General Question

01101101's avatar

My mom is snooping in my room? Please help me?

Asked by 01101101 (252points) October 26th, 2015

Well, I’m 20 and in college. I’m still at home with my parents because they don’t want me to move out and have a job. They are very religious and conversative.

Recently, I started locking my room (which is something that I don’t do) just to keep out my brother from stealing my pants. I stay in my room all day and I’m very sensitive in my surroundings that I can totally tell if somebody entered my room, and yep. It’s my mom.

My parents don’t know that I’m sexually active (because I think that it’s none of their business). However, I was such a big idiot to throw an empty box of condom in my trash. Last week, I noticed there was something different. The floor was cleaner and to my surprise, the trash was gone. She saw the box and two days ago she talked to me on FB about it and she was a bit angry… and awkward.

I’m not boasting and saying “oh i’m 20 i’m already an adult i’m on my own self i can do whatever i want”… My relationship with my parents isn’t that good. My dad is emotionally abusive and my mom is so-so. I have been rejected for so many times in my family so it’s better for me to keep my own secrets to my own self than to share it with them, because it would just cause an altercation.

I really feel violated. This is their house, but this is my room and for me, it’s private and it’s my sanctuary. I don’t really feel comfortable on what she did. If she wants to know stuff about me she can talk to me (which no one in my family does) and not snoop in my room. Is there any way to tell her not to snoop in my room again because I don’t feel okay with it? I mean, I know she’s still gonna snoop, but at least I want to tell her that I feel violated and disrespected on what she’s doing…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

This is wonderful! It’s the sort of opportunity you couldn’t dream up on your own. If your mother’s going through your things, why not help her out? It might be expensive, but why not leave a bunch of condom wrappers in your trash can. When your mom questions you on it, tell her that you’ve decided to forego the use of condoms to relieve her of the anxiety. And don’t just leave “evidence” in your room. Buy up some cheap women’s panties, launder them, and after some sort of physical exertion, wipe your sweaty forehead with the things then “hide” them around the house. Just to make the point include a set of the largest pair of women’s drawers you can locate as well as something that would only fit a 10 year old.

janbb's avatar

If you are locking the door (which is a great idea) how is she getting in?

Seek's avatar

Yeah, I’m with @stanleybmanly on this. Troll the fuck out of her until you can move out.

syz's avatar

Talk to someone at your college about student housing and move out.

01101101's avatar

@stanleybmanly But what if I’m a girl?

@janbb The time I realised she snooped in was the time I realised she has an extra key. I thought there were only 2 keys (I’m keeping them). I’m still trying to get her copy

janbb's avatar

Change the lock if you need to; move out as soon as you can. It doesn’t sound to me like a family to play games with or try to communicate with.

stanleybmanly's avatar

If you’re a girl, the condom thing still works, but you have the option of switching the underwear for men’s boxers or briefs. Come to think of it, the men’s underwear thing will heighten the effect if you’re a man as well.

Seek's avatar

If you’re a girl? EASY. Random dude’s names and fake phone numbers all over the room, get a few pregnancy tests at the Dollar store and leave the “used” things in the trash, make random comments about dying for some ice cream… it’ll be great.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Much more subtle and therefore more fiendish.

Jeruba's avatar

I disagree with any idea of turning this matter into a taunting game or a one-up contest.

If you didn’t already, you know now that the locked door is not a barrier. It’s a statement. In order to violate your privacy, your mother has to knowingly violate your lock, which plainly says “Don’t come in.”

If what you want is to tell her in so many words, I think you should do it. You can say it aloud—or you can write it in a note and place it where she will find it only if she enters in your absence. Don’t accuse, swear, blame, or call names; just state your position. “Mom, I know this is your house and you think you have a right to access, but I’m a person and I have a right to privacy. I can’t stop you from coming in. But I can stop you from invading my life. If you don’t keep out of my room, I will move out. Love,  —”

(Take a picture of it before you go out.)

Don’t say it unless you mean it. If you mean it, do it. Better start figuring out how.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Let go of my ear rational sensible woman!

talljasperman's avatar

Unfortunately it is her house her rules.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Here is the real in the deal; part of growing up is knowing you don’t get all the sprinkles and the ice cream too. It is their house so it is their rules, even those you feel are not fair to you; welcome to the real world. If you worked somewhere, you will have rules over how you dress, your conduct, maybe even areas you work in or believe you control. If you were paying rent, which you did not mention you were, it might have a slight change in policy. If you value your privacy and sex so much why not be willing to make some major sacrifice for it? What precludes you from moving into the home of whom you are boinking? If he believes you worthy enough to get naked with, he should see you as worthy enough to put you up, then you get all of what you want; sex, privacy, no snooping mothers.

