Parents get to decide so much for their kids, but there are some things kids are entitled to. Like privacy. And to keep their own hard-earned money.
Redditor SwissStarburst encountered this very issue with her mom. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for buying a camera to ‘spy on my mother’?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Lately (F15), I’ve noticed cash going missing from my room on a weekly basis. Usually in increments of $20 to $50.”
“If it were a few odd dollar bills here and there, I would be fine with it. However, I work two jobs to make my own money. I plan to purchase a car the day I turn 16.”
“If it’s in my room, there’s no excuse for it going missing.”
“I live with my mother, sister (10), and father. I immediately ruled out my father as he was out of the house the day my cash went missing. My father is a physician, he often leaves at strange hours of the night.”
“I questioned my mother and sister. My sister denied it, and swore up and down she was not in my room. My mother was accusatory and defensive, but also denied it.”
“I gave up on trying to get answers out of them. If they denied it, there’s no point in further interrogation.”
OP figured out a way to figure it out once and for all.
“Before I get to the part where I may have screwed up, I would like to mention that I have tried other methods of circumventing this. I try hiding money, only to come back to my drawers ransacked and said money gone.”
“Also, I used to lock my room and keep the only key on my person when I went to school. Once my mother caught wind of this, she ordered my dad to remove the lock on my door.”
“So now I’m out of options and angry.”
“I logged onto my separate Amazon account and purchased an indoor security camera with my separate debit card. This wouldn’t be an issue, but when the package arrived, my mother found it, to my dismay, she also opened it probably expecting some version of a sex toy to be inside (no, I’m not into that stuff).”
“My mother spent a good chunk of time chastising me about my ‘perverted’ behavior.”
“I tried explaining she wouldn’t have a problem with it, as it’s in my room, but she was inconsolable. After thirty minutes elapsed, she found something more exciting to b*tch about and left the camera on my bed.”
OP found the best place to set it up.
“I set it up where it couldn’t be concealed or dismantled, and like clockwork, it detected both my mother and sister entering my room.”
“My mother was probably snooping through my drawers, looking for the giant dildo I don’t have. My sister, however, actually took a $20 bill. I showed my father the footage and he was livid.”
“My mother had none of it and yelled at me, complaining about me somehow ‘spying on her.'”
“Now, nobody is talking to anyone. My sister walked away unscathed, as that frequently happens in my family. My mother is pissed at both me and my father. But the two of us are good.”
“He replaced the lock on my door on the condition that I threw away the camera, probably to get my mother to stop bitching, and resume her duty as neighborhood traffic cop. AITA?”
OP added some edits.
“EDIT: (please read) THANK YOU! All of you for 1.3k upvotes and a buttload of supportive comments. Seriously I didn’t expect a post about a bloody security camera to go that far. I’m trying to say thanks to everyone, but there are just too many kind Redditors.”
“Even if I don’t reach out or upvote, your support is very much appreciated. Seriously thank you!! Some FAQ’s include…”
“1.) Why is money in your room in the first place if you have a debit card? – so I get paid cash and credit from my jobs. I put the Venmo credit in my checking account for use via my debit card. I put the cash in my jar, on the top shelf of my closet. Where one would actually have to try to stumble upon it. Not very smart, but I didn’t see this coming for the longest time.”
“2.) Why not a safe? – as I’ve mentioned earlier, my mother is great at opening others’ mail. After this incident, my dad and I ordered one. It will arrive at this workplace tomorrow so it can’t be intercepted.”
“3.) Why did you mention a d!ldo? – we are talking about a woman who doesn’t have anything better to do than to go around the neighborhood complaining about shitty parking jobs in her free time. Of course she’s interested in my sex life, despite me never giving her a reason to. I have a BF of six months that she doesn’t know about.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. I am very sorry you have to live like that. But you’re taking care of yourself and you seem to have a lot of fortitude.” ~ klingonjargon
“NTA, your sister and mother consistently invaded your privacy. They went through your belongings and took your money. That’s a complete act of betrayal and cruelty. You worked hard for this money. What kind of a mother takes her 15-year-old hard-earned money?”
“Since they didn’t admit they did it and you had to further interrogate to discover the truth, you put a camera in your own room. That was your only way to discover who did it and also prove it. And eventually it worked. You didn’t do it to spy on your mom, you did it to protect your things. She had no interest to enter your room without your presence and consent, so how is it spying on her?”
“I knew something was fishy and amiss when your mother was defensive and vehemently opposed to the camera. It was obvious she had something to conceal.”
“They are plainly unbelievable. They have to reclaim you all the money they took retroactively. Also your father’s request to remove the camera in exchange for the door lock is unreasonable and unnecessary. He probably does it to placate your mother. Don’t give in. You deserve to have the peace of mind that your things are protected, regardless of the lock. She can get a replica of your key unbeknownst to you or get in the room somehow.” ~ Compensate1995
“Yeah, I hope she didn’t really get rid of the camera. She could always tell father that it is still happening & deal with that way (without admitting it still exists) or claim it is another, new one if need be.” ~ PdxPhoenixActual
The invasion of privacy is horrifying.