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 Mom opened my mail - how to respond?

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maxheadroom
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:33 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi all,

This morning I received mail from my parents house at my apartment, that my mom had sent to me. In the mail was bank statements and an envelope with an appointment schedule in it. My mom had opened the envelope with the appointment schedule in it and left the others alone. All the mail had my name on it.

I have not spoken to her yet about this, she included a note with the mail saying she hoped I would come see them sometime this month, and didn't mention that she'd opened the envelope. The reason I'm sure she opened it is 1. She's opened my mail before, she once admitted that she opened a paycheck envelope addressed to me, and lost my paycheck and the company deducted $20 from the paycheck to print a new one, and she didn't repay me the $20.

So I'm just wondering how to get her to understand that this is not acceptable, and what should I say will be the consequences if she does this again? I feel like I need to give a strong reaction to make sure this doesn't happen again, but I don't know what form that reaction should take.

She didn't even have to open it just because she was curious, she could have just asked me what my appointment schedule was and I would have told her.

Appreciate any advice,
Max

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RoyalFlush
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

A simple solution is to have all of your mail forwarded by the post office. That way, your Mom doesn't have a chance to open any of your letters or other correspondence.

Even if you're in your apartment on a temporary basis (as I was when I lived in my on-campus apartment), you can have temporary forwarding that stops when/if you move back to Mom's (as I did on summer breaks).

I really don't have any advice for what, if anything, to say to your Mom about opening the mail in the first place. But I can say that, if you talk with your Mom, any consequences that you mention should be within the realm of possibilities. Idle threats sound cool, but they're useless because you cannot follow through with them should the other person call what is obviously a bluff on your part.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Ok, silly question, but why are your parents receiving all your mail in the first place, esp after your mom apparently lost one of your paychecks? Confused
It's not all that hard to have your mail sent directly to you, and not much harder to have it held at the post office for pick up if your current address isn't all that stable.

As for getting Mom to stop snooping, good luck.

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maxheadroom
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have to put my home address as my mailing address for insurance purposes.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You could always lease a P.O. box and have your mail forwarded to it. Then, only you and the post office would have access.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

maxheadroom wrote:

I have not spoken to her yet about this


Just tell her!!!
Don't make any threats about consequences. Just impress upon her the fact that your mail is private and you're deeply offended when she opens it.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm confused too. If you are living in an apartment with your own address then why is your mail still going to your parents' home "for insurance purposes"?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

As a parent of three children, all now adults, including one who continually uses our home as an additional extension to his own home, I would have to say MH, that what you are experiencing goes with the territory. Mum is just being over protective.
While it's not the identical circumstance, my son's wife died of cancer less than two years after they were married. He still uses our address for much of his mail. Five years on we still receive serial mail from the many organisations that he had contacted during her illness. We selectively destroy that mail without reference to him. I feel no guilt about that.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Another possibility is that she wanted to know how urgent the mail was before forwarding it on. If there had been an appointment very soon, then she would have had to phone you. We are often in your mothers situation, and while we like to telephone and ask if we should open mail that may be urgent, it isn't always possible to get in touch. Maybe you should suggest that modality to your mother.

The only case I've had of that, it was my doctor's fault. His very embarrassing letter was addressed to "Mr. <surname>". I was not the first to open it.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm with Slightlyoutofit. I think you should just have a conversation with her about it. That said, make sure it's a conversation and not a tantrum type fight. She'll continue to treat you as an immature child if you act like one.
If you're old enough to live on your own (at least part of the time) then you're old enough to open your own mail. The forwarding order from the post office is a good idea, but that's no guarantee that mail won't end up at her house. Mail for me still somehow went to my parent's house for years after I left.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree that the way forward is dialogue, if it was me, I'd just have a nice, calm chat along the lines of how unimpressed you were with your mail being opened. Just ask why she felt the need to do it. Bear in mind the possibility that it may not have been her. See what she has to say. At the end of the day, just talk it through and remain well away from confrontational attitudes.

