Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 11:14 am
The other day I saw a bit of a show about people who discovered family information after a spouse or their parents had died. It wasn't always a pleasent experience.

This made me start wondering about "The Mo diaries" and why I keep them and whether I should burn them. Today marks the 7th anniversary of the day Mo moved in with us and thus, the 7 year anniversay of the beginning of the Mo diaries.

These diaries are not sentimental baby books. It was suggested that I keep the journal should the information be important later. And later they did become very important.

They chronicle the confusion and misery of a toddler abandoned by his parents. The tell of the power struggle and fights between his parents, the visits they made to him, the interactions between them. They tell of Mr. B and my life being upended by becoming parents, unexpectedly, overnight.

Really, they're a horror story.

They are locked in our safe.

I don't think I'd ever want Mo to read these but for some reason I can't bring myself to throw them away.

Is there ever a benefit to keeping such things around?

Thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 1,024 • Replies: 15

 
Cycloptichorn
 
  5  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 11:16 am
@boomerang,
Quote:

Is there ever a benefit to keeping such things around?

Thanks!


Yes!!! When Mo is an adult, let him make his own decisions about learning about the past. Don't steal that chance from him.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 11:19 am
@boomerang,
Mo may need help for a long time. After you and Mr. B are around to help.

His half-siblings don't know much about him - they may or may not be interested in helping him in the future.

Some day those diaries may help someone else figure out the key to helping Mo - as you figured things out by living with him.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 11:21 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I don't think I'd ever want Mo to read these but for some reason I can't bring myself to throw them away.

Is there ever a benefit to keeping such things around?Thanks!


Yes, definitely. When Mo is an adult he will benefit from such a diary,
it will surely close a lot of question marks he might otherwise have.

I don't have a diary about my daughter, but I do have her family information
on file, and when she's old enough to read them, she'll be able to understand.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 11:28 am
@boomerang,
Have you read "Maus"?

There are many tragedies in the book but one of them is that Spiegelman's mothers journals were destroyed... I get the need to be careful but I think it's valuable, valuable stuff. Plus there may be things that will still be pertinent in the future. The medical journal I kind of accidentally kept here for sozlet (I'd say when she was sick, then got more systematic) has yielded unexpected rewards... as in, stuff I didn't think was meaningful turned out to be down the line.

I think you've done a good and important thing.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  5  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 11:29 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Really, they're a horror story.

That's not what it sounds like to me.

Mo at 9 is very different from Mo at 2. I can imagine how different Mo at 18, or 27 will be.

History is important. Even when it's painful. Perhaps especially when it's painful.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 12:07 pm
@boomerang,
While the individual vignettes in those diaries might be described as horror, my guess is the overall feel will be of a family coming together under bad conditions and triumphing against the odds. Maybe it will become the feel good movie of 2025.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 01:48 pm
Thank you all for your advice.

From where I sit it is really hard to imagine any good from him knowing these stories. (Like his grandparents year long absence because they were using meth. They're good people now, and important to Mo.)

It really isn't heartwarming at all, dry, just the facts sort of stuff. There is very little editorializing and most of it is ugly (my dismay of his mom buying a fancy car and getting it all "pimped" out shortly after he came to stay with us while insisting she didn't have the money to raise her child; my fury over his dad having spent too much time with him over the course of a year - 36 hours in a year - less hours than most people work in a week - for us to gain psychological parent status (at that time Mo had already spent more than half his life with us)).

None of it will ever answer "why".

Still, I suppose there isn't any real reason to destroy them. At least yet there isn't.
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 01:59 pm
That's a very valuable document. It should be given to him one day in the distant future.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Jan, 2010 02:25 pm
@boomerang,
Together they paint a picture of adoptive parents in a passionate battle to safeguard their son from influences that could harm him and of them fighting battles to overcome obstacles that other parents would never even dream about in their nightmares. I think he may find those valuable one day when in his autobiography he discusses why the Supreme Court under his guidance made certain key decisions.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2010 08:31 am
@boomerang,
This has been running over and over in my brain.

Suppose something happens to you and Mr. B before Mo is an adult. Will his designated guardians know enough about his history not to reinvent the wheel for him in terms of assessments etc? Do they know about the diaries, how to access them quickly?
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2010 08:35 am
@ehBeth,
not a pleasant thought, but definitely something to consider
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2010 10:41 am
@ehBeth,
I've lost a lot of sleep over that very question, ehBeth, because, as my psychiatrist friend says, nobody will ever understand it until they live it. She has a daughter with some similar problems to Mo and she admits she never really understood until she lived it -- despite the fact that she'd been "helping" people for years.

