Enabler Spelled Another Way is Y-O-U.

Hi Ms. Mix and Bitch,

Where do I start?
OK, I fuckin hate my boyfriend!!! He’s an alcoholic that blames everything on me. I have asked him to stop but of course I’m the reason for his drinking. I have heard every possible excuse to justify his addiction. He is loud and the most annoying motherfucker I’ve met. I can’t stand him! I’m so exhausted and angry with this relationship. Don’t get me wrong,I’ve tried to support him and help him to quit. He just doesn’t get it or doesn’t care how much his drinking is a problem, he continues to do what he wants regardless how it affects our relationship.  I deserve better than this! Now,I’m pissed off at myself for being in this relationship so long. I’ve wasted my time here hoping things were going to change and they did for a little while. 
He reminds me of a leech where everything is about him, sucking all your energy, leaving you dead. What do I do with all this anger? I can’t stand to look at him.I can’t stand his presence, his voice, everything about him!!! In the meantime I have to pretend everything is fine between us and put on a happy face. What do I do, what do I do? When all I want is revenge because of everything he has put me thru. Help me!
Black Heart
Dear Black Heart,
Wow, where do I start? 
You’re teeming with rage, but act like everything’s fine.  He blames you for his problems, and you just sit there and take it.  He’s a nasty, vengeful – let’s hope not a violent – alcoholic  who won’t take responsibility for his problem or his actions.  And you stay and take it with a smile.  What about this problem don’t you get? 
Let me spell it out for you, honey: he’s an abusive addict and you’re an enabling fool.  An enabler uses dysfunctional approaches that are intended to help but in fact perpetuate a problem.  Like smiling and acting like everything’s ok when in fact you’re screaming inside over his drinking problem.  The practical effect is that the person themselves is shielded from awareness of the harm he may do, and the need or pressure to change. It is a major environmental cause of addiction. 
In short, you’re part of the problem.  Leave him and tell him it’s because he won’t take responsibility for his drinking.  Maybe you don’t have a mama or a sister or even a good friend to tell you this, which is sad, but now you’ve been told.  So if you stay after you’ve read this, then you are no longer a victim, but a volunteer.  Which means you’re just as self-destructive as he is – only you don’t use a bottle to ruin yourself.
Be grateful I wasn’t harsher on you than this, but from the tone of your letter, I’m going to assume you’re a young girl who got in over her head (the frequent use of exclamation points gave it away).  Stay away from addicts, don’t go dancing on any poles, and get a college education. 
Anytime I do a mix about drunks, I always turn to the blues, country, and Southern rock – and this time, I capped it out with some Elliott Smith.  Because he transcends every genre.
10. “Hurt,” (Johnny Cash) American IV.
09. “Life By the Drop,” (Stevie Ray Vaughn) The Sky is Crying.
08.  “Get Yourself Another Fool,” (Sam Cooke) Night Beat.
07.  “I Cried for You,” (Billie Holiday) Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday.
06.  “Since I Fell for You,” (Nina Simone)  The Very Best of Nina Simone.
05.  “Closing Time,” (Tom Waits )  Closing Time.
04.  “Get On With Your Life,”  (The Allman Brothers Band) Seven Turns.
03.  “Sometimes Salvation,” (The Black Crowes) The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.
02.  “Misery ‘N,” (Janis Joplin) Farewell Song.
01.  “Pitseleh,” (Elliott Smith) XO.

2 responses to “Enabler Spelled Another Way is Y-O-U.

  1. I dated a guy who was an alcoholic (among other fun addictions). The longer we were together (all of three months), the more of an asshole he became, especially while drunk, which was often. I went to one Al-Anon meeting and kicked him to the curb the next day. I really recommend going to at least one of those meetings, if only to realize that is *not* how you want live. That relationship was valuable in exactly one way: I learned that I have a good amount of self respect.

  2. What an excellent suggestion. Wish I had thought of it. Thanks.

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