Healthy Helping Versus Enabling

Spotted on my Saturday walk.

Spotted on my Saturday walk.

Do you love to help others? Good.

Do you sometimes help others in a way that is hurtful to you or them? Not so good.

What is enabling?

Enabling is when your help for someone results in their not feeling the consequences of their decision making. You rescue them from feeling stuck, getting in trouble or even from them not knowing what to do.

There are extreme examples of enabling/rescuing like:

  • Bankrolling your 27 year old adult unemployed child who smokes pot 8 hours a day and lives in your basement.
  • Calling in sick for an alcoholic boyfriend who has passed out (again).
  • “Helping” your boyfriend buy a new Camaro when he can’t keep a job.

And not so extreme

  • Covering for a “friend” at work who messed up and forgot to finish their work project (for the 100th time!).
  • “Helping” your son with his homework by, kinda’ doing it yourself.
  • “Helping” your spouse clean the kitchen because it is quicker if you just do it, even though he has agreed to start sharing housework.
  • Looking the other way when an employee you like, or a babysitter, is lame in the job performance area (“She has so much going on, poor thing…”)

Give Away Girls  BEWARE:

There is no need to go all ball busting on people to get them to shape up or ship out.  I mean, it is still okay to help grandma with her groceries when she is crossing the street.  GAG girls LOVE to be helpful. (We need that in our world.)

However, alot of times they end up doing more than their share, sacrifice too much for others, and end up resenting themselves into a tiny, angry corner. Or worse, they relish the sacrifice and martyrdom secretly for some self-esteem fulfillment. (DANGER!) That doesn’t help them or the people that should be doing the stuff they are supposed to do anyway. How are they going to learn?

Make your best decisions now in your relationships. It will do yourself good as well as benefit those you love and care about.

Investigation: What happened to Ann Curry at the Today show?

Doesn't Matt look pleased as punch? Photo attribution

Doesn’t Matt look pleased as punch? 
Photo attribution

Where is Ann Curry?
I don’t know what happened at the Today show. If you are not aware, the Today show is a nationally syndicated TV show that comes up on the mornings on NBC. About a year ago, there was a lot of press about how Matt Lauer, the lead anchor, didn’t want Ann Curry (his 54-year-old co-host) to work with him anymore. Therefore, she got dumped by NBC.

And why is that relevant one year later?
Well, it annoys me that Matt Lauer is now surrounded by these two beautiful YOUNG women that look suspiciously like twins. (By the way, they also look like his model/wife, but that’s for he and his analyst to work out. He lives in New York and they all have analysts there, not therapists.) (And don’t we ALL know about the twin fantasy thing? So predictable!)

Incidentally, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales appear to be smart, competent journalists who I am sure deserved their promotion. I am not annoyed with them at all.

But, I still don’t know why they dumped Ann. I mean, somehow, even at 54, Ann didn’t have any wrinkles. Ask any woman journalist in television media, and she will probably tell you that wrinkles on a woman are the kiss of death. In fact, it is rare to see wrinkles on any women in the media at all, much less the news.

Interestingly, when I was in Europe 5 years ago, I was shocked by a cover of a magazine that had Sarah Jessica Parker on it. What shocked me were the wrinkles around her eyes. I didn’t know she had any! As I looked around at the cover of the magazines, I noticed the American stars didn’t look the same as they did in the USA. I realized that the American magazines airbrushed the wrinkles and the European magazines didn’t. That sucks.

I know Diane Sawyer is an exception in that she is a journalist who is older and on the national news. However, wasn’t she a Miss America winner? Does that really count as TV being open to televising older and aging women?

GAG GIRL TAKEAWAY: Life isn’t always fair. Keep your head up and have a back-up plan if things don’t go the way you want — or deserve.

Girls Behaving “Badly?”

Unknown-2Pussy-riot girls is a punk band in Russia that recently achieved a lot of press when two of the women in the band (both mothers) were sentenced to prison. Apparently, these women got together and rigged a plan to perform a rebellious song that put down Vladimir Putin. In response, they were given a “trial” and sentenced. During the trial, they were put in glass boxes as if on display and not allowed to even hear the court proceedings. (I think Vladimir was very mad, don’t you think?)

Now, I don’t like their music. It is punk. So it sounds to me like a lot of screaming. Screamed in Russian, it is even more chilling to hear. But, I admire their willingness to take a stand. Everybody knows Vladimir probably isn’t a real nice guy. And almost nobody in Russia has the courage to stand up to him.

The Pussy-riot girls? I don’t know what they accomplished. However, people are talking and people are watching.

I have another friend, let’s call her Theresa, who recently took a stand against another evil dictator of sorts. Unfortunately, she got tossed out on her a**  and hurt as well.  She is struggling to accept how meanly she was treated and how other people can just sit and do nothing when people are being treated so terribly. Interestingly, those “people” being treated terribly in this organization are mostly women.

Sometimes, in the face of great power, what’s a girl to do?

Pink, Yes Pink, Rabbit Fur Coat

I have a rabbit fur coat I cannot wear because it’s so not me. The coat just doesn’t seem to work. I’m not sure why.  It is candy pink. Don’t get me wrong: This coat is sharp in its own special way. I mean, I saw it. I loved it. I bought it. But when I got it home and tried to wear it, I just couldn’t. It looks on me like how my girlfriends used to describe my tries to smoke in college. ”Cherilynn, you just can’t pull it off. It is soooo not you!”

The coat is sure to draw attention
I’ve never been one for putting myself in the spotlight. In fact, creating this blog has been a big step for me. But, I believe women are working too hard; for too many hours each day; in mind, body and spirit; to the point of depletion and complete exhaustion. They’ve lost (it) the biggest piece of themselves in their relationships and their busyness — and for the wrong reasons that often are triggered by deep feelings such as shame, guilt, fear, regret, loss and longing. I hope to help women change this troubling pattern I’ve seen throughout my years as a therapist and social worker.

Still not gonna wear the coat
The pink rabbit fur coat makes me feel uncomfortable, a tad insecure and generally unsettled. These are the feelings of the Give Away Girl when she’s on the high end of the DCC (the detrimental care continuum). The Give Away Girl life is largely unfulfilled but filled with pink rabbit fur coats (well sort of).

Which brings me to
Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins and one of my favorite albums called Rabbit Fur Coat. There’s a story in this. See and listen here.