JLeslie's avatar

I think be the one to break the mold and go talk to her. Tell her it appears to you someone went through your things, and tell her you assume it was her. She might admit it or deny it, I don’t know. Then you can tell her that you feel uncomfortable with the invasion of privacy, but respect that the house is her/their house. Let her know if she has any worries or questions you would be happy to talk to her about it, and you can also reassure her you are responsible, not doing any drugs, or whatever fears she might have. I’m assuming you don’t drink irresponsibly or do drugs. Those two things are deal breakers for me.

My main message is, you can break the silence. Don’t sulk or get angry, or do the silent thing, just address it head on.

Remember, almost all parents snoop or try to control their kids to guide them or out of their own fears for their children. Parents are afraid their kids might make a bad decision and screw up in a way that is difficult to fix. Have some empathy for her as a parent, try not to make it into a combative situation.

talljasperman's avatar

Rent a hotel room when your boyfriend and you have sex.

marinelife's avatar

You should move out if at all possible.

Zaku's avatar

If she’s not comfortable talking to you, but is willing to open your locked door and snoop, you could treat every privacy violation as a conversation starter. Really, I’d say you should figure out your position, including backup plans, and then talk to her.

But since your dad is abusive and she’s violating your privacy, I’d work on a plan for moving out, unless you’re up to transforming your relationship with both of them. That might be worth trying anyway – shifting to an adult-adult relationship rather than (snoopy)mother-child and (abusive)father-child. You can at least work on doing your side of that shift. Which includes being prepared to move out.

sammy333's avatar

This is how i feel about this subject no one has the right to go through your stuff , i for one have gone through the same thing. What you need to do is tell your mom if she has any questions or anything she wants to talk to about,to actually talk to you not go into your room.

filmfann's avatar

Their house, their rules.

if you are a 20 year old girl, why is your brother stealing your pants?

Pandora's avatar

@filmfann already beat me. That was my first thought. They are paying for your roof, your college and your meals and no doubt everything in your room. You want complete privacy move out. Your parents have a right to expect your room to be clean and complete access too. Personally I would’ve taken the lock off and handed it back to you. You get to be a man at your own place with your own money. As a mom, I can tell you what I told my kids. Have all the sex you want once you are 100 percent self sufficient. Your father and I had you guys and didn’t rely on welfare or family to support you and don’t expect us to raise your kids.

Seek's avatar

(now for a serious answer – though I have to admit trolling sounds like so much fun and I wish I had thought of it)

I grew up in a hyper-religious house with no privacy. I still lived there at 20 years old.

I shared a bedroom with my sister who is six years my junior. I wasn’t allowed to lock the door ever, and while I didn’t have anything to hide (being the good church girl I was), more than a few times I retrieved belongings of mine from other parts of the house (including a lacy bra… which weirded me the fuck out).

I was also the only person in the house working full-time, and was not allowed to go anywhere that wasn’t church. If I went out after church with church-friends, I had to bring my younger brother and sister with me.

When I started dating my husband, I was forbidden from sharing any kind of physical affection for three months (a collaboration of my stepfather with the pastor – his brother – who was pissed that my husband wasn’t dating his own daughter)

So, when my mother started demanding I pay rent to her for living in the house, she got a resounding no on account of all of the above points. “Well, then I’ll just make you move out!”

The next day I found a room for rent and put down a deposit. That weekend, without saying a word, I packed up my shit, and left. I was on my second trip (small car) when my mom noticed and asked what I was doing.

“You’re ABANDONING YOUR FAMILY!??!?!?!?!?”

No, I’m an adult, I deserve some privacy – which I’m not getting here, and if I am to pay rent, it’s not going to be here.”

The next day I had ice cream for breakfast. It tasted like freedom.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek If her parents are paying for school there is more reason to put up with some of the rules.

hearkat's avatar

I am the parent of a son in his early 20s. Ever since he started whining about privacy, he has been told that when he is supporting himself completely in his own home, he can have privacy; but as long as I am supporting him and providing his housing, there is no such thing as privacy.

When he was a tween and teen, his bad behavior warranted my scrutiny. Whenever I found something of concern, I would address it with him calmly and explain why it concerned me. If I felt punishment or warnings or rule modifications were appropriate, they’d happen – but mostly I used what I learned by snooping to teach him.

