Don’t Write Your Memoir for the Narcissist or the Flying Monkeys

Cherilyn Christen Clough
6 min readJul 19, 2021

Do it for yourself

Photo by the Author

A decade before I wrote my memoir, I was watching “The Judds” episode on OWN, in which Ashley Judd told Wynonna that she had written a memoir. Wynonna yelled at her in anger, “Why’d you have to do that?”

Ashley's answer was, “Because you wouldn’t listen to me any other way.”

At the time I thought that made so much sense. I figured maybe Ashley's mom and sister would realize how they had treated her like their slave, but now that I’ve written my own memoir, I doubt it. I also realize the person I was writing for was not the narcissist, but myself.

What is it about narcissistic people that they can't listen to others or view things from another’s point of view?

It was the scandal of the family for several years. They knew I was writing a memoir about my childhood and neither my parents nor my siblings were supportive of the project. By deciding to write the story of our peripatetic and often homeless existence, I became the scapegoat.

No one was positive about it. One sister tried to read things into my blogs and articles and suggested I was telling lies. My mom worried about me ruining the family’s reputation. One family member even went so far as to make fun of my childhood dream of wanting…



Cherilyn Christen Clough

Exposing narcissism, smashing the patriarchy, and refuting religious abuse--one story at a time