Does your child blame you for everything?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Percy, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Percy

    Percy Member

    Thanks to everyone who has welcomed me into this forum with helpful advice and insight. Wondering if your "difficult child" blames you for everything? My son (17, ODD, pot smoker) constantly blames my husband (his dad) and I for everything, and almost says his using pot and dropping out of school were inevitable because of us.

    And how does one constructively respond to that? I don't want to completely dismiss his (genuine?) feelings, but I also don't think I need to apologize for being a parent, or for not being a perfect parent. We are caring, loving, attentive, intentional parents who support our children, have expectations for their behavior, and try to impart our values to our children. His blaming us/viewing us as the worst thing in his life is a HUGE roadblock to any type of productive communication.


    The litany from son is:
    "you were horrible parents
    you aren't real people, you are just robots making rules
    you are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) parents
    your rules are insane
    you are nuts
    you need to chill"

    (This is all re all our household/family rules: do your homework, let us know where you are, no computers in bedrooms, phones on charging station at night, no TVs in bedrooms, curfews, chores, clean up after yourself, respect other other people's things, respect food in pantry set aside for planned future meals, and no smoking pot, no alcohol etc.)"

    AND...he blames us for switching his school twice (after 4th grade to a local catholic school because we were not impressed with the elementary school he was in; then deciding to homeschool all our kids when he was in 7th (for academic reasons, we are non-religious, secular homeschoolers). He went to town high school 9th onward). These school changes were 6 years and 4 years ago. At the time, he was (seemingly) happy, well adjusted, and benefited from the changes. There are pros and cons to every choice, but we thought we made good, thought out decisions, with good intentions. We concede (and have acknowledged to him) that maybe we didn't have full insight into his thoughts or unhappiness about these changes, but he never expressed these thoughts or acted out etc. Not blaming him - he was the kid, we were the parents, it wasn't his duty to inform us or our decisions - but rather to underscore that at the time we made these changes things seemed good. These changes have been positive for our other 4 kids, who are all thriving, happy, well-adjusted kids. Obviously, with 20/20 hindsight they were not good for him - at least from his perspective. But his anger about this seems to grow as the months go by, even though it is becoming further in the past. He seems increasingly fixated on these school changes.

    I know there are no simple answers re how to deal with this kind of kid, but I am wondering if any of you have sage advice about constructive ways to respond when he goes down the path (especially about the school changes) so as to not get caught up over and over in the same circular conversation that seems to just fuel his anger and defiance.
     
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Don't accept the blame. Don't even think for one minute YOU are in any way responsible for the bad choices your son has made.

    I wish I had someone tell me that in the beginning of our highway to hell!!

    He knows that you are not to blame but they try that anyway. Kids like this have NO sense of self awareness and look to everyone else to blame for their life that is not going like it should. They may be intelligent (my son tested with an above average IQ - whatever that means) but have a hard time making the connection between bad choices resulting in bad things happening and a bad life, parents :censored2:ing etc. When they realize THAT, then some change can be seen. My son is just starting to understand it and he is 21. I've talked til I'm blue in the face and I'm DONE. Figure it out dude.
     
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Of course they blame us. God forbid they admit that it's their faults. It makes for a good giult trip. It is more likely because of peers, actually, or trying to impress a girlfriend who thinks drugs are cool. But nobody else is taking the drugs for him...hes 17 and does it because he wants to.

    Just a note to RN I dont think all teens have no awareness. Most do. They thrive. The ones we talk about here either don't have awareness or pretend not to for guilt purposes. 80% of all teens do well. I have some who did. It's the 20% who make us nuts. Have had those those also. I don't like to give our teens a pass for being teens. That's not really how most teens roll.

    Those who roll that way are choosing it. My drug using teen knew better but wanted popularity.n In some circles using drugs is impressive. Fortunately she did straighten out fairly early. There is hope

    My oldest son was a teen wreck. He is still a wreck at 39. He has a personality disorder and always did. Things don't always change too.

    okay...moving on.

