It is a very interesting concept BH.
In my field, it is a very fine line we are forced to walk. At what point do we say, "That is enough!" At what point do we have to take care of
ourselves, in order to properly care for the individual? When is our "care" actually being manipulated into "enabling"?
It is like the airplane that is going down, and the mother and child in the seat. Our instinct is to throw ourselves under the bus and go for the
child first. But if you think about it, you can do nothing for the child if you can not breath yourself. So to properly care for any person or
victim, we must care for ourselves first. It is not selfish, it is an honest approach which will ultimately lead to our goal.
These "black-whole" relationships are something I am sure we all have. The person who talks, talks, and talks and is looking to sponge every lick
of energy we have. When they finally finish kitchen sinking, we are left to pick up the pieces of ourselves. We can not allow this to happen to us,
and we have to remember it is not selfish. These "black-wholes" need to understand that at some point, our enabling is going to end and they may
have to empower themselves.
But like I said, it is a very
fine line. When is too much? When does care transform to enabling?
Are we actually prepared to put a time frame on this for a rape victim? After six months we are no longer going to enable the victimization of
yourself? Is that reasonable? I think if we as the "care giver" are falling to pieces, we owe it to ourselves to separate from the process. We
owe it to ourselves, and the "survivor" to insert some separation. If not, we are going to be a detriment to them and ourselves.
Defining ourselves by our own misfortune
Rape victims, HIV/AIDS carriers, Cancer patients, etc., are all people who may, or may not, begin to define who they are by what has happened to them.
Studies have shown in the past that an alleged carrier of AIDS will certainly define who he or she is by the disease. In time if it was proven to be
a false diagnosis, the individual tends to be disappointed, rather than rejoicing. Why? Because they no longer are, who they are. They defined
themself under the disease, and now that they no longer have the disease, they are unsure who they actually are. With rape or any other heinous
crime, we may begin to stigmatize ourselves with this for life. To face our demons, or attempt to alleviate this pain and suffering, well that would
redefine who we are. Some of these "victims" do not want to alleviate this pain and suffering.
When tragedy struck my family, I did not want to alleviate it. I wanted to inflict more of it. Like I have said, my own misfortunes began to define
who I was.
Looking back now, defining myself by the tragedy that struck, was a bigger tragedy in and of itself.
Now I am in no way, shape, or form saying that it is a bad thing for an AIDS victim to define him or her self by the disease. AIDS tends to be viewed
as a conclusion, so it may be more appropriate to define one self. But to define ourselves as a "rape victim" is something that is causing just as
much harm as the rape itself.
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I am no longer a "victim enabler". One who gets a feeling of self-worth by enabling victims to stay in their victim mentality.
When in the moment, this may come across as very cold-hearted and down right cruel. But it really is necessary. We must break the cycle that victims
find themself in and show them the route to self-empowerment. When we see the victim getting more from the care and attention we are offering, I
think it is suffice to say that it is time for them to face the demons and overcome this adversity.
[edit on 20-2-2007 by chissler]