Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Enablers are Secondary Abusers

(Disclaimer, people who choose to stay married to or live with the Nspouse in order to protect their children from the alternative shared custody situation where their abusive Nspouse would do more damage if left alone w/the child does NOT apply to this article. My friends have enlightened me that there are situations where it is better to stay w/a toxic person IF the children would be harmed if left alone w/their abusive parent, and the children do not have the legal power to refuse visitation w/their abusive parent. If a person lives where there is forced visitation, I can understand why a loving & protecting parent would remain w/the abusive one until s/he had legal power to protect her/his child/ren. These are not enabling situations -- they are survival situations)

There are two types of People in the KoN, the Damaged and the Disordered. The Primary Abuser, the Overt N is obviously Toxic, Disordered, Pathological, and a Sociopath. It is not hard to identify his/her behavior & nature as harmful to others. However the rest in the KoN are not so easily identified. In the past Enablers have been classified fellow victims and helpless to end the Primary Abuser's/Overt N's Reign of Abuse. Are they really as helpless as they want us to believe? Or . . .

Is their perceived helplessness yet another Grand Illusion in the KoN? Just like the Primary Abuser, aka Overt & Obvious N, Are Enablers not who they appear to be?

The Overt N rules at the center of the KoN making or forcing everything and everyone to revolve around him/her, but does this person rule alone or is there a covert helper?

In this New Year, 2010, we can either go forward as we always do or we can take a hard healthy self-inventory and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us on things that we need to do differently in life. We can either make changes or we can continue to make excuses for the bad choices we make and the terrible choices others make. My new motto for this year, along with the Toxic Free Zone, is Make a Change, not an excuse!

So how does this relate to Toxic Relationships? In my life sooooooo much time was wasted on the Primary Abusers and dealing with the Toxic Mess they left behind. Part of dealing with the toxic clean up is quickly realizing who is with you and who is against you in the clean up process. Do other family & friends involved want to truly clean up the Toxic Mess and prevent future dumps & contamination by dealing directly with the Toxic Person who caused all the Carcinogenic Chaos, Detrimental Dysfunction, and Devastation, or do they really just want to cover it up by making excuses or Victim Blaming with Guilt Tripping Tactics of Forgive & Forget and Be the Better Person?

Is their idea of dealing with the overt N, aka Primary Abuser, and cleaning up the Toxic Mess, fixing the problem result in Whitewashing it all away? Nothing more than Excuses for the Abuses. Have you heard of Whitewashing?

For a great explanation of Whitewashing by the Enablers, aka Secondary Abusers or Silent Partners, click here.

In my family of origin, I was born into the position of Official Toxic Cleaner-Upper, or better yet, Official Toxic Waste Management (since nothing was ever completely cleaned-up nor cleared-up until I went No Contact [NC]). My younger siblings quickly learned how to fill my position when I was unable or no longer willing to perform this duty. As long as I offered "a shoulder to cry on," or perceived sympathetic ear the Toxic Person who I use to refer to as "mom" would seek out a relationship with me. However, when I started asking her to be accountable for the choices she made and the damage she caused to others she quickly found others who she could get her Narcissistic Supply of Sympathy from by portraying herself as the Martyr or Victim. She figured out real quick that if she had a "need to complain" and "express her feelings" about others to me (i.e., trash talk, put down others, aka Smear Campaign), then I mistakenly thought at least while she was talking with me, she would have to own up to the role she played in a given relationship or situation that "all of a sudden went wrong" according to her. Of course her favorite thing to do to avoid accountability is to have Selective Amnesia. The few times she actually admitted that her choice was wrong was instantaneously followed by a huge BUT . . . which was a List of Excuses in which I was to select one in order to justify her bad choice, and thus proving to me and everyone else involved that the other Person was wrong, and that she was blameless for her abusive behavior which she "couldn't help doing & had no other choice", thus she could not be held responsible for hurting others. She always had a "reason" to explain why she chose to do or say something that she knew would hurt someone so as to excuse & nullify her abusive behavior, and appear to the untrained/unexperienced eye that she "had no other choice to make", and that she could play the poor victim when people held her accountable for her mean calculated statements & behavior.

I would be lying if I said I never enabled her toxic abusive narcissistic behavior. As a child it was my Coping Mechanism to make excuses for an evil mother, "not herself today", "didn't really mean it", "doesn't know how to love because she wasn't loved (her Mother being abusive towards her has never been proven, quite the opposite in fact)". All this was done in order to avoid the very painful Truth rather than to admit, accept, and deal with the fact that the woman who gave me birth actually finds pleasure in her Children's pain. Children's enabling behaviors are understandable, because in Toxic Abusive Families they are powerless to require a change from the Abusers and Adult Enablers, for if the Child insisted that the Primary & Secondary Abusers change it would just expose them to further Abuse. I wish I could say that my enabling days ended with my childhood, but they didn't. They continued, although very infrequent, until about my junior year in College. Before I could be completely set free & healed from the abusive relationship I was born into I had to do some hard, tough, painful cleansing work on the role I played as the Enabler.