My next step would be to get the Post Office to forward the mail automatically, thereby removing any future temptation. Here in the UK the PO charge a small fee for the service, I don't know if the US Postal charge for that.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Send yourself mail but on the outside put thinngs like 'STD Clinic results' or something you know will tempt her, and inside put "Please stop doing this' - or something stronger.

No, they ^^^ are right, just talk to her

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^GordonBennett - A friend of mine did that to me once. It was hilarious!
Laughing

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maxheadroom
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It wasn't urgent, she knew the day I'm going in to the doctor and also, mail forwarding does cost money, you have to pay the postman/post office for every piece that gets forwarded on. I really don't want to have to do that, I would rather she just leave it alone and let me pick it up when I come home.

Forgot to mention that I did have a chat with her about this when she opened my paycheck envelope 6 years ago, and when she opened an overdraft statement from my bank last year, she admitted she knew what the overdraft statement/envelope was but just wanted to see how much the overdraft was for. I told her not to do that again, both times, and now a year later she has.

The fact that she's done it again after having talked with her more than once about it is what really burns me up. That's why I want to speak to her more strongly and get it through her head, you do not do this, and if you do this again, here's what's going to happen. I don't want to have to forward my mail, I want to be able to trust my mom to leave it alone, she usually does.

Anyhow from now on I'm going to have the hospital send me my schedule electronically.

Should I have the discussion with her on email or the phone? What should I say?

Quote:
impress upon her the fact that your mail is private and you're deeply offended when she opens it.


I really like that sentence but don't know how to do the first part.

Max

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I WONDER WHY IDIOTS LIKE YOU SHOULD BE IN THE UNITED STATES WHILE MUCH BRIGHTER GUYS LIKE US ARE STILL STUCK DOWN HERE IN NIGERIA. LIFE IS JUST NOT FAIR. Johnson Oliseh
PLEASE DONT WISH ME ANY MERRY CHRISTMANS AT ALL OK. Alhaji Ahmed Koffi, 12/27/06
ASHOOLE *DELETED*, THIEF AND STUPID PERSON THAT DOES NOT KNOW HIS LEFT FROM RIGHT. Thygrace Chamber, April 13, 2007
Charles Soludo's Halloween joke: "halloween joke to you my friend. Hope you are well and make sure that you send the last number in good faith ok." Nov 2, 2008
Now i know why you are deaf and dum, because you are so stupid and crazy, so please i dont need to ask you that any more, you are a real joker that what you are SCROLL YOUR ASS." Chuck Soludo Nov 5, 2008 Easter Egg 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

419weasel wrote:
You could always lease a P.O. box and have your mail forwarded to it. Then, only you and the post office would have access.


+1

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I see how since you have already discussed it twice would irritate you. I think that communicating with her further is a better route than forwarding mail because just ignoring things that impact your relationship are never good.

Remember that anger toward her will not yield any positive results. Parents are used to their kids getting mad at them when they're trying to do what they think is right to protect their kids. The most likely reason she's doing it is out of love and wanting to take care of you.

Possible points to make:

She raised you, and if she did a good job, you should be competent enough to handle your own affairs. If she opens your mail, it indicates to you that she doesn't have trust/faith in you to do it on your own. This undermines your confidence, and hurts your feelings.

You don't want to forward your mail, because you want to fix this with her. Trust is important. Ask if she's willing to trust that you will come to her with any problems you need help with, or will answer any questions she has regarding your affairs so that she won't worry. (not just because she's being nosy). If she's willing to trust you, you can express that you're willing to trust that she won't violate your privacy.

It sounds like you're in the process of leaving the nest and mom is having a hard time letting go. It is hard for parents to not try to take care of their children, no matter how old they get. Wink

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Talk to her in exactly the same manner you'd like to be spoken to about something that's bothering her. She's your Mother, your best mate.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

On a positive note her blatant opening of your post is good in that you know what she has read
I would be more concerned if she did undercover, steaming letters and the such like.
She will not change no matter what you say or do best cut the cord and get your post sent by a medium that doesn’t allow your Mum to get to it before you Sad

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maxheadroom
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
She will not change no matter what you say or do


Believe me, I know.

