Enabler


I watched a show tonight for the first time. It was called In an Instant. It was a terrifying show. An eye opener that I am not sure I really wanted to see. As I was emotionally forced to watch it, my mind began to get a tiny glimpse of how people with psychopathic minds work.

I knew I could never be that type of therapist that tries to uncover the underlying facts about what makes this type of person tick. I would choke, shiver and probably break down crying right during the appointment.

As I continued to watch the show I felt sick inside. This show was about a couple who got married and within the first months the wife felt something wasn’t right. Instead of acting upon her instincts, she allowed or enabled the marriage to continue.

By her enabling him to show his abusive side more and more it gave him the power to continue trying new stunts. In the end, what ever it was that finally forced her to wake-up and divorce, his power was almost as mighty as the devil’s power.

Five years after the divorce she went to his house to pick-up the kids who were shared custody of the two adults. It was this dreadful day that upon her entering his home he beat her with a baseball bat. He beat her so bad that she should have died; she didn’t. He taped her face and hands together with duct tape and put her head first into a large garbage can and drove her to another state. This all was happening with their children who were young in the front seat of the truck. He took the kids to a babysitter and then proceeded to take her to a storage warehouse and place the trash can inside a unit and then place heavy boxes on top. I will say that this story ended well. He is serving life, her kids are safe, and she was found and healed.

Enabler, what an interesting word. Do any of us do this? I know I have. I have given up what I knew was right in order to keep a marriage going. I hated ever having to admit that I had made a mistake.

Fortunately, I did end up divorcing; but not after years of beating myself up emotionally, changing my thoughts in order to hang on to something that was poison. I enabled my ex to get by with things I would never want my best friends or family to ever endure.

Do we enable our children? How many times have I watched Dr. Phil and the topic was bad teens, or adult children on drugs. I sit and listen to parents make a number of excuses as to why they keep giving the grown children money for any reason the kid will make-up. We all know in the back of our minds we are enabling these kids to purchase more drugs, or to act like teens from hell.

Why do we do these things? Love I think is a big culprit. We love our kids. We don’t want to disappoint  them. We don’t want to be divorced. We don’t want out of our comfort zone. We make ourselves learn to be satisfied with our many excuses.

After watching In an Instant, there was a part of me that wanted to throw information I have had stored in my head for years and years by my parents. I was taught, turn the other cheek. I was told, don’t get a divorce, at least you won’t be alone and you will have that extra income.

Is it healthy thinking? I think my parents thought they were teaching me the right thing. I also believe that when my parents were instructing me, life was different. Sure, there were  murders going on when I was a kid. John Kennedy was shot when I was about 10.

I believe that life is harder and harsher today than yesterday. Drugs are much easier to get a hold of today. You can make many drugs by purchasing the ingredients in your favorite grocery or drug store. You can even get them from the neighbor next door, they are so accessible.

Morals have dropped. God has been taken out of our books, and our own individual thinking is being taken away by others dictating. Some homes don’t even own a bible. Some  have never been inside a church. Some God is not spoken about.  So I think my parents meant well, but that doesn’t mean I have to carry those thoughts completely into my future. Life is definitely thicker with rape, murders and drugs than it was 50 years ago.

On the other side of the coin lays that same, familiar trap. The trap is named Love. Love is powerful. On Dr. Phil, parents admit they know their kids are on drugs, but they don’t want to see them dead on some street so they give them money. At least they are alive; for now.

What about enabling little kids with food? We have some of the most obese kids in our world. We praise, we negotiate with food. It takes two parents to make ends meet today. This alone can cause a great deal of guilt for not being home when the kids walk through the door.

The kids look in the freezer or cupboards and find more junk food than at the baseball stadium. Enabling kids to ease our guilt. We have a media going on that tells us how we should think and act. We are told which places are the best vacations, what cars will make us look better in others eyes. Homes are purchased even when the buyer can’t really afford it.

Media says this and we believe it sometimes. So media enables us too. I don’t have the answers. I just know I am guilty of it at times. When should we stop enabling? Can we stop enabling? Do we wait until our loved ones have drained our pockets, maybe landed in jail, or worse dead?

Now that I look at the interesting word enabler, I begin to see it as an ugly word. Maybe it should be taken out of the dictionary. The only advice for myself, is when I realize I am the person enabling, stop.  We need to put God back in the books, schools, homes. We need to rid ourselves of the guilt we carry of not being there for our kids the way our parents were. Buying crap they don’t need is not the answer in my eyes. The little time that a family is together, make it quality time, and less money shelled out. Life is tough today. It isn’t guilt that should keep us held hostage for working. We should be screaming at our government. Maybe we should rally on better living. I don’t know. I am not a therapist, but I know God is warning us, and we will have to explain all of our decisions one day.

12 thoughts on “Enabler

  1. I don’t think God really has anything to do with it you think things are worse now than they were when you were younger but I think the only difference is now with the media we have we actually hear the stories and the other change is that people are no longer encouraged to keep abuse hidden behind closed doors, it is folly to assume that people have only suddenly gained urges to kill, rape and murder others hell the bible is full of stories of all these things, it is only logical as the number of people on the planet grows then the number of those types of people grows as well it does not mean the percentage of people with those urges grows just that few percent of more is more. As for drop in morals then I am sorry but I had this conversation the other day, where did they learn their morals? Well the either learnt them from us or from our children, and yes they can be influenced by other things when they are older but their character is set by the time they are three years old.

    I do think we are fascinated by the worst aspects of humanity, and as a Brit we have more than our own share of it to look back on I have just been loving the series Wolf Hall which was all about Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII and the life and death of Anne Boleyn,

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  2. enabling is all about the enablers feelings rather than the person they are enabling. people over feed their kids so they don’t feel bad or like they are depriving their kid. it is all about not wanting to be unloved or alone.

    i had to laugh when you said you couldn’t do that kind of therapy:) that is exactly what i did for years. i was the supervising forensic psychologist for the state of georgia. i worked at the northwest georgia regional hospital. when visitors first drive on the campus it is very nice and all the units are locked but look friendly and even cozy on the outside. keep driving around to the rear and you see these buildings surrounded by fence that is topped with razor consantina wire. those were my units. the forensic units. when i received a new patient they were either coming before trial to be found competent to stand trial or not. if not competent they were then admitted, to be held until they either could be found competent or the court released them. we received a file with these patients, it had all the reports plus photos of any crime scenes. it was challenging and yes there were times i came home and just climbed in to the shower to wash off the horror of some of them. many of these people had “enablers” who thought they were doing the right thing.

    often when we enable we cripple the other person as well as ourselves

    terry i hope you don’t watch this again. i have watched it and decided not to again. it is not healthy to let this kind of horror in, it is so much better for us to protect our health and happiness. i send you love and hugs:)

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    • I agree with you all the way. We enable to not be alone or unloved. We hurt the one we are enabling sometimes or hurt ourselves. And hearing what you described as your job I couldn’t do it. You are one smart cookie !!

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  3. Great post!… People should noy shirk from this wickedness…but, learn that it is out there…
    I too was an enabler… to a son with bi-polar disorder… Not his fault…but, I learned I didn’t have to feed into it…We have the best relationship now…due to learning about this…

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