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OT- Am I in the wrong here?

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Old 07-17-2009, 02:34 AM   #1
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Default OT- Am I in the wrong here?

This summer my mother got knee surgery, so I didn't get a job and I am basically sacrificing my summer to help her out, which wouldn't bother me if she acted a little more grateful. I have been very frustrated with it recently: she has me running up and down stairs all day(which is great for my weight loss; not great for my recovering ankle) for food, drinks, anything she wants. I even offered to put my dorm mini-fridge up there for her so she can get her own food and her response is "I don't need it; I have you". Despite the fact that she knows I am trying very hard to lose weight, she is constantly sending me out for trigger foods such as candy, ice cream, Mexican fast food, etc. So being a little frustrated, I wrote a mini-rant in my journal.

Unfortunately, I went upstairs to her room to borrow a pen and while I sat and monitored her exercises, I wrote a little bit in it(it was very personal, about my issues with depression and inferiority). She wanted me to get her some food, so I did and I set my diary down thinking that a)it was out of her reach and quite obviously a diary, so she wouldn't read it and b) she says her pain medication makes words blurry so I didn't think she would attempt to read it. Of course, she did decide to read it and later that evening I overheard her talking to my dad, speaking very loudly so I could hear her(my parents' bedroom is a loft) about how she wanted to talk to him about a problem and how that problem was me. I told her that I could hear her, probably her intention, and she told me very passively-aggressively that I "should be careful about what books I leave lying around".

I will admit that leaving my journal upstairs was not the wisest decision, but is it fair for her to be so upset with me over the ramblings of 19-year-old's diary? And since any mention of her was in the middle, she had to have gone through it. Needless to say, I was very upset that she read parts of something that is very personal to me and deals with many issues such as e.d., depression, even *ahem* romantic dealings. I don't know what she read, but I feel that it is not illegal to have feelings and when you invade someone's privacy, you cannot begrudge them those feelings. Am I in the wrong here?

Sorry for the length of this post. Had to get that off my chest. Although I have to admit, being angry leads to *very* productive workouts! Silver lining I guess...
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:46 AM   #2
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Aren't families wonderful?
Confronting her directly will probably lead to one huge argument. I think I'd let it ride, lock up my diary & save furiously so I could move out.

Of course, given her predicament (and constant demands on you ) a little selective hearing on your part might get the message across that you aren't happy with her.

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Old 07-17-2009, 06:48 AM   #3
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You have every right to be upset.

I am the mom of an 18-year-old who occasionally forgets to take her journal back to her room. Although I find it an almost overpowering temptation to read it, I don't for two reasons..

1. She has the right to have private thoughts and the right to privacy.
2. I am sure some of what she has written will upset me, and who wants that?

I remember being that age, so confused and angry and excited and... (so many emotions!) I thought the world was a tragic place and that my mother was trying to ruin my life. It was normal that I felt that way. And I am sure my daughter feels that way a lot of the time. So, for both our sakes, I leave the diary alone. I do, however, point it out to her and have her take it back to her room, lest the temptation overwhelm me.

I don't think talking to her will necessarily help, to be honest. Her feelings are probably hurt, and (if she is like me) it may be hard for her to admit what she did was wrong. I think you should work on forgiving your mom for being human. Although, if she brings it up again, I would point out that your journal is a way for you to work through feelings you experience, and don't really reflect the way you feel about her... which is that you love her, and want to help her.

And remember to put your journal away!

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Old 07-17-2009, 07:15 AM   #4
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I'm always just a little suspicious of the unconscious action of leaving a private diary out where anyone can pick it up and read it... Maybe without thinking you wanted her to know how you feel. So, now she does! And of course she is upset--I doubt you wrote sweet loving words...

At any rate, I would say that you need to be more careful with your diary in the future.

I'd also say, if you're going to help your mom, help her. Don't complain about it. If you can't do it without feeling put upon, then go get a job and tell her to make other arrangements...

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Old 07-17-2009, 07:16 AM   #5
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Well.. if your mother is unable to chase after you with a pan and you're tired of going for those trigger foods, then don't? I would just bring in healthy alternatives, what you eat. If she is complaining how they are too healthy TOO BAD! Anyway, the best thing for someone who's body is trying to heal are fresh fruits and veg!
As for the diary, that sucks, but I can imagine how tempting it would be to read it. Don't feel embarrassed or regretful for anything you wrote, it was intended for your eyes only after all, and we ALL have things we'd write in our journals but wouldn't tell our mothers.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:11 AM   #6
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I'm putting myself out on a limb here--I don't know you or your mom and this is only one side of the story, but what you wrote made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. My advice is to get the heck out of dodge.

