The Enabler

Recovered_JPEG Digital Camera_1127Although there is much more to learn about Cain, it’s only fair to touch on some aspects of the Enabler. In the story of Cain and Abel, Abel gave an incontrovertible, heartfelt contribution to God by sacrificing his best lamb. The modern-day Enabler is one who symbolizes goodness, love, and cooperation. She is also someone who takes pleasure in helping and needs to be needed.

Without a doubt, there is a huge abyss between helping and enabling. Helping is to assist others to do what they can’t do for themselves. Enabling is to take on the responsibilities that Cain can and should be doing for himself. In short, enabling is disabling. It cushions Cain from the consequences of his actions. It also gives him the go-ahead to dole out yet more destructive behavior.

Cain must always maintain a grandiose sense of self-importance with strong feelings of entitlement. Researchers Oldham & Morris (1995) say that dependent, self-sacrificing personalities are a good match for Cain, although Cain will never reciprocate. Enablers fall into three categories:

• The Pleaser loves to serve others and needs to be needed. Researcher Roseanne M. Boldt in her paper “Who Feeds the Narcissism,” says this type of Enabler has a life stance that says, “You demand and take and dominate me, and I please and give and elevate you.” Because she feels inadequate and unlovable, her ace in the hole is to always be nice and cooperative no matter what. Her worth is dependent on pleasing Cain.

• The Victim finds love and attention through suffering. Her life script is that she is weak and helpless. She believes she has no power over her own life. This type of Enabler may be the abused spouse or partner in the relationship. Boldt says the Victim’s life script is, “Life, God or fate may victimize me for a special reason.” She is extremely vulnerable to the seductive charms of Cain.

The Martyr gives up her own interests. She is willing to suffer for the cause. Her life script, writes Boldt, is this. “I will suffer and die for my beliefs and you will provide the opportunities for suffering and death.” Her willingness to accept poor treatment makes her feel noble and superior. Inwardly she believes that suffering brings a reward and the suffering leads to moral superiority