As fiction authors, we want to burrow into your emotional spectrum and connect with as many as we can. We've done our job as you turn our pages late into the night or cradle the finished read for those precious moments when our story seeps into your bones. We want you angry. Or happy. Or terrified. It's our job to entertain. Or enlighten. Or provoke.
Non-fiction is that and more. We burrow into our own emotions or experiences and unfold a story we hope is illuminating or interesting in some way. We want to connect, but the connections we seek are different. Sharing a small corner of the human experience brings us closer together.
Under my non-fiction umbrella are various pieces of journalism. I hoped my recently published article in Financial Advisor Magazine would spark a deeper appreciation of the complicated tentacles of elder financial exploitation. It did.
I received an email from a woman who was helpless to stop the exploitation of her mother. In part, she said, "reading your words was like reading my mind: my mom could not see herself as a victim and was still lucid. As you so succinctly expressed it, 'although cognitively intact, Mom was emotionally powerless to stop her victimization.'"
So, yeah. There's that.
It's hard for me to feel good about connecting with someone whose mother experienced "unspeakable psychological/emotional abuse." This is one human experience I don't want to share.
But, here we are.