Enablers ….. helping or harming?

We thought we’d expand a little on our last post; specifically dealing with enablers.

Enablers are usually thought to be people involved with addicts, but they can also be involved with people who obviously need to get some help for their mental well being.

Enabler:  one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior.

Are OLF’s family and friends helping her by not being honest and forthright with her, or are they enabling that behavior?  I can’t envision having to go to a loved one and honestly tell them they need to get help.  That is a difficult thing to imagine anyone doing.  But is it better to allow her to continue on, year after year and decade after decade, taking part in an unhealthy obsession with her ex-husband, his family and his current life?

It appears OLF is surrounded by tacit enablers, or in other words, people who support another’s bad habits by staying silent.  There is a fine line between helping a loved one and enabling their behavior.  Enabling is usually done with the very best intentions, but does it ultimately help, or hinder, a person getting the help they need to overcome an unnatural obsession?

“These enabling actions hurt the person the enabler is trying to help by not allowing them to experiences the consequences of their decisions and allowing them to continue engaging in inappropriate or unacceptable behaviors.
Enablers have a system of denial fed by the lies of the addict or mentally ill individuals. We may continue to enable because we don’t want to be seen as or thought of as unreasonable, mean, or vindictive – but we’re not looking at the bigger picture.
The effects of enabling an addict or otherwise ill person are far-reaching and wide.”  [Source:  bandbacktogether.com]

Definitely food for thought, isn’t it?


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