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cathy, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  MS., MS.Ed., 30 years clinical and administrative experience in psychiatry and mental health
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Am i being emotionally blackmailed. My friend knows how much

Resolved Question:

Am i being emotionally blackmailed. My friend knows how much i value her friendship. Recently i told her that i suspected she had an eating disorder and OCD whereupon she suggested we had a 2 month break. She asked me to let her know my decision on the break. I said that i didnt want a break from our friendship and she then continued to put a ban on any one to one meetings but she was happy to see me in company. I feel like she is banning our intimacy to force me or use me as a scapegoat to tell her husband about her mental health issues as i believe she feels her behaviour is out of control and the disease is killing her and affecting her children.I have got the impression about how she is feeling from text messages she has sent me saying regularly that she is tired, exhausted and asking me once if God was punishing her!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  cathy replied 7 years ago.

Hi jac and thanks for writing justanswer. com

You know there is no way to tell from your post and I am just so sorry that without more information that this question is impossible to respond to as you wish.

She might or might not have ocd and eating disorder.

You might or might not have boundary issues.

You have no evidence that her behaviors are quote "killing her children"

and if you have that information you need to call the local authorities and report what you suspect.

My take on this is that you have overstepped a few boundaries with her and she is keeping you at arms length. While you may be right you have not approached her in enough of a caring way for her to take action to save herself. Then again you may be wrong and she is hurt and needs to keep you at arms length.

No way to know from this forum.

Best wishes to you and warmest regards. If you have more information please do feel free to share so that we can best help you.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you. The person i am speaking about has in the past, which i have just realised, used emotional manipulation to get me to resolve problems or situations for her. She has constantly during the courses of our 12 year friendship asked my advice on moral dilemmas that she has had to face. I did not say that her behaviour is killing her children I am scared that it may be killing her but the affects of it may be affecting them. In terms of overstepping boundaries i am very confused. Our relationship has really not been like an adult to adult but more like a mother and child and that is why i am struggling now because if she were my own child i would be able to take her to a doctor but my friend has a husband and really it should be his responsibilty to do that. I have constantly told the friend that i care, love and want to support her but because of the affects of the break in our long standing friendship is having on me, my health and my family i cannot do any more  It is difficult for me to understand as she has said that she has a few issues to sort out in her own head and she would come back to me in a few weeks but it has now been over a month. my husband feels i need to unburden myself as not knowing what to do for the best is affecting my health.
Expert:  cathy replied 7 years ago.

Hi Jac and thanks for the additional information which helps a lot.

Lets break this down.

1. It seems your friend has a history of maladaptive behaviors

2. She has children who may be at risk due to her poor choices but as of today, you have no reason to believe that they are at imminent risk for serious harm

3. It is abundantly clear that you have made yourself available to her and offered (very generously I might add) all manner of support and care

4. You believe that it would be husband who would have to take her in for help.

I think I have this all straight, but if I am mistaken please do correct me.

While you still have not provided any example of how your friend is behaving dangerously I will go with your judgment and say this.

That you cannot do a thing to change her and if her behavior is impacting your life so negatively as to cause you physical symptoms, well, I have to go with your husband on this and tell you to stay away from her. Terminate your friendship and move on and dotn look back.

I have no idea what you are alluding to when you talk about her being at risk but I can assure you that millions of people every day behave in emotionally manipulative ways. You and I may not like this, but that is a reality.

She is an adult and you cannot change an adult, especially one who sees no reason to change.

Stay far away from her, protect your health first and worry no further.

I am sorry there are no magic cures for what you describe, but the expert answer here is to remove yourself from a frustrating personal relationship and dont worry about it again.

Warm regards ***** ***** I think your husband is right on this jac.

Have a wonderful weekend and good Easter Holiday if you celebrate it.


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