    Dont own this blame. Don't listen to it or respond
    Walk away from it.
    You know the truth.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  4. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    My 45 year old daughter blames me. I think the funniest one she brought up was that I never gave her a baby shower. I love both of my granddaughters very much. The daddy is a diagnosed schizophrenic with PTSD. She met him in a rv park and decided to have 1st one because she wanted a child and he had blonde hair and blue eyes which she liked. It wasn't long before he wrapped his hands around her neck while on an interstate highway with baby in the back seat. But then she decided to have another baby with him so the first one wouldn't be an only child. Then she married him. Then he broke her nose. I never thought of having a baby shower. Never entered my mind. I thought friends gave the shower. At least that's how it was in the old days. But I dfd include it in my amends letter because she brought it up once when she was on a tear. Because I wanted to validate her feelings. Because i didn't understand who she was or what she came to the earth to do. She saw herself as some sort of enlightened being, an indfigo child. Oh my gosh. Am I missing something here? There's more that I did wrong in her opinion, but I'll stop here. Honestly there were some things I did or didn't do raising her, but I've acknowledged them and apologized several times
     
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would not accept the blame because it is total and utter nonsense. Unless you bought the drugs, prepared them, held them to his face and forced him to ingest them, you did NOT force him to use drugs. He CHOSE to use drugs and is looking for ANY reason to not accept responsibility for his choices. Because if he accepts responsibility, then some consequence might be his fault. In his mind, it is NEVER his fault. If it goes right, it is ONLY to his credit, due to his brilliance. But anything with a negative side? That could NEVER be a result of ANYTHING that he did, so it MUST be a result of something that YOU did!

    This is child logic and child on drugs logic. It is stupid logic. It is logic that parents must reject because it is simply not reality.

    It is simply not reality.

    No change in school, no religion or lack of religion, no chore list or lack of computer time caused this. You didn't cause this by cooking the wrong thing for dinner either. Listen to how ridiculous this sounds. Not letting him have a computer in his bedroom caused him to use drugs. Seriously? That is ALL it takes? So all those parents who let their kids have computers in their rooms have kids who don't use drugs? I don't think so. In fact, I know an awful lot of kids with computers in their rooms who use drugs. It is easier to use drugs if you have a computer in your room, or a phone in your room at night, because you can communicate with people without your parents knowing about it.

    If what your son says is true, then ALL of your kids would be drug users. They are not. HE is a drug user because he CHOOSES to be one. PERIOD.

    Unless you woke up in the morning and asked yourself "what can I do today to mess my child up the most that I can?", let yourself off the hook because you are a good parent. Anything you did that messed up your child, you did unintentionally. Now if you asked that question and followed through, things are different. But just being here tells me that it never even crossed your mind to ask that question. You are a great parent, and you have a child who makes bad choices and won't accept that those choices are HIS responsibility and NOT your responsibility.

    He wants power over your home but not the responsibility for anything that comes from that power. He is a brat and a toddler in an adult body.

    I would address ANY conversation about this with the statements that SWOT mentioned in your other post, and I would say as little as possible to him. Give him little to argue with - it takes 2 to argue. Say little, don't argue or debate with him no matter what. tell him what you want him to do or know, then walk away. Don't engage at all.

    If these are the best your son can come up with, then he is truly lacking in reasoning skills. He had chores and basic rules to follow, parents that loved him and wanted him to be the best that he could be, but he wanted to skate through life and do as little as possible and be a stoner. Gee, poor abused baby. He didn't get a computer in his room, and had to charge his phone at night. What sort of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) monsters are his parents - they made him clean up after himself and didn't do it for him!!! They wanted him to learn basic life skills!! They must be MONSTERS!!

    Okay, the sarcasm is just going to kill me here. It is just going to knock me over if I keep typing. What a baby your son is, a total whiner if that is ALL he can find to complain about.
     
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  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Susie, as always great response.

    Percy, obscuring the truth is called gaslighting as is rewriting facts. Gaslighting is very abusive. Yes, our own children can and some do abuse us.