Max

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I WONDER WHY IDIOTS LIKE YOU SHOULD BE IN THE UNITED STATES WHILE MUCH BRIGHTER GUYS LIKE US ARE STILL STUCK DOWN HERE IN NIGERIA. LIFE IS JUST NOT FAIR. Johnson Oliseh
PLEASE DONT WISH ME ANY MERRY CHRISTMANS AT ALL OK. Alhaji Ahmed Koffi, 12/27/06
ASHOOLE *DELETED*, THIEF AND STUPID PERSON THAT DOES NOT KNOW HIS LEFT FROM RIGHT. Thygrace Chamber, April 13, 2007
Charles Soludo's Halloween joke: "halloween joke to you my friend. Hope you are well and make sure that you send the last number in good faith ok." Nov 2, 2008
Now i know why you are deaf and dum, because you are so stupid and crazy, so please i dont need to ask you that any more, you are a real joker that what you are SCROLL YOUR ASS." Chuck Soludo Nov 5, 2008 Easter Egg 2012

Last edited by maxheadroom on Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Time is a good healer

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i am not here to check or look for people piss in the streets of Abidjan
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

maxheadroom wrote:
That's why I want to speak to her more strongly and get it through her head, you do not do this, and if you do this again, here's what's going to happen.

I'm imagining the consequences if I initiated a convo like this w/ my mom...and for the record, I do not wish to be kept alive by artificial means.

You should sit back and analyze the situation.

For one, you really are not in a position to take such a hard line & win. It sounds like your mom is doing you a favor by letting you use her address (where she pays the bills & not you I presume) for your insurance purposes. If you continue to receive mail there then you have to put up w/ her occasional nosiness, she's your mother. Secondly, it is just in poor taste to have such a conversation with your mother IMO, not to mention disrespectful.

But still, I can understand you want to fix the problem. The only surefire way to do that is suck it up & pay the costs to get your mail sent to where you actually live. Barring that, you have to communicate w/ mom.

The only adult way to do that is to talk to her face to face about it. She asked you to come visit, there is your perfect opportunity! Now that you have a golden opportunity at hand, just mention that you noticed that she had opened your mail and that you would appreciate it if she would not do that. Tell her you understand that she is your mother and is just trying to look out for you, but it makes you feel _____ when she does that. In the future if she thinks something is urgent, if she could call you to tell you you got mail that looks important and if you would like her to open it to tell you what it is then you will let her know. Then if she does it again, simply have your mail sent to you at your house & stop using her address for your insurance purposes.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Just a rent Post Office box, or have your mail delivered to your work. Get mad at PO for goofing up. Then drop it. Tell new rules format only mail to registered owners or lessee's. I know they' are lies, but if all fails..............

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

IMHO, I agree with getting a PO Box for your mail to be sent to and then the next time you speak with your mom, calmly, politely, caringly and firmly let her know that you got a PO Box for your mail to go to, specifically because of her snooping. Perhaps, just perhaps, she'll come to realize there are real issues of your trust in her being endangered.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

As far as most mothers are concerned, there's no such thing as "privacy" between her and her kids. If you think she's going to react badly to a polite request not to open personal mail addressed to you then you are going to have to make alternative arrangements (see suggestions above). It's inconvenient but it's not difficult.

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maxheadroom
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for all advice, I appreciate it. I think I will go with a compromise of OldWolf and others' advice and have my mail forwarded to my residence and explain to my mom why I had that done.

She did previously call me and ask me which letters I wanted sent up, I didn't get that message until later and she called me again to tell me she had sent all the letters up, in neither of those messages did she mention that she had opened the envelope from the hospital, that's what really bugs me, is that she seems to expect me to just ignore the fact that she opened the letter or something. I just want to know why. I don't get how opening up my mail is "looking out for me", that doesn't make sense to me. Why not open up all my mail then? Why just do this one letter?

Max

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