It is one thing to be born & raised in the N's KoN where being an Enabler is a way of Life, because we simply do not know any other way to live and the bottom line is that most People can not admit to themselves that the Person they love is truly Evil, therefore we make Excuses for the Abuses rather than realizing & admitting the Abuser has a choice and chooses to harm others. When Abusers attack their abuse is Victim Specific meaning they have complete control and awareness of what they are doing because they only chose to attack certain individuals. For more detail about how the Abusers know that they are doing is wrong, and are completely aware of what they are doing and have complete control over choosing to abuse click here.

I am so sickened by the News continuely reporting on how yet another child is murdered, because the adults in his/her life enabled the murder by making excuses for his/her abusive, evil behavior until it was too late and another precious life is viciously taken away. While physical abuse destroys the body the verbal and emotional abuse destroys the soul. The attacks from an evil person can be just as Destructful & Devastating when her weapon of choice is not her fists, but her Serpent tongue. The Holy Handbook says that we hold the power of life and death with our tongue. We can either create or destroy by just opening our mouths. The constant verbal & emotional abuse people suffer as Children can leave their souls so slaughtered that they don't know their own self-worth. They don't know that their own life has value and purpose. They become the walking dead who make terrible choices because they don't value themselves, since no one else ever did. Their bodies may be alive on the outside, but inside their Joy, Hope, and Spirit is gone.

Just a thought . . . If only one Adult Enabler (aka Silent Partner or Secondary Abuser) stands up for the abused, stops being a coward and starts being a Hero and says No More, the abuse stops now, then these tragedies could & can be prevented.

Buckle-up baby! Put on your spiritual seat belt, because this is going to be a tough ride--for some people! The following is not meant to hurt, but to heal, even though it may be hard for some to hear. While Enablers are not the Primary Abusers they are the cowards who stand by and watch their child, their sibling, their family member, or friend be abused. A question I would like to pose to the Enablers is one that Dr. Phil made famous which is, “How is that working for you?” What is your pay off? What are you gaining from a situation where your loved one, especially your child is being horribly abused? Yes, I have heard it all before, the popular “Self-Protection Excuse”. The Self-Protection Excuse is like a coupon – you can only redeem it one time. Further uses make it invalid. By simply identifying the abused wife as only a "victim" renders her blameless, helpless, and powerless to change her situation. She must take some responsibility for the life-threatening situation she finds herself & her Children in.

To put the responsibility solely on the Primary Abuser and to expect him to willingly give up his position of power & abusive behavior is naive to say the least. It is like telling the salve master to give up his slaves and set them free--not going to happen without a fight! In the case where the Primary Abuser is the husband of the Enabling Wife, she must make a well thought-out Escape Plan, so that she and her children can leave their abuser when he is gone (i.e., at work, on a trip, etc.,) and not at home as it would put their very lives in danger. The excuse that I am staying for the “Children’s sake” is a lie she tells herself and her children. It is a lie because if she really wanted what is best for her children she would keep them safe and have them in a Loving Safe Environment. Ouch, yes sometimes the Truth can hurt, but it will always set you Free! The fact that this Enabling Wife has been abused by her husband and brainwashed to think that she and her children deserve no better is a Lie from Hell. Does she really want the Children to grow up thinking that abuse towards them and their Mom is normal and is what they should expect & accept in life now and when they are adults? Does she really want her children to marry someone like her abusive spouse -- or someone much worse? When they grown up what kind of Life will her Children lead? Are her Children going to be the Monster or the Victim in this Legacy of Abuse -- What is she raising them to be by staying and enabling the abuse to continue? I know change is scary, but so is staying w/an Abuser. Women who realize their Self-Worth and the Worth of their Children leave the abusers as soon as they can when it is safe and never look back.

Where There is True Love There is No Abuse and Where There is Abuse There is No True Love.

