Sunday, 22 November 2015

One step closer to freedom, I've quit being an enabler

I never thought I would be the person who could turn their back on someone who had nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep.  I never thought I would be that person who just walked away.  But that is exactly what I did on Friday evening.

When I met him he was big and powerful, I was young and weak.  My brother had just died and I was pouring booze and drugs down my neck at a terrible rate.  He came along and wanted to control me, and with me being so out of control, it was a perfect match. Fast forward 20 years, I no longer love him, don't need the booze, and don't need him ... and suddenly there he is ..... needing me.

It's taken me weeks to get out of this newly dysfunctional relationship.  Actually months.  It started with me visiting him while he was in psych, taking him cigarettes every week. Then after that, taking his phone calls where he would rant and rave about a world he hates.  When he had his first night on the street (I was out of town myself), I spent hours ringing around cheap accommodation, trying to find someone who would take him for a night at my expense.

On Friday I got the call.  He was in debt to the lodge he had been staying at and they were holding his bags until he could pay.  Would I, could I pay?  It was a lot of money.  I said no,  but at his insistence I went to see him.  I bought him food and gave him $40.  I went to his lodge and retrieved his medication (some prescription, some not so much) and handed it to him.  He told me he would probably die on the streets that night - I just hugged him goodbye and left.  I came home with such a heavy heart and blocked him from my phone and from my life.

According to  "In the context of alcoholism, an enabling relationship is one that makes it easier for the person with the addiction to continue in their destructive lifestyle. In most cases, enablers are well-intentioned and believe that their actions are beneficial to the alcoholic. However, the opposite is usually the case."

It then goes on to say "Only by stepping back from this toxic relationship can the enabler hope to recover their sense of self, and truly help the alcoholic they care about."  And now I see it - he controlled me for so many years, and by stepping in and becoming his enabler now, in a sick sort of way I have let him control me again.  It's destructive for me, and it is certainly no helping him.

I still feel very sad about it, and fear that I will be at his funeral one day soon.  But I have picked away another part of this puzzle which is my addictive life and found another little piece of freedom.

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