When I come across my children’s diaries, I am going to read them. I will apologize for intruding and violating boundaries later, but when the time comes, I am so going to read.
And, if either of them write the type of things in their notebooks that I wrote in mine back in 1983, then we are marching, not to a family therapy session, but to family in-patient treatment.
I like to think that I was an eccentric little lady, prone to dramatic emotions and morbid obsessions– all consistent with my artistic temperament. Cute obsessions, like unicorns and add-a-bead necklaces, not weird shit like black birds of prey or the taste of my own blood.
But, when I started reading the pages of my old diary, I couldn’t help but wonder if I needed something I wasn’t getting. Like very strong medication. Or electro-shock therapy.
Here’s my favorite entry :
Real journalistic pieces were my bread and butter back when I was 10. This entry really captures the nation’s mood on the 20th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death. I had read an article in the Dallas Morning News, which lit a fire in me that raged for the next 12 months. I became an expert on the details of the assassination. I
bored fascinated my 4th grade colleagues with facts about the grassy knoll and Lee Harvey Oswald’s last meal with his Russian-born wife (Marina Prusakova Oswald).
Surely my parents never read this, right? Wouldn’t you wonder about the mental health of your daughter if she was brooding for hours over John F. Kennedy, while listening to Juice Newton albums?
Personally, I think my use of quotation marks around the word “hating”is the creepiest part. Why did I do that? Was I playing fast and loose with punctuation, or was I making some vague reference to culturally constructed notions of nationalistic rage?
Shouldn’t I have been curled up on the shag carpet reading Judy Bloom and wondering about my breasts like every other girl my age?
The good news is that after the obsession with Kennedy waned, I went full-bore into an Anne Frank phase that I am still traumatized from. I am not sure that 10.5 year olds are supposed to do archival research on Holocaust victims without adult supervision.
But, you gotta admit, this explains some things, doesn’t it?