Jill asks :

Hello Lucy,

I wonder if you can help put my mind at rest about something. It’s a long story but to be brief I have kept a journal for years, a few years ago I became paranoid about them being seen and binned the lot which I came to regret later so I started it up again and accumulated a good few more notebooks. The same paranoia arose again but this time I had the books scanned and binned the hard copies. I now live alone but still worry in case my boyfriend sees my writings or them being left for anyone to see once I am gone. Last year I started, with the idea of a friend, to keep a visual diary which is just basically a daily account of events and I also paste in ticket stubs and photos and other memorabilia, this is totally non private and I have shown it to my boyfriend, family and friends. But I still miss writing down my personal thoughts in a nice notebook so on the advice of another friend at work I bought a pretty book and have started using that as a journal to write in as and when I feel the need and I write in my visual diary every day. However, this hasn't solved the problem as I still find there are some things I can't write in my journal, if I am angry with anyone close to me I feel I can't vent in the journal in case they ever see it and take it the wrong way. Plus I know that my anger will pass but once I have written it down it remains permanent. I don't mind venting in my journal about work or about people not close to me but there are some things I would like to keep separate and not be seen whilst still keeping on with the journal. I have tried using the computer and it’s not the same, I have tried writing on loose paper and destroying it afterwards but again it’s not the same, do you have any ideas? Thank you.

 I have tried other means

I have tried other means

Hi Jill,

It sounds like writing in your diary brings you great comfort and nothing else has really given you the means to vent like you do in your journal.

If you are worried about other people seeing them then perhaps get a safe or a lockable place to store them in, to ensure no one reads them by accident or on purpose. That said, whoever is in your house should respect your privacy- and if you can't trust them not to snoop then perhaps look at who you are inviting into your home.

Everyone has negative thoughts about each other at one time or another- admittedly with a journal it's proof of them rather than something that fades after time. It is human nature to not see everyone through rose tinted glasses all the time so try not to feel guilty about writing down something that lacks positivity about another person.

Whatever means you use to store your daily feelings and ideas always has a chance of being exposed with the right person to locate it. Whatever means you choose could be discovered. You live alone which means that have reduced the likelihood of many people coming across your diaries. If it comes to a point with your boyfriend where you want to live together then perhaps lay down some ground rules and if he respects you enough then he should leave them well alone.

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