Each week, I spend hours and hours responding privately to letters I receive from readers. For a variety of reasons, fewer than half the letters I receive make it to the site. In the past, one of those reasons was due to a direct requests from LWs that I not publish their letters, and I’ve always been happy to comply. But because of the overwhelming number of letters I now receive, I can no longer honor that request. I just don’t have the time to read and respond to letters I’m forbidden from posting, and with so many incoming letters each day, I don’t want to have to worry about accidently publishing something that isn’t supposed to be published. So, please: if you don’t want to risk seeing your letter posted on this site, do not write to me. Talk to a friend instead, or a family member or a counselor. (If you’ve written to me in the past and asked that I keep your message private, that request will still be honored, of course).
Also, if I’ve taken the time to respond to you, and you’ve found my advice at all helpful, please feel free to let me know (an update is also always welcome, whether you liked my advice or not!). I can’t tell you how many times I have spent an hour reading someone’s letter and composing a thoughtful response — many times privately — and then never hearing a word back. This is another reason why I’m no longer accepting private letters. If I’m going to spend significant time each week reading and responding to letters and not even get a simple “thank you,” then I at least need to have the benefit of posting it to this site. Now, with a baby only three months away, my time is more valuable than ever, so I hope you’ll understand if you write to me and don’t hear back and I hope you can appreciate why I am no longer answering letters I don’t have the option of posting. I love what I do here, and I know this community has helped lots of people, but if I’m going to have the energy to keep things going, I have to draw some boundaries. Thanks for understanding.