SITE:“The Codependent/ Narcissist Dance” Explains the “Human Magnet Syndrome” – very well.
In general, enablers are people who help someone else reach a goal, similar to being empowering. BUT the term usually refers to those who :
a. support another person to continue self-destructive behavior (addiction, self-deprivation…) OR
b. ‘help’ an abuser continue to harm their victims (NPDs, bullies, domestic abusers….).
This category of enablers validate the N’s inflated self-image, exaggerated sense of entitlement, thus make it easy for them to keep being harmful & avoid the consequences of their actions.
““N Enablers” (YOU?) are wounded adults shaped by N parents & other adults. No child has the personal skills, power or option to escape, & so has to cope by giving the N what they wanted (worship & obedience).
This survival technique then becomes a lifelong pattern, one so malignant & intense that they feel like they can’t live without a N to enable.
IRONY: The feeling of control exchanged between the N & Enabler is completely illusory – neither one is in control of their own behavior, no matter how many times the N may say they benefit from being with their ‘helper’. The outcome is to make the N more parasitic & the enabler more depleted.
⁍Cowards – They’re afraid of upsetting or angering the N in any way, especially if they intensely dependent on the N (adult-child wanting their inheritance, a worker needing their job, a mate not wanting to lose family & stability…..).
Trying to hang on to an important advantage, cowards go along with whatever mayhem or cruelty the N comes up with. Self-interest overrides self-preservation & conscience
⁍Empaths (E) – They have a blind spot re. the scheming nature of Ns, not able to imagine that anyone would deliberately cause the kind of drama & misery Ns revel in. Knowing what works with victims, the N (temporarily) mirrors the E’s good nature, trauma-bonding them to the N’s false persona
⁍Meddlers – Meddlers usually react to the N’s theatrics, chasing the thrill of being in the Rescuer Role. Without boundaries they’re vulnerable to the N’s constant outpouring of self-‘misery’, which may be laced with suicide threats. Convinced their help will end the N’s suffering (Not)
⁍People-Pleasers – They have a deep need to be acclaimed as heroic, seeing themselves as peacemaker, rescuer or savior. They justify this grandiosity, putting their trust in platitudes about the N, like “Everyone makes mistakes, Everyone deserves a second chance, They’ll outgrow it someday, Love conquers all”…...
Enablers need to feel needed to boost their own insecurities & the assumption that the world is a fair & predictable place. They see Ns as a wounded child they can love into mental health. If they could only push the right buttons, the N would be healed & (then) be forever grateful!
Reality : With an N, you will never get it just right, so when you inevitably displease them it will always be your fault – which you’ll pay for, & keep on paying for. Nothing will ever erase the N’s disappointment in your inadequate efforts!
😮 Q: Why do enablers keep attaching themselves to abusers over & over?
ANS: It’s what they know from childhood. Also – anything else feels boring after being in long-term relationships which are chaotic & dramatic, interlaced with pain & relief – very addictive.
Some enablers are so moved by this intensity that they’re sure this person is their “true love soulmate”.
What True Love is will always be a matter of personal experience, but to be genuine & healthy it must allow both parties to breathe freely, even to stand apart at times. Ns will not tolerate that.
To stop enabling isn’t easy or fast – & not for the faint of heart. Yes, there will likely be pushback or retaliation from the N. So to strengthen resolve, you must also consider the dangerous consequences to yourself & your children – of doing nothing.
Also, when you stop avoiding & numbing the emotions your enabling has been protecting you from, you’ll start to experience painful feelings – historical & more recent. But it’s the only way to heal, & YOU’re worth it!
(POSTs : “ Outgrowing co-dep“)
NEXT: Flying Monkeys #3a