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My mother's been snooping

(102 Posts)
mummyrunnerbean Thu 18-Dec-14 22:08:20

Not sure what to do- basically have discovered my mother has been reading all my emails for months. She's seemed oddly telepathic on a few occasions recently and today I was round at hers and said something about something I KNEW I'd not told her about. I pushed a bit about how she knew and she said that she'd 'guessed' (that I'd sent a photo of DS to my father, whom she is acrimoniously divorced from). hmm After a bit of thinking, I remembered logging into gmail on her PC about six months ago. Popped to have a look and sure enough it was logging in automatically, I then checked her internet history and she's been on it every day after checking her own email in the morning. She's been into all my deleted and sent folders too, and though luckily DP and I don't email each other I saw from the history she'd read through an entire three year relationships worth of emails from an old boyfriend!!! Which from memory included a fair few eye-wateringly dirty ones blush. I'm so fuming about this- didn't say anything to her but obviously removed the automatic login and changed password. She has history with poor boundaries but as a breach of trust this really beats everything. Not. really sure how to tackle it though as she'll just turn on water works/ say she was worried about me since DS was born or since things have been difficult with my Dad etc. AND it's bloody Christmas next week and I don't want an atmosphere...

RandomMess Thu 18-Dec-14 22:11:42

What would you like to happen?

Her to apologise?
Her to change?

Hassled Thu 18-Dec-14 22:11:56

Bloody hell. I don't know what to say. Why aren't you saying anything to her? I'd have steam coming out of my ears.

FrontForward Thu 18-Dec-14 22:14:44

Yuk. How horrible OP

My mum never respected my privacy and the only way I could cope was to accept she would snoop and if she found stuff that was at all personal it didnt change who I was.

Is she capable of changing filtering settings to make the account copy to another?

I'd say nothing this week tbh and allow Christmas to pass and your own emotions to settle. After Christmas id harden yourself to have a conversation and ignore tears and anything else and tell her she has crossed a line and lost your trust

Spadequeen Thu 18-Dec-14 22:15:28

Definitely talk to her about it and don't accept excuses, there are none. And you can always tell her to cut the crap if she starts crying that its not going to work this time.

She's created any atmosphere not you. If you don't say something, you will spend the whole Christmas period fuming, then you'll say it's too late after the fact to say anything, then the resentment will just build and build and that's not going to do you any good what so ever

mummyrunnerbean Thu 18-Dec-14 22:19:10

Random I would love her to apologise or change but doubt either is going to happen. She has never as far as I recall apologised for anything, other than the 'oops sorry for stepping on your toe' variety. I didn't deliberately lie but was vague about contact with my father, as 1- it's none of her business, they're divorced! and 2- it will just become a rant about how evil he is if I let her talk about him (not necessarily untrue, but wearing after 6 years). Unfortunately she will turn this round and try to turn anything I say to her into a rant at me for 'lying' to her.

And Hassled I'm furious. Irritatingly though the effect fury tends to have on me is to make me feel sick and shaky and teary, so have learned not to deal with things like this instantly if at all possible, as it rarely ends in me getting my point across. Not that I foresee getting my point across anyway.


Lweji Thu 18-Dec-14 22:19:27

I would send myself an email saying something like:

Hi mum, this will be the last time you read my emails. I hope you enjoyed them.

Then change the passwords.

Lweji Thu 18-Dec-14 22:21:30

Or as you have already stopped the automated login, you could send her an email saying.

Hi mum, just to let you know that the new password for my email is stopbeingnosy

mummyrunnerbean Thu 18-Dec-14 22:25:24

Front I don't know if she could do that. Until today I wasn't aware she knew there were email programs other than yahoo.
She acts technically hopeless but I am now wondering if it is just an act.

Spadequeen I think you're right- even if I could bottle it up I'm not sure DP could sit on it! Just dreading the conversation. I'm not in a great place atm - recovering from
mild PND an seeing a counsellor- ironically bout how to enforce boundaries with my mother! Emails arranging which were also on there.

I just feel so exposed and yugh!! sad

mummyrunnerbean Thu 18-Dec-14 22:26:23

Sorry for missing letters- on phone!

RandomMess Thu 18-Dec-14 22:26:46

Okay so you recognise that she isn't going to change, that's good grin

How about the line "I'm very disappointed in your behaviour, Mother"

MunningCockery Thu 18-Dec-14 22:40:39

Ok. This is what I would do - no, I shit you not, sometimes you have no choice but to go very left field to get through someones auto-narc/victim defences. I would pm Munning with it as is an actress!!! give someone your DM's number and get them to call her with their caller ID off saying they are XY Internet firm investiating a breach of communications act from her ISPgrin

Trust me, not that I have EVER had to do this OR EVER done this m'lord she will be so frickin shocked it won't cross her mind to ask HOW they have her number and she will just briefly shit herself mumble apologies but know has been caught bang to rights. To add to the joy, she will be told that the correct account holder is about to be informed.... Oooo, that's be YOU OP

And then SHE will have to work out HTFuck she is gonna deal with you as opposed to you presenting it to her. Is evil but genius and it works fhmm

MunningCockery Thu 18-Dec-14 22:42:20

fhmm as clearly I have NO idea how it works so well...

