What's your advice regarding old diaries? I have adult children. I kept diaries in the 1960's, through high school and university.
Read once privately, and then toss. Even grown-up kids find intimate glimpses into their parents' previous lives, as Too Much Information. Especially if there's sexual details, or emotional attachments to ex'es.
If you have significant history they should know about, tell it personally. If there's a whole story that needs to be revealed, set the scene first in person, then let them read only portions of your diary, not all the musings of your coming of age.
Five years ago I was living with my ex-fiancé. We met at work, had a similar social circle, and I thought we were working towards having a future together. I was very wrong.
He developed a drug habit and lost his job. I took responsibility for most household expenses and paid the rent. He decided to return to school and I supported us, with the understanding that when he finished, I'd return to school to pursue my dreams.
Several years later, his education completed, he was on his way to a new career. Friends and co-workers helped him, he was working full time. I'd saved some money and decided to go to a private (costly) trades college, and had to take a student loan for thousands of dollars.
A year later, he wasn't happy in our relationship. He complained of having to pay for our expenses, and was angry and resentful of me. His drug use began again, and he started to stray away from home. One day, he was gone - for good.
He never explained why he ended the relationship; he just never came back except to move out his things.
I became very depressed, developed my own drug habit (self-medicating), and had to leave school to go back to work full-time. He'd left me holding the bag with our apartment, bills, everything!
Five years later, I have a wonderful, caring fiancé and two beautiful children. But I'm still quite bitter and angry, left paying a debt that I have nothing to show for, except that I've paid off much of what was owed (well over half). And as I approach 40, my dreams are quickly fading away.
Meanwhile, I hear about my ex from old friends. He's doing really well - he had a lavish and expensive wedding, he's traveling around the world with his wife, and generally not having to worry about money or his life like I have to worry about mine.
My fiancé and I will not have a luxurious or expensive wedding! I cannot afford to go back to school! It isn't fair or just.
I know I should get counseling for these issues but I can't afford it.
You're far luckier than you realize. Had your ex stayed, you'd perhaps have had the lavish wedding, but you'd be living with someone selfish, cowardly, and lacking compassion.
The saddest part of the story is not that a person in your past was a jerk who took advantage of you, but that you're still bitter and angry and letting this cloud your life.
Tell your friends to stop talking about him; he has NO place in your life. Get counselling - you're hanging on to negative stuff and holding yourself back. Just as you've found love and the joy of children, you can still improve your work choices once you see possibilities instead of losses.
My daughter, 18, started university. She's a good kid; we bought her a car mainly for school commuting. However, she now goes out daily and weekends, and stays out late.
She talks about changing schools next year, saying we use school and the car to control her. She'd like to live in residence, but we can't afford it. I understand she wants independence, but I feel she's also overwhelmed.
She says she doesn't have many friends at university, so continues to daily see the ones where we live. Are we wrong trying to guide her to not follow her friends and stick to school?
Listen to her adjustment issues and also suggest she go to student services on campus where counselors are used to these transition stresses.
Insist on some mutually agreed boundaries - e.g. friends one night and weekends only. Otherwise, the car should NOT be freely available.
Tip of the day:
Personal diaries are often TMI for your grown children.