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

Posted by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 9:04 AM
  • 48 Replies

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

by Lisa Fogarty

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?

by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 9:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
davnrori
by Platinum Member on Dec. 11, 2013 at 9:25 AM
7 moms liked this

 In my opinion, this article is stupid. When, as a parent, you try to keep your past from your kids, act like you are perfect, and that you came into adulthood through a series of beautiful and responsible actions, you set your child up to feel that they can't make mistakes. Why would they come to you, oh perfect one, when they get too drunk at an underage party? Why would they come to you with their most personal of problems if they have no idea that you went through the same sorts of things as a teen/young adult?

Should a mother advertise her mistakes and encourage her children to experiment with recreational drugs/alcohol/sex partners? Absolutely not. But she should also not rewrite the past because, as a mother, you should be more fact than fiction.

Am I going to tell my kids about how I have gotten so drunk I've blacked out? How I spent most of my late teens/early 20's making out with as many guys as I possibly could? That I have had *gasp* more than one one-night-stand? That my friends and I would make the 20 minute drive to Windsor every single Friday and Saturday because the drinking age was/is 19 and do our best to give American teenagers a bad name? No, I'm not going to just put those stories out there. But when they are feeling horrible and say that I could 'never understand' their problems, I can honestly tell these stories, their consequences and resolutions, and hopefully talk my child through their issues.

princess_1983
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 9:26 AM

I don't have any skeletons in my closet so I will tell my son whatever he wants to know.

wooly
by Knitting Maniac on Dec. 11, 2013 at 9:26 AM

I have nothing embarrassing saved.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Dec. 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM
3 moms liked this

I can say, that sneaking peeks at my mother's "secrets"  was an eye opener for me... It put in perspective that my mom is human, so were the people she wrote to, and about.

I sometimes will read the letters my grandmother (dads mom) sent her, letters I was never supposed to see, letters that accidentally ended up with me when I brought home some boxes that like the OP, my mom just wanted out of her basement... I grabbed one of hers by mistake. It is just so shockingly HUMAN how their relationship was, and how much my mom reluctantly depended on her to take care of me... I found bits of a journal where my mom detailed what it felt like to be cheated on, and in turn end up raising a child that wasnt hers (my stepsister)... I found music lyrics that she thought fit her...

when I was a kid I found a suitcase full of notes written between her and friends. I read about crushes, and love, and smoking in the bathroom... 

It was raw, emotional, not all of it was roses and sunshine, and it felt taboo to see those perspectives. I never told her that I took that box, or read what was in the suitcase... But I felt good to see them. sometimes we put our parents on a shelf, or our grandparents, and we dont see what is really going on through our childhood or recognize that the adults in our lives DID go through the same things we did (or are).. And I never held my mother's escapades over her head when she punished me for stuff like being at a party with much older people when I was a teenager, or smoking behind the movie theater. She was my mom and I respected her (as much as a teenager can)

I refuse to destroy my journals and what have yous... Hopefully the kids wont go through my stuff, but if they do, well... I hope they see it the way I did.

la_bella_vita
by Bella on Dec. 11, 2013 at 11:14 AM

 There is nothing I need to hide from my kid's. Maybe, a story here or there I am not excited to share but nothing I need to hide.

bellanicolexox
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM

When I was 8 I played on a soccer team and was pretty good. One day while at practice, we were running in a line behind the coach, I was looking down and next thing I know BAM! I ran right into my coach's ass. That wasn't the worst part, he had his wallet in his back pocket so when I hit, my nose slammed into it and I was bleeding everywhere. I never went back to soccer. LOL. So embarassing, but now I laugh about it. And the crookedness to my nose.

ambermario4ever
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 11:26 AM

i guess it would be the baby blanket my mamaw made me that i still have under my pillow. and no they have seen it before so i dont care of they see it or anything.

Vamp
by Gold Member on Dec. 11, 2013 at 11:41 AM

stick it in a trunk with a combination lock in the most dark and remote corner of your attic/basement

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Dec. 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM
2 moms liked this

I would tell them.. Its only for their own best: you dont want them to go thru stuff that you went thrue only for them to get hurt or even have to pass thru shame.

A couple of photos, cigarettes and a drink isnt hat big of a deal.. Maybe she wont fancy those type of activities, if she does then whats the point in hiding your past if she's allready doing it or will do it?!! Please get over yourself.

 

 

RA-October
by on Dec. 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM

 

Quoting davnrori:

 In my opinion, this article is stupid. When, as a parent, you try to keep your past from your kids, act like you are perfect, and that you came into adulthood through a series of beautiful and responsible actions, you set your child up to feel that they can't make mistakes. Why would they come to you, oh perfect one, when they get too drunk at an underage party? Why would they come to you with their most personal of problems if they have no idea that you went through the same sorts of things as a teen/young adult?

Should a mother advertise her mistakes and encourage her children to experiment with recreational drugs/alcohol/sex partners? Absolutely not. But she should also not rewrite the past because, as a mother, you should be more fact than fiction.

Am I going to tell my kids about how I have gotten so drunk I've blacked out? How I spent most of my late teens/early 20's making out with as many guys as I possibly could? That I have had *gasp* more than one one-night-stand? That my friends and I would make the 20 minute drive to Windsor every single Friday and Saturday because the drinking age was/is 19 and do our best to give American teenagers a bad name? No, I'm not going to just put those stories out there. But when they are feeling horrible and say that I could 'never understand' their problems, I can honestly tell these stories, their consequences and resolutions, and hopefully talk my child through their issues.

 Well said! Agree with you 150%

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