Eventually, he’d stop trying to lie and keep secrets because “you’ll find out anyway” so he and his friends would speak freely in front of me and I would calmly respond if I felt a voice of reason needed to interject. Mostly I stayed quiet and observed – they weren’t bad kids, just bored suburban youth with parents more overbearing than I or ones who didn’t have time to be bothered with their kids. I tried to strike the balance between the two – caring enough to be present and do the hard work of parenting, but trusting enough to let him develop responsibilities and self-respect.

Soon, he was thanking me for being as hard as I was in the earlier years. He still lives with me and we moved in with my fiancé when my son was 19. We gave him the master bedroom so he would have his own bathroom, too – privacy – because he is very respectful of us and has proven that he deserves our respect in return. He has his girlfriend over, and she is respectful of us, too. He stays over at her parents’ house almost equally – she has also earned her parents’ trust and respect.

It was a long and hard road for my son and I, from him being in therapy and times we called the cops on him, to now he’s been at the same job for years and he’s going to school. We managed to evolve our relationship into an adult friendship, and I’m really pleased about that. It was a process that required dedication and communication from both of us.

Trust and respect are earned by each party – if you feel that your parents are emotionally or psychologically unable to give you the space to let you grow up, it is probably best that you find a way to get your own place. If they won’t allow it and you are still being supported by them financially for school and such, you may have to choose between: their money + their rules <or> no money + privacy.

I suggest you try to have a conversation with your mom away from the house. You say that your father is emotionally abusive, so please take a moment to try standing in her shoes… for many women in difficult relationships, being a mom is a large part of their identity. Letting go of you and her sense of responsibility for you will leave a void that your father is not there to fill and he may be unlikely to support her finding other areas in which she can develop her sense of worth. Stop seeing her as Mom and see her as a woman who may be struggling face her future without kids to take care of.

When you talk, speak like an adult and let her hear that you understand that she loves you and appreciate that she wants what’s best for you, but that the time is coming for you to develop your own identity. Tell her that you love her, and you don’t want this process to create more stress and drama in the house, but that you hope that you and she can evolve the relationship and develop mutual trust and respect. Explain that her snooping not only shows that she doesn’t trust or respect you, but also that she loses any trust that you’ve had for her in the process, and that you fear that it may drive you apart.

Then LISTEN. She may freak out and have a meltdown, or she may be taken aback and react defensively. The key at that point is to respond in as mature a fashion as you can muster, and let her know that you understand that this is difficult for her and you love her and appreciate all that she has done for you, and that you hope to talk some more once she’s had some time to think about it. Eventually, you might ask her to try to see things from your perspective, too. It won’t be easy; but if you really want to show her that you are ready to be treated like an adult, you have to act like one. Good luck.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

Play a loop of the scene from sixth sense where the daughter is filming her mom. Just play it over and over with no explanation.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Wait a second. If you’re a girl, what use has your brother for your pants? Are there really unisex trousers?

Seek's avatar

@JLeslie – is a common theme is abusive religious households to prevent kids – especially girls – from getting a job.

my situation was different because my parents were also greedy a-holes who used my paycheck to feed the family and trick out their truck, so they could continue using stepdad’s disability and moms child support to buy two $7 packs of cigarettes each every day

If they control her access to money, they control her.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek I agree whoever holds the money holds the power. All I am saying is if they are paying for her degree it might be worth not keeping anything at home that her parents will be pissed about and finish school. Like, keep the condoms at the bf’s house.

The OP said her parents don’t want her to move out and have a job. Does that mean they are afraid she will drop school? Or, that they don’t allow her to have a job at all even while in school? The OP is 20, so I’ll assume this is her junior year. 1.5 years to go in that case. Assuming her tuition isn’t crazy high, I agree that she should get a job and work towards getting out of her parent’s home by next school year. I think college is a great time to move out and I always recommend living on campus. I say that to people who have wonderful parents.

A whole bunch of shit damage is done. She spent 20 years with a verbally abusive dad, a year more to finish her degree might be worth it. It might not, I certainly can’t make the decision for her.

In regard to her parents searching her room, I say let them have at it. What does she have in her room that it matters? She is 20 not 12, she should be able to figure what not to have laying around that might piss off her parents. That is unless she wants it to get really bad in the house so she can get out.

In your situation you were working and not in school I thought?

Seek's avatar

I wasn’t allowed to go to school.

Some Christians allow their daughters to go to college solely to get an Mrs. Degree. Not saying that’s what’s happening here, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek I have a friend who wasn’t allowed to go to school either, because of her religious parents, I get it. She got accepted on scholarship behind the back if her parents, and they would not let her go when they found out. She didn’t go. She did the church thing, eventually married someone in the church. Nice guy thank goodness. They eventually divorced, and now in her mid 40’s she is taking college classes.

