When you're a teenager, having your parents respect your privacy is everything.
And when they don't, it can often lead to tension, regardless of their reasons for doing so.
Teenage Redditor Dandelion-2937 recently clashed with her parents after catching her mom snooping in her stuff, so she turned to the subReddit "Am I the A**hole" (AITA) to see if she was wrong for how she handled things, asking:
"AITA for putting a condom in my drawers to trigger a reaction on my mother?"
The original poster (OP) explained what went down.
"This Christmas, after throwing away my 6-year-old treasure chest (storage box with lock, gift from my father), I(14F[emale]) got a new table with 4 drawers in my room which have locks too."
"I transferred my treasures inside, like gifts from friends, diaries, sketchbooks etc. I thought that I am the only one with the keys but I started to suspect that my mother had another set of keys and she has been snooping on my stuffs."
"I would find my things not quite where they were placed despite still [being] inside my drawers, and just recently my mother asked me about the things I draw (in my sketchbooks, which I keep in my drawers most of the times) not being age appropriate (because I was practicing human anatomy and she thought they were nudes)."
"I voiced out my suspicion but my mother denied it, saying that she just saw my drawings lying around."
"Yesterday I decided to test it, to trigger a reaction to see if my mother has really been snooping. I stole 2 pieces (not 1, title wrong) of condom from my mother's room and put them in my drawer before going out to meet with my friends."
"When I came back, my mother and stepfather said that they wanted a word."
"They interrogated me like a criminal asking if I have been seeing boys, who I met that day and demand that I have to be honest with them. At first I wanted to say something smart but ended up directly asking if is it because they've seen the condoms in my drawer."
"With my suspicion confirmed I threw a temper at my mother and said some really nasty things at my mother and stepfather (pretty sure he has nothing to do with it as he respects boundaries, but I blew at him regardless for siding with my mother)."
"My mother wanted to ground me but I then called my father telling him that she threw away the treasure chest he gave me replacing it with something that she can snoop on, he called my mother and they argued on the phone."
"My mother then refused to cook my portion of lunch that day for ruining the new year and I ordered food delivery which my stepfather paid for."
"After calming down (which is now) maybe I shouldn't have pulled that? I could have done it smarter and plan better to not have it ending up like that."
"However I also think that this wouldn't have been a problem if my mother did not throw my treasure chest away or not keeping a spare key for my drawers. So AITA?"
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You're The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most agreed that the OP had every right to call out her mom for violating her privacy.
"NTA. That was brilliant! Although you did lose your cool in the end and someone like your mother can use it against you."
"Make it out that you blowing up is a bigger deal than her invading her privacy. Keeping cool makes it impossible for others to play the victim."
"Honestly, throwing away your chest that your father got you? That's a priceless thing from your Dad. What if something happened to him?"
"That would be a thing you could remember him by and she threw it out like trash. If anything your Mother asked for it and she should know better than to invade your privacy."
"Sadly I can understand your step-dad. It does seem like he is trying if he respects privacy and even pays for you the way he did when your Mom didn't make you anything to it."
"Basically a guy in a cross-fire where he can't please everybody, but doing a good job not to pick a side too hard. By the end of the day he needs to live with her. You still have a Dad on your side."—ChewMyFudge
"NTA. Your Mom has clear problems respecting your privacy and boundaries."—Amara_Undone
"NTA it was a very good honey trap. You just need to find a better place to hide your stuff now... and a decoy hiding place."—GoldenAmmonite
The fact that the OP's mom withheld food after the confrontation didn't sit well with people.
"She withdraws food as punishment? Wtf. NTA."
"Is there a reason you're staying with her and not your father?"—onepunchsans
"I worry about the long term effects of being in an environment will have on OP since they're still a youth. My mom had problems like that too when I was that age and it really affected the way I see relationships and respect down the line."
"So please have some clear discussions with all of the members of your family about this because what your mom is doing is not right in the slightest and I'd hate to see that hurting you later down the road."
"Food is a basic human right and shouldn't be taken away as a punishment. I could see taking away a toy or a game console or something but a staple to living like food isn't something to be negotiated."
"As a parent she has the legal obligation to provide you with food or means of making food or else that's clear abuse. 'Going to bed without supper' is a horrible way to treat your children."
"TALK to your child. Treat them with proper respect and have open and active conversations and you'll never have to distrust them or snoop on them. Your mom is cray cray and you are not the a**hole in the slightest."
"Your clever trick was really smart and it must of felt kind of good to have one of those 'gotcha!' moments."
"Please always know that you deserve basic things like privacy, food, shelter, etc. And don't let your mom try and take that away or manipulate you into wanting what's best for you."—helloringo
Even if the OP's mom had the purest of intentions with her snooping, many thought she went about it the wrong way.
"NTA. I even laughed, i have a 13&15 yr old. Here's the deal your mom is worried about you and apparently very nosy."
"That is actually human. However, let her know she broke your trust and that she will have to earn it back. Let her, but don't drag it out."
"So I'm going to let you in on a secret. We parents screw up sometimes. We're not perfect, we're human."
"That's not an excuse to be jerks though. As parents we were also good, crazy, smart, jerk kids too (ask you grandparents sometime or aunts/uncles etc they will spill the tea)."
"So I'm taking a guess here, maybe your mom is worried you might make the same mistake(s) she did at your age. Or perhaps another family member or friend's mistakes."
"I hope she meant well and let her stupid fear lead her to do something stupid."
"Now on to what some options, all are valid you will have to decide your course of action."
- "Do nothing and Stay mad."
- "Sit down with her and really talk. Tell her in a serious tone what she did was wrong and hurt you and how she needs to earn your trust again. Keep your cool! Very important. She definitely on or will be on the defense."
- "Ask her what she is so worried about that she had to snoop and destroy your things instead of just sitting you down."
- "Ask her how she intends on making up for throwing away something that was important to you."
- "Discuss what she and you should do to stop this behavior."
- "Let her know this, her behavior, is inexcusable and she could be ruining the relationship between you two."
- "Ignore it and move all."
"No matter what she will be tempted to do it again. Go ahead and apologize to your stepdad he's in a very bad situation and trying to be neutral."
"He might be able to help your mom see she's being intrusive and unrealistic with expectations."
"As parents we know you kids will make mistakes we just want the mistakes to be small not terrible life altering ones."
"For the record no I would never do this as a parent unless it was possibly life or death. My kids and husband have discussed this so we're all on the same page. Good luck."—Flyingplaydoh
Hopefully the OP and her mom can iron things out and get on the same page about privacy before their relationship takes another hit it can't recover from.