You Own Everything That Happened to You
The key, I think, is to recognize how your feelings can alter the landscape of the stories you tell. Feelings can affect the language, the tone, the this happened and then that. They can affect the details overeagerly shared, the details conveniently forgotten.
How far will you go to validate your feelings, to get your point across, to make the complex unequivocal? How far will you go to justify your frustration, anger, and grief to others and ultimately to yourself?
You feel the way you feel. Feelings are valid. You don’t need to apologize for them. And truth is truth, and it’s rarely neat and tidy. Truth is complicated. That’s because we’re all flawed human beings, even the best of us.
So tell your stories. Write warmly about people. Write scathingly about people. Dine on the delicious complexity. Make it such that if people wanted you to write differently about them they should have behaved differently. Make it such that the writing about them it isn’t really about them. Tell your truth. And most importantly, tell it as true as you can.