    The only truth is the actual truth, not what they say to guilt or blame us. And they know they are not being honest.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think you need to read Reality Therapy by Dr. William Glasser. It is on Kindle or in paperback for under $10 and would help a TON. My stepmother in law used to work with Dr. Glasser. She traveled the world using this method to set up programs in prisons. They would go and train a group of maximum security inmates with this method. They would first help the inmates, then train the inmates to go and use the method to help other inmates, to pass what they learned along. This is used successfully in prisons all over the world and is proven to help people like your son learn that it is their choices that shape their lives, not what others do to them.

    I am likely not explaining the therapy well, although I am explaining what stepmil did well. But the book IS used to help people with problems like your son, who blame everyone else for their problems when in reality it is all their own choices that cause their problems.

    Things we learned from the book really helped us with our son, and helped him learn that his choices impacted his reality in a major way. That it was his choices that were causing his problems, NOT the problems that were being inflicted on him from outside sources.
     
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  8. Percy

    Percy Member

    Thank you susiestar and somewhere. It is odd how reading something that a person whom I don't know, who doesn't know me, can say something that is so helpful!

    My son "blames" me, but does it in order to "abuse" me (verbal laceration type abuse) not as the stated reason for his drug use. He has never directly blamed me for his drug use. He has NOT ever said: "I smoke weed because you did X" Rather, when I engage to state, re-state, re-re-state.. rules or expectations, or respond to his poor choices (breaking law, using pot, drinking, refusing to attend school, inconsiderate actions toward our family, etc.), he will say "I don't respect you. I hate you. You were an awful parent, I don't even consider you my parent, YOU DID [fill in blank from my original post re the "reasons" he hates me, school changes, rules, etc.]". Basically, he is saying I'm not going to listen to you or respect you or follow your rules/expectations/guidance because you were a "bad parent" (bad parent being defined by him, as noted above)

    It may be that in his mind that this blaming is his internal reasoning or rationalization to himself regarding why he smokes pot, but he never says we are responsible for his drug use. Rather the reason he doesn't respect us, follow our rules, respect house rules, etc is because of this blaming. Which is his diversionary tactic in every conversation. Initially (like 18-12 months ago) I responded and engaged regarding what he said. Now I don't engage, don't respond; rather I just re-state the issue/rule/expectation. As in: "I understand how you feel about that. However, you may not use pot in my house, you may not bring drugs in my house" or "We have already discussed that. What we are discussing now is how you may not drink and smoke with your friends in our barn. It is my property and I will not allow that." etc.

    I wish I could say that non-engagement was working, or working better...but it sure doesn't feel that way.
     
  9. JaneBetty

    JaneBetty Active Member

    Percy, you know that your son's blaming statements are utterly ridiculous.

    But it hurts to hear them all the same, doesn't it?

    I've been following your thread, your son sounds intelligent, as do you.

    You've got a long three months ahead of you, and you will have to decide whether you will use the leverage of his reaching 18 to enforce your rules, and it will be a difficult decision, because 18 years old doesn't feel "adultlike" to parents.

    Have you ever heard anyone look back on their growing up years and marvel at the strength their parents exhibited in the face of rebellion?
    That is what you want your son to be saying in ten years.

    I don't have any advice, except to reiterate what the others have said, to keep enforcing your standards and to keep up a brave front. Your son needs this kind of consistency in his life, even if he doesn't seem to agree with it, and your consistency is what he will remember.
     
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have learned to be calm when my son is abusive. I would have said, in response to your sons rant about not respecting you and hating you, "So then you will be moving out at 18." Nothing else needs to be said. Walk away quietly from further abuse. Cry away from him. If he is going to be that way he really does need to leave.
     
