Each of us has our own perspective on privacy and how much information we’re willing to share with other people.
It’s really hard to maintain a relationship with someone who refuses to respect someone’s preferred privacy.
One mom wouldn’t come to terms with that, unfortunately, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Lxqe was tired of having to ask his mother to not share his medical information on social media.
But when she didn’t take this feedback well, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to do about his mother.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for asking my mom to stop posting me being in the hospital on Facebook?”
The OP was private about his surgeries.
“I have a burnt arm, I’m embarrassed by it, and I hate people knowing about it.”
“I got burned when I was 9 months old and have had surgeries on it since I was a kid. Ever since I was 10, I hated my mom posting about it on Facebook, so I’ve been asking for 8 years now for her to stop doing it (I’m a high school senior now).”
The OP called his mom out recently.
“Today I blew up when I found out she did it AGAIN (she does it every single time I have surgery or go to the hospital).”
“She just smiled and said, ‘Haha, yeah I did.'”
“I started telling her that I don’t like it and to stop.”
“Her only response was, ‘Ohhh, if you don’t like it, I shouldn’t do it right. It’s whateverrrr you want; it’s never about me.'”
The OP’s mom did not take this well.
“It just made me even more mad because my surgeries are about me, not her, and I would like to keep it private.”
“But she doesn’t care. She doesn’t apologize, and when she does, she screams, ‘I’m sooooo f**king sorry for posting about you.'”
“After we argued, I got out of the car and slammed the front door, and she got really mad.”
“AITA for getting mad at her for posting me on her Facebook after I’ve asked her to stop for 8 years?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP was right to speak out against his mother.
“She doesn’t have to agree with you or like it. She just has to either agree to respect your boundaries, or you need to strictly enforce those boundaries unless and until she agrees to respect you.”
“And you need to ignore her tantrums. She throws these fits because, so far, it always works: you give her what she wants. You have to ignore her in order to render that tactic ineffective.” – annang
“That day down the road once you’ve moved out and on to start your adult life, and she’s wondering why you never or rarely contact her, tell her to remember all of these attention-seeking FB posts she sneered at you over.”
“Explain that she can either stop now and respect your wishes, or deal with the consequences later. NTA.” – GeekyStitcher
“I would tell her the following:”
“‘Mom, I’m a person with their own personal preferences to what I would like shared with the world. I understand that you are part of this experience helping me through, but I have asked you for over 8 years if you could do this one thing for me. It’s not hard to respect my privacy, so can you please stop posting my progress on social media?'”
“If she fights, or continues… Ignore her. Start reporting the photos, I’m not 100% on Facebook’s rules, but I’m pretty sure you can report a picture that has you in it to be taken down.”
“Take what steps you need towards removing her from access of the parts of your life you don’t want her to.” – fieleamcknight
“When she says, ‘Oh, if you didn’t like it, I shouldn’t do it cause it’s never about me,’ ask her exactly how YOUR surgeries are about her?”
“I can guess the answer, although I doubt she’ll say it…. she gets sympathy from everyone on Facebook. ‘ANOTHER operation? Honestly, I don’t know how you cope’ and so on.”
“As someone who’s had 44 operations, I know about this crap. Somehow, they were more about my mother than me, till I put a stop to it.”
“It’s YOUR body being operated on, and who you want to know about it, and how, is entirely up to you. She’s invading your privacy, and worse, putting intimate details of your life on Facebook!”
“It’s NOT about her, unless she’s going to plunge her arm into lava and deal with the resulting issues. If she’s not willing to do that, then she needs to back the f**k off.” – SassyDivaAunt
Others agreed and recommended the OP comment on his mother’s posts.
“You should write under one of her posts, ‘Mom I love you but I’ve asked you countless times to stop sharing my personal information on Facebook, please stop doing it.’ See if a little public shaming gets the message across.” – CymruB
“How about point out the negligence that resulted in you being so severely burnt at 9 months old – to everyone on her Facebook posts.”
