To publish or not to publish?

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I’ve had a thought. To be honest I’ve had this thought for a while. But I am considering publishing parts (or most) of my blog in book form.

Should I make what I have written into a book?

To date I have had one book published. And so I am aware of the errors and pitfalls that this process may take.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression To publish or not to publish?

Initially, after good advice, I started to write these pages based on my experiences and (on advice) to help ‘get things off my chest’. It was probably the best thing I had ever done. I have had the opportunity to reflect, question, analyse and so much more.

It was all a new venture

As time passed I found that I could express thoughts that other people have tried to say but have not been able to. I wouldn’t say this is a gift, but it has been a privilege.  I have found that I have said something and shortly afterwards I would get a lovely comment from someone expressing their thoughts. As a result, I have shown that in the darkest hours, I or we, are never alone. Indeed, the world is a big place but it can become a lot smaller when it has been broken down into smaller, common, communities.

Different place

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression To publish or not to publish?

In 1999 when I graduated from the University of Birmingham in History and Political Science, a well-respected tutor stated, “the past is another country, they do things differently there”. They are words that didn’t really mean much at the time. However, years passed by and I had not heard it again until recently when I heard it twice in one week.

Nothing is the same

Indeed, everything in the past is a different place. The language I spoke then was one of confidence whereby, I knew my place and felt (it now appears deludedly so) secure. I worked hard and felt there would be a mutual respect when the need was required. Each day had a meaning. In fact, everything has now changed. Even my home city of Birmingham has become unrecognisable following a recent visit.

Perhaps things are still a little fuzzy. Recent events are being draped behind an opaque blanket of rawness. But equally it has made me sharper and more sensitive. I have discovered that each day offers an opportunity of insecurity and the fact that the ‘carpet can be pulled from under your feet’ at any moment. Literally, life can change in the blink of an eye.

Principles

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression To publish or not to publish?

Yet, I have learnt that if you have a principle that you believe to be right, then it is worth fighting for. I have also learnt that a quick fix isn’t really a fix at all. The rights I have wronged were personal. I was attacked on so many fronts but held it together because I knew I was right. And indeed time has now furnished me with this fact.

I know people will say things behind my back but the simpletons in society love that kind of gossip, after-all soap operas are built on this simplicity. But I know the real value of truth and above all dignity. We are all deserved that at the very least.

Working life

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression To publish or not to publish?

Twelve months ago I often said that if you cut me in half it would say ‘Paramedic’. I loved my job. I adored the people I worked with and the responsibility that making quick decisions meant. When I had days off I always looked for an opportunity to do some overtime. As a result I was often told to take some leave because I never did.

In many ways I still enjoy being a paramedic. I am, at this stage, desperate to return to work. Yet I have learnt a massive lesson. It is indeed too much to be expected to be seen as a human. You and I are numbers. We have bank account number, national insurance numbers, even my driving licence is lettered with numbers.

Nothing in return

Whereby, I gave up so much for work the investment had never paid off. Time and again I had been overlooked for promotion (it transpired that a certain manager feared I would take his job as I am more qualified than him). The times I would go into work to cover any staff shortages are beyond counting. But in the blink of an eye I found myself expendable.

It may just be a coincidence, but I was sent a comment by a friend and the words rang so very true.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression To publish or not to publish?

I think you find that it speaks for itself.

I have decided that I am going to work less. My job took over my life and so I now want to repossess what I had lost to a job that showed no value of me at all.

But why publish?

Everything I have said is nothing new. Following my choice to write about it all I have discovered other people all over the world expressing the same things. But prior to this I could not find anything to help me with my struggles or choices.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression To publish or not to publish?

Yet here I was writing what I wanted to hear. I was taking a bold step to leave myself open and be judged. Interestingly enough I have made some amazing friends of whom I have not physically met. But equally I discovered who my true friends really are.

I feel after some consideration if these pages have reached out to other people like myself why should I leave it as a blog? Would I have found this blog when looking? I probably would have eventually. But accessing it in a book format would have made it better for me. And this is why I have considered publishing this blog in a formal book format.

I am under no illusion that much of what I have written will need to be re-written or even merged with other things but the content will remain the same. I want to tell the world what it is like to be a male victim of domestic abuse and the consequential mental struggles. I want the reader to know what it is like to be assumed guilty before being given the opportunity to clear your own name. And this is not happening in a backward country. It is happening in every street and every town in a so called ‘civilised’ society.

 

3 Replies to “To publish or not to publish?”

  1. Hi Keith,
    First, you should go off what your gut is telling you to do in terms of publishing the blog format into a book. Personally, I have thought about that since I started my blog. (I’m using my blog as sort of a stepping stone if you will).
    Secondly, I think that for the circumstances in which you endured all this time…It might truly work. I believe your demographic would attract more men into reading it based on “What You As a Man” have gone through, but with that being said… You also brought up the fact of How many people have been screwed over and letting shit go because they didn’t-advocate for themselves?
    I know it’s just one person’s opinion, but that is how I feel about it.
    Good Luck with your decision.

    1. Beckie
      You are always so sensible and level headed.
      The more I think about it the more I want to do it.
      However, I don’t want it to be seen as a ‘man,s’ story as I also want to embrace what women experience too. But I can see where you are coming from.
      Thank you again Beckie

  2. Hey, Keith,
    I’ve scrolled a bit through your blog and am intrigued by the idea of a book outlining your experiences. It’s funny, my father-in-law considered himself to be a male feminist. I see myself as a female male-ist, if there is such a term. I think males are being increasingly marginalized in today’s society and I, for one, love to see males who are strong enough to push back a bit. And I do believe there are more men than we realize who are subjected to abuse, whether physical or emotional. Even though you will also be looking at abuse through the eyes of women, the fact that an abusive relationship involving the male as victim will be at the center of your book is a good thing. I wish you all the best in your endeavor.

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