We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez

Throwback Thursday: 11-14-2021 WHEN THE PARENT IS THE ENABLER
It's throwback Thursday, and we've got an episode from the archives for you from November 2021. In this episode of We Need To Talk With Kris Godinez, Kris talks about when a parent is the enabler to the abuser, why they do it, what to do and how to heal after getting away.

Kris Godinez  00:02

Hello and welcome to We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez podcast. I’m your host Kris Godinez, licensed professional counselor. I help people get out of, and stay out of, toxic relationships. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only the views and opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the ACA, the APA or any other therapist for that matter.

I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

Kris Godinez  01:02

Okay, so, today’s show. So today is when the parent is the enabler and when I was preparing for this show, I got triggered. So, trigger warning, trigger warning, trigger warning just letting you know. So, when we come out of and this is dealing with family of origin, this is dealing with our childhood, okay. Not necessarily us in a romantic relationship with an abuser, but us as adult children of abusive parents, okay.

So, when we come out of a family of origin, where there is somebody who’s disordered and there is the other parent, that’s a little bit saner, but they’re still playing the game. They’re an enabler. So, let’s talk about what enablers and the reason I want to bring this up is because so many people have, you know, instant messaged me, sent me messages sent me text sent me emails, you know, I don’t get it. Why am I going for the same type over and over and over and over and over again? Why am I continuingly? Dating different faiths, different names, same behavior, you know, so it has to do with our family of origin. And it has to do with the inner child. So, when we are in a dysfunctional family, okay, so the family is dysfunctional. We don’t necessarily know it because the family the dysfunctional family, has normalized it the dysfunctional family has said, Oh, no, every single family is like this. Oh, no. All the families do this. Well, let me just clue you into something. Abuse is not normal. Abuse is not natural abuse does not happen in every single family. Does every family have its issues? To be sure, but not every family has got incest, verbal abuse, physical abuse, religious abuse, sexual abuse, you know, emotional abuse. Yeah, not every family has got that going on. But what a dysfunctional family of origin will do is they will say, Oh, no, every family is like this. Oh, no, you don’t see the pink elephant taking a dump in the corner of the living room. You’re the problem, not the pink elephant. And so we start normalizing the abuse even though in our heads we know this is not normal if you want a really good example “What’s Wrong With Your Dad?” this is about me growing up in a completely effed up dysfunctional oh my god, alcoholic addicted family. And, you know, the, the process the journey that I went through to get from point A to here so, um, What’s Wrong With Your Dad? Anyway, so the point being is, is that when we’re in it, and when I was in it, and when we’re all in it, we cannot see the forest through the trees. It is normal to us to have the chaos to have the dysfunction to have the knock down drag out fights to have the hitting to have the verbal abuse, the abuse of alcohol or drugs to have that is all been normalized to us. And we’re told by the enabling parent Oh no, this is normal. Oh, no, every family does this. Oh, no, you you don’t see the pink elephant No, no.

So then what happens is, is that the main abuser so let’s say one of the parents is really batshimomo crazy and is the main abuser and the other one is ineffectual. kowtows to the abuser, doesn’t stand up for the kids doesn’t protect them, doesn’t, you know, do the right thing kind of thing and just allows the abuse and what I’ve seen is that the abuser will start abusing and the ineffectual parent will make an excuse to leave and not even be there when the abuse is happening. Or they’re standing right there as the abuse is happening and the kid is looking at the parent going help me save me. And this parent refuses or flips the script and starts abusing with the abuser. That’s the other thing I’ve seen happen. So, this is why I’m saying this whole topic has been very triggering for me. And I apologize if you guys get triggered, just, you know, go do something else for a while, come back and we’ll, it’ll, it’ll be okay. So basically, in my family of origin, my mom didn’t participate in the abuse, but she knew damn good And well, it was happening, you know, for example, the worst abuse that happened are the worst. The worst known Actually, no, she was around for a lot of it. So, you know, my dad would hit me just out of the blue, just to he would get pissed. And he would just turn around and just backhand me half the times, because I probably said something truthful. So, you know, that he didn’t like, and the other half of the time, he was sexually abusing me and my sisters, and my mother was well aware of this. So, it wasn’t like, I didn’t know now she knew she absolutely knew. And she was only too happy to abdicate that part of her relationship with her husband with her abuser. To the girls to us, she was willing to sacrifice us on the altar of her comfort, so that she stayed safe, and she was comfortable. But we were getting abused. So, and she knew it was happening. You know, my dad used to barge into the bathroom and ogle us when we were, you know, taking a shower, or he would, you know, I went out one time to show him a new dress I bought and he grabbed me and French kissed me. And then like looked me up and down. Like he couldn’t wait to you know, do something. My mom was standing at the window, and she saw the whole thing I came in, I confronted her and I said, Look, he just did this, what are you going to do, and she got that sick little smile on her face. And it was like nothing, I’m not gonna do anything. And that’s when I was like, I gotta get out of here because he’s, he’s eventually going to rape me if I don’t leave. So and I was think I was what 16 When that happened? 15, 16. So that is what an enabler does the enabler knows the abuse is going on, and does nothing, nothing or worse, they know the abuse is going on. And they join in.

