I have probably 20 of these kinds of notebooks in a trunk in my attic. They are filled with stories and dreams. Some autobiographical, some completely fiction. So, why are they on my mind today?
Because of the tragic case of Susan Powell. If you are not familiar with this case, Susan Powell is the mother of two who disappeared in early December of 2009. Her husband, Josh, has been considered a "person of interest" and now her father-in-law has been arrested for voyeurism (which may or may not be linked to her disappearance).
While the mystery writer in me is undeniably drawn to the case, I was appalled by a recent move by her husband and father-in-law to publish her teenage journals.From Forbes.com :
"Josh Powell's family claims Susan Powell was sexually promiscuous, emotionally unstable and suicidal. They were offering as proof several diary pages from the missing woman's teenage years.
Her family says the entries were written by a young girl still growing up and have no bearing on her disappearance. They got a temporary order in a Washington court prohibiting the Powells from distributing the journal pages."
Can you imagine?
I was a closet writer in my teen years. My journals were filled with a mixture of reality and fantasy with no discernible difference in the two. I once spent two weeks grounded because my parents "accidentally" read part of my notebook. I was too indignant over the invasion of my privacy to admit most of it was complete fiction. (Mom~ the 21 year-old you thought I was planning to sneak out to see didn't even know I existed. He was a friend of a friend's older brother. I met him one time for approximately 2.5 minutes.)
Even the parts that were "true" weren't the truth. Why? They were being recorded through the eyes and mind of a teenage girl. Just as Susan Powell's family says about her journals, mine were written by someone still growing up. While who I was then may have played a role in who I am now, it certainly isn't who I am now.
What about you? Have you revisited your teen self lately? Can you fathom the idea of all that confusion and angst being on display for the world? Especially if you were unavailable to defend yourself?