I also worry that there would be an absolute ****-storm regarding custody if something should happen to me and Mr. B, appointed guardian or no.

The diaries and documents relating to Mo are all kept in our fire safe. The person appointed to oversee our wills has the combination.

I think we have a pretty good plan in place.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 06:46 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Thank you all for your advice.

From where I sit it is really hard to imagine any good from him knowing these stories.
(Like his grandparents year long absence because they were using meth.
They're good people now, and important to Mo.)

It really isn't heartwarming at all, dry, just the facts sort of stuff.
I wish to offer u my professional and personal assurance
that dry, tedious printed factual information really comes alive
when it is read by someone who needs or desires that information
,
or who is interested in it for historical purposes, like an adult Mo himself.
Indeed, if adult Mo found out that these diaries existed
and were intentionally destroyed, he might very well feel
intense angst, remorse and emotional loss for many years.

I understand your concerns about their content,
but this is Mo 's personal history: most respectfully,
that information belongs to Mo.


In his adulthood, u can freely tell him what is in there,
to prepare him in advance for any shocks.
Boomer, please don 't rob Mo of the opportunity
to make his own decision.


If it came to pass that either u or your husband
lived longer than the other while Mo is still a child,
it might be possible [ I don't know what Mo's present
legal status is with u, nor do I know the laws of your State]
that mistaken-minded people might institute legal custody
proceedings concerning which that meticulously kept information
possibly woud be valuable.

U shoud continue to keep the diaries up to date.
I am sure that Mo 'd love to read back about how u prepared
his 9th Birthday Party and how his friend said it was
the best day of his life n how Mo cried because it was over.
Don 't stop.
That is historical gold and u wrote it charmingly.
U have honored Mo by bestowing so much love on him.

If u do not destroy them, then u remain in control
of that information, to use it at your discretion.
After the diaries have been destroyed, u lose control;
u can only WISH and WAIL
that u still had them if u need them in the future,
for any unanticipated reason. Life is full of surprizes.







Boomerang wrote:
There is very little editorializing and most of it is ugly
(my dismay of his mom buying a fancy car and getting it
all "pimped" out shortly after he came to stay with us while
insisting she didn't have the money to raise her child;
my fury over his dad having spent too much time with him over
the course of a year - 36 hours in a year - less hours than most
people work in a week - for us to gain psychological parent status
(at that time Mo had already spent more than half his life with us)).

None of it will ever answer "why".

Still, I suppose there isn't any real reason to destroy them.
At least yet there isn't.
U might choose to write a preface, a prefatory letter, (or DVD or videotape)
to Mo for him to read BEFORE he reads the content of those diaries
telling him whatever u believe that he shoud know about them
to prepare him emotionally. If u wanna, on DVD or videotape,
u can offer him commentary on whatever u wrote in the diaries,
explaining whatever u think shud be more fully explained,
to relieve and mitigate the dryness of the factual information;
even read to him (on the tape)
some of the entries that u made, to bring them more to life and understanding.

I bet that Mo in his adulthood will not consider them to be dry.
Thay are and thay will be a DARK TREASURE.
I estimate a 90% chance that Mo will keep them all his life.


Its not ofen, Boomer, that we have 100% unanimous agreement on an A2K thread.





David
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 07:02 am
with out reading comments, my very first thought was what if you and mr B die?

Will who ever gets mo understand him?
The death of the two of you would damage that child beyond belief and with out someone understanding what he has been through that damage could be beyond repair.

Someone NEEDS to know he came from a fmily with a HUGE drug history to know why it is important for him to be watched ( if it happens later in life) for drug use.
They NEED to know his abandonment issues.
They NEED to know his psychological issues
and more importantly they NEED to know what has already been done so that they can make important next steps instead of trying things that have already been done, already ruled out or doing things that might be even more damaging.

He may not need to ever see them.
But a care taker in your place would. Hands down.
If not handled properly, even the most caring person could get him treatment that would hurt him more than help him. You have created a time line, a need list so to speak, and a proper procedure with out even knowing it. It needs to be there to continue to help him if you ever are not.
Also, if only one of you dies the other may need to refer to things in there as well if things get worse for him in hopes of helping him.

Its a Mo Manual.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jan, 2010 08:44 am
@shewolfnm,
Yes, Shewolf; to your wise comments, continuing in that vein,
I wish to add this:
if Mo had been treated by medical doctors
(who, of course, kept notes on his treatment),
after their healthcare had ended by retirement,
or moving residence, etc. it woud be unthinkable
that his treatment notes, his history with them,
woud be destroyed instead of given to whoever 'd continue
to care for him, as Shewolf said.

The same applies to your diaries, past, present and future.





David
0 Replies
 
 

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