Redditor dearthrowawaydiaryyy is a teenage girl who keeps a journal.
It goes without saying that diaries are private and contain deeply personal musings meant exclusively for the eyes of the person who writes in them.
When the teen became suspicious that someone had been violating her privacy, she did what she thought was necessary to expose the suspect.
After her ploy sparked family drama, she questioned her ethics by going to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit, where she asked:
“AITA for making a fake diary entry to catch my stepmom?”
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“I (17 F[emale]) have been quarantined with my dad and step mom. My mom is a doctor so she was super paranoid about my family living with her during the pandemic, but as things where I live are settling down she let us come stay with her again.”
“My stepmom has known me for two years and our relationship has always been weird. She’s a nice person but she can be pretty mean and childish if we do something she doesn’t like. She also has a tendency to run to our dad if she hears something bad about us.”
“Long story short, I have a diary and I keep a lot of private stuff in it. Dad called me a few days ago (we were visiting with our mom) saying he has to talk to me when I come back. Apparently I was in trouble because of something I apparently said to stepmom.”
“When he told me what she said I said, I immediately recognized it because I wrote it in my diary. I realized a lot of the stuff I wrote down was stuff she was telling him, so I decided to come up with a plan to see if I was right.”
“I wrote a fake entry basically saying stuff I would never do in a million years and set the trap.”
“Dad calls me while out visiting with friends, and when I come back he grounds me for what I ‘did.’ Stepmom comes in later, apologized and said it sounded ‘concerning’ and she had to tell.”
“I told her it was fake, knew she read my diary and refused to speak to her. My dad came in and tried to talk to me and I told him that stepmom was reading my diary and he didn’t believe me.”
“Now I’m with my mom, and I don’t know if what I did was fair. I felt it was the only way to prove my point and I didn’t know what else to do.”
Anonymous strangers on the internet weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Many of the Redditors declared NTA and slammed the stepmom for invading the OP’s privacy.
“NTA. That is a gross invasion of your privacy. And a clever move on your part to confirm her prying. She’s the A for sure!” – Shandoma
“NTA – did you dad even address this massive invasion of privacy? What does your mom think?” – spiceycrispy9
The OP responded to the above comment with:
“I kind of wanted proof before because otherwise it would be my world against hers and he always sides with her because he thinks she knows better.”
“Mom was upset and thinks I went a little overboard but understands why I did it.”
Some Redditors believed the OP could have gone further for dramatic effect.
“Not overboard! You could’ve written that you caught your father cheating on her… THAT would be quite something. NTA!” – laughingnottocry
“Time to write some entries that get your dad in deep sh*t, I think.
“How you saw him hugging another woman. You see them again a few weeks later, leaving a romantic restaurant.”
“That time you needed something expensive but you knew they didn’t have the money or stepmom wouldn’t approve, but he said something about a ‘special’ bank account of his so stepmom never needed to know.”
“Dad told you he’d been texting with an old high school sweetheart and you wonder if it’s the woman you’ve seen him with twice. She looked nice. Nicer than stepmom.”
“Dad said he was up for a pay raise. three weeks later when you remembered to ask, dad says he got said pay raise but tells you to keep it to yourself.”
“I mean, yeah, petty as hell, but they deserve it, Stepmom for invading your privacy, dad for not believing you.” – LokiTheMischiefOfGod
“It’s YOUR diary. You could write literally anything short of specific murder plots and you still would not be TA. And this obviously is a recurring thing which makes you even less of TA.”
“Your mom is wrong that you went overboard, because there shouldn’t have been a situation like this in the first place. Your privacy wasn’t only violated, it was completely ignored. HUGE NTA.” – 3l3ctricboo
“I’m not sure you should to do that. But maybe both your dad and stepmother deserve it. You could just easily write a fake diary sprinkled with some initial truths or plausible truths.”
“Or, and you could likely make her believe that you don’t think she read your diary by apologizing. Just say that you’ve been stressed due to the pandemic or something. And that you must have expressed some of those thoughts on other occasions that you forgot.”
“A boldfaced lie, but she won’t be able to call you on it. And she might believe you too.”
“If you want to catch her, you’ll have to make her believe that you don’t think she’s reading your diary.” – Not_Cleaver
“I like this, as long as it doesn’t lead stepmom to think that she can gaslight OP about other things.”
“I feel like if OP delivers the apololie with enough of a sh*t-eating grin though, that won’t be an issue.” – donthugmeihavelynks
“OP you are NTA. I would definitely recommend getting a new diary.”
“I’m 99% sure they make ones that have combination locks instead of keys so you should go for one of those. A key can be found if someone looks, but if you use a combination lock she won’t be able to open it without literally breaking it, which would prove to everyone what she’s been doing.”
“Just make sure that it’s random numbers and not a birthdate or other number of significance to you that could be guessed by your dad or stepmom.” – livlivesforbrains
The OP later updated her post by expressing her gratitude for all of the NTA responses.
The teen is presently staying at her mother’s for “as long as possible” and is looking into getting either a locked or online diary as suggested by Redditors.