  11. UpandDown

    UpandDown Active Member

    yes my son would blame me for everything. He would go on and on with the most outrageous accusations. He was nasty and verbally abusive. And although logically I knew it was not true, I still questioned every decision we had made. I have been feeling extra down lately because although things are way better, my son is still a very difficult teen. This post from you reminded me of the progress we have made because his abusive rants seem to be a thing of the past. One HUGE thing that has helped our son(which i forgot to mention in my other post) is connecting with an excellent therapist. He has been in therapy for years but the past year he connected with a new one and she has helped him to identify why he is so angry and frustrated. And amazingly he realized it was not us. I can't remember if you said he was in therapy or not. And I remember you mentioned ODD. Any therapist that tried to convince my son that he was wrong in any way was one that he refused to work with. The latest one is one who really has just listened and allowed him to work through things without telling him what he was doing was wrong. I think for kids that have "ODD", this is huge. Hang in there. You really sound like you are on the ball and doing a great job in navigating through. I found such good advice here, I hope you do too.
     
  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Of course he blames you. It is much easier to blame you then look in the mirror. And because we love them, we start questioning ourselves and wonder if we really are to blame.

    You are not to blame! Repeat that over and over. His choices are just that . . . his choices. He had to change schools twice? Poor baby. He really has nothing to complain about.

    My daughter blamed us for years. I heard all of the same things that your son says to you. Now that she is finally sober, she has no longer blames us for her mistakes. When she completed her amends step she said that she was sorry for lying and stealing from us but most of all she was sorry for stealing our serenity.

    Don't let your son steal your serenity.

    ~Kathy
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I do not think he wants to communicate with you. He has no incentive to do so. His willingness to communicate may not arrive until late twenties.

    His psychological task right now is to separate, not to join.

    If you can try to think of this as functional--in the service of separating psychologically. Although as the others say, he needs to be held responsible for his behavior that is overtly disrespectful.

    But debate with him when he is talking nonsense? Why? It is ridiculous what he says. This is what a psychiatrist would repeat to me when my son was the age of your own. I was wounded by my son. It was almost impossible for me to absorb at that point, but I think he was right.

    Your son does not in his heart believe what he says, although it may seem so. It is garbage.

    You seem to take seriously what he is doing and saying, as if he has the ability and the incentive not just to understand what he is doing, but to evaluate your fitness as a parent and the adequacy of your parenting. His conduct has nothing to do with what you did or did not do. First, you have to accept this. You cannot look to him for reassurance. He is incapable now of this. Down the road, maybe.

    Right now your job is to set boundaries as you are doing. Not more.
     
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  14. DeniseH

    DeniseH New Member

    My children are older 51, 50, 47, 40. I had my first child at 19 and married. Dad eventually destroyed himself with drugs and alcohol. For the next five years, I was a single working mom. Tried my hardest to make sure the children had all the needs a child should have. I married again and had a 4th child. We moved quite often because of his work. We both always made sure the children's needs were met. Participated in school events etc. Sadly that marriage ended due to his alcoholism, 15 years later. By that time, all but one child were grown. The older three went in separate directions developing or trying to develope their own lives. Today, at 70 years old, only the youngest talks to me. The two older ones want nothing to do with me, the third son, only communicates thru texting. The youngest may communicate but has very limited patience towards me.
    If anything goes wrong in their own adult lives, I was to be blamed for it. ??? This is very hard for me. Their behavior towards me is horrible. I know that I was not flawless bringing up my children. They came first and I was good mother by giving them the love and support. They always had a clean well kept home. Dinner at the table as a family together should be. And I thought that I instilled respect.
    I'm sad and have been sad for a long time.
    Anyone have any suggestions or should I just live the rest of my life with acceptance. This is the way it is. ???
     
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    denise. hi. welcome.

    this is an old thread. why not copy this and post your own, new thread. this way people will see it and get to know you.
     
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    go to forums. then choose the forum. i suggest p.e. then you will see a button yhat says post new thread.

    i just posted to another mother deedee with the exact problem with her daughter.

    you are not alone.
     
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do you have other beloved family? Friends? A church group,? A significant other?

    I am outaged that older adult kids treat you like this. Do you WANT contact with them?

    YOUR FAMILY IS NOT DNA ONLY. Your family is who loves you and treats you well.

    I agree to start a fresh thread. Hugs and love.