11.18.09

Missionary Kids Unite

Posted in Family and Friends, Memoir Writing at 05:07 pm by admin

In the past three months I have received several e-mails and letters from Missionary Kids and Preacher Kids, who are now grown up and on their own.

The messages of their letters were very similar. First, they enjoyed reading Divine Betrayal, and were able to identify with my story. Second, MK’s and PK’s felt that I was very courageous to have written my story and several wished they could do the same but still were unable to handle the criticism, mainly from family and friends who were still intolerant fundamentalists. And all of these MK’s and PK’s asked me not to give their names, as most everyone they were close to did not know their true feelings and adult religious beliefs.

This made me feel very sad but I also understand where they are coming from. As an MK (or PK), we are under a lot of pressure to conform to the establishment, to think like our parents and the church—no exceptions.

Near the end of writing Divine Betrayal, I had to stop writing for a month and make the decision to continue or stop writing altogether. At one point I strongly considered making it a Novel—so I didn’t have to admit anything, but could still tell my story. My ghost writer suggested this, because she knew how difficult it was for me to make the decision to continue. Finally, after praying, because, like the little girl in my memoir who prayed to Jesus constantly, I am that same person and I always seek God’s guidance before I make a major decision.

It became clear that this story was my story, my life, and written mainly for my children and grandchildren, and it must remain a memoir. Perhaps as a novel, I could have added some more exciting things, perhaps even making my relationship with Luiz a romantic one, not the platonic friendship it really was. I could have really added some “juicy” stuff, but I felt that my story was stronger on its own, as a memoir, and so it remained a memoir. No matter how painful the process was, I stuck to my guns and I’m glad I did.

I think a lot of people have a great story to tell but are afraid to hurt (or the potential of insulting) people who affected their lives—both the good and the bad, they all make us who we are and they are all important elements of growing up. Many people, who would like to write their memoirs, are afraid of criticism and rejection. I appreciate this sentiment—I struggled with it myself.

Sometimes people decide to wait until everyone in the story is gone from this earth, but then the story typically goes untold and I’m glad my story is out there.

In summary, I’m grateful that I wrote Divine Betrayal and I can handle the criticism, rejection, and the hurt. I am proud to be the spokesperson for many MK’s and PK’s! I feel that even children of passionate politicians and corporate people, who have been uprooted from one culture to another, will be able to identify with my book and hopefully be inspired to write their own stories. We all have a story to tell; I hope you‘ll read mine.

Warmly,

Graceann, author of Divine Betrayal

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