Kris Godinez  07:23

So what that tells the kid and my mom actually said these words better you than me.

Kris Godinez  07:31

Better you than me. I’m sorry, a parent’s job, their whole job, you had one job, you had one job, and you fricked it up. Your job as a parent is to protect those kids. Now, why does this happen? Why does the enabler turn a blind eye? Engage in the abuse? You know, Better you than me all of this crap. Because you’re dealing with somebody who is not operating on the level of an adult, you’re not you’re not dealing with somebody who’s operating on the level of an adult. So, when my mom and I started working through all of this stuff, all of her abuse started coming out. Now this does not excuse it, it absolutely does not excuse her behavior. And I told her that I said this does not excuse it. It sure as hell explains it, but it does not excuse it. So, in her case, she was sexually molested by her step grandfather. Her mother was a narcissist, my grandmother Bertha, who I call another b word, but not Bertha. So anyway, the point being is, is that my grandmother was abusive, her. Her parents, her mom’s step, dad, step husband, whatever, sexually abused my mom. My mom married my dad who was crazy, obviously borderline and narcissistic. And so she just abdicated, it was like Better you than me. She actually said that. And at that point in time, when we were talking through this, she said she was about four years old in her head, and I believe her. I totally believe her. Now, this does not excuse their turning a blind eye. But it certainly makes a hell of a lot more sense than thinking you’re dealing with an adult, a rational adult who is conscious and aware and awake. I can guarantee you at that moment in time my mom was four years old, didn’t know what to do. Scared out of her mind wanted to protect herself now do I excuse that? No, no absofreakinglutely not! No, no, no, no, no! She’s 100% responsible for allowing the abuse to continue 100% But now I understand as an adult What the freak was going on here. Because in my head at the time, I was like, why are you not protecting me? And so in my mind, my kid mind I was 15, 16 years old. It was oh, I’m not worthy of protection. Oh, well, this is what I deserve. Oh, well, clearly my mom who’s the saner of the two which is not saying much when you really think about it. But the saner of the two is not willing to protect me. So, what’s my worth? Because remember, parents whole job you got one job, parents, that’s to protect your kids and give them a sense of self. Okay? Two jobs, protect the kids and give them a sense of self. Okay, three jobs, protect the kids, give them a sense of self and make sure they have all the basic needs, you know. So, the point being is is that the parents, how our parents treat us, how our parents treated us becomes our inner dialogue, it becomes either our cheerleader or our inner critic. And as kids, we have a tendency to make a lot of mistaken assumptions about who we are about our worth in the world, based off of what our parents said, and did.

So, I found a great article online called Better you than me by Jay Read. He is an LPC. He’s got a blog on there, and it’s called better than you than me going unprotected from narcissistic abuse by the enabler parent. Okay, um, so what I wanted to hit was, okay, um, alright, sometimes tragically, something unnatural happens in families, a child is born to someone motivated by something other than the human connection. Instead, this person wants to see others, even his or her own children suffer that would be a narcissist. They prize the feeling of power and control they have to when controlling and dominating another human being. This becomes so valued that no appeal to morality will impede them. In my practice, most of the clients who survived such vicious upbringings had one primary abusive parent and the other was the enabler parent. And the typically less overtly abusive, but passive and compliant in the face of the other parent’s abuse. So, today’s blog will be discussed, discussed surviving and recovering. So, sins of omission. So, what he talks about is what it looks like. And what it looks like is exactly what I just described, you know, the abuse happening. And the enabler, either checking out leaving, or you know, what’s the word? I’m looking for? Plausible denial, that kind of thing. Like, oh, I didn’t see it, or oh, I wasn’t there, even though they were there when it started, or worse, them joining in on it or worse, the kid coming to the parent, how many of us raise your hand? How many of us have gone to the saner parent and said, Dad or Mom is abusing me? I don’t know what to do help me and guess what that parent does? They either minimize it, deny it, tell you you’re a liar or tell you that you miss understood. I’m sorry. It’s kind of hard to misunderstood a backhand at the dinner table when you didn’t do anything wrong. Or to misunderstand your father shoving their tongue down your throat that is there’s no misunderstanding there. I’m sorry. But what that does is gaslighting.

So, then they gaslight us Okay, so what does that do? What does it do to an adult? Think about it when somebody tells you you’re lying minimizes gaslights you. Rewrites history tells you, you miss understood when you know

Kris Godinez  13:31

higher power well that you did not misunderstand. So, what that does is that invalidates us that invalidates our gut instinct. Oh, isn’t that interesting. So then as adults, we get the distinct message either verbally like I did better you than me or non-verbally I’m not going to do anything because I’m going to get in trouble so I’m going to sacrifice you for my safety. So, we get that message that we’re not worth saving. And because we had a difficult relationship with probably both parents I had a difficult relationship with both it wasn’t a walk through the park with my mom either. But at least it was an abusive as my dad and she was willing to work on it once he was dead. So that was good.

