Emotional Blackmail

fallen angel

New Member
I have been down lately and I know it is because my youngest difficult child is not doing all he is suppose to...like the last two days of not going to school since he could not get up...he always has had a problem getting up in the am so this is nothing new..but he is in jeopardy of not graduating and it is hurting me real bad...my oldest difficult child did not graduate with his class because he was in real bad shape at that time but did graduate in the summer....I guess I am missing those Kodak moments I had looked so forward to.....

Anyway...reading some of the post it has help reinforce that none of this is my fault..his actions and choices are his own and so must be the consquences....when the school calls I don't answer the phone anymore at home or work...it was and is still too hard to say "he would not get up" and let it be illegal absent for the day...my husband does it when they call him...he says it is his problem....however, when the difficult child finds out we did not cover for him it is me he comes to and makes me feel very guilty...I know now that this is the type of emotional blackmail my older son put me through...when his counselors at the treatment program told me this I did not understand at the time..I guess the more experience you get the wiser you become?

I worry about probation and the community service thing...he knows the consquences if he does not comply so we don't bring it up to him at all..we let them do it..however, it hurts real bad to sit back and watch him fall..and this can cause some heavy duty consquences affecting his life not only for the moment but for his future...

I had really detached for awhile but these feelings are all flooding back and I don't know why I am weakening at this point and feeling the paid again....anyone know? anyone ever fall backwards? Isn't it funny (not really) how when they mess up it effects us more than them? I have been thinking how I have been to there and back and cannot move forward for all the pain and they go on like nothing every happened...what is going on with me?


New Member
Is it possible that this is hitting you harder because he's 18 now? It is harder to know that as they age, the consequences change. I know how hard this is, but you are doing the right thing to make him accountable. I know it hurts, but we hurt them more if we don't. I'm sorry it's so difficult but I understand. I think we've all been there done that. I hope it gets easier. It seems they love to try to blame us.


Active Member
it is so hard to know what they have to do to succeed and then watch them do nothing and let bad stuff happen to them.

I had three sons. I never went to any high school graduation ceremony. That hurt. my first child died of heart disease at age 2, the next one was sick most ofhis senior year and had to go to summer school then the diploma was mailed, ant graduated from a boys reform school. I hate to even drive past their high school because it only brings bad memories for me.

when ant was 16 and refusing to go to school, I let the school know it was not my fault, otherwise I would have been in trouble. with your son being 18, I am not sue truancy is an issue unless the PO ordered him to attend school.

ant has been ordered to do 15 hrs community service by May. I reminded him once or twice, that is all. he knows it will mean jail if he doesnt comply.

I have to say ant has taught me to detach more and more from his choices. while I hope he does the right thing, if he doesnt, then...I cant help it.

pray for your son. it is what helped ant the most. God bless you too.


New Member
I remember my difficult child's highschool graduation. We found out he was a heroin addict 2 weeks before and he just got out of his first detox/rehab a few days before graduation. He refused to go and at first it really bothered me that I would not see him walk in his cap and gown. The difference was he did graduate, just didn't go to the ceremony, so we just had his graduation party the same night and celebrated that he made it.
I know it's different for you because you don't think he's going to graduate, but this one of many things that we have to learn to get over when we have a difficult child. We have a vision of what our lives will be like when our kids are born. The graduations, the weddings, family outings together, and many of these things become nightmares and we truley mourn the loss of them.

It took me a long time to stop looking back at what should have been and looking forward to what he can now make of his life. I think I do pretty good with it, but there are times I really thing back to how things should have been. It's normal, we all do it and we all find different ways to get past it. I think because you are living in it now, it's hardest. The things you think will bother you forever that you have missed, do get easier with time.

I'm glad you guys don't cover for him with the school. He needs to suffer the consequences of his choices and your covering up for him would only prolong that process.

Your doing a good job!!


New Member
this is from a different direction, but- is it possible, does he have an IEP? Maybe a later start could be written in to his IEP? It is a shame to not graduate becuz of difficulty with getting up early enough. After HS there are LOTS of jobs where people do not have to wake up early, and even if someone is considering college, there are also lots of college classes that do not require getting up early.
Once things start to snowball with graduation time, it can fuel a fire of self sabotage....and not getting hs diploma can be a real problem.
I understand it might be too late for this, but, I would still check into it.


ahhhh it has a name, yes this sounds similar to my difficult child I, he's 15 and all about HIM


New Member
It is his problem, He is 18 and you are not legally responsible for him. Its hard to sit back and watch them fall because of their bad choices but he in the end will have to suffer the consequences that he might learn from. I know your mommyheart is struggling but you know that you will not be doing him any favors by not allowing natural consequences to happen due to his bad choices or being irresponsible. Detach, Detach, Detach :)


Active Member
If we could just balance the mommyheart with what we know needs to happen.

