided not to. I got a reply the other day by one of the students that he thought it was not something I should do but if I wanted to dig up every single thing she ever wrote to “knock myself out.” This insulted me. Also someone else said it’s the responsibility of loved ones to pay attention to the people they are close to so this would not happen (or something like that). This also insulted me and responded that it did in not a very nice way. Someone said I overreacted so I deleted my replies.
Today I find on my comments on my blog (which I have a link to on that forum) and one comment said “I’m glad she’s dead.” The one just a few minutes ago said, “By Tantacles 20m (which was one of the insulting commenters on my post) .I’m sure Kaitlyn thanks you back for being such a terrible, negligent Mother. She is better off dead than with you.” I trashed the comment.
You know, since her death I have received much more sympathy and understanding than I have insults, but these insults stand out and glare at me and reinforces to me just how cruel people can be and it makes me very disillusioned with the world. I shudder that a medical student is making such comments.
There is good in the world, but there is so much meanness and evil too and I simply don’t want to subject myself to it. Why do I put myself out there for this crap? I should simply just let things be and not put myself out there for the cruel remarks that send me into such a depression myself. A depression I’m afraid Kaitlyn got from me.
I’m fed up. I’m hurt. What’s the use? I will only get criticized and I can do without it. This makes me want to just stop everything I’ve tried and try to do. I couldn’t feel any worse. My daughter’s dead. I can’t do anything about it; I’m criticized if I try to write anything.
I’m sorry. If you don’t know, I suffer depression myself and I can’t handle the mean things that are said to me especially now. I’m not feeling very good now.
To heck with it all.