Telling a story about family is difficult. You never know what you can say and what you can’t. You don’t know when one person’s story ends and where yours begins.
Sharing your life with someone does that to you. Your stories, though unique to each person, is shared. It’s even more complicated when these things, these stories, shape your life.
How do you share your ‘Origin Story’ without including a crazy parent or bully sibling? How do you compartmentalize them into what’s yours, theirs and yours (plural)? Also, how do you talk about the hard stuff without painting your family black?
I mean, they did all those things, but they aren’t bad people!
Okay, so maybe they are bad people, but that’s just… who they are! It’s not their fault!
Okay, it is their fault but… they’re family! You can’t turn your back on family!
Well, you can, but…
That’s my point!
How do you tell a very subjective story objectively while maintaining the unique opinion of the storyteller?
How do you capture all this turmoil and hurt and guilt and love and disgust?
How do you be forgiving and still explain the hurt?
How do you tell a story about family without offending anyone (though they’ve all offended you. Countless times.)?
Like, if you think about it, there were good times. There were also horrible times that made you actively consider suicide. There was damage. There was also warmth at times. And they are all very relevant!
We love ‘em. We hate ‘em.
They’re our non-refundable bag of surprises.
Any advice for this rookie storyteller?
Dr Nyameba 💜