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Daniel L. What to do with journals

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by enigma, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    I worry a lot about people reading my current journals (I have a pretty nosy family). Anyone else worry about this? What have you done, bought a lock box for them or something?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  2. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I hide my journals. Really well. ;) Really candid stuff gets burned; I dare not keep it.
  3. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Hi All,

    This has been a fascinating discussion. I am 15 months into my TMS journey. I've read a lot of books and I have learned so many things. One day I decided to go back to my journals and see what I could learn about myself.

    It has been hard and wonderful at the same time. It has been great to learn the themes in my life. It has been hard because I only tended to write when I was upset. I almost wish I had a parallel set of "happy memory journals"! I know I had good times along with the bad. I am so glad that I went back and read all of this stuff. I've learned so much.

    Now that I've reread them:
    1. I don't want others to read them
    2. It is hard to let go of them at the same time

    For those of you who burned / got rid of your journals, did it feel good? It was easy for me to destroy the 14-15 year old journals but the later ones are hard to part from. This is a facscinating discussion.

  4. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    Until now, I haven't journaled correctly, i.e. I haven't released the emotion behind it. Just sort of ranted and raved. So, if I destroy the pages, then somehow that emotion is still lurking around and makes me feel like I should have kept the pages. When I revisit the pages, I feel the same pain, suffering and emotion.

    After reading the tips here, for the first time, I don't feel the need to revisit my journal entries anymore. I can look back to the past events and not relive them. Things I've journaled about and released, are truly in the past and I feel a sense of closure. I keep my journal on the cloud so that I can work on the SEP wherever I am. I don't know what I will do with it after it is done. I'm on Day 18 and so far, I haven't felt the need to read through the journal entries.

    I also imagine others, especially my husband, reading the journal and I'm training myself to feel OK about it. For me, it is about being authentic. I went through a lot of pain and suffering and I'm recovering slowly. I don't want to create a burden of shame around my journal. The whole premise of TMS is to be ok with the yucky feelings we have. All my life I've been ashamed of the feelings I had. Now that those feelings are in the open, I don't want to create another layer of shame around others seeing it.

    For me, the day when the thought of someone reading my journal doesn't cause me to flinch is the day I can get rid of the journal. I'm not there yet.
  5. AC45

    AC45 Well known member

    Hi All,

    This continues to be a vibrant discussion! It was REALLY hard for me to let go of my TMS journals. They had so much pain but so many insights at the same time. This is what I went through:

    1. One day I realized it was time to get rid of them
    2. It took me several weeks to actually do it
    3. After I shredded them, I felt regret and peace at the same time
    4. Fast forward a few months...After rereading my journals from age 16-33 I realized it was time to let those go too
    5. A few months went by and then I finally had the courage to do it
    6. I did it this week. No regrets. No looking back. My TMS work has changed me to be such a better and more evolved person. I accept me for me today. While I accept and honor the past, I can let it go. No regrets.

    I never thought I would reach this point. My journals were me - my story. Now I see that life is an evolution. It is ok to leave the caterpillar behind to become the butterfly!

    Gigalos likes this.
  6. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Some tips for people who like to journal digitally and are afraid someone might ever read it (only for Windows users!, no idea how this works on a Mac)...

    - If you use MS Word, read this article on how to safely use it (if you never used encryption, pay attention to the part that tells you how to delete all the temporary files or your current unencrypted journal!!): https://www.tomsguide.com/us/encrypt-files-windows,news-18314.html
    - Notepad in Windows is a very simple word-processor that does not make temporary backups. You can use it in combination with an encrypted file folder or memory-stick. See the linked article on how to encrypt them.
    - Be aware that the copy/paste function puts the last copied text in the temporary memory of your computer. A simple foolproof way to get rid of that information is to restart your computer once you are done journaling.
    - My foolproof advise?? Buy a 50 dollar laptop in the second hand store, clean it or reinstall Windows and Word, make sure it shuts off completely when you don't touch it for 20 minutes and use it only for journaling with one of the two methods described above. Also put a piece of chewing gum in the network port and disable WiFi, because you don't need internet for journaling, it only makes your journal vulnerable to people with bad intentions.

    The important thing is that you feel safe when you journal, so you won't feel held back during the process.
    AC45 likes this.
  7. Elijah Lynn

    Elijah Lynn New Member

    I just started journaling and there is no way I would ever keep them. The stuff that comes out is stuff I don't really want anyone to "accidentally" find someday. It may not even be true, the stuff I write down, but it is how I feel, and if the person I was writing it about saw it, their life might be affected forever because of what I wrote down.

    Here is a test, try 2 writing sessions. One where you know you are going to burn the paper immediately afterwards and a second where you are going to preserve the paper. See if you what you write down is more inhibited in the paper you are going to preserve.

    In my case, if I was going to preserve, a whole bunch of shit would stay repressed.

    My strategy, write/type and burn.
    Mamaheather likes this.
  8. nancy

    nancy Well known member

    I never keep my journals, never know when someone you love may find them. It's also very cathartic for me to tear
    them up and then put them in the shredder!
    Mamaheather likes this.
  9. Purist

    Purist New Member

    Are we supposed to re-read what we poured into our journal when done at that session, to better raise the content to consciousness? Or do we just let it all come out and move on with our day?
  10. Elijah Lynn

    Elijah Lynn New Member

    I have been reading and re-reading Sarno's materials, as well listenting and re-listening to the audiobooks and I my understanding is to just write it down, it doesn't mention re-reading them anywhere. I don't think it would hurt though, the goal is to get it out, and if re-reading helps get more out then that sounds like an effective strategy.

    I actually wrote down with a pencil the other day, as opposed to typing, in a journal and wrote until my finger got sore. I cried and let the tears hit the pages. And it seems like I may actually keep those writings now. Crying feels the best for me, I have to learn how to trigger that more, and writing does accomplish that and it is HARD work, Sarno says that again and again. We have to take the time and do the hard work. 30-60 minutes a day of reading and writing he says in all his books. That gets the sadness out for me.
    Bodhigirl and Purist like this.

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