I’m just thinking about how my dad’s mom didn’t want him to go to college. She wanted him to work more, because she wanted a new sofa. That’s what my dad says. Probably, she wanted him to contribute more than just the sofa, but that was his perception at 16 (he graduated HS young). He moved out though. I don’t know if he moved out his freshman year, but I know he spent at least some of his college years living with friends. He still is close with most of the guys. However, my dad’s tuition was free. All he had to pay for was his part of the rent, food, and maybe books. I’m not sure if he had free books too? I doubt it.

The OP is in school, and even if it’s for an MRS degree in the mind of the parents, the OP still will be graduating college.

Haleth's avatar

So we know your parents are paying your room and board, because you are living at home. How is college being paid for?

If you decide to move out, you will want to become VERY FAMILIAR with your school’s financial aid processes. One thing that holds up many college students is the parental contribution part of FAFSA (the free federal form for financial aid.) According to the federal government, until a student is 24 the parents must fill out FAFSA with their earnings. This means that if you are under 24 but don’t get along with your parents, the government estimates your financial aid as if they are paying for everything.

However. Some schools actually have an exemption to this. I would never have known about it; at my college, it’s buried in the bottom of the financial aid website. You fill out a form explaining the circumstances and go from there.

If you move out, you may have to figure out how to pay for your own college. The best thing you can do is be like Nancy Drew about it- show up to the office and ask lots and lots of questions, learn the process like the back of your hand, and meet all the deadlines. It’s very likely that you can find a student loan if your parents threaten to cut off funding.

Also, there may be enough financial aid money for you to live in a dorm on campus. If not, renting a room with roommates is a couple hundred dollars a month. If you live with a few other students, you can rent very cheaply. It’s hard, but plenty of people work and go to school.

ubersiren's avatar

Plant clues to a scavenger hunt. The last clue leads to a letter stating how you feel. Be the bigger person, saying things like, “I know this is your home and I want to follow your rules, but if you trust me enough to live here, you have to trust me enough to give me some privacy as an adult.”

JLeslie's avatar

Lol. Put a note in your room that has HI MOM! Really big and bold for her to find when she snoops. Plant them in a few places. I bet all the blood will rush to her feet when she comes across one.

Zaku's avatar

This isn’t helpful advice for the problem, but I have to say to everyone who parrots “Their house, their rules.”: NO. Owning a house, or even being a parent, does not make the houseowner absolute ruler of everyone in the house, nor grant them the right to violate people inside the house with impunity, including their children.

Messing with people has consequences, and especially parents ought to care. Violate your children, and you will never undo the relevance of your violation for them or for you, no matter how much you try to cover it up or justify it.

Everyone deserves some degree of privacy. And there is no way to take away anyone’s ability to resent you as long as they feel the trespass, for violating any of their needs.

LostInParadise's avatar

^ I agree. Imagine taking in any adult relative who was having a hard time making ends meet. Does that permit you to invade their privacy? I don’t think so.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Pandora's avatar

-@Zaku, so parents should have no expectations? Never mind don’t answer that because I really don’t care. My kids are grown and respected my boundaries when they lived under my roof. My job is done and according to my kids done well.

jca's avatar

Does she have the right to privacy? Yes. Is it wrong, what the mom is doing? Yes. Is there much the OP can do about it, to make the mom stop? I see it as she can do two things. She can move out, or she can change the locks. If she moves out and the parents are paying for school, that might jeopardize that. Also, assuming she even has the funds to move out, in order to support herself in the near future to finish the degree, and to pay for school herself (assuming the parents will stop paying for school) will be hard but not impossible. If she has to work full time around the school schedule, and study, it will be difficult. Maybe if it’s dreadful and she sees that as the only alternative, but it would be tough.

Holidays are coming. If I were the OP and if it’s possible, I’d consider taking some Christmas money (if she gets that as a gift, if she celebrates Christmas) and pay a locksmith to change the drum – about 80 bucks.

I wouldn’t bother playing games to tease the mother. That seems like a lot of energy for nothing.

To me, if the OP can see her boyfriend, get school paid for and get free room and board, and the only thing she has to deal with is the upsetness of the mother snooping, I’d clean up the room so there’s nothing for the mother to find, and I’d milk the situation by finishing school and then moving out after graduation. If they were making it impossible for the OP to see the bf or something like that, that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther