Well, I knew there could possibly be blowback from writing a memoir. It is the unvarnished truth of my life. Even though I don't "name names" in my book, I had prepared myself for all different contingencies. I was prepared for angry emails, calls, letters or even being contacted by someone's attorney. I figured I could answer all of those things by saying, "I didn't use your name. But if you recognized your own behavior, then I got it right." I thought I had them all covered. Except one . . .
If you've read my book, you know it's about my journey of surviving abuse. What I wanted to chronicle was all different kinds of abuse. Everyone knows about physical and emotional abuse, but there are so many more levels. More subtle, but equally as cutting. I write about people's behaviors and how they contributed to my lack of self-esteem and the inability to recognize when people were abusing me in those more subtle ways. After years of therapy and digging in and doing the work, I realized I had to stand up for myself and remove toxic people, including family members.
Back to the story: Evidently a family member saw my book on a book site and ordered it, read it and made the assumption that the whole book was about writing a tell-all about another family member. Yes, I said the WHOLE book. I promise you, dear blog followers, that I wouldn't have taken a year of my life to concentrate on anything but my own journey, and using people's behaviors as examples. So this local family member told another local family member. That local family member called clear across the country and told another family member, who went and had lunch with another family member, who told another family member. Are you exhausted yet? At least the last family member had read my book and had a copy to give out. So essentially, I got the information fifth-hand. It was like a game of telephone like we played when we were 10 years old.
I had never kept my book a secret. It's been out since June 2016. I've been interviewed on the radio, for podcasts, publications, have done book events, and book signings. I even had my book announced in my synagogue newspaper. I don't know why this particular reaction surprised me. Maybe because I had prepared for all the others that didn't happen. So I am "persona non grata" in this particular circle. Something I'm willing to live with. It's better than living with "THE SHOULDING" of the secrets I have kept almost my entire life.