About Dad’s Journals …

When my mother died, she divided her estate equally between my brother and me. She specifically assigned valuable items but didn’t mention my father’s journals. (He died 25 years ago.) I took them with me before I sold my share of the house to my brother. They convey how anxiety-ridden and depressed he was. Now, my brother has asked to see them, but I am reluctant to hand them over. My brother has struggled with depression, and I fear his reaction to them. He is also disorganized. His house is a shambles, and he often forgets to pay bills. I would be crushed if the journals disappeared. What should I do?About Dad’s Journals …

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Reading this query, I found myself having a bit of transference, as I reflected on when my brother asked if he could have his baby photos. I informed him I would be happy to make him copies, but due to my hectic schedule it would be a few weeks. He left me several messages, demanding them. I dropped the originals in the mail. Within a year he lost them and is upset that I would give him the originals. Therefore, in the case of this query I applaud the siblings protective instinct, but not their controlling nature. I agree with Amy that the brother should be allowed to read the journals.  People with depression are not generally restricted to cheerful reading material.  I would, however, warn him that the journals are upsetting and reflect their father’s anxiety and depression, but he may be able to glean an understanding of his family history of mental illness. I would also suggest that the sibling invite the brother over to their home to read the journals and allow him a comfortable space to read. The sibling could also inquire with the brother if it’s okay to bring the journals to his place and help with some household chores while he reads.  Once the brother finished reading for the day, the sibling could invite the brother to have a shared meal and/or go for a walk, allowing him that space to process his thoughts.

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6 Responses to About Dad’s Journals …

  1. Unsurprisingly, I agree with all your thoughts on this

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so interesting and helpful, those protective instincts are so often misconstrued causing divisiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • msw blog says:

      It was a interesting scenario. I always like to ask my clients ‘How does one offer kindness in the situation”. I like to think in this situation. I have provided some kindness outlets. Thank you for reading.


  3. ashok says:

    All the best. May I choose wisely

    Liked by 1 person

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