How about the situation where the Primary Abuser is the wife/mother and the husband/father is perceived as "too kind, gentle, weak, etc." to stand up to her Narcissistic Evil Attacks. Back to my original question, What is the Enabler gaining from a situation where your child or loved one is being horribly abused? They are getting the pay off of being the Golden Child that they never were in their Family of Origin (FOO), or they are simply a Narcissist him/herself. They may not be at the same level as the Primary Abuser, overt & obvious N, but they are a lower level covert N. They don’t want to be rejected by the Primary Abuser and lose their "perceived" Favored Position, not even for their own Children. They prefer and chose to reject their own Children rather than have the Primary Abuser, Overt & Obvious N reject them. They justify it in their own minds as Self-Protection or Protecting the Children from the Primary Abusers potential escalated attacks & harm which is understandable and acceptable for a given situation, but not a Life Time. Over a Life time, over years it is no longer about Self-Protection, but rather Self-Interest. When does the Excuses for the Abuses Stop? When will the Enabler, Silent Partner, Covert N take a stand? These cowards want to say they don't want to take sides, that they love us both. They want to stay neutral. But you can not be Neutral when Evil Beings are involved.

"Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the oppressed. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented"......Elie Weisel

Enablers, Silent Partners, Covert Ns do not deserve our sympathy and support, as it is the popular thing to do in our backwards-crazy culture these days (where right is wrong and wrong is right). We should instead hold them accountable for their “Lack of Action”. Standing by while others are being abused is still a Conscious Choice to do Nothing. Simply put, it says I care more about my perceived position then your happiness and safety. Enablers are Cowards because they refuse to confront the Abusers and hold them accountable for their actions, and by passively standing by and doing Nothing the Silent Partners are actively (via COVERTLY) causing harm. Their harmful ways are actually more deceptive than the Primary Overt Ns abuse because it is not obvious, not easy to detect or identify, yet still just has harmful or even MORE harmful because the Covert N's abuse goes undetected for so long.

The Covert Ns fear that if they hold a mirror up to the Primary Abusers, then the Overt & Obvious N will turn on them and their ultimate fear will be realized that the Abuser (Overt N) doesn’t really care about them either and will reject them too. The person being targeted by the abuse does not put the Enabler in the position of choosing her over the Primary Abuser, at least not initially. She just wants the Enabler to call a Wrong a Wrong and take the correct actions and validate her and keep her safe from further attacks. The Enabler can still have a relationship with the Primary Abuser if she wants to outside of the one she has with the targeted Scapegoat. The Enabler can do this out in the open and not in secret, because she is doing not a thing wrong by continuing to have a relationship with her/his child, sibling, family member, or friend-whatever the case may be. We must ask ourselves why the Enabler continues to have a Relationship with a Person (the Primary Overt N) who enjoys hurting others? I could not stand to be with a Person who enjoys and continues to hurt others. My DH has said as much as he loves me he would not stand to let me hurt our DD in any way. He would take her and leave and he would expect me to do the same if he was the abuser.

As the scapegoat you must escape the world where you are/were not valued and stand up for your self-worth and tell the enabling secondary abuser/s to "either stand with you or stand against you." This is a test of true love, for those who truly love you will stand with you to see that the abuse ends, and those who refuse to be with you are cowardly saying that you are not worth fighting for and they are too worried about what they will lose, so they choose the abuser over you by doing nothing, and "not wanting to get in the middle of it". The only way I got my egg donor to stop degrading my siblings in my presence was to confront her and tell her that when she trashes my siblings it hurts me, because they are my siblings and I love them. Unless it is a praise report I don't want to hear it. No Negativity. If she said something mean or negative about a sibling, family member, or friend, then she would be asked to leave. She did and she was asked to leave-several times. Because she refuses to change her toxic behavior she is no longer in our lives. Where there is abuse, there is no middle ground. There is no in between that is a lie from hell. Like God says, You are either with me or against me. Let them choose and then give them the proper consequence. If they choose the abuser over you, they are telling you that you do not matter to them what-so-ever. Ouch, but true. The secondary abuser, like the primary abuser does not deserve to be in your life either and all that is said about the primary abuser can be equally said about them too, there is no difference between them and we need to accept that fact. It is so very hard and will make you feel like you are completely alone, but then again your spirit was constantly telling you that you will stand alone in regards to the Primary & Secondary abusers in the Land of Abuse. At least where your abusers are concerned this is really nothing new and was something you always knew deep down. The only thing that is new is that you now have to accept the painful truth. In reality you are never alone. God is always with you and He will bring loving people into your life to fill the void of the abusers, if you let Him. He makes families out of abandoned orphans. I know this for a fact, because He is doing it for me. Our God does not play favorites, what He does for one child He will do for another. We just have to be willing to let Him do it His way and in His time. What the enemy meant for bad and for our destruction, God will use for good and for our blessing.