Um, but the point being is, is that when we have that kind of effed up messed up relationship with our parents, the inner child, the inner child is now running the show, okay? Because we literally stopped developing at whatever age that abuse occurred and then we try to fix it, try to fix it, try to fix it, try to fix it. How can I make them stop abusing me? How can I make them listen to me? How can I make them love me? How can I… and this my friends is the beginning of codependency and this is where we get it and this is also why when we go out into the world well I left home when I was 17 Cuz I didn’t, you know, that was that was as soon as I could get away, after dad did that I was like, I gotta make my escape plans, I got to get out. And I did. And I left and I started working catering jobs, and I started working as a waitress and I started working or whatever I had to in order to get the bleep away. Okay, and I’m glad I did. Um, but that once I went out into the world, I’ll give you three guesses what kind of guys I dated, they were all Bob juniors seriously. Every single last one of them with the exception of maybe two, were my dad. And I was working through my dad. And if I wasn’t working through my dad, guess who else I dated? My mom. So, it was like, either I was dating somebody who reminded me of my dad or I was dating somebody that reminded me of my mom.

And it wasn’t until I really got into therapy, now I started therapy when I was in high school, but my dad put a stop to it. Big surprise. I went back to therapy when I was in college, helpful, but not enough, they didn’t really understand trauma. And they certainly weren’t looking at personality disorders and trauma at that time in that particular school that I was at. So then when I went to Oregon, I got with Fabian Smith, who was a counselor up there, and we started plowing through all of the abuse and all of the BS that I had to put up with as a kid, it took about seven years. So, you know, and that’s when I kind of went, Oh, I want to help people. And that’s when I started working on my getting my psychology stuff going. So anyway, the point being is that until we deal with that inner child, that inner child is going to look outside of us, because this is the question I’ve got, why do I keep dating over and over again? Why do I keep dating the same people over and over again? What am I doing? It’s your inner child. It’s your inner child. And it’s your self-esteem, it’s your lack of self-esteem. So, when we really understand our worth, and that we did not deserve any of that BS that we had to go through, we did not deserve to be screamed at, we did not deserve to be hit. We did not deserve to be sexually molested; we did not deserve to be religiously abused; we did not deserve any of this stuff.

And, and this was the hard one for me to get. My mom was just as abusive as my dad in a different way. They were both dysfunctional. And that one was so hard for me to wrap my head around, because the little kid inside of me desperately needed one parent, Dear God, just one that actually had my best interest at heart. And the reality of it was, they did not. Neither one of them, neither one of them. Dad had whatever weirdness was going on with him, and my mom had her own interests at heart.

Kris Godinez  17:51

And that’s heartbreaking for a child and inner child, an adult child to recognize when you finally are able to go, oh, neither one of them. Yeah, both parents were nut jobs. You betcha. You betcha not gonna deny that they were absolutely both parents were nut jobs. So, you know, when you really realize that when you’re really able to sink that in and go, neither one of them had my back. That’s when the healing begins. Because when I’m working with people that have been abused, oftentimes what will happen is somebody will come in and sit on my couch, tell me, Oh, I’ve been through all of these relationships, all of these, you know, terrible, abusive relationships. And then I ask them about their childhood. And they start telling me that they had a perfect childhood. And I’m sitting here going, does not compute, you are telling me this, but then you’re telling me this. And then eventually, as they become safe enough, they start telling the truth, telling the whole story, you know, they will tell part of the story. But then they’ll start telling the whole story and then able to put the pieces together for them to figure it out themselves. But the denial runs deep in us, it does. The force is strong in this one, the denial is strong, and this one does the same thing. Because we’ve been groomed. And we’ve been threatened, we’ve been intimidated, we’ve been fearful, we’ve been obligated, we’ve been guilt tripped, to not see the pink elephant taking a doodoo in the corner of the living room.

And the enabling parent is the one that helps with that, the enabling parent is the one that allows the abuser to have access to us. The enabling parent is the one that allows the abuse to go on. For years. Now. I’m not talking those of us who got into a relationship had children with one of these monsters, realized it and then got out I’m not talking about that. My mom intentionally stayed with this guy until he died. And her whole thing was the money, the money, the money, the money, the money. I need the money, I need the money. I need the money. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it. It is not worth sacrificing your children on the altar of financial security! It is not. It is not. Is it difficult to leave an abuser? Hell yeah. Because they’ll do every, every rotten thing in the world you can possibly think of to screw you out of child support, out of alimony out of whatever, because they don’t understand child support is going to the child, all they see is that they’re giving you money. And so, it pisses them off. But honestly, in the end, is it worth it to get out of there for your kids safety? Yes. Because now your kids have got a fighting chance to not get abused every single day to get therapy to get some self-esteem. So, this is why in working with people that have had a family of origin that are just dysfunctional, just dysfunctional, working on the self-esteem and recognizing your worth separate from this family of origin is so important. Because like I said, the inner child goes, ooh, family of origin stuff. I had a horrible relationship with these people, maybe one or both. I know if I can find somebody out there, that reminds me of them. And I can make them love me, I prove these people wrong. Half of a doodoo sandwich, half of a doodoo sandwich. Total due to sandwich it never ends. Well, guys, it doesn’t.

