Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My heart is on my sleeve

Yesterday I was given some reading material by a "well-meaning" individual.  The title of the reading material is "The disastrous consequences of enabling" and is written by the "well-meaning" individual.  My first reaction was indignation.  This individual has no relationship with his children and never speaks of his grandchildren.  We have a total different perspectives of parenting and loving our families.  He believes that we are too involved with our children and that they should walk through their pain and hurts on their own.

So, I have done a bit of research and found the following:

Enabling Behavior - Loving Too Much

Enabling behavior is born out of our instinct for love. It's only natural to want to help someone we love, but when it comes to certain problems -- helping is like throwing a match on a pool of gas.

Definition of Enabling

In the true sense of the word, to enable is to supply with the means, knowledge, or opportunity to be or do something -- to make feasible or possible. In it's true form, then, Enabling behavior means something positive. It's our natural instinct to reach out and help someone we love when they are down or having problems. However, when we apply it to certain problems in living - addiction, chronic financial trouble, codependency, certain forms of chronic depression -- enabling behaviors have the reverse effect of what is intended.

I have peace...I love my children and grandchildren with all my heart, and that is natural.  I am not enabling them against things that they have brought on themselves.  I hurt when they hurt and I am a "fixer".  I want to shield my loved ones against the ugly and the sadness in life. 

Kobus Jr. moved into our home on Monday...the divorce is proceeding.  I see the heaviness and sadness surrounding him.On his way home he first stops at his house and baths his children, read them stories and put them to bed before he comes to our home.  He is vacant and quiet and I know that the stress of  loss he is experiencing is very similar to the stress people experience when they loose a loved one through death.  Fact is, he still loves his wife...

I watch Wynand.  He is such a tall, handsome young man.  On the outside he looks SO good! He is walking his way through the book of Job at the moment.  I see him struggling with his emotions,  now and then it all just becomes too much....

...everytime I remind myself:

...and so my dear friends...are you also enablers, and fixers?  How do you handle it when things are out of your control...when you can't  fix the problem?



  1. Oh Lynette my heart goes out to you but it will in time change(get better.) I am an enabler of my family through natural love & as a wife of a sober alcoholic I know the difference. Sometimes well intended people with no emotional ties to you can be really hurtful. Prayers and thoughts go with you- it will improve. xx Jenny

  2. o Lynette !

    I love it that you highlighted this :

    However, when we apply it to certain problems in living - addiction, chronic financial trouble, codependency, certain forms of chronic depression -- enabling behaviors have the reverse effect of what is intended.

    This kind I have / am living with / observed, in close quarters .

    I have too many people ( adults ) around me I have absolutely not been able to fix their problems & certainly live in peace, even though I am seemingly not able to contribute to any solutions for them. I have refused to be the codependent one for them etc. I do pray for them , sure.

  3. my friend Tertia calls this "assvice", advice that was not asked for and is not useful.
    That is why we have the delete key.

    I wish people would stop telling other people how to be or how to think or how to act. And rather just hold their hand and let them be.

  4. Lynette, i do not know what to say but this.. "When we are weak, then we are strong.." in times like this, we know that we can overcome all these bec' our God will not allow us to endure more than what we can bear.. in a way, when we feel we cannot, He is there to carry us thru..
    U r really a wonderful mum.. *hugs*

  5. Gee I think that is really rude & a ture insult! I would return the book to him with thanks to him for his concern but tell him that you are a normal parent who helps your children & grand-children as a mother & granny should, & that you do not enable them in his sense of the word at all...if you weren't the way you were THEN you would be abnormal. If we were meant to be alone we wouldn't have families & only the devil divides families, perhaps this man is not working for the good of the Lord & the expansion of his kingdon, & if he thinks he is maybe he is deluded. I wouldn't want that reading matter in my house a moment longer...

  6. I think take that advice from whom it came.All good mother are enablers and most are fixers. Stay the rock you a re for your family.

    I find it so sad that Kobus still loves his wife and is so involved with the kids. It must be so tough.

    You know that Wynand is in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. I agree with cat - taken it from whence it comes.

    You know you are being the best mama you can be. The fact that your children & grandchildren are so involved in your life speaks volumes.

    You just continue to care as you do. And know that whilst you cannot fix everything, you are there to hold their hand and support them.

  8. Oh please, I hate it when people interfere with others like this person did with you...Firstly, each to his own, and there is nothing better than a loving and caring family...I want my parents to be more involved...they not, I miss it...I need you keep at what you are doing, its what your children need from you trust me.

    Thanks for sharing this with thoughts with you all..

  9. My mother, who was the wisest woman I ever knew, would have said: "Ag, sy gat man!"
    I think just reading the words 'well meaning", made my hair stand up straight. There is NOTHING enabling about loving your children unconditionally. That does not mean that you condone wrong behaviour or that you keep quiet about it, it just means you love your children in spite of their faults. If God had to love us the way people like him suggests parents should, I am afraid I will be in BIG trouble.

  10. I have come to the conclusion that only people in relationship with me have the right to give me advice. Having been hurt before I realise that even though it was told me by a Christian and even though I knew there was an element of truth to it, my heavenly Father would never have hurt me like that.
    He loves, He fixes and He enables us to cope, to survive, to bear up under tremendous pressure and quite frankly I wish I could be more like Him.

  11. Ag nee!! Lynette, moet jou nie steur aan hierdie peroon nie, jy is 'n wonderlike ma,ouma en vrou vir jou familie. Sterkte vir jou en jou familie.xx

  12. man, that is a tough one! prayer, prayer, prayer!
    Man, the Lord can intervene and I just cry out for the Lord to do so! I am praying for him/them/ you all! Blessings my friend! Keep shining for Jesus! He is faithful!

  13. Lynette, I just continue to lift you all up in prayer. I am so sorry that you have all these heavy burdens coming at you from every direction. I am so happy that you have such a strong faith and know that you have indeed been truely blessed. Like those up above said I am a regular mom. Probably an enabler, fixer, helper...

  14. Lynette, count your blessings and you will feel so much better. Whatever happens , GOD KNOWS BEST, a good and nurturing post.

    I know it is very hard to see your kids struggle and we hurt, seeing them hurt . Again, GOD KNOWS BEST.

    You and your family are in my prayers.


  15. I am a fixer too...whatever I can do to make life better or easier for my loved one to liver better. I am okay with that, so be it!

    Hugs friend!

  16. I Think as moms we always try to make life easier for our family.

    And I dont think its always the best way.

  17. What a sad state of affairs. I am not sure if this person meant well or was trying to give some unsolicited advice. Isn't it interesting how others give it when it isn't asked or warranted? I wonder if they were speaking the truth in love, or giving an opinion without first going to Christ to see if that is actually something they should of said..

    Oh well.

    It breaks my heart to see things like this happen in our lives or the lives of our loved one's. I will be praying for your son because I know my Jesus will hear them and answer!

    And yes.. I think I sometimes enable my family. Sometimes a little too much. It's a growing process and thankfully the Lord has seen fit to take me through it still so I an learn!

  18. i'm both enabler and fixer. i think more of a fixer... for those uninvited advices given by people, i only usually listen out of politeness. whether i think those are sound advices , that's another story...your family's situation is in my prayers,Lynette.... you are a good mom !


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