DEAR ABBY: My mother is my best friend, but I can't stop yelling at her for invading my privacy. I have just learned that she has read all my journals since I was 9. She also figured out all my passwords to my e-mail, online blogs and social network accounts.
I have lived away from home for six years. I no longer feel I can leave my mother alone in my apartment because she goes through my text messages, call list, letters, bills, bank statements, etc. I have now stopped writing, which was my only outlet of expression, because of her snooping. She says I hurt her feelings when I yell, but I have reached the end of my rope.
I have had calm conversations with her about this. She always promises that she'll stop, but she never does. Abby, she has no reason to snoop -- I talk to her 20 times a day. How can I keep this from ruining our relationship? -- MAD IN MANHATTAN
DEAR MAD: You say you talk to your mother 20 times a day? Doesn't that seem to you to be somewhat excessive? You say she snoops when she's alone in your apartment. How is she gaining unsupervised entry?
Speaking as an unbiased outsider, I think some separation from your mother would be healthy for both of you. So change your passwords, put your financial information under lock and key, and cut the umbilical cord. It's long overdue.