So, what you’re gonna want to do is you’re gonna want to work on you. It’s all about you. It is no longer about the family of origin. I would seriously and this is what I did. Write and burn letters. I had a whole bonfire going about my Dad, are you kidding me? So write and burn letters, and it may be 27 pages of go pound sand, absolutely. You know, it may be you know, a letter specifically about a specific event. But keep writing it get it out of your head. Get it onto paper, take your power back. I no longer need to dance to your tune. We’re done. I don’t need you in my head. I refuse. Thanks for playing bye I own me. I know my worth. And my worth is so much more than what you lied to me about.

Kris Godinez  22:13

Mm hmm. Because they lied to us. They absolutely lied to us. Absolutely. So, write and burn letters, journal. So, this is this is how I wrote this first book is that I started journaling. And I started going okay, what happened? And why? When? Where did this come from? Why am I doing this? Or why did I do that? And so, I started journaling, okay, well, this is what happened when I was born. This is what happened when I was a teenager, this was happening when I was young adult, this is what you know, and I started making it into a story and I realized, oh, other people could benefit from this might find this helpful. So, you know, you never know what’s gonna come out of it. One of the things I hear all the time is, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh, I don’t want to relive it. I don’t want to relive it. Well, you know, you’re not really reliving it, you’re remembering it, for sure. Totally. You’re remembering it, but you’re not reliving it, it’s already done. It’s already happened. That’s why EMDR can be very, very helpful in working through this kind of trauma. Because it kind of bypasses the amygdala and the amygdala.

Remember, the amygdala is stupid, it can’t tell the difference between past present future and so when we think of the abuse, it goes. You know, here now here, now, here now here now, that’s what the amygdala does is trying to keep us safe. But unfortunately, it’s not keeping us safe. It’s hindering us from healing. So, a couple of therapies that might be helpful with this is EFT, Emotional Freedom therapy. That’s the tapping one. I’ve had several clients do that they’ve gotten a lot of success with it. Other clients love EMDR other clients don’t, it just depends. So, try those CBT is good. But don’t be afraid of remembering. You really are benefiting from remembering for a couple of reasons. Because now you can go back, you can look at it. And you can take your power back from that situation. You can see how efffed up those people are healthy, normal people, healthy, normal parents, do not sacrifice their children on any altar, not financial, not sexual, not for safety, not for…

Your job is to protect those kids, and give them the sense of self-worth, we reflect back to our children who they are. So, for example, it’s like, you know, I’ll have a client that’s got a baby and they’re fussing, right? And so, I’ll say, “Hey, bring the bring the kid over to the camera.” And I’ll be like, oh, “Hi it’s you! Look at you” and the next thing you know, that kid is smiling, because I’ve let them know they have worth. I know. I know. But think about it. When you’re dealing with abusive parents and you have an abuser that’s constantly telling the kid they’re stupid and ugly. Guess what the kid starts believing about themselves. And guess how the kid starts acting appropriately, you know, to that nasty message, that’s why you’ve got to be so careful what you say to children, and how you say it, because that helps them or hurts them know who they are in this world. So, if you’re like, you know, reflecting back to them that you’re glad to see them, and it’s good to see you, hello, inner child work. Hi, good to see you have a great day, I give you permission to say no, or I give you permission to have worth, holy cow. It’s okay for you to like yourself, you know, that kind of thing. That’s what is important. So, I’m sorry, I just went off track. So anyway, the point being is, is that the enabling parent is the one that really, I think they do more damage in a way because they didn’t believe us. They told us we were lying. They minimized they intentionally continued and allowed the abuse to happen, which then made us have some mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs about who we are in the world and what our worth is. So, to work on this super, super quickly. Yes, I do have some journal prompts. So, I’ll talk to you about that in a minute. To work on this super, super quickly. Get with a good trauma therapist. I’m not kidding you. I would I give it all to Miss Smith up in Oregon, because if it weren’t for her, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. She was amazing. She was patient and she was wonderful. I really liked her. So, I’m good with a good trauma therapist, start working through this stuff. Don’t be afraid of the memories. They cannot hurt you. They have no power here. They’re just memories. Are they uncomfortable? Hell yeah. Like I said, when I was prepping for this show, poor John. I was like, triggered and he’d be like, brave, you know, and you know, it really it was triggering was absolutely. But the thing of it is that we want to go through this and master it so that we can be like, I am the master of these thoughts. These memories. These thoughts and memories are not the master of me. Why? Because I effing say so. Bleep the bleep

Kris Godinez  27:06

bleep bleep bleep and BLEEP you memory. There we go. You know what I’m saying? So, it’s important to take your power back, it’s important to work through it, journaling, writing and burning letters.

Here are the books I want you to get.