From what you wrote, your mother is disrespectful in general and outright hostile to your attempts to be healthy (emotional abuse? can't really tell from this). Giving your mother the benefit of the doubt: Maybe your behavior hasn't been fabulous either--that's pretty normal for mother-daughter relationships, but IMO, space would help loads.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:52 AM   #7
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I would probably do one of two things:

1- Get a diary with a lock on it, don't actually use it, but leave it lying around where it can bug your mom to death.

2-Get a new notebook, make the first (and only) entry something like, "I can't believe my mom actually invaded my privacy, and then was so incredibly rude as to comment on it and complain about it. I don't know how I'm ever supposed to trust her again." (With added expletives, if that's your style.) Then leave it lying around since you know she'll read it.

Like I said, this is what *I* would do, but I can be a spiteful b*tch. I try not to be, but the situation you described hits all of my triggers.

I don't blame you for being mad enough to spit nails. You are definitely not in the wrong here.

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Old 07-17-2009, 09:14 AM   #8
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In the short term, I would make sure my diary is well out of the way.

I would begin making plans to move out and have your own space, if that is an option. I wouldn't make The Diary Incident the official reason you're moving out, that's to make it too big and to punish your mum for life for a hideous lapse of judgement on her part.


(When I was 15, I wrote a letter to my best friend, who'd moved city. My mother wrote to her mother and was to enclose my letter. I automatically put mine in an envelope and stuck it down. My mother freaked totally, said I was hiding stuff from her. So she opened it. The only embarrassing (to me) bit was that I'd said that X (name long since forgotten but he was a cutie) had turned up at choir practice and oooooo how loverly he was. I was embarrassed and humiliated, and it was the last time I ever let myself be vulnerable to her; and to anyone else, it must be said. I have Issues!!!!!)
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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Oh honey, that just stinks! I hate fighting with my mother. It's a no-win. Even if you're right, the fight/situation itself is just so draining.

And I do think you're right. I think you're mom is controlling you through her injury and doesn't bat an eye about it.

Unfortunately, sometimes it's hard for parents to let us go and see and treat us as adults. For that to happen, many times we just have to get away from them on our own and go through some rocky waters setting the boundaries.

I don't know if that's an option, but I certainly would not be giving up any more of your summer and adding temptations into your diet without a little respect -- or at least some effort toward it -- from the person you are helping.

You are her daughter, you do love her and want to help her. But you're not her slave that can be treated as she sees fit and whose privacy can be invaded. I would see no harm in making that distinction to her. Good luck working it out.
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:49 AM   #10
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UGH! I know your frustration on this one! I also have depression and have kept journals over the years. One time when I was in inpatient treatment, my parents read all of my journals, and discussed them with their church, friends and our family. I can't even describe how that made me feel. I felt attacked, from the inside. The only place I trusted, my journals, was taken away from me. I also felt like my biggest support system turned their backs on me. I was alone and empty. I am so sorry that your mom disrespected you in such a way. If you ever need to talk, we sound pretty similar. (I am 20, and also a college student with overbearing parents.)

Oh, and I loveee Lisa's idea about leaving fake journals around. That is definitely my style! haha
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:48 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the kind words and helpful advice! Unfortunately, getting a job at the moment is out of the question because a)with 12% unemployment in my state and being a college student without a degree, it will be very difficult. The ice cream store(HA) I worked at closed down. and b) I leave in 3 weeks.

I am considering staying somewhere else next summer, probably Chicago with a friend of mine. She knows someone who will do a pretty cheap sublet.

Sometimes I just need to vent and it is nice that I could come here and do that . I will DEFINITELY be more careful with my journal.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:54 AM   #12
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I love Lisa's idea too! It lets her know how you feel in a way that really makes the point.

I would not go out for junk/trigger foods. And I would put the dorm fridge in her room even though she said she doesn't need it. Just take it in there and set it up. It will save you some trips up and down the stairs. If she wants junk so bad she can get someone else to go get it.

Good luck and I think making other plans next summer is a good idea!
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:23 PM   #13
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Lizzie, do you go to college in Chicago?
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:06 PM   #14
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No I don't, I go to Cornell College, in Iowa. Where do you go?
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:06 PM   #15
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I go to Earlham College, in Indiana. I know someone who transferred from Cornell actually.
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