And so the saga continues! My father is tracking me behind my back via cell phone. Is my father's behavior inappropriate, or am I paranoid?
Note: my initial post about my abusive father (thank you everyone for allowing me to realize that this is abuse) is here
. It explains much of his paranoia and the way he treats me, which is relevant to this new issue, but ultimately too complex to bring up here.
A few nights ago I noticed a strange icon on my cell phone's screen, one that I had never seen before, and after doing some research online and speaking to my sister, I found my answer.
My father now subscribes to a tracking device (offered through Sprint) that allows him to pinpoint my exact location, down to the street address. It even provides a map. I, personally, am unable to disable the tracker. And so long as my phone is on, I am able to be tracked.
What makes the situation even stickier is this: according to the program's policy, the individual being tracked is notified (via text message) each time the tracker submits a tracking request. Additionally, at the start of the service, the user being tracked must agree to the policy by responding to an introductory text message. Text messaging altogether was disabled on my phone months ago, and so I received neither the introductory text nor the individual texts telling me I've been tracked. I would think I would be notified anyway for ethical reasons, but this is not the case. I guess you could say the policy has been violated. I tried to speak to the customer service reps, but there's a password on my account, so I can't receive any information from them, apparently no matter how general my questions are, without supplying the password which was set up by my father.
Regardless, I've been able to monitor my father's tracking habits through his email account, which I have the password to (unbeknownst to him). This is how I know he's tracked me approximately 40 times in the last 48 hours.
My father has no idea I know this. Despite living under the same roof, we haven't exchanged a word in the past month. This is absolutely normal for us. He asked my sister if I've said anything, and even offered her a large sum of money not to tell me. She told him I'm have no idea what is going on. It's worth mentioning that my sister is not being tracked, despite the fact that she is 15, and I am the 20 year old with the master's degree.
My cell phone service is part of a family plan that my father pays for. This is mostly out of convenience. I've had this line for a number of years, and I don't subscribe to any special features so the cost is minimal, and my father can afford it, making it an non-issue until now. He also prefers it this way because he can monitor who I am interacting with on the phone...
I understand that as long as he is footing the bill for my cell phone service, he can subscribe to whatever features he wants. But I don't believe that his behavior is necessarily correct or respectful. Despite living in his home, as an adult I don't believe it is right for him to track my whereabouts without my permission, and to his current understanding, without informing me of the tracking system altogether. Am I correct in thinking this? And futhermore, should I bother mentioning to him that I know what he's doing?
Honestly, I feel very creeped out and violated. He has no reason not to trust me, and yet he still acts this way. I told my boss and coworkers, all of whom I am very close with, and they agreed that his behavior is disturbing, but I guess I need more validation because at some level, I feel like what he is doing is okay. Is it? I have no idea what is appropriate anymore. I can't tell if my disgust is unreasonable. This is not the first time I've had my privacy violated by him, and this certainly hasn't been his worst offense in that regard.
My solution is to get an entirely new cell phone plan-- different service provider, different phone, different number, different everything. I then plan to keep my initial phone silent and hidden in the house at all times, so when he goes to track me, all it shows is that I'm home. Not only is this a slap in the face, but I'm trying to slowly separate myself from this abuse cycle, and by being less dependent on him in this one regard (having my own phone), which I suppose is a step in the right direction.
Thank you for reading. I will appreciate any insight. At this point, I am so confused, I don't know what to think.