Saturday’s Dilemma ~ What about My Own Story?

My-Story-This-is-my-storyObviously from the title, my dilemma is concerning how much I should disclose about my own life. I have been writing stories about my life to leave for my Grandchildren and my new Great Grandson, but they have mostly been funny stories. However, I like many others of my generation, have endured a lot of hardships in my life. Some of the things I have gone through I think #1, may teach a lesson and #2, be like one of those stories we get excited about finding when researching an ancestor! I would like them to know everyone goes through problems, it is a part of life.

I have two main stories I would like to write about, but I am unsure how much to disclose. I would really like some opinions concerning them. I will keep the stories short. Just consider how much you would want to know about something an ancestor went through and how they handled it.

Story #1. My mother had a severe mental illness. It got worse the older she got. She onlyMom 1966 loved two people in her life, my sister and my oldest son. Everyone else was treated badly. Everyone except my dad and I, we received the worst of it. When we lived in Missouri when I was 12-14 years old, she assaulted my dad and me on numerous occasions. She believed he was in the mafia, that our house was bugged, and someone lived under our house (we didn’t have a basement), spying on us through our TV. One time we spent a week going from motel to motel hiding from my dad and his “cronies”. I could tell you things that she did that you probably wouldn’t believe. When we moved to California, she literally rode in the back seat on her knees facing backward to make sure we weren’t followed. When we made it to CA her knees were bruised and bleeding. We lived there for 5 years and she only left the house 4 times, each time we moved. She disowned all of our relatives, my brother and eventually me.

me 1988Story #2.  My previous husband committed suicide, leaving me with 3 kids to raise. I had just turned 31. He had an unshakeable addiction to pornography, and this was his way out. My children knew about the addiction and why he did what he did so it isn’t a secret. Two years after the suicide I started a ministry for women who have been affected by pornography. I have been on national talk shows, radio, newspapers, magazines, a conference speaker and I wrote a book about my life with my husband. I have counseled thousands of women on this issue. I have even spoken to junior and senior high kids about the hazard of porn.  I have always used tact, wisdom, and I don’t go into graphic details. So, how should I approach this story?

Just to make it clear, these would be for my family. I appreciate any and all input. Thanks in advance.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

3 thoughts on “Saturday’s Dilemma ~ What about My Own Story?

  1. Personally I would want to know as much as possible. I think you have to believe that someone down the road will want to know as much as possible, too. I would tell both stories in as much detail as you feel you can.

      1. That’s good. I think it’s best not to leave people with too many questions especially if they read your materials far into the future when you are no longer around to answer them.

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