When God brings truly loving people into our life who have our best interest at heart the peace, validation, encouragement, love and joy we receive from them in such a very short time is insurmountable compared to what we have received from our primary and secondary abusers our entire life. It is so amazing how people who were once complete strangers to you can make you feel like you are finally home with those who truly love you. Let toxic abuse be apart of your past. God has an abundant life awaiting your arrival filled will love, respect, and joy just beyond your horizon under the Son. All you have to do is be willing to leave the past behind. Let go of abusive toxic people and let God bring you loving, nurturing people into your life. We don't have to be a Savior for our primary & secondary abusers, because that job was filled a long time ago by Jesus. Our purpose in life is to love and be loved.


  1. I think I am more angry at my mom for continuing to live and put up with my sociopath father's behavior--before we begged her to get a divorce--for nearly a decade than I am my actual sociopath father. My mom showed weakness and lack of a spine. She was so concerned about what her church friends, her family, and her social group thought she put that above all else. She still takes little to no responsibility for her behavior and enjoys blaming me. I am the bad daughter. I am the one that forced her and others to own up to what my dad was doing. I am the one that said "no more family secrets." And, now I have eliminated all of my family of origin from my life which I know is the right decision but they punish me for it telling me its all my fault. Everything and everyone's actions really can't be my fault all of the time, know can it? That doesn't make sense. My brother's practically a drug addict and who knows how many boyfriends my sister has this week. What a mess they are, but they refuse counseling or help and don't want to deal with their problems. My mom is the ultimate enabler. Even this month she emails me and tells me she cannot speak to me anymore, then she turns around a week later and asks me what me and my husband want for Christmas. No communication is clearly the only way to deal with these types of people.

    1. OMG Holly. I am crying as I am reading this reply. Your words resonated and cracked through my thick ice of denial. You nailed it. You just told my story and explained my frustration in lost words. But what's really sad is that you just described my mother, completely. If I was someone you knew personally, I would be literally bawling my eyes out on the phone to you. My God. You are amazing. You soooo get it!!

      My mother does the same crap. It's like they think they can buy our love. The way I like to describe it is that my mother likes to buy me things. A good example would be a brand new stove. Who doesn't like a brand new stove? But while the stove is being delivered, the stove burners are hot to touch. They are so hot they burn my hands, and leave me with a burn marks on my palms for the rest of my life. So yes, they are buying us things, but they are hurting us WHILE they are buying us things in the process. No thanks. I'd rather buy the stove myself.

  2. "No communication is clearly the only way to deal with these types of people" -- you said it lady!
    Seriously, we desire for others to be respectful, and they desire us to put up and shut up, and continue to be their doormat and punching bag. The only way to change this toxic situation is to remove ourselves from it. Life can and will be better when we leave the Kingdom of Narcissism (aka KoN).

    The one question we are not allowed to ask ourselves when living in their KoN is, "What do I want, what do I need?" Do I want life to continue to be the way it is, or can I make a change? What am I willing to do to have a life with loving, respectful, healthy relationships? Since these toxic people are happy living in the chaos and are unwilling to change -- am I willing to leave this toxic environment, or spend the rest of my life perpetually getting hurt, and complaining about it?

    The year is coming to an end, so it is a great time to ask ourselves do we want next year to filled with more of the same heartache we experienced this year, or are we going to leave all this toxic mess behind us?

    If we want things to be different, then we have to be willing to do something different, which is to leave their KoN.

    Blessing to you in the New Year. May it bring you Freedom from Toxic People.

  3. Holy Cow. This article spoke VOLUMES to me and was just the jump-start I needed!! Oh MY GOSH that was an EXCELLENT ARTICLE!!!

    I hope you have time to read this because I got a lot to type!! But before I begin, I want you to know that it was GOD who brought me to your article. I typed in "Silent Enabler" in Google and your article came up. It gave me the answer I came searching for. How cool is that?

    As far as my story and Narcissist mom goes, what happened was that I made the mistake of calling her on the day I had major surgery. That opened a can of worms. Thought I knew it wasn't the brightest idea, sometimes I need a mommy too. The only nice part of her is she is compassionate when someone is having surgery. Retype: ONLY nice part. So I missed that greatly when I awoke from surgery.

    On my day of surgery (only 4 hours in recovery), I caved in and called her. She made the call about "her" instead. She started talking trash about her grandson and his wife. Weak in my hospital bed, I mumbled the strength to defend them. But she didn't respect my feelings, as she continued to email me when I got home, and continued to speak negatively about them again (this was only the 2nd day into my post-op recovery).

