Please let me know what you think with your comments. Should we read our children's diaries if we think they're in trouble?
Jaime was understandably livid when I told her what I had done.
“How could you do that, Mom?” she screamed. “You had no right! You intruded on my privacy!”
“Jaime, I’m sorry, but it’s my duty,” I desperately improvised, “my duty as your mother, to protect you. If I don’t know what’s going on, then I can’t help you. And you need help!”
“I hate you for this,” she screamed. “I will never trust you, again.”
She slammed her bedroom door and locked it.
The next morning, I was referred to a therapist who treated adolescents. Jaime was still angry, perhaps justifiably so, but reluctantly she agreed to go. After about two months of weekly visits, the therapist met with me. “Jaime has a healthy view of herself,” she said with confidence. “Don’t worry. She’s fine.”
Had my daughter snowed the therapist, just as I had snowed adults when I was a teenager? Jaime got involved in wholesome high school activities, drum line and show choir, and met some very nice friends. Maybe the therapist was right. I felt encouraged and hoped this would give her the self-worth I felt she desperately needed.
Jaime seemed to live a double life. On the one hand, she was wholesome, talented and sweet. On the other, she was conniving, sneaky and trashy. In hindsight, Stu and I should have been stronger with our convictions and our parenting, but we weren’t. Her transgressions went unchecked. Because we viewed Jaime as fragile, we always gave her the benefit of the doubt. We just never thought she’d turn to drugs.