It’s all the same books that I always mentioned. But here we go. The inner child workbook, Katherine Taylor, or any inner child workbook, I don’t care just get one start working it that’s  Katherine Taylor’s the one I like but there’s others. The self esteem workbook by Glenn Schiraldi, the reason I like that is because it gives you clear directions, okay, you’re going to do this for two weeks, and you’re going to do this for two weeks, you’re going to do this for 28 days, you’re going to do this, you know, and it kind of gives you a thing to do daily, okay, like, what are you thinking? Journal down your thoughts? What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What are you telling yourself? What is the mistaken thought that you have? What is your worth? Do you understand that you have got worth because we all have Got worth we have all of us that have been raised by these narcissists. Man, we have worth that we don’t even realize seriously. So, recognize your worth, start working on little things near work. Hi, good to see you have a great day, I give you permission to say no, I give you permission to like yourself, I give you permission to have boundaries, whatever it is, you’re working on that day.

So that is journal prompts. Okay, so for me, the way I did the journaling for the book, and what I suggest to my clients is pick an age. When did you have the most difficult time so for me, it was teenage, because my dad waited until I was a teenager before we started the sexual stuff. Thank God, you know, so something obviously triggered in him the age of about 12,12, 13 Because that’s when he started with all of us. So um, so yeah, so pick the age and start working on that or do a I’m angry letter Dear Mom, dear dad, dear abuser. Here’s what you did. And you list it out. You did this. You did this. You did this. You did this. How dare you? How dare you allow yourself to get angry? I think the thing of it is a lot of us and I swear to God, I’ll get to the questions in just a second. I know I’m going over a little bit. A lot of us are afraid of our emotions. Why? And I do this. I’m doing this in the blog for December because our abusers are terrified of genuine emotions. They can’t cope. They can’t cope. I can’t tell you the number of times my dad would tell me not to cry because I was a Marine took me until I was 16 to figure out I hadn’t enlisted and or not to cry because I’ll give you something to cry about. Or don’t you dare be mad at me, even though he was the abuser and doing things that really deserved anger. So, we quickly get told to shut down and to not feel so something I recommend get a feeling chart, get a feeling chart off of the internet, chart your emotions and allow your emotions, the emotions are going to come and go. I think our fear and this is our inner child fear this little kid fear is it if I cry, I’m never going to stop. That’s what it feels like when we’re dealing with that intense betrayal. Because that’s what this is when an enabling parent enables the abuser, it’s betrayal. So that intense betrayal that intense grief grieving, the loss of having a normal family that we always wanted and hoped for grieving the loss of having a normal healthy parent, at least one that cared what happened to us really, you know, so you write out these letters, the grieving letter, the angry letter, the Sad Letter, the the upset letter, the you did this letter the and then you burn them, burn it, let it go.

Giving these letters to the abuser is only going to give them ammunition for world war three, don’t do it. Don’t do it. So these letters are for you. And these letters are for you to allow yourself to have the emotions that you could not have at the time of the abuse. Does that make sense? So yeah, write and burn letters. Absolutely. And again, Shahida Arabi’s. Book is great. She’s got a whole bunch of journal suggestions. Absolutely. Write your inner teenager love letter. Write your little kid love letter. I think that’s important. If you were to parent yourself as that age, what would you want it to hear? What did you want to hear that you never got to hear? What did you always want to hear? So mostly, if you start talking to your inner kid, they just want to be loved. They do. They just want to be heard. They want to be believed how many of us were not believed when we told about the abuse?

How, you know, how many of us felt unseen, unheard? Not validated. So, you want to see and hear and validate your inner children, children plural, because there’s going to be different ages and because cognitively we respond to things differently. So, start with a love letter to whatever age you had the hardest time with. Dear little six year old me. Oh my gosh, I love you. What an amazing little child you are you survived. Wow, you are brave. And I am so proud of you. Gosh, am I glad that your mine a lot of people when I say that, they start tearing up and they start crying because they never got to hear it. So, this is why I’m saying it’s so important to reraise ourselves to reparent ourselves to give ourselves that validation, that respect, that love that being heard and seen that we never got from our family of origin. And especially that we never got from the parents that were probably acting on the level of a two year old seriously when you think about it. You know, both of those parents were acting on the level of a two year old my wants my needs me Me, me, me me more, more more, keeping myself safe. So yeah, you get to be the responsible adult and you get to love you you get you get to you get to talk to yourself the way you always wanted to be talked to. And that’s why the mirror work is so important. I want you to get into the habit of speaking to yourself with love and respect and happy to see you well my gosh, it’s you happy to see you have a great day. I give you permission to be awesome, you know and then walk out. It doesn’t have to be a huge monologue.

The other thing I want you to do is I want you to remind yourself of things you’re doing right so three things at night. Three things at night that you did, right. Hey, good to see you again. You go back to the full length mirror. Hi, good to see you again. You know why you did this right? You did this right? And you did this right? I’m so proud of you have a wonderful night sleep really well have great dreams. I’ll see you tomorrow morning sleep well and then go to bed. That’s what a good parent would do. So this is why I want you to reparent it yourself in this way. So I hope those suggestions help. Okay, let’s dive into the questions.

