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ENABLING VS HELPING

Posted by Susan on 17 September 2014.

This is something I have had to struggle with for years before I realised that I was not helping my son at all, and in some ways, I was actually enabling him. I wrote this last year and I hope it will help some you out there! I am stronger now and stopped enabling my son, who know lives in supported housing and no longer at home.

"It has been a word on my mind for a while...ENABLING. I am now hearing that word in my mind a lot more loud and clear. YES, I have enabled my son's drug addiction and therefore poorer mental health, to continue over the years.




http://thecyn.com/drug-addiction/enabling-behavior/


I thought I was kind, liberal, supportive, understanding, peace maker etc.....well, yes to a certain extent I was and still am, but now I know that some of my behaviours especially in regard to be understanding and keeping the peace in our house, was actually ENABLING.



In this link below on alcoholism "Enabling-When 'Helping' Doesn't Really Help" it speaks of a relationship with an alcoholic, yet it fits for any addictive or dysfunctional behaviour. I could completely relate to what the enabler does, and yes, I am guilty. Especially when I answered the 12 questions "to help you decide whether or not your actions and reactions to the 'alcoholic' might be enabling"!! The out come of those 12 questions...ready?

"You answered 9 items out of 12 Yes.
Your score is 75%. If you answered Yes to any of these questions you may have enabled the alcoholic or addict to avoid the consequences of his or her own actions. 

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info2/a/aa052197.htm

Time to start facing up to the consequences of your own actions my son, I am going to as well.

Funny thing is, I was at first almost ashamed to admit it to myself that I was an enabler, and felt guilt and disappointment in myself. Now, the more I think about it and read about it and own up to it, the less my feelings of frustration, anger and resentment are. This is because, although my enabling my son, under a rosy coloured blanket of presumed "help" of course, was actually harming him and the entire family, it is something that I have the power to overcome and change...and that is most definitely a good thing, a very good thing!"

Comments

CANT TAKE NO MORE
17 Sep 2014

Susan enabling is something most parents/partners do, without even thinking about it.....when you love someone so deeply, and see their pain, all you want to do is make or try and make things better, easier, etc..... Once a parent stops enabling it can be a time of sadness......however, it empowers that person too..it has been the hardest decision I have ever made, but I wish I had made it earlier.......it doesn't mean we are giving up on the addict....

Susan
18 Sep 2014

Hi Cant Take No More! It is definitely such a blurred line that separates helping and enabling especially when you are smack in the middle of chaos and as you say, see so much pain that you want to do anything to help! I wrote that post a while ago and since then my son was told to leave. It is hard and sad but better for us all, and as you say, I wish I could have done it sooner! I still have contact with my son and still try to support him with positive decisions but I will not watch him or help him to get deeper into his addiction. :-(

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