It's Inevitable That My Daughter Will Learn About My Humiliating Past

Rant 18

A few days ago, I received a call from my parents urging me to get my butt over to their home and (finally) clear out their basement of every artifact I'd been saving since I was a teen. I now have a gigantic bag of magazines, notebooks, and photo albums sitting in one corner of my apartment and some of it could really get me in trouble one day.

With my child.

I wasn't a "bad kid" by any stretch of the imagination, but I had a few semi-wild years that I would rather my daughter not find out about. I didn't do anything too nuts. But I did enough to embarrass myself -- in print -- though, thankfully, most of my stupidity took place seconds before the Internet blew up. 

Still, in my bag of shame I am currently in possession of not one but three magazines in which I somehow managed to have my photo snapped at some nightclub or another. In one mag, which was the butt of lots of jokes among friends, I'm at a foam party in London partying it up with some random guy I'd just met, half of my shirt hanging off. I know there was almost absolutely zero sexual activity going on in my life at that time, but if my daughter sees these photos, she couldn't be blamed for mistaking her mom for a cage dancer.

And then there are the notebooks and diaries. Countless pages of poetry in which I (very beautifully and accurately, I might add) rail against my mother and reveal very personal reasons why we had major issues at the time. If my daughter were to read these poems, she would discover things about her grandmother that aren't her business to know -- that she need never know, really. 

Ugh, and what do I do with the short story I wrote about a girl giving a boy oral sex beneath a dark bridge, which was published in a minor publication? Or the photos from Amsterdam that prominently feature cigarettes and glasses of wine (let's hope she doesn't do the math and figure out my age at the time). Jim Morrison lyrics written over and over again in spiral-like fashion on a notebook cover.

I'm royally screwed. 

So what's the responsible way to handle private artifacts once we become parents? Should we store them in a safe? Burn them and let our memories hold on to the ones that will ultimately matter most? Or is it best to be honest and not hide the evidence?

Throwing out parts of my past makes me feel like I'm losing a part of myself. I think I'll take my chances and risk incredible embarrassment if she finds my stuff. And, oh yes, she will definitely find my stuff.

What's the most embarrassing thing you have from your past? Would you care if your kids found it? 


Image via MyLifeStory/Flickr

behavior, discipline, sex


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SRTmo... SRTmom6127

Honesty is always best, but you don't have to show off your items. Put them in the back of your closet somewhere for yourself. If asked a question answer it, age appropriately, kids always know when you're hiding things. If you are honest I believe they will respect you more, at least my children did. 

nonmember avatar writer

I used to write in journals a lot, but I burned most of them because some of them had things about my parents that I dont want my kids to know about my childhood. But i figure they could read the stories I wrote, and see the scary pictures! Most of them are decent, except the first picture of me and my husband together as teenagers. We were 16 & 17 extremely drunk, beer bottles in hand, dad smoking a cig, and us under the covers of a friends bed... Though you cant tell we were clothed and both still virgins lol!

kisse... kisses5050

 sounds like you are bragging to me...

Valerie Marie Carter

after 5 kids, 3 grown, honesty has always been the best policy. Eventually they grow up and are young adults like you were who make the same stupid mistakes. They are more forgiving then we are judging ourselves.

Megan Marie Woods

My mother always kept her journals and memories in a box on the top shelf of her closet. I never had the curiosity to go into my Mother's personal belongings. I think it goes back to how you raise your child. She shouldn't be snooping around in your personal belongings, therefore she shouldn't be embarrassed by who you previously were. :)

the4m... the4mutts

I was a stripper. And there is not evidence of said pre-child employment, but I wouldn't hide it if my kids were to ask, or if it needed to be used as a story/lesson for them when they're older.

I am not ashamed of my past, at all. And unless you were and are still living some addiction fueled lifestyle, then there is no reason to be ashamed. Use it as a teaching tool when your kids start acting out.

But I do have to say, I agree with kisses ^^^, this just sounds like a brag blog, and using the "what if my kids find out?" As an excuse to put it all in one spot.

Christine Armington

I was just having this same conversastion with myself a few weeks ago!! I came across some of my writings and other memorabilia and while I know it is safe for now and my kids will not find it, I suddenly realized I am going to die someday and they are going to go through all of my things!!! **PANIC** But then I realized, while it is an age appripraite and slightly red-acted version, they already know most of this. I have never been dishonest with my kids about who I was in the past, I hold out the hope that they will take some kind of wisdom from my mistakes so as to avoid them.

Amy Jones

Hehe! Well, guess what? The story was just shared on FB, so chances are if they didn't know they probably will shortly in the future!

Happy... Happydad73

You do want your child to find out or you would have already discarded said evidence. The reason so many people keep stuff like that (especially said magazines) is to revel in the glory days.

Lilit... Lilith.23

I was a wild child, my kids are going to be shocked when my mom will tell them stories, i still have my diaries full of random, wild, and mildly sexual thoughts in them, my mom still has my mug shot :/ baaah and all those years my mom kept on telling me not to do things i didntt want my children to find out...bummer for me.

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