Okay. Um, can a parent be both a narc and an enabler? My narc mother abused me but also enabled her oldest daughter half-sister to abuse me in every way possible and cheered her on to do it absolutely! Absolutely. So, when I talk about flying monkeys because let’s let’s just go down to brass tacks here. Flying Monkeys are enablers, enablers are flying monkeys. They do the bidding of the abuser and there’s two types of flying monkeys. So, there’s one type where they’re just like Pollyanna, don’t get it have never seen abuse have never been around abuse don’t understand abuse. They don’t get the, the nefarious way that abusers think they don’t understand any of this, and so getting them to understand, hey, I don’t want you running back to this person and telling them what I’m doing. Boom because they don’t understand okay, that’s that’s one type of flying monkey. They’re just kind of ignorant so you educate them but then if they continue to do it after you’ve educated them that’s when you go buh bye, go pound sand, buh bye so that’s one kind. The other kind is narcissists. Other narcissists, usually minor narcissists. Sometimes major, enable other narcissists because they recognize themselves in the narcissist, so that’s why you see gangs of bullies. That’s why you see people jumping on a bandwagon with another narcissist because it’s other narcissists that recognize themselves in the main narcissist and they want that power. They want that aggrandizement. So yeah, it is totally common to have narcissists be enablers. You betcha for either a more major narcissist a more powerful narcissist or just for a narcissist in general because they like them. They recognize themselves in them. Yeah, there it is. healthy normal people do not bully let me just be very clear. healthy normal people ain’t got time for that we got a life to live, there’s beaches to go to and dogs do pet I’m sorry, my life’s too busy for that kind of crap. But with abusers it’s all about me, me, me I, I, I,  more, my genitals. That’s all they care about. So, and they want the power. They want the control. It’s all about power and control. So, the yes, they will hook up with an abuser absolutely! And in that case, what you want to do is go no contact, you know, if you’ve got family members that are abusing and the parent is encouraging it. That’s when you block, delete, go bye, go no contact, because if you were not related to these people, would you have anything to do with them? If the answer is no, act accordingly. That is why I moved as far away from my dad as I possibly could. And I had very little contact with him. So, because no, I would not have anything to do with him would I would with my mom. Yeah, I would, especially after my dad died and she started working on herself. So, but yeah, if you were not related to these people, if you were not related to these bozos, would you have anything to do with them? If the answer is no, act accordingly go no contact, block, delete, keep yourself safe because they don’t change. It does not get better. Um,

Kris Godinez  37:29


Okay, so this goes back to the question. I was talking about reliving the abuse. I’m scared of reliving the abuse and resisting doing the books, is this self-sabotaging? Well, yeah, it is in a way. So that’s why I say if there’s a great deal of fear around, working through the trauma, get with a trauma therapist, seriously get EMDR, EFT Emotional Freedom therapy, it’s a good, good route to go. So, it’s common, it’s normal. But remember, fear is a thought that’s all it is false evidence appearing real and the amygdala cannot tell the difference between false evidence appearing real and a real threat. It’s all the same. And that’s why the amygdala goes here now, here now, here now, you know, freaks out the whole thing. So, the fear is, remember this and this is it’s so funny. I like to think of fear as a bully. I like to think of fear as a tool that the bully uses. And so, when somebody tries to intimidate me, or make me fearful, or anything like that, that’s when I go middle finger to that fear and I’m going to go do what’s going to heal me because the bully, the abuser does not want me to work on myself does not want me to be healthy, happy whole, etc, etc, etc. So that’s one way to deal with the fear. Is it self-sabotage? Yeah, because remember, when we did start separating from our abusers, when I first moved out, my dad accused me of you know, being a whore and sleeping around I wasn’t, you know, all of this stuff because he was angry because I got away and I wasn’t his punching bag anymore. And so, he had to find another punching bag. So yeah, they will punish us for getting healthy. Oh, well, bye cutting you off. Not gonna see you, hasta lauego, buh bye, you know. So yeah, you can’t allow fear to keep you from bettering yourself.

I dissociate a lot. How do I stay present? That is totally common with trauma, trauma targets. So, dissociation is our brain just kind of going, peace out can’t cope. So, when you dissociate, I again strongly suggest getting with a good trauma therapist. Dissociation is a normal part of PTSD. It is I know it sucks. So, you got to figure out what the triggers are. Number one so that you understand when you’re dissociated. So, what was the trigger? And remember, triggers are not necessarily.

Kris Godinez  40:08

It’s not necessarily always just a thought, it can be a smell, it can be a taste, it can be a sound, it can be a feeling, it can be, you know, it can be anything. So, try to figure out what your triggers are, that’s going to help your therapist go in the right direction to help you work on those triggers, so that you can take your power back so that you’re not feeling helpless so that you don’t feel like you need to be like, bye. You know what I’m saying and it is a part of PTSD, CPTSD, it is a part of that we check out when it’s too much. That’s why in post traumatic stress disorder, complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, oftentimes, the target of abuse knows abuse was going on, but they can’t necessarily remember the specific events because it’s been too much, too frightening, too overwhelming to whatever. Totally normal, totally normal, absolutely, totally normal. So, I would say get with a good trauma therapist and work on that.

