Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Forgive or Forget

Today I woke up still livid from the events that happened the night before. Now I am not the one to talk shit about my parents, but last night kind of did it for me.

Now, my situation for this summer is that I am living with the family until it’s time for me to sail away to graduate school across the country. I was living with a roommate prior to this, but the lease came to an end on May 15th and instead of looking for another apartment for 3 months, I made a decision to move back with my parents. I figured 3 months wasn’t long enough to start butting heads. Boy, was I wrong.

My parents and I use the same email provider – Gmail. I was actually the one who introduced my parents to the wonders of emailing just a little over a year ago. I insisted they get with the program and get an email account, since, for crying out loud, it was 2007 and it was about damn time.

I frequently use my parents computer to check my email and most of the time, I tend to leave the window open without signing out.

Yesterday, while I was at work, my mother decided that it was a lovely idea to go through my emails that, in her opinion, had questionable and personal content. She, then, left me a distressed voice mail saying simply that we “needed to have a talk.”

Later on in the evening, she proceeded to tell me how she opened one of my emails between me and the boy I have a vague romantic interest in. The email was fairly flirtatious, but by no means X-rated in nature. That wasn’t the point, however. The point was that she violated my privacy and trust and acted as if she had the right to do that.

A year ago, I moved out of my ex-boyfriend’s apartment because he started having trust issues with me. He found out my email password and started going through my emails, much like my mother did yesterday. My ex did it repeatedly, even after I asked him not to do it and changed passwords. This type of violation of privacy is a very sensitive subject to me to this day, and I can’t tolerate anyone doing that to me ever again. My mother knew the whole story with the ex. She chose to do the same thing he did anyway, without a doubt knowing how much she would hurt me in the process.

I don’t hold grudges, and I am a firm believer that the sooner one can get past an argument, the better it will be. What my mother did, however, stripped me away from all the trust I had in her. It wouldn’t make a difference if she read an email in which I talked about puppies or an email in which I admitted to having an orgy with 27 men. It made all the difference in the world that instead of closing the window, she chose to read every email between me and this guy, thread after thread, and then acting like it was her God-given right to disrupt my personal life like that.

I had never ever disrespected someone’s privacy like that. I don’t have much tolerance for anyone who does that to me. I thought I would feel more calm about the situation today, but the truth is, I probably won’t be able to look, let alone speak, to my mother when I see her tonight. I don't want to say a word to her because I will find no kind words to say. I just simply don't know what an appropriate reaction to her actions would be, nor do I care to explore the idea of trying to reason with her until I hear an apology.


Scotty said...

I would not be happy. Like you, I would expect my privacy to be respected. She *should* have just closed your email out.

Hang in there, its only for a bit longer..

la cubana gringa said...

Yikes. That sounds so uncannily similar to my adolescent experience with my mother (she used to read my journals, forcing me to hide them in various places). Took me a LONG time to get over that...though, to her credit, she did apologize.

I seriously contemplated keeping an entirely separate journal filled with ludicrous gossip and crap (just to get her blood pumping) but I never did it. And I'm glad I didn't...that would have just provoked things. Just try and have a rational conversation with your mother....and remember, if she can't be rational, it doesn't mean you can't be! Good luck!

Narcissiste said...

I don't know what would anger me the most: the fact that she read the emails or the fact that she didn't at least have the decency to hide it!

My mother used to be worse than the CIA, she'd always find a way of knowing what I tried so hard to hide from her. It bothered me the first time that she said "I know you weren't with so and so last night".

After much thought (and many nights of unauthorized outings with my friends), I realized it didn't bother me that she knew, as long as she wouldn't confront me about it. She must have read my mind because she let a lot of things slip when I'm 100% sure she knew.

Point is, if your mother simply wanted to invade your privacy, she could have easily done so without telling you afterwards. There must have been something in there that really bothered her for her to admit that she read your emails, no?

Perhaps she got the wrong idea from those flirtatious emails, thinking you're out banging every guy you flirt with?

Whatever it is, there's no excuse for her actions, but she's your mom and I'm sure she just meant well. She must be more embarrassed about the whole situation than you are, so just keep your head high and don't apologize for whatever sexy stuff you wrote to that guy.

She'll know what she did was stupid when she sees how mature you are about this.