“She might actually shut up about it then.”
“NTA” – ScaredMembership6542
“Each time, reply something along the lines of:”
“‘I’ve asked you, repeatedly, not to post pictures of my health issues. Yet once again, you ignore my privacy and wishes. This is disappointing and does not show motherly care or love. You’ve let me down again. I hope you’re proud of yourself.'”
“If she ignores you in private, then you have no other recourse to make it hard for her to ignore you in public.” – Once-And-Future
“This may be a solution you are not comfortable with but since she doesn’t understand boundaries maybe, you can appeal to her community/network.”
“Maybe comment or repost with your side of the story? If you out how terrible all of this is, maybe she will stop. At the very least people will know you’re not consenting to this info being shared.”
“Say, ‘I have repeatedly asked my mother to not share the extremely personal details of my illness so publicly and she refuses to do so. I am a private person and would prefer to heal on my own. While I appreciate the support from my community, I am requesting that you ignore these posts because they are deeply harmful to my mental health as I recover from surgery'” – Treehuggingorange
“Respond to one of her posts publically, ‘Mom, I’ve asked you in private dozens of times to stop posting my medical information on social media. It’s without my consent or approval. Please delete this post to give me my privacy.'”
“Keep doing it every time she posts. She will either stop or lose face.” – GoddessofOddness
Some said the OP should act out against his mother in other ways.
“You can’t with narcissists. It’s a losing battle. Why not start fighting fire with fire?”
“Make an announcement on Facebook and say, ‘My mom thinks she can take pictures of me whenever she pleases despite me telling her nicely to stop. Guess the only way she will understand is if I do the same. Here goes.'”
“Then start taking pictures of what she looks like first thing in the morning with no makeup, pictures of her cleaning the toilet, pictures of her with her hand inside a chicken, pigging out while watching tv, etc.”
“Just do it constantly and when she says to stop, go, ‘Ohhh, if you don’t like it, I shouldn’t do it, right, whateverrrr you want, it’s never about me.'” – empanadaparty1
“Post on Facebook every time she takes a s**t. If possible describe noises and smells. Claim you’re doing it cause you’re worried about her health.”
“This is probably bad advice, but I’d do it.” – Sapper12D
“You might have to find something she’s insecure about or doesn’t want to be shared, and then make a bunch of posts about that thing on Facebook. Some people are too dense to understand why something bothers you until you do it to them.” – djternan
“NTA. It’s sad your mom doesn’t get it. Try the opposite, tell her:”
“‘Sure mom, go ahead post everything about my life on FB, go through my phone and my room. Obviously you still see me as a small child and you don’t care about my feelings or my privacy.”
“‘I’m sure it can’t be that you don’t love me, because, if you did, surely my mental and emotional well-being would be first and foremost in your mind.'”
“‘So it must be that you have a hearing problem. I love you mom, but you might want to make an appointment to get your hearing checked because obviously, you don’t hear very well.'”
“I must have told you a million times that I don’t want you to post on FB about my surgeries, that it makes me extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable but yet, that doesn’t bother you, you still go ahead and go against my wishes.'”
“‘If you still don’t understand, don’t worry, I will simply block on my Facebook account, I will get a new phone number, and put a password on my phone, so you can’t read what should be my private conversations.'”
“‘If you still insist on going through my room uninvited, I will happily reciprocate by going into your room on a daily basis, and searching through your drawers, going through your closet, looking under your bed, and rifling through your things.'”
“‘After all, what is a good daughter to do? Ouuu I wonder what goodies I will find? Love you mom.'” – whiterose3hearts
Though the teen wasn’t sure what else to do after repeatedly being shut down and ignored by his mother, the subReddit insisted he continues to contest his rights to privacy. Based on the comments section, the teen’s mother was posting on social media, and searching through his phone and room, as well.
An 18-year-old who could be ready to move out of the house at any time deserves much more privacy than that, and even a child would deserve to hear their voice heard if they didn’t want to appear on social media.