Um, can one narc parent abuse the other parent to the point where the other parent becomes disordered and mentally damaged. And that parent then becomes the bad one. Yeah, yep, yep. Yep, they can. Absolutely it’s, it’s crazy. And that’s and that’s why I’m saying, if you recognize that you are in an abusive relationship, get out, get out no amount of security, or money, or prestige, or anything else is worth it. It will eventually kill you. It will either soul kill you, or you will end up becoming just as damaged as they are. And that’s pretty much what was going on with my mom. My mom went from a an abusive mother, who was oh my god, that woman anyway, from her to her first husband, who was also disordered to my dad who absolutely was disordered. So yeah, you can. You’ll just keep getting you’ll pick up fleas. How many times? I mean, my mom had so many fleas. It wasn’t even funny, you know. And so, we started working on those one by one. So yeah, it’s, it’s yeah, they can absolutely go from, you know, an enabler to completely disordered themselves. Absolutely.

Okay, Kris, I’ve been wanting to ask you if you like pickles. They reduce anxiety, which I’ve been dealing with. Just don’t drink all the juice at once. It was a hard lesson I learned, oh, so much swelling. Oh, God. Yes, I do like pickles. I do. And I don’t however, like drinking the pickle juice. I know some people swear by it, but I’m just gonna like ewwww, I do like dill pickles. Actually. I like sweet pickles, too. But, um, yeah, I love pickles. I think they’re great. And if they help, then yeah, go for it. But don’t drink it all at once. You’re absolutely right. Too much swelling. Um, okay.

Did your mother ever fully apologize for her part of the abuse? Yeah, she did. She did. That’s that is the only reason I was continuing to have a relationship with her. I confronted her. And I was like, if you want to have a relationship with me, you need to acknowledge what you did and what you didn’t do. And you need to start working on this stuff. And I got her all the books and she did. So, you know, and I do think she had a lot of fleas. She obviously had a lot of fleas from her mother, who was a narcissist. Absolutely. And then my dad who was borderline and narcissistic, he was crazy. He was all kinds of crazy. None of it good. So yeah, she picked up a lot of stuff. And she really did. blossom in those last 20 years that she was alive 20, 25 years after my dad died. And she did apologize. But did she continue to do stupid things on occasion? Yeah, she would. Absolutely. You know, I figured she wasn’t going to conquer everything this lifetime, but she made amends to me. And that’s what’s important. And, yeah, so yeah. And yeah, she did acknowledge she did acknowledge standing at the window and not doing anything and she did acknowledge sacrificing us to keep herself safe. And she was ashamed about that. So yeah, we worked through that. So that was but it was painful for her. It was freeing for me but yeah, it was good to talk about it. You know, so yeah, tough stuff.

Um, my husband did not protect me at all from his raging narc sister and enabling mother. Was this wrong? I eventually learned my strong boundaries after 20 years in a divorce. Yeah, absolutely. So here’s the deal.

Kris Godinez  44:36

Narcissistic in laws, and I think I’ve talked about this not too long ago, narcissistic in laws will go after the spouse that they think they can. And it really, it’s a loyalty test. It is it’s a loyalty test for the adult child. And so, the adult child is sitting there going, Oh, do I defend my spouse or do I go with my family? Oh my God, I don’t know what to do so, oftentimes they’ll refuse. They’ll refuse to defend the spouse and that is bad news bears. That is a red flag of Communist Party of proportions. Serious red flag. Hello. Yeah, it’s, it’s so that is that is common with adult children of narcissists if they have not worked on themselves that the abusive narc in laws will then attack the new spouse as a loyalty test. Are you going to go it’s us or them. Remember, for the abusers it’s always a win lose situation. It’s never a win win situation. And for them, it’s a loyalty test. Are you loyal to us? Are you loyal to me? Or are you loyal to your new spouse? Well, I’m sorry. But the part of the parents should be to teach those kids how to fly on their own, and go cleave to their spouse and go do them. You know what I’m saying? That’s what a good parent does. A narcissistic or borderline parent will demand loyalty to the parent instead of to the new family. And I think I’ve talked about this several times. So yeah, they absolutely they absolutely do that. Yeah, this was wrong. He should have stood up for you. Absolutely. Asofreakinglutely. Absolutely. And you know, it’s the same thing. It’s like if the roles were reversed if your family was attacking him, would you have stood up for him? Yeah, you probably would have. But the fact that he wasn’t willing to stand up for you and wasn’t willing to work on it. Oh, red flag, red flag.

