How do you know if it's enabling?

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My husband is amazing. We've been together almost 16 years now and he's just fantastic. I've got a therapist/psych team that's amazing. We have a marriage counselor that's amazing, he has a therapist/psych team that's amazing (ok we see the same psych- she's amazing). We're very much in love, he's very much on board wrt supporting me and I feel like a complete damn mess.

According to my dx: attachment disorder, ADHD, MDD, GAD, CPTSD and probably something else I'm forgetting. My parents really screwed me up good.

Life was pretty much ok till I got triggered is such an incredibly huge way during sex with my husband a little over 2 months ago and I don't know if I can curse here but if I could there would be curse words here because poop is screwed. I haven't been able to stand the thought of sex for fear of another paralyzing flashback. That had never happened to me before, or if it had I'd forgotten about/written it off as something else. At any rate never at that level.

My husband is trying really hard. He keeps reading all he can on supporting me. Only now his therapist is warning him not to enable me. This is really making me annoyed because for once in my life I'm finally at a place where I feel like I can ask for help when I need it and the one person I feel like I can ask from help from is being told not to help me too much.

IDK what I need here. Venting? Advice? Is it really enabling when he does the dishes 4x a week because I can't stop dissociating? IDK. I don't want to be enabled. I also don't want to end up back where I was my entire life where I never asked anyone for anything because of fear. I'd ask my therapist but she's out of town for the next 3 weeks. Terrible timing on her part, but it couldn't be helped.

Ugh.
 

lillesnille

Confident
My husband is amazing. We've been together almost 16 years now and he's just fantastic. I've got...

Hugs to you, if you like hugs. (if not, let them fly by as clouds of whatever you like)

I think some things to consider are
1. We are all responsible for ourselves, and while it may "feel good" there is the concept of "being ruined/not getting better by too much help". If others CAN do things for themselves, let them do these things. Always.
2. Therapists don't know it all, they just rely on what they perceive

An example of the first - my grandmother is into her 90ies and her hands shake so much now that it is painful to watch her try to eat. The food hits all over her face. I often feel like just feeding her. It would be a relief for both her and myself. But if people fed her, she'd probably die really soon, as she'd not have any training of her coordination/muscles.

So, I'd examine what the therapist thinks about with her suggestion. Ask her, try to discern it. Be curious. After you have felt through the hurt of the unfortunate changes in your life, then check out possibilities in what she says. MAYBE, just maybe she sees something that may be helpful for you in terms of healing.

For example, not all pain is bad. In order to grow up, a child will suffer growing pain. In order to heal from PTSD, we must often push quite hard to keep up with routines (I know I have to). But if we don't, we'll not get better.

So, I'd encourage you to look at different paths ahead, and see if your therapist may actually have YOUR best interest in mind with her advice. It may be the most loving thing to do to let others help themselves, even if it is easier and feels better to just "feed" them (my grandmother).

I talked of old people, but in this, maybe think of yourself as a child, rather than an old person, as children will get better, and old people need to keep themselves going for as long as possible... A child on the other hand, needs to learn to do a lot of things, but they shouldn't drive until they are ready. If you aren't ready to do certain things yet, then seek help, but strive for learning the way children strive - with curiosity and joy when they manage something new. Their joy over learning is so amazing, and I try to keep that as my own attitude in my healing from PTSD. Even if they can't drive yet, it would not be good to help a child who is striving to learn a skill too much, as they'll never learn if we help them too much. They need to learn independence, so that one day they can even drive a car and do all the things adults can. Have the goal to be independent one day in your healing perspective, and do what you can do on your own, always, even if it may feel painful. It will give you a lot of joy when you get it right. :-)
 
and the one person I feel like I can ask from help from is being told not to help me too much.

You have an otherwise stable and happy marriage and this is your husband, whom you trust and who loves you. I say ask away.

You both know each other well enough through years of marriage to work out if 'enabling' is occurring.

He would be able to tell you if he is not comfortable with doing something you ask of him? Idk... ask him?

If he is comfortable helping you and you are being honest with him...where is the problem?

don't want to end up back where I was my entire life where I never asked anyone for anything because of fear

No...you don't. Being afraid to ask for help is horrible. So don't be afraid to ask for help.:hug:

Remember T's are great and can help you along but you have to work this out with your husband too. Ask him for help when you need it. I assume you would do the same for him when he needs help?
 
I just wanted to drop in and say thank you. I genuinely didn't mean to seagull here. But then a friend called and we ended up thrifting all day which was great and I had to take the dogs to the groomers and I just now got home Thank you all so so so much. You've offered much needed perspective and pragmatism and I'm feeling so way better about this now and less irrational. I'm so glad I found this forum when googling earlier this morning. I can't even express how glad.

What the heck does your T think he's enabling?

Woah woah woah back the train up....


HIS therapist???[...


I think it's more than he does literally everything for me. He has his own baggage around doing for women when they're in a "bad" mood. So when he thinks I'm not doing well or am upset/mad/etc he tends to jump into 'do everything' mode which isn't health for either of us. But if I can't stop dissociating long enough to get off the couch I sort of need him to do it all too. I think it's more his therapist is worried about him skating that line successfully. Which I can't find fault with, tbh.
 
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EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
If you’re sick, it stands to reason that your partner would jump in and help. A partnership is 50/50 but that doesn’t mean every second of every day is 50/50. When he’s sick, you’ll jump in and help, too. I don’t think helping with household chores when you’re so symptomatic is really “enabling”.
 
What does your therapist think?

I would also like to know this! Unfortunately she's out of town for the entire month of May and this came up after she left. My best guess, having been her patient for 8 years, is that she'd be in agreement that he does need to watch out for that. She'd probably also say that I need to watch out for my own codependent tendencies to surface, because they do when I feel like he feels like he's taking on too much. It gets complicated over here sometimes.
 
She'd probably also say that I need to watch out for my own codependent tendencies to surface, because they do when I feel like he feels like he's taking on too much.

Then if that is what you are fairly sure she would advise. Go with that? At least until she returns and you can actually ask her.

And let your hubby know to be vigilant for this too...so you are both on the same page.
 
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