I have one who graduated and one who got his GED. I do pretty well with detachment, except for June when all the graduation stuff happens and they list all the achievers from all the high schools in the area.

I too think you're doing great by not covering for him and detaching. It's so hard to make them responsible when they won't even try.


Oh, Sunny, what you said struck a note--I've been thinking about how HARD it's going to be around graduation time, knowing my son SHOULD have been there with the nine or ten seniors on our block who WILL be graduating in June. My son won't be one of them. It's SO sad...


Well-Known Member
If I were you, CAmom, I would try to go away for the time of
graduation festivities. Sounds like a cowardly thing to do???
Many of us who have been there done that wish we had left for a "business trip"
or ???.........it's painful being surrounded by jubulience and
smiling and being supportive is harder than you can imagine.


Active Member
I agree with ' Dreamer ' that going for a creative solution with his input and cooperation is better than facing consequences. Too often kids prefer the consequences or do not have the skills to make the right choices. I would say to your child that you have been warned that there are serious consequences for you if you cover up but you are willing to do your best to help him be successful. Maybe a prescrition for Melatonin will improve his quality of sleep and help him wake up on time and be punctualor the school can have some accomodations for him.
Try to do some problem solving , look at the concerns , his , yours , the school and then look for solutions , various solutions. Consequences often make kids resist even more - you are not going to control me. Also tell the kid , you are praying for him.
I hope this helps


Psycho Gorilla Dad
Allen-Matlem, re: "Consequences often make kids resist even more - you are not going to control me."

Yep, couldn't agree more. For us and our difficult child 1, it's boiled down to a contest of wills; the more we punish with consequences, the more he rebels. For him, his psychiatrist says that rebellion is reflexive, almost like Tourets, and he can't control it.

Well, he could learn to control it, but he'd have to care enough first

After a year, we're just now learning what consequences we can use that don't provoke his rebellion reflex. Quick answer is not many, and not very often.

But we have hope.



DDD,you read my mind! I've already told my husband that I can't bear to be around here, seeing all that, so we must get out of town for a few days.

Don't think it's cowardly at all...just trying to survive.


New Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: fallen angel</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

I worry about probation and the community service thing...he knows the consquences if he does not comply </div></div>

He does know the consequences and he is still making these choices. They are not your choices, though I know it doesn't make it any easier for you to watch.

Sorry you are feeling so down.


New Member

I am new to this forum AND to the whole adhd, odd/conduct dis and chemical dependancy stuff. This is the last of 6...he is 14

I really related to the title....this is spring vacation for us and I am single mom in wheelchair...have spent almost all of vacation locked in my room out of fear....

We have had the court stuff, counselers, socail workers, crisis workers.....he is on probation for drugs and last UA failed. He is holding me hostage as the title says and daily life is becoming unbareable.....my "father" told me to give him to foster care.....

The rages, violence, defience, at home and in the community...we are on the verge of losing our 4th apt in 3 years because of his behavior and destruction....I am sooo far in debt because of moving and fixing things he breaks in these aptments

I found this forum looking up some of the many letters on his diagnosis....this has been going on since birth with him...none of the other kids where as bad....had some issues, but nothing compared to this....

When he was running away last summer and fall it was the first full nites sleep I'd had in years...sad Huh? he's been in mental health units, rehab..ran from there, Sherifs youth ranch for consequence program and Juvy hall....going back at some point Occupational Therapist (OT) juvy for 2 days....probation doesn't do anything, socail workers don't do anything, police don't do anything....I don't know who elase to turn to...his "dad" isn't in the picture..

I do try my hardest to hold him accountalble..have learned a little from 8 weeks of crisis counseling but that eneded last week, and still nothing from the social workers.....he scares me with his screaming, throwing stuff, threatening, and the blaming me for everything wrong...like rain...yup, I made it rain so he couldn't go out.....or so he says...

went out yesturday and wasn't where he was supposed to be, came back with money, condom, cigs, and matches....called PO and nothing they can do...huh? I said? I swear he was on something...I don't know who to turn to.....thanks for letting me write this here!!!!


New Member
Hi fed up, Welcome to the forum, You may want to post this in General or Teens and Substance Abuse . You will get some valuable input regarding your situation. I'm sorry that you are having to deal with this. It is very frightening to say the least. Who would have ever thought that a parent would have to live in fear of their own child. There have been many here that have dealt with the very same problems.... Please do move this to general or Teens and Substance Abuse. You will find that everyone here is very supportive and not shy when it comes to giving their input based on what they have been through with their troubled teens. You have found a wonderful site that can offer you much needed support.