DustBunnyFarmer Thu 18-Dec-14 22:47:16

I'm with Lweji. I would have left it logged in and send an absolutely raging e-mail to your father (her ex) about what a shitbag she is. Double-mortification - first of all being caught out and secondly knowing that her evil ex knows. It is an unforgivable breach of your privacy. I don't know how you come back from that. Personally, that's the kind of thing I'd seriously consider going no contact over, particularly if she's already got form for this sort of thing.

Aussiebean Thu 18-Dec-14 22:47:43

I would also think up all the excuses you think she will use on you. Like 'I was worried about you'

Then start with that.

'I know you hacked my emails. Don't tell me you were worried don't tell me this and don't tell me that and don't start crying. What you did was inexcusable, you know it and no excuse that you come up with will make up for it. I expect a heartfelt apology and acknowledgement of wrong doing, without the water works and then, and only then, will in consider speaking to you again. However be warned, that may take sometime and you will have earn back my trust'.

See what she says. Anything other than what you want shut down all conversation instantly and leave. Or if you do it by email, don't respond.

SkudSikker Thu 18-Dec-14 22:47:46

I would say to her "u must be so embarrassed, poor you"

AskMeAnother Thu 18-Dec-14 22:55:45

Gosh. My daughter stopped posting on MN because I came here. I don't think I'd dare read her emails, I might never be forgiven!

crje Thu 18-Dec-14 23:07:41

It's important to take an action to move on.

The best way to do it is to say your piece and then let it go.
She has been caught out, you will always have your guard up.

123upthere Thu 18-Dec-14 23:12:57

Yikes. I would send an email to a friend saying you can't believe your mum has been making a habit of reading your emails and will she ever apologise

She'll read it before Xmas day grin

Lweji Thu 18-Dec-14 23:16:47

More seriously, I don't think you'll get resolution here, so I'd just take is as a lesson never to let my guard down where she is concerned and probably keep contact to the minimum necessary.

GingerbreadPudding Thu 18-Dec-14 23:17:36

Really feel for you. My mum did similar which is one of the main reasons we are NC now. Such a massive invasion of your thoughts and relationships. Ugh.

snowspot Thu 18-Dec-14 23:25:01

I'm really shocked and wonder if you can sustain a good relationship after this. That is so amazingly intrusive and disrespectful. I kind of hate her on your behalf. It's almost one of those things to do that is so awful, it doesn't matter how lovely she is in other ways.

Personally, I would tackle this now. You've had some good advice on here, and although I would love to say "send an email for her to read that says 'my mother is a bloody stupid bitch'" I think this would be a childish (if satisfying) way of dealing with this.

I like Aussiebean's 'speech' to her. It allows her to build bridges having almost burnt them down. Do not be fooled by your DMs tears, they will simply be for being found out, and not as contrition, BTW.

Also, I did have a close family member do something similar (they had read some files on my computer). It was around my brother's wedding and I didn't want things ruined. I think saying something just before the wedding and saying I didn't want to talk about it again, but just to know that I was angry, was a good thing as it got the 'telling off' out o fthe way, but there was a finite period for things being nasty between us. So now might be a good time to say something, even if it is nearly Xmas.

mummyrunnerbean Fri 19-Dec-14 09:27:32

Thank you all. I kind of love the idea of her getting a call from the 'ISP' but sadly think I will have to tackle this head on sad. I'm absolutely dreading it as I'm really terrible at confrontation with her. I know she will deny, cry, blame, deflect and generally make it unbearable. And I will not get an apology, ever. For the people who've suggested NC - in some ways I'd love to. I think though her craziness is (largely) rooted in untreated depression and anxiety which has got massively worse since she divorced, so I feel like it would be awful to walk away from her when she's ill. Not that she does a anything to help herself And sometimes she can be really nice. The whole situation with her is just so draining and upsetting. She's only on her late 50s but it's like having a difficult and often deeply unpleasant elderly relative to 'manage'.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Fri 19-Dec-14 09:34:07

I would get a friend to send me an email with the title:

"Having triplets won't be so bad. When are you going to tell your family?"


"Moving to Australia will be brilliant. When are you going to break the news to your family?"


"You, Roger and baby Mimi are going to fit right into the commune. When are you telling your family about your new way of living?"

WhyTheFace Fri 19-Dec-14 09:42:07

You don't have to make it a confrontational thing if this is something that makes you feel terribly anxious. How about sending her an email? You can fiddle about with it until you're happy with the content

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