I was planning on writing a story with themes based around the way I was raised, the beliefs forced onto me, and my true beliefs and what I hope to do with my life. I wasn't confident from the start and maybe I've just hit a slump, but I feel even less so.
My story was basically about a young person trying to live a normal, happy life after suffering years of emotional neglect and abuse at the hands of well-intentioned religious extremists. But I've run into roadblocks.
I don't even feel qualified to write about the things I know I've gone through, mainly because I'm still going through them. Besides, just because I've gone through something doesn't mean I'm automatically qualified to write about it. I'm not trying to become an authority on the subject by any means, but I don't want to be hasty or inexperienced about it, if that makes sense. What if a few years pass and I realize my situation isn't abusive (though people have said that's highly unlikely, and in the very least my situation is toxic)? Things change, and I fear it's too early to write about this.
The other side of the problem is that the story's plot focuses on the person going out and experimenting with life, doing normal things her religion deems dreadfully sinful and working through the stigma, lies and even trauma. One problem: I haven't made it to that stage yet. The most I've done is made some friends (which was actually a lot of progress for me, but not anything to write home about). The meat of my story involves experiences I haven't had, such as having sex after years of living in a sex-negative environment. I've always considered the idea of interviewing older people who were in my general situation of relearning reality, but that's not anything I can do until I'm older, so what's the harm in waiting for my own experience to grow in the meantime?
I really hate to put this project on hold. I've been planning and working on it (and loving it) for more than two years, even before I had people IRL and on Reddit point it out to me that my home life isn't as sane as I thought. I'm not writing this story to say "I'm the expert and I know how everything works", but this is something I want people in my situation or similar to see so they can know 'it really does get better'. Also, with the poetic license I've taken, I've made this writing process an interesting one. The whole thing takes place in space! However, as much as I love the characters I've crafted and the world I've made, I don't want to give people who read this unrealistic expectations. From the start, I knew this story wasn't going to be 'after she left, everything was 100% perfect and everyone clapped', but I don't want to be overconfident in my limited knowledge on how life works (specific to my circumstances) and write something unrealistic or even harmful. I'm confident I can write a coherent story, but if my premise is flawed, what have I done? I really think I should wait and gain more knowledge, but I'm not sure if I'm overthinking or making a mistake. Maybe there's a third alternative I don't know about but you guys do. What do you guys think I should do?
Source: reddit post