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Saving yourself from drowning — 6 Comments

  1. Joyce, thank you so much for such a poignant and truthful commentary.

    STOPPING the enabling is no easy task because those with toxic, disordered, and/or criminal family members truly believe that the individual WILL change, if they are just loved enough, supported enough, encouraged enough, and given second chances enough.

    I have spent over half a century enabling toxic, disordered, and alleged criminals and I finally made the difficult choices to stop enabling ANYONE who is toxic, whether they are “family,” or not. Again, this isn’t an easy task because it means that I have to take a stand for myself and what believe to be acceptable and appropriate.

    Aside from the tremendous financial damages that enabling creates, the emotional damages are far more costly. We begin to doubt our own beliefs, abilities, intentions, and morals because enabling means that I have to enter the camp of the toxic. Once I’m in that camp, it’s a matter of being used, abused, and dismantled BY the toxicity, and I cannot afford that cost, anymore.

    EXCELLENT article, Joyce.

  2. Joyce, I believe that there are a number of things that are a catalyst for enabling that simply “fly under the radar.” Enabling (IMHO) is based upon “feelings” and not “facts.”

    Whenever I started enabling, it began with the DIS-belief that someone that I cared about could be toxic. It continued because the disbelief had developed into a pathology – cognitive dissonance.

    Today, I try to identify enabling responses so that I don’t feed that Cog/diss Monkey. No easy task, that!

  3. Truthy, I am a (now retired) mental health professional and I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER, but while I sat on one side of the clipboard and gave advice to others to STOP enabling, I was doing it myself and saying to myself that I was not enabling I was “helping.” LOL

    “Physician, first heal thy self.”

    “take the beam out of your own eye before you take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.”

    It took me a long time to wake up and smell the coffee and stop enabling, to use the tools I had taught others and to find the strength to paddle my own canoe and not try to save others from the consequences of their own behavior. Enabling is when helping hurts, and another thing about enabling is that when we “help” someone and they are like Jesus said “a dog returning to iits own vomit” we become angry at them, resentful….because we figured they owed us for our sacrifice for them.

    “after all I’ve done for you, and you do this…blah blah”

    Toxic altruism .

  4. We should have listened to God’s truth before they pulled the rug out from under us. They all do the, deceive, take, destroy before they move on to their next victim.

    2 Corinthians 6:14  

    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

  5. Wini, that is very true, in many places the Bible tells us to avoid people who continually do bad things. Solomon advised in the book of Proverbs that “Evil companions corrupt good morals” and the entire Proverbs of Solomon advise to avoid offenders because the people we “hang out with” will influence our own behavior.

    When the offender is inside your family it is more difficult to “cut them off” but just as my analogy stated above, if you are trying to “save” someone and are doing all you can to save them and yourself, and they are chopping holes in your canoe while you paddle, YOU WILL GO DOWN WITH THEM.

    Why would someone sabotage their own lives? There are a million “reasons” (excuses) I can think of, but none are valid and it is important for our own health and safety to not associate with this type of person.

    Unfortunately, unless we go live on a deserted island by ourselves, we are going to encounter people who are toxic not only to themselves but to others and to us. It is a safe bet that if someone will steal from others, he will steal from you.

    My family and I had some “close friends” that had been close and beloved friends for decades, and I found out that they were stealing from me. It broke my heart, but I gave them another chance, and danged if they didn’t do it again! My son Michael and I finally cut them off, no contact. We warned some other friends about what they had done, and they didn’t want to believe us, so they “helped” these people who then stole from them.

    Finally the word got out among our circle of friends about these people and they have few if any friends from “the old days” left.

    But we are better off not associating with people like that, though it hurt to realize they were not the kind of people we thought they were.

  6. Joyce, we can’t choose our family members, yes, some of them do force us to strengthen our patience (smile) and faith in Jesus. As far as sabotaging their lives. They don’t see it that way, actually, they are blinded by their sin(s). Due to living in their ego (ego = Erase God Out) they have no eyes to see or ears to hear Jesus’ truth to give them the brakes to stop the evil. That’s why it’s so important to explain to them why they must humble themselves so they can ask Jesus for forgiveness, then, sin no more. Jesus will care for them. Man can not. Jesus will ensure the right(eous) people come into their lives to lead them to His righteousness. Family members can not help them during life on earth. We can only help family members during the Day of the Lord. .

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