When I was a kid, I felt like I was the only adult in the family. Is that crazy? No. Oh my god, sweetie, I’m telling you, I felt the same way. And I’d be willing to bet everybody here did. So, when we’ve got a disordered parent or two, you literally have been parentifide. You know, there’s, somebody’s got to be driving the car. These two bozos aren’t. So yeah, the kids become parentifide. And usually the kids, especially the one who sees the pink elephant, taking a dump in the corner of the living room is the only one that is sane enough to make rational decisions.

So, you know, one of the stories I tell in my book, you know, What’s Wrong With Your Dad? I’ve told this several times. I was 10 years old, 10. And we were in the van driving the van on some road trip. And the

Kris Godinez  47:24

automatic steering what is that called a cruise control. Cruise control got stuck, and dad couldn’t disengage it. So like he tapped on the brake wouldn’t disengage, turned it off, wouldn’t disengage car was speeding up, speeding up, speeding up. He was panicking. My mom was panicking. And I’m looking at the situation. I’m like, well throw it in neutral, turn the car off close to the side of the road problems. All right. So, the fact that the two adults sitting here who both had their driver’s licenses, couldn’t figure out to do something so logical and so simple as to throw it into neutral, turn off the car Coast over to the side of the road, so we can get off safely. And a 10-year-old who hadn’t driven yet, but obviously watched a lot of driving, you know, could figure that out. It’s like, why, why? Why why as a 10-year-old, was I the only one to figure this out? What, what’s wrong with this picture? You know, so yeah, it is very common for us to be parentifide. And what’s interesting is, is at that particular point in time, I realized my dad was then very threatened by me because he realized I knew what to do. Because at that time, he was screaming at me Shut up, you don’t know what you’re doing. Bla bla bla, my mom finally started screaming back at him. She knows what she’s doing. Do what she says. He did what I said, we were able to get over to the side of the road. And from that moment, I can pinpoint it. From that moment on is when he started telling me I was the cute one. Not the smart one. So, isn’t that interesting? So yeah, yeah, we are parentifide. Absolutely. But then if we show them up, they get pissed. And then they start trying to put us down, you know, discard, devalue, etc, etc, etc. Okay, um, yeah. So that’s you’re not crazy. A lot of us felt parentifide. You bet.

What do you think happens to the family when the SG scapegoat goes no contact? I’m two years no contact. Now. What do you think happens to my elderly parents, my dad is in her enabler always has been? Well, so what happens is when a child especially the scapegoat leaves the family. So first of all, what’s going to happen usually, is that the family and the flying monkeys desperately try to get the scapegoat back into the family system because the rest of the family doesn’t want to play the game of your it. Because now the the abuser is going to have to find a new scapegoat. They can use you the old scapegoat for a while and talk about you and all of this. But if you’re no contact with them, and there’s no drama, eventually that gets old. And now they have to find a new scapegoat. So usually what they do is they, the roles change, they find a new scapegoat. And it’s especially hard on a family on a child where they’re the only child because they end up playing the golden child and the scapegoat. Talk about confusing. So, um, yeah, the family roles change, they have to pick a new scapegoat. And they’ll, they’ll gossip, they’ll do whatever for a long, long time. But if there’s no new information, like if they can’t get new information on you, and it’s all old information, and it’s not exciting, they’ll find another scapegoat, guarantee it. And it could be anyone, it could be grandparents that they decide to start picking on it could be other children, they decide to start picking out it could be the spouse, it could be whatever. So yeah, absolutely.

Um, okay. My brain keeps bringing up all the good times. And I tend to minimize the bad times, how do I stop this? Totally common? Oh, my God, every one of us here has done that. guarantee it. So, it’s denial. So, what you want to do is you want to write out every single rotten thing that these people have ever done to you seriously. And when your mind starts going down memory lane, because remember, guys, we are in Hoover season, this is when families reach out to the kids that have gone no contact with them. This is when exes reach out to the person who said I see you for what you are by. So, from now until the middle of February is Hoover season. And they’re counting on the nostalgia of this time of year to get you to contact them. So, you want to write out every rotten thing that they ever, ever did to you. And you keep that somewhere where you can see it so that when your mind starts going, Oh, I really miss them. I remember the good times and and this that and the other thing you can be like, Oh yeah, and then they did this. And then they did this and then they did that oh man, then they did Mother Clucker. And then they didn’t you know, do you see where I’m going with that to remind yourself because we tend to do that. It’s kind of a it’s like a human defense mechanism. We tend to forget the bad times so that we keep going, you know, so but in this case, this is harmful because then this leads to relapse in that we come back to the abuser because we fool ourselves into thinking oh, but it was so good. And this happened and was so fun.

Kris Godinez  52:30

Don’t do it. Write out every rotten thing that ever happened and remind yourself of who they really are. All right, my love’s go have a wonderful week Drink plenty of water be good yourselves. Be careful out there on the roads. So, because people driving crazy. So anyway, that’s it.  alright. Talk to you later.

Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. You can always listen live on YouTube every week Sunday at noon, Arizona Mountain Standard Time. And if you want to find out more or listen to other episodes, you can go to Chris godinez.com and if you have a chance, subscribe to this show on whatever podcast app you use and let other people know about. I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

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