Is it time? Reflections on the experience of finding an ethical way to write a personal story for an audience

Main Article Content

Clare Wenham

Abstract

How can I tell a personal story which finally feels ready to emerge and be written about? Can the composing of a reflexive, autoethnographic account help me to better understand my own experience? In this article I describe how I feel impelled to listen to my embodied feelings and to pause in my research writing to allow this need to be met. Responding to those urgings leads me to write a poem, The Kite, which becomes the reflexive core of my writing. Sharing the poem with my daughter results in challenging conversations which cause me to reflect on my motivation and to doubt whether I can consider writing this article. I explore my ethical position as a mother and a gran who needs to tell her story before continuing with her research study while remaining constantly aware of those things which are not mine to tell. I make use of reflexive, rhetorical questions to consider the dilemmas involved in obtaining consent and respecting the wishes of all those involved. I develop in the process a greater awareness of the ongoing effects of the serious illness of a child on a family, and I reflect on the many hidden voices of those undergoing the same experience.  The creative telling of my story, incorporating both poetic writing and reconstructed dialogue, changes and deepens my understanding of what it means to write reflexively. And leads to an unexpected and deeply moving creative response.

Article Details

How to Cite
Wenham, C. (2022). Is it time? Reflections on the experience of finding an ethical way to write a personal story for an audience. Murmurations: Journal of Transformative Systemic Practice, 5(1), 13–27. https://doi.org/10.28963/5.1.3
Section
Articles