“There’s a rumor we may need to go to London around the first of the year,” said Will, via Facebook Messanger to me, Ralph, and Patty. He sent this to us from Atlanta while on a business trip in November.
Will has definitely left the harbor. He owns his own home in another city. He goes on several business trips a year. This year he has spent time in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and probably somewhere else I am forgetting.
I started this blog in 2011 at Will’s urging. That is, I started writing again. After he graduated from college. He encouraged me to go to a local writing group, and there I learned how to blog.
From 2011 to 2014, I posted once a week on average. After Ralph’s health emergency in 2014, the blog faltered. I lost focus. My entries were not solely grounded in transition issues for young adults on the spectrum transitioning to adulthood.
I wonder what direction I should go from here.
Should I consider closing it down? Our kids are in their late 20s to early 30s. Will and Marie have jobs and mortgages. Patty is struggling for direction, but lives with her brother. Patty has said to me directly that she doesn’t want me to identify them as having any struggles growing up. It is important for their careers that they not be identified as ever having been on the spectrum. I struggle with this, because it has been so much of my life, raising them, and helping them achieve what they have. But I can see her perspective. On the other hand, she has told me that I need to write the story of our family. If I don’t, she has said she will. She wants to see my journals. However, I don’t know if she could handle the rawness of those emotions. I stopped journaling when they learned to read well.
Should I gather up these blog entries and put them in a collection of essays and publish them under the pseudonym of this blog. What if that becomes successful? Will they be “outed?”
If nothing else, this blog has been cathartic for me. It has helped me understand and process some of the history of our family. Our struggles, emotions, etc. But I don’t know if I should just shut it down. Throw it away. Act as if it didn’t happen.
And then there is the question of whether I should keep writing, and further, what I should write about. So pray for me, my readers and fellow bloggers. I don’t know what direction I should go now. Write fiction, stories, reviews, poetry, etc. What would I write about. I have been busy the last few years just taking care of myself and Ralph, who has cancer. But things have settled down since the diagnosis and subsequent move to the condo with our oldest daughter, Marie. So this spring I have planned to go to a writers’ retreat at the urging of my psychiatrist. He said I need to take care of myself and get away. But I am at a crossroad. I hope nothing prevents me from going to the retreat. It is paid for. I am still a member of my writing group, even though I don’t meet with them in purpose.
Will is out of the harbor. Patty lives with him. We live with Marie in her condo. Maybe it’s time to close the door on this chapter. But I don’t know what direction I want to go next. I just know I want to keep writing.
What say you?
Heidi Kortman said:
Keep your journals to yourself. If your daughter wants to write your family’s story, it should be from her perspective alone. You have my permission to stop blogging on any topic at all. I say, write fiction, and don’t connect any of that to autism. Do something utterly different.
Ann Kilter said:
Thanks for your input. I guess I wonder if she wants to prevent me from saying anything, why should she be the sole story teller. After all, her brother and sister might have their point of view. They are stakeholders, too.
Heidi Kortman said:
When I said “her perspective alone,” I meant that any part she wrote should come through her eyes, not yours. If she wants to ask her siblings to contribute, that should be their choice.
I second the thought that your journals should remain your own. I think the danger of connecting this blog to your “real life” is very slim. If it delights your heart to write here, you should definitely feel the liberty to continue.
Ann Kilter said:
I wonder if I should just destroy those journals. Maybe I should look at them first. There might be a story idea.
The B Side said:
I totally understand this. I’ve been posting less and less as my 2 boys have gotten older and I have had similar thoughts to you. In the end, don’t put any pressure on yourself. Just do whatever next thing feels right and not forced. I have enjoyed reading your posts and have always cheered for your family from the sidelines. If you choose to go down a different road from this blog, just know that there are no burnt bridges so you can always come back across and visit from time to time if you feel so inclined 🙂 – Lastly, sending lots of well wishes for Ralph’s health and for your peace of mind.
Ann Kilter said:
Thank you! I need to respect my daughter’s concerns. Yet at the same time, I feel a bit lost. Raising them was such a huge part of my life, which I guess is true for all parents. She wants me to hide that, as if we are ashamed of it. Well, I probably do need to move on and try some new stuff. I probably will visit from time to time….