Parents can often be a little overprotective of their kids.
Some call it helicopter parenting, others just want to make sure their kids are safe, no matter what age.
But where is the line in the sand where it goes from protective to invasive? Redditor Denver0818 is asking that very thing to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (ATIA).
According to the original poster (OP), her stepdad went through her belongings, despite the fact she’s a grown adult. What he found there upset him and now the family is fighting.
Who is right and who is wrong when it comes to parental boundaries? To find out we ask anonymous users on Reddit to weigh in.
The original poster was really upset.
“AITA for yelling at my step dad for snooping in my apartment after he was upset about what he found?”
But did she have a good reason?
“So about a week ago, I (22f[emale]) asked my parents (47m[ale] & 40f[emale]) if they could stop by my apartment just to check on my dog who had been sick while I was at work. My mom agreed and everything seemed fine, they went over gave my dog his medicine, and took him for a walk.”
“Today though I went to my parent’s place for dinner and my Stepdad refused to speak to me or even look at me. Eventually, I finally asked what the problem was and he went off.”
“Apparently he had been going through my things, and when he went into my bedside drawer found my ‘toys’ and contraceptives. He yelled at me and told me that I was a ‘disappointment’ and ‘foul’ for having those things and that he didn’t raise me for 17 years for me to become a ‘deviant whöre’.”
“I stood there absolutely shocked and bright red from embarrassment as my younger brothers and grandparents were in the next room and could hear him. I yelled at him for invading my privacy, telling him that I am an adult woman and that he had no right to go through my things in an apartment I pay the bills in.”
“I have banned him from my home and have now blocked him. My mom says that I’m being dramatic and that it just caught him off guard to see those things, but my brothers think I’m right to be angry.”
There was an update that might color your opinion of the stepdad, but it may also be relevant information.
“He’s been very abusive in the past, which came about after I started hitting puberty. Me growing up and maturing always seemed to be an issue.”
“Also my toys and such were in my bedroom in my bedside table so not anywhere he should have been.”
OP feels her personal space was violated and her stepdad shouldn’t be judging her like this. The stepdad seems to believe that his daughter is a “deviant” and is ashamed of her.
On Reddit, the users judged OP for yelling at her stepdad after he went through her private belongings by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The board was near unanimous in their agreement that what the stepdad did was out of line.
On top of the slut shaming, he also invaded OP’s privacy when he had no right.
Her intimate belongings weren’t out in the open. Stepdad had to go out of his way to find them. That’s ridiculous to do to your 22-year-old daughter who lives in her own place.
It was an easy call to say NTA.
“He went into your room, into your drawer, knowing exactly what he was looking for. He wanted to find those things because he wanted to weaponize them against you. Your comments about his abuse confirm this.”
“You did absolutely the right thing.” – KimChiDiva
“NTA. Your stepfather had no business even entering your bedroom, let alone rifling through your things when he did.
“Your mother is complicit in his bullsh** and should be banned from your home right alongside him.” – NUT-me-SHELL
“NTA. He didn’t make a mistake unless he expected to find the dog food in your bedside drawers – he was snooping and didn’t like what he found.”
“If he brings it up in public again, I’d ask him why he felt the need to go in there, and not let him change the subject.” – Mrrrp
“If he brings it up in public, LOUDLY shame him into the f***ing ground for obsessing over his adult stepdaughter’s body autonomy and sex life. Ask him point blank why he is constantly thinking about his stepdaughter’s sexuality.”
“Literally pull the ‘Why are you so obsessed with me?’ card because f*** his puritanical judgmental arse. You’re not even living under his roof, who the hell is he to question another adult’s lifestyle??”
“NTA. That’s bloody ridiculous.” – BrownSugarBare
“NTA. Total invasion of privacy. All my kids still live at home, and even though I pay all the bills, there is still absolutely NO WAY I would ever go rifling through their things.”
“Good on you for sticking up for yourself.”
“Deviant whore… that one made me laugh. Seems like he expected you to stay a virgin until your wedding night or something. That’s a him problem… not a you problem.”
“If he has had your apartment keys, I’d probably get the locks changed if I were you.” – Majestic-Average433
“My money since it was bedside drawers was that he was looking for your underwear. The fact you said he got abusive when you went through puberty all point to deviant behavior on his part.”
“He has been sexualizing you since you were a child and your mum is continuing to turn a blind eye, like why her husband was in your bedroom …going through your bedside drawer.” – Status-Pattern7539
The edited post worried some people. A history of abuse and getting upset like this might mean he had ulterior motives.
People were worried about OP and needed to know she’d be okay.
“He called you a whore”
“He snooped through your sh*t and broke your trust.”
“Where is the confusion here?” – itsjustme9902
“I’ve grown up with him and his abusiveness so sometimes I need others to remind me that I’m not crazy in the way I react to it.” – Denver0818 (OP)
“OP, do NOT trust your contraceptives if you do not trust this man.”
“He has snooped and it’s not a leap if he’s shaming you for being sexually active for him to do what he can to ‘punish’ you with ‘natural consequences.’ If he is this manipulative, tampering with birth control can make you more vulnerable to his abuse.” – Dry_Management_2530
“Your stepdad is an a-hole, and your mother’s attitude needs to be adjusted as well. What you said in response was mild, all things considered.”
“You’re absolutely in the right for being furious, and banning that disrespectful ass from your residence permanently is 100% the right call. Do NOT back down from this disgusting invasion of your privacy.” – Wrothrok
“My mom has been abused her entire life and has latched herself to someone she believed loved her. He is an abuser. I love my mom and am trying to help her get away but after 17 years together his claws are in deep and he knows it.” – Denver0818 (OP)
There’s a silver lining to all this, though not enough to make up for what happened. OP was able to reconcile with her mother.
However, that brings its own issues. OP’s mom doesn’t feel she can leave her husband, since she travels a lot and OP’s brothers are minors.
Which means these ladies are still stuck in a bad situation.
“Here’s a more positive update for everyone, my mom and I met for breakfast this morning. The first thing she did was apologize, and tell me that I had every right to act the way I did and that she should have been in my corner.”
“She’s looked into divorce, but I have 2 brothers who are underage and because she works so much and travels for work, she is afraid she will lose my brothers AND have to pay 16 years of alimony”
OP also decided to look in on her things after some comments pointed out that stepdad might have tampered with them.
“I got home today after reading all these comments (thank you everyone for your amazing support) and I found that two of the condoms had been opened and one had a hole in it. I got rid of them and my FWB went and got new ones for us.”
“Thank you for the people telling me to check them, getting pregnant would be excruciating for me because of my AS and my endometriosis. I cleaned all my toys just to be safe and took the spare keys from my parents.”
It can be liberating to know you’re not crazy. The other person reacted in a way you absolutely would have never expected.
But after that feeling of relief, there’s the reality of the situation to deal with.
OP cut her stepdad out. Only time will tell if it’s effective.