Journaling the Tough Stuff

A few weeks ago I talked about taking a journaling jumpstart.  This was a call to arms not just for scrappers like myself, but also to those who want to journal and just need a kick in the pants.  This is another installment in the journaling journey.

Sometimes journaling can be hard.  There may be a scrapbook page or event in your life that you really want to document, but there are tough memories or emotions tied to it.  Here lies the question: do I air the dirty laundry for the world to see?  Do I just forego the journaling?  I want to journal, but I don’t want my kids to see it.  What should I do?

If you would have asked me what to do about this even six months ago my answer would have been just don’t do it.  However, I’ve grown a little more as a scrapper and as a person and I’m becoming more aware that expressing yourself through journaling is extremely important not only to expressing yourself artistically, but it can also serve a great therapy.

I take several different approaches to tough journaling:

1.  Hide it (so you can find it later):  Sometimes a story can be hard to tell.  That doesn’t mean you do not want to share it with everyone, but there are some stories that I am not going to share with my daughter when she is eight but I would love to share with her when she is eighteen.  As the same time you may have a beautiful layout that you just do not want to journal on but feel the need to record the story.  Here is an example of journaling that I hid because it was long and emotional.

Now later on I can pull the story out and share it with Maddy when I am ready.

2.  Hide It Forever: There are some things that I think as a mom you should be able to scrap about honestly without hurting your child’s memory of an event.  That prefaced my confession is that I hated Kindermusik.  I found Maddy’s teacher to be condescending and cruel.  What seemed so odd about the situation is that despite “Miss Ellen’s” treatment of Maddy she still loved attending the music class.  Since it was a part of her life for two years I felt it was important to scrapbook the photos, but I could not bring myself to do it because I abhorred going.  Enter the hidden journaling.  I journaled my hatred for Kindermusik on the back of the photo and then glued it to the rest of the page.  Maddy will never know the difference.

3.  Alter It:  If you are looking for a way to express your journaling, but you are afraid that it might hurt someone journal it and then alter it.  Paint over it, color it, alter it so that no one would realize you have journaled there in the first place.  This is good for those pages that would be considered a therapy page.  Working through a tough relationship with a family member, a tough memory, etc. can all be good candidates for altered journaling on a scrap page.

This list is in no way exhaustive, but I hope it gives you some suggestions and a jumping off point.  The main issue here is to not let tough memories go undocumented or unsettled.

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