I'm reading a great collection of essays by Ann Patchett called This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. In the essay "Fact vs. Fiction," she says this:
Last week I attended and told at the Lawrence Story Slam. This is a Moth-style storytelling event, where people tell true stories, up to 8 minutes long. The day before, I decided to tell the emotionally risky story of the good beginning and bad ending of my last relationship. My ex-boyfriend no longer lives in the area, so I wasn't worried about his reaction, though at the same time, I left out identifiers such as his name and profession.
I was aware of the tightrope I was walking in telling about this, wanting to tell a story that resonated deeply with myself and with the listeners, to be honest about the difficulties I'd experienced, but not wanting to do therapy on stage. I don't want the audience to feel as if they have to take care of me. I hope I succeeded.
It was good to tell this one. It's a story I'll keep working on. As Ann Patchett says above, we shape and improve upon the story, we don't change what happened.