Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Angry Enabler

Ever notice that sometimes when you give someone who is obviously contributing to their own misery an honest assessment of their role in the melodrama of their life, they tune you out?

We all have friends who take on roles of martyrs and then weep and moan because the people they are catering to don't appreciate them.

We all know parents who enable their children, and then who get angry when someone comes along and finally tells them to stop making excuses for their child's behavior.

Martyrs, although on the surface seem to be victims of other people's insensitivity, in reality are not victims at all.  Many times martyrs and enablers are attempting to manipulate others into doing what 'they' think they should do.  Superficially, the martyr seems concerned.  But because martyrs and enablers rarely know how to make themselves happy--they also don't know how to take responsibility for why they might be angry or unhappy, and blame the ones they cater to for why they can't get on with their lives.

The codependent dance is a seductive one.  Because we humans tend to judge situations by what we see physically, it is difficult to lay blame on a martyr--when the martyr is depressed, sad, or confused.  And who amongst us really has the gall to look an enabling mother or father in the eye and say, "Let your kid suffer the consequences of his/her own actions--and in the meantime--get on with your life."

Part of codependent recovery is learning to own the fact that no one is responsible for your misery.  Nor is anyone responsible for your happiness.

Unhappy people make unhappy acquaintances.

People who tend to believe that others are why they are so unhappy, also tend to believe that others are responsible for why they sometimes get angry.

At the core of it all is a deep sense of low self worth.  People who believe that others are responsible for how they feel--don't think they are capable of being totally responsible for themselves.  They fear abandonment, because they do not believe they are capable enough to be self reliant.  They instead lock themselves into codependent dances that lead to emotional bondage--give up their rights to own their own selves and spend their lives blaming others for why they are the way they are.

And when an enabler or martyr is confronted head on with the truth--they turn away from any idea that leads them towards personal responsibility.

I heard a woman once say, "If there were no codependent martyrs or enablers, there would be no addicts, nor would the world be full of unhappy people.  If people learned to love themselves, they wouldn't need to cling to others, nor would they get depressed when others didn't do exactly what the enabler wanted them to do.  The world would be full of happy people, and manipulation would have to end."

Food for thoughts...