My Parents Were Enablers (And Thank God For Them)

It’s no wonder I became a drug addict. After all both of my parents were enablers.

Dad was a big-time enabler.

He was the model of the hard working man his generation was expected to be. I remember large chunks of my life where he was absent even though we lived under the same roof. I also remember the precious moments when he took me fishing, played catch in the back yard, and took me with him to jam with his band of musical brothers.

Mom was an enabler too.

When I got older she spent a lot of time out of the home, working at tough, menial jobs to bring in some extra income for the family. But when I was young I mostly remember her good cooking, her role as my den mother in cub scouts, and her reading me bible stories at bed time.

When I compare the media’s portrayal of good parents from shows like Leave it to Beaver, to my own life experience, I see, clearly my parents fell short of the mark. The only time I saw dad dressed like Ward Cleaver was when Gramps died and I never saw mom prancing around the house in one of those pretty dresses adorned by his wife, June.

When it came time for me to assign the blame I needed to justify staying in my addiction, I didn’t have to look far for the perfect patsies…my enabler parents.

Fast forward to this amazing life I live today as a recovered man, I see that not much has changed for them in the way they approach parenting. They’re still the same old enablers they always were.

I looked up the word, enable in the dictionary and it said, to give someone the authority or means to do something. I think there should be a picture of my parents in there.

Thanks to those two master enablers I was forced to:

  • live in an imperfect house where I felt warm and comfortable
  • go to an imperfect school to get an imperfect education and feel competent
  • sit around a dinner table with a bunch of imperfect people and feel loved
  • make many of my own decisions and feel free
  • face many challenges on my own and feel strong

That’s only a few of the many things of which I hold my enabling parents responsible. As I see it, it’s all because of them that I grew up to be an imperfect father too.

The fact is, most of the shit I endured in my life that made me the man I am today, can be traced directly back to my enabler parents.

I only have one thing to say to you, Mom and Dad….

Thank You.




Comments 1

  1. That’s a messed up phrase,right? It’s like codependent or passive regressive. Come on.. we are all just doing our best. Time to stop the blame and judgement. We are where we are because of our decisions. We make poor choices at times but being unconditionally loved for them rocks. I never met your parents but I like their son. YOU did good.

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