    I was angry by that point. Furious was more like it. I called the grandson and his wife and told them that she was speaking negatively about them, and I told them what she was doing behind their backs, and how I wasn't going to tolerate her behavior. I also tried to encourage them that we as a family need to stand up to this kind of abusive behavior, otherwise, we are only enabling it.

    Naturally, the grandson and his wife were furious with her. This wasn't the first time they had a "run-in" with Grandma's hurtful mouth. The wife then posted a public remark (but truthful) on Facebook about Grandmothers hurtful words (which in my opinion, she deserved).

    My mother then emailed me, blaming ME. She told me it was "MY FAULT" that all this mess started because, "I couldn't keep my mouth shut". I replied that she had no one to blame but herself and she got what she rightfully deserved. She knew how I felt about the situation when I was weak in my hospital bed, but did that stop her?

    The emails continued, but I didn't open them. I sent them straight to the trash. Then, the phone calls started from my step-father, the silent enabler. I did not call him back. Thats when I came to your site. I was asking myself, "Should I call him back?" But after reading your article, the answer was no. He has never changed his stance on protecting her abuse after all these years, and I see no reason that he would change now. I am contemplating on changing my phone number.

    I cannot thank you enough for this clarity.

    1. (part 1) Hello Susan, thank you so much for your replies, comments, and a blessing confirmation that this blog journey of Freedom from Toxic People is helping people. When you shared about your Google search it brought happy tears to my eyes.

      Oh how I can relate to your story, so many similar details and such amazing clarity you have from it all. This clarity, insight, and wisdom of yours came at a high price, so treasure it, and share it with others that they too will be blessed.

      The thing about Ns, especially Nparents, and what I refer to as the momster -- they are at their best when we are at our worst. They love to play the counterfeit hero by creating an illusion that they have our best interest at heart -- love your hot stove analogy! You got it girlfriend!

      Anything they do for us is an illusion of love, a counterfeit, becomes it will eventually hurt us, because there are always toxic strings attached to it.

      The momsters are pure evil who blame others for their evil doings as in it was your fault, you should have kept your mouth shut, instead of her keeping her mouth shut and not trash talking her grandson and his wife in the first place. Zero Remorse = Zero Responsibility = Zero Repentance/Change.

      You were right to reveal to them how she is being hurtful towards them. Everyone deserves to be warned before we leave the N's KoN.

      Do not feel not a teeny tiny bit guilty for calling your mom when you where in the hospital. No one out grows the need for a parent's love. You gave her a chance, yet the millionth chance to do right and she instead, once again made it all about her and hurting others. Ns feel good when others feel bad that is their personality/spiritual disorder. When they appear to do something kind it is for their hidden agenda to give them god-like superiority over others they deceive to be "helping" when they are really hurting them in the long run as you have courageously shared. You were in a hospital, a captive victim that she could "just vent to" trash talk your loved ones. She should be concerned that you need no added stress, but she is only concerned about what she wants to do, and doesn't think twice about how it will hurt others. Ns don't realize that when they put our loved ones down that it hurts us, or maybe they do and that is their evil way at getting us back for not supporting one of their prior attacks/manipulation/trash talk.

    2. (part 2) Hello Susan, I couldn't fit this part in the above comment.

      Did you change your number? I sure hope so. If not, give yourself the gift of a new number and new freedom for the new year and a new life.

      As you have painfully discovered enablers are secondary abusers who do the N's dirty work to bring you back into the N's KoN. They deceive us to believing that they "just want peace", and have everyone's best interest at heart, but they don't they just want to make the N happy, so they can be the N's favorite, or perhaps they are suffering from a delusional state of a Savior Complex or a Save Her Complex, in that if we just love her enough, show her enough love, and forgiveness she will change. However the Bible teaches us that Repentance must come before Reconciliation. Luke 17:3

      Susan I just wanted to let you know that I would have responded earlier, but the LORD has me working in His Kingdom at www.GivingDreamsWings.com for our programs and events. I am taking this time to catch up on responses at my Dealing with toxic people blog.

      It is amazing what GOD will do with our lives when our life and time are no longer held captive for an unrepentant toxic person's purpose. No more precious time wasted and instead invested where we can make a difference in other peoples lives.

      When we leave the KoN GOD opens up an incredible unimaginable awesome adventure that we would have missed out on if we were trapped in all the toxic drama of the N's KoN.

      I am grateful that the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt), the toxic ties are no longer there and you have clarity. It is the blessing others have done for me and I am very blessed to know that I have help you, and I know that you will take this blessing and "Share It Forward" for others who are trapped in the KoN looking for clarity and a way out.

      May you have Wonderful N Free Holidays this year!

      May our LORD continue to bless you on your life journey out of dysfunction and into destiny!