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Woman Furious After Her Family Wants Her To Apologize For Things She Wrote In Her Childhood Diary

Elena María Sánchez / EyeEm/Getty Images

We’ve all said something we don’t mean from time time, or at the very least, we’ve said things we had no intention of getting back to the person.

But whether or not we meant what we said, should the people we talked about feel bad for those feelings, even if it meant snooping to find them?

A woman on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit tried to answer that question after her step-sister snooped through her home.

Emotions ran high for Redditor Horror-Potato-6499 after her step-sister demanded she apologize, though she felt it should be the other way around.

The Original Poster (OP) asked the sub: 

“AITA for refusing to apologize for a childhood diary and getting angry my privacy was violated?” 

The OP recently tried to help her family, which backfired.

“I (25[female]) took in my dad, stepmom and stepbrother while they were getting some major repairs done on their home.”

“During the time they were with me my stepsister (22[female]) was there to see them.”

“She decided to snoop in my home. My dad and stepmom let her. She found an old diary I had and read it. She got upset by the contents of it, mostly because I wrote about how I hated having her in my life when my dad first married her mom and saying she was annoying and bratty and I wished she could live with her dad out of state. All of this was written in a diary when I was 10.”

The whole family reacted when the OP returned home. 

“She freaked out on me when I got home. I asked her who gave her permission to look through my stuff.”

“My dad told me to calm down. I told him they should have stopped her.”

“My stepmom went nuts, saying it was horrible that I ever wished her daughter was sent away. It got a little nuts between us all.”

There was an argument about who deserved an apology.

“My stepsister demanded an apology for the stuff she read.”

“I told her I was the person owed an apology because she went into my private space uninvited and snooped through my stuff.”

“She told me it didn’t matter because she uncovered something that deserved to be uncovered. I told her it was that kind of attitude I didn’t like about her back then.”

The family since continued to push the issue. 

“This set the three of them off at me and I ended up telling the three of them to leave.”

“My stepbrother wanted to stay with me but his mom wouldn’t let him.”

“They have since reached out asking me to apologize. I stand firm in not apologizing and being the one who is owed an apology.”


Fellow Redditors anonymously replied, rating the OP’s refused apology on the following scale:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some could only imagine being held accountable for something they said when they were 10. 

“You were 10. Your dad had a new wife and you had a whole new life to adjust to. That’s a big thing for a 10-year-old to deal with. Of course you were going to be unhappy at times and wish things were different. What a nosey woman.”not_just_amwac

“My mother recently shouted at me because I admitted that I was an a**hole as a teenager… but I didn’t admit it emotionally enough I guess? She basically called me an arrogant b***h for not being broken up about not being a perfect child.”

“Children and teenagers do stupid s**t, usually because they don’t know better yet. For an adult to hold that against them is just… Childish.”reallifemoonmoon

“I’d hate to be judged so harshly on shit I said when I was 10. Kids are a**holes, often unintentionally or unknowingly.”

“OP at 10 wasn’t even an a**hole. Just right”not_cinderella

Others agreed and said the breach in privacy, and trust, in the family was huge. 

“NTA, gosh you were 10! And they violated your privacy, they should apologize you.”GodofHate

“This! She totally proved her point!”

“OP: Continue to stand firm and do NOT apologize. The nerve of some people. You open your home to your family and this is how they treat you?! Ugh.”

“You’re right in that the real violation is her snooping in the first place. NTA.”Ok-Mode-2038

“NTA Your stepsister basically just proved that 10year old you was correct and a very astute judge of character.”kittystrangeface

Some also think it was good for the step-sister to receive the criticism, if indirectly. 

“Well you most certainly are NTA one bit.”

“Sounds like step mum never set any boundaries for her daughter, kind of reminds me of the evil step mum out of Cinderella in that respect…”

“If they ask you, again, to apologise, demand one from them. Remind them that it’s your house, your rules!”AbrilDoniger

“Eh, I think it’s good she read it. She needed to be called out on her awful behavior. Don’t apologize.”Tapioca44

“Your comment made me reflect on how I would feel about reading someone else’s diary and finding out that they thought I was mean or that they really didn’t want to be near me because of how I acted. I really believe that I would be embarrassed and would want to apologize.”

“From 10 years old to 20, people change enormously. You can’t hold someone else guilty for something they wrote about you, but you can hold yourself responsible for your own actions especially if you have changed over the course of a decade.”Photog77

It would be one thing if the step-sister discovered the OP was gossiping about her with her friends. But the situation is really quite the opposite, involving only vented feelings to a diary space.

It seems the step-sister and family need to reevaluate what real harm a diary can do (or not) and what they are doing to their relationship with the OP as a result of their reaction.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit