Return to the Stepfamily Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

Posted by parent_of_one (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 28, 10 at 17:20

It is former finedreams, I created new screen name. You'll know why in a minute...

I haven't been talking about my personal life lately. Last year I was having problems with my SO, I left him, he made a lot of changes, things are good and we live together.

Now the problem is his younger DD21, I'll call her SD for short. She does not live at home, she graduated college, and is moving out of state to go to graduate school. SO is currently on a long and stressful business trip. SD has her own apartment an hour away but was staying at her mothers for some time. She comes in any time day or night when no one is here, never any warning. But that's not the issue.

Anyways i was gone for a short time today. I come back, walk in my room and see things are just not looking right.

i left my laptop in my room with my door closed, i had my accounts opened, my bills, my loans, my emails, bunch of stuff, I knew no one is home, and no one ever touches my laptop, so i left sites opened because I knew I'll be right back.

She used my laptop without asking, I could see it right away. Living at moms, then coming when no one is there and using my laptop, who knows what she looked at (that's why I am changing my screen name in case she looked through this site). I called her on her cell phone, "oh yes I had to use it. I tried PC (PC is broken, both I and SO have our personal laptops), it didn't work, so I went around the house and found your laptop."

She has her laptop at moms, mom has PC. My laptop was behind closed doors! She didn't leave me a note that she had to use it, she didn't apologize, and she had terrible attitude on the phone. i told her that she could use it as long as she asks and I would never dream of using her laptop without asking.

maybe it would be fine if my own DD did that (not like she ever would without asking), but i am not her mother, i am not even her stepmother, i deserve privacy. Am i crazy? She does not even live here, how could she just walk in, go find my laptop and use it!!!

I am so upset, I am still shaking.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

Here is my take: I doubt she was snooping around on your laptop. If I were you, I really wouldn't worry that she looked through your email, browsed your history, etc.

THAT said, I think what she did was completely, 110% rude. I think your SO needs to explain to her that what she did was not cool and she owes you an apology.

I really don't think she meant anything deliberate by it; I just think she was selfish and didn't think of how that might make you feel. You're totally right, it IS a privacy/respect issue.

Definitely have your SO say something to her.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

Yep that is not on, I agree. Wow, how inconsiderate. Hope SO will sort this out asap.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

thanks ladies, since SO is gone on a business trip and will be gone for another week I cannot bother him with this, he is stressed enough.

I did tell SD myself over the phone that this is not acceptable and emphasized that if she needs to use something all she needs is to ask. She sounded rather unhappy with me and added that she will be gone soon anyways. Maybe if she would at least leave me a note or something that she had to use my laptop, she just hoped I wouldn't notice. i don't think she snooped but things were actually open on my screen! It was just there. Don't have to snoop. Can just read, i actually had DD's email opened and other stuff. i knew no one would use my laptop.

She was previously told by SO to not take my belongings without asking. It's been ongoing issue. Two weeks ago she decided to wear my shirt that my DD brought for me! She wore it to work out. When I noticed, her response was "Oh i will wash it and give it back". it is a special souvenir/gift type of shirt, not work out clothes.

But this is nothing compare to laptop issue. I am still very upset.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

I'm so sorry; that is a horrible invasion of privacy.

You said: She comes in any time day or night when no one is here, never any warning. But that's not the issue. Why is that not an issue?! What reason does a 21 year old, who has their own place, ever have to come into her Dad's (or Mom's) place without notice or warning?! This is not a fourteen year old who is still living at home, and so Dad's place is one of her homes - this is an adult college graduate. I know no adult who just wanders in and out of their parents' home at will, with the exception of those who have parents in ill health and only when/if they are concerned about parents' health and are doing a welfare check.

I'd be pushing SO for a key return/lock change upon his return, honestly. Her Mom may put up with this but I sure wouldn't be. Until then, make sure your PC has a screensaver/user log in with a DIFFICULT password set. And just get in the habit of locking in when you step away from it - it only takes a second or two and you won't have to worry about anyone wandering by and seeing something private (and to me, almost everything I do is private, it's just not really anyone else's business unless I choose to tell them).

Granted I use my computers for work so that is all the more reason for no one else to be on them, but I'd be absolutely furious. I don't use my husband's computer without asking, any more than I'd go through his wallet. That was just completely inexcusable.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

mattie it is an issue her coming and going, I just meant that it was not the issue of this particular post.

I once grabbed a phone to call 911 because i thought I had burglars in the house. It was 11PM, SO was again on business out of town (which he has to do a lot lately), house was completely dark, i was in a bedroom with doors closed and heard noise. Turns out SD decided to come in the house, she lives I said an hour but it is closer to 2 hours away. she didn't call, just drove here and walked in at night, didn't knock or anything. I was terrified.

Anyways, I do not use SO's laptop and he does not use mine, we respect each other privacy. Of course if we must use it, we ask each other. When I visit DD i ask to check my emails on her laptop, I would not just grab it.

SD's mother is crazy but she certainly is not putting up with anything like this either. SD is not allowed to take mom's stuff without permission either. She never ever takes mom's stuff. Only dad's and mine.

The other issue is SD always goes around with her girlfriends and now I am wondering if she brought her girlfriends with her and if she was with them in my bedroom on my laptop. I wouldn't be surprised.

I thought maybe I overreacting, apparently people agree with me, I am still very upset. Especially since SD had an attitude over the phone and I would hate having bad blood between us. But It is unacceptable what she did.


 o
correction

I am crazy, I changed my screen name to protect my privacy (it was similar to my email address)in case SD snooped and now posted under my old name! Crazy.

I am parent_of_one now. Thanks! No more finedreams.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

POO, you're not crazy, you're stressed. I can not imagine my DD, who lives with me, using my computer without calling me or IM to ask first. I would anticipate that she would still have a key to my house.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

Using your computer without asking is wrong. And so is walking into your home at 11 PM without calling first or knocking. She doesn't live there so at that hour knocking or calling ahead to let you know she was coming would be the nice thing to do. If she lived there during college breaks it would be different.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

can't think of a benign reason for using someone's computer without their expresse permission, especially if I have my own computer.

& to "use" it on the sly (because if she had asked, you could have said no or why don't you use your own) is definitely indicative of snooping/information gathering/who knows what.

I'd put a lock on my bedroom door.


 o
update

SD wrote me a note today that she feels bad (mind you not sorry) that she used my laptop but it was a legitimate emergency. huh? what emergency? and she was at moms who lives around the block. in emergency one calls 911 not looks in people's bedroom for their laptops. Her dad is gone, why she even coming in the middle of the day, to do what?

In any case she is moving out of state next week, so lock on the bedroom door won't be necessary. And her lack of respect for other people's possessions is the same towards mom, dad, sister, me, so it is not even personal.

no, she does not live at home during college breaks (and she is done with college, no breaks), she is renting her own place almost 2 hours away. but this week she was visiting her mother who lives 5 minutes away from us but even when she is not visiting she sometimes drives up here without warning to see her friends and just walks in.

when we want to be intimate, we text her to see if she is not in the area and even then no guarantee. I find it stressful not to know when she walks in. SO is stressed over it as well. Like hearing noise at at night not knowing if somebody broke in or SD drove two hours and brought friends in.

Unfortunately I cannot change her, it is too late. She is an adult. I feel bad to feel happy she is going out of state, but at least i won't have to constantly watch for my things. It started with packing up my hairbrushes, lotions, shampoos every time she visited, wearing my clothes, and now it is using my laptop..

By the way i think she packed up my carry on because it is missing, before I went to my DD's graduation SO and I looked everywhere and it appears to be gone. I think SD took it.

I am so stressed over this, it is just too much stress for me. I didn't sign up for this.


 o
to add

Just to clarify that SO told her many many times to call ahead before showing up, to not take things, to ask for permission, to clean after herself etc. Absolutely no result. So it is not like he never says anything, but I guess it is too little too late.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

Family or not, SD should NOT have a key to your home. She has shown on numberous times that she can't be trusted not to abuse her ability to enter your home.
I had keys to my DD's homes when she lived here. In her first home I was even paying the rent- BUT - it NEVER have occurred to me that it was OK to let myself into her home without first speaking with her and making sure it was convenient. Likewise using her laptop- only with her explicit permission and without changing anything on it.
I have keys to my SisIL's home, as I often stay over at her place. Similarly, I NEVER enter without pre-arrangement. When my step-dad was still alive, I had keys to his home, as well as his power of attorney, but I still gave him advance notice of visits and knocked on the door.
Even if a person is family, unless you live in a place it's not your home to come and go as you please without a by-your-leave. Having to worry about being walked in on when being intimate with your SO is NOT acceptable. Had you had a gun at the time SD let herself in in the middle of the night, you could have shot her (and this sort of thing has happened before).
Change the locks!


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

And what a nerve that she tells you it was an emergency but then doesn't elaborate what that emergency was??? Grrr.
(Or did she tell you and I missed it? ;-)

And what's with wearing your clothes?? I cannot believe this, I would feel extremely uncomfortable with all this, and if your SO cannot sort this out because she won't listen, then changing the locks is the only option. I agree. No matter if she moves out of state or not. After all, then you really get a heart attack if she was to come over unannounced, expecting her to be 100's of miles away.
I still cannot believe she just does that!


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

colleenoz, I was thinking the same thing. It's very dangerous to be walking into people's homes in the middle of the night.

parent_of_one, that has got to be incredibly nerve-wracking for you. You've said before about preferring a planned, orderly life so having random people wandering in and out of your home at all hours must be so stressful. I agree with the others; doesn't matter if she is moving or not - change the locks.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

I know... so nerve-wrecking. the only positive is that it won't be happening anymore at least for some time because she is moving out of state to attend graduate school next week. for her to come back she needs to fly, so we will know when she is here. at least i can hide things ahead of time.

yabber most times she was caught wearing my clothes she said she didn't realize it was mine. the last time she wore a shirt that my daughter brought me, black with large white NAME OF THE COUNTRY WHERE I AM ORIGINALLY FROM lol so can't be anyone else's, it is not popular vacation destination, could only be mine. She wore it to work out. It was a gift from my daughter not work out clothes. SD said she didn't notice. we aren't even the same size and she can read! wtf.

as about emergency from what i see on my laptop she went on grad school website, probably was late with something. yet she didn't leave me a note or called, she hoped I wouldn't notice. in the past i used to tell SO and he would tell her, now I deal with it myself. she is not listening to him anyways.

Thanks G_d there is this forum, I can't tell this to anyone, it is embarrassing. thanks for understanding.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

Change the locks on the house & tell her you've bought a gun for protection

My brother used to come home very late sometimes & he'd crawl in the window if my mother had locked the door.

After about the 3rd time, she told him she was worried about prowlers & she'd started keeping her 357 Magnum under her pillow.

After that, he'd always knock on the door & bellow, "Mother! It's me, don't shoot!"

& I once had a lot of trouble with a neighbor's psycho teen-aged son until said neighbor told me there was a vandal in the neighborhood;
"so you keep an eye open for my house, & I'll keep a watch out on your house", he told me in front of his son.

Sudden inspiration struck.

"I appreciate that", I said, "but if you think you see something, *call me* before you come over. I have a weapon."

The kid hasn't bothered me again.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

You are not crazy - I would be hitting the ceiling.

On the subject of laptops, pcs and privacy. Password protect EVERYTHING. If you have your screen saver set to come on after a set time (5 - 10mins, a time limit that doesn't annoy you) - PW protect it to open it back up. If you had this, she would not have been able to see anything of yours. I am only working with MS software, but I am thinking MACS should have something similiar, and the different versions of MS have different ways of doing this.
Layer your docs/info like an onion, with PW's to get into them. And not the same PW for everything. Big PitA - you bet. Maybe a bit paranoid? What does it hurt - nothing and you have peace of mind. I put important info in folders with uninteresting names. It won't deter the most determined, but it will slow them down. With the SO's teenagers, I wanted to make sure no one came across anything that was not their business.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

it never occurred to me to have any privacy setting on my laptop because it is just two of us, we never go on each other laptops, and now when SO is out of the country on a business trip and no one else lives here I wouldn't even think of hiding anything, my laptop was actually on and sites opened, i just stepped out of the house for a short time. it never occurred to me that anyone would just walk in and go use my laptop.

SO has a gun but it is locked in a safe, maybe I should tell SD that I can open it and know how to use guns (I really don't) LOL


 o
did it anyway...

Yes, that is my situation also - just the 2 of us most of the time. But everything changed after an incident like yours. I hate to be fearful, and it might never happen again, but I protected stuff. It helps with my sanity. =)


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

It's best to at least have a password that you must enter, every single time, on at least online financial stuff. Even if you live completely alone, that doesn't mean that someone cannot break in and steal your laptop or access your computer - you don't want your banking or credit card accounts wide open. It might take days or weeks for you to notice that a "replacement" card has been ordered or a new automatic deduction has been added - and your accounts could be affected within minutes or hours.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

sorry, I didn't 'splain that well:

the point is that the intruder/busybody/whatever *believes* that you can put your hands on a firearm in about 1 second flat & that you feel threatened & will use it.

You don't tell anyone that your weapon is locked in a safe-
that's telling the person that she/he has a good long time to get in before you can enter the combination, & you don't have to know how to use a firearm, you just have to have the person believe that you'll use it.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

Your SO will probably get ticked off if you want to change locks to keep his DD out, so just get a double lock..Get in the habit of locking it everytime you are in the house..She ll never get in without knocking..SO cant object to that, you will both be safe from 'unintended walk ins'And shut down your computer everytime you go out..Problem solved..


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

she uses garage code.

thanks ladies, I will certainly set up my laptop differently so no one can use it, it never occur to me that I ever have to be that paranoid...

I already hide a lot of things and I plan on putting a stamp on my books (I have A LOT of books) because in the past she took my books, i don't mean just read them, she took them and it took me awhile to recover them. Now when she lives not that far at least i can recover my stuff, when she will live out of state I will never see my things again.

I think SO and his ex did something wrong raising kids with no respect for other people's belongings.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

I like Sylvia's "I'm skittish -- Good thing I got a gun!" approach....
Maybe it's a Texas thing?...

(And no - You're not crazy at all to be angry. We put a double-deadbolt lock on our office closet just to keep our private financial information private.)

KKNY - How about 'P1' instead of 'POO'?


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

Sorry, my bad. But she'll always be FD to me.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

You can always try what one of my mother's coworkers did - she was divorced and wanted to feel more secure, but had kids so was concerned that if she had a gun an accident would happen. So she compromised and got a shotgun/rifle/whatever with one of those bolt-actions (do they have shotguns with bolt actions?). Anyway, whatever it was, it was the kind of gun that makes that distinctive click-clunk sound, but she didn't ever get shells/bullets for it. If she thought she heard a noise she'd click-clunk the gun, figuring that if it was a potential intruder she'd heard they weren't going to stick around to find out whether it was really loaded or not.

Obviously I am not au courant on my firearms. The only kind of guns I've really ever shot much are flintlock rifles; they're really fun to shoot at the range but wouldn't be very practical for home protection. "Hey, can you hold on a couple minutes while I load this thing? Damn, the powder was damp, wait a minute.... oh crap, now I've got to turn the flint because it's not sparking... Hey, come back with my TV!" :)


 o
more update

Today I was organizing basement and still cannot find my small carry on, it's been gone for awhile. I texted SD asking if she saw it, yeap, she texted me back she has it in her place and will bring it back tomorrow. Why on earth does she have it? I texted back asking if she is planning on coming here tomorrow and what time? She didn't write back. the reason i text her rather than calling is because she never ever picks up the phone, no point in even calling. so i guess tomorrow she could walk on me any time of the day. Nice.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

Stamping your books won't stop this,
password protection won't stop it,
nothing will stop someone from stealing from your home as long as he/she can come & go at will.

You gotta change the garage code, & if husband has a problem send him to a shrink.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

The truth is always best but maybe a little white lie won't be such a bad idea in this situation. Get your locks rekeyed the next time your DH goes out of town on business, and do the garage code then too. Tell him that your purse was lost or stolen, with house keys in it and garage code in your wallet. This way he won't feel like you don't trust his DD and he will probably forget to give the code to his DD.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

& his daughter will ask for the code & he'll give it to her.

Why "protect" him?

He is a grown-up person, OP's partner, & he deserves to be treated as such & deserves to be expected to be rational about this.


 o
RE: so upsetting..privacy issue...am I crazy?

well at least for the next two years she'll live hours away so there is no way she'll walk in on me.

anyways she stopped by today to return my carry on and she had MY bag with her that i was looking for like for months, I even had arguments with SO over my vanished bag (he claims I have too many bags which is true that's why i am always losing them LOL). I asked her why she has my bag and she said because she thought it is older SD's. Older SD is out of the house close to 10 years, does not live here and lives several states away, not even driving distance. How could she possibly have her bag here plus it is not even her style, she only wears designer brands?

This is all mystery to me. It's been ongoing battle. Her excuses always are: I thought it was someone else's-dad's, mom's, Sd's. I thought i was my own. It was emergency. I didn't notice it is yours. etc

Bizarre. She is not a bad person, is fairly bright, college educated yet she does things that even little children do not do!


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Stepfamily Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here