If you have tried unsuccessfully on your own to deal with either denial or enabling (or both),
or have tried to help someone else, and feel in need of assistance, there is help here to help you
find long-term resolution for your problems - and assist you in your Emotional, Mental and
Klaas Tuinman MA
Deerfield, (Yarmouth County) Nova Scotia, Canada, 2000-2017
|Healing & Empowerment: Mentoring,
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Only the Separated Reconcile
As the addiction or dysfunction deepens, they work harder at hiding this fact from those
around them. Depending upon their circumstances, for example, in alcoholism, s/he may
drink openly, but usually s/he will conceal the amount s/he drinks, by not drinking around
those who are closest to him/her. That process is similar with other addictions and
dysfunctional behaviours and actions.
In it's progress, the addiction/dysfunctional behaviour begins to cause more and more real
problems in their lives: and the denial increases accordingly. Even though their actions
and sprees have gotten them into some real trouble, they deny it has anything to do with
their dysfunction/addiction - or that they are addicted, or have an addiction.
When someone tries to discuss their behaviour problem with them, they simply refuse to
talk about it, or dismisses it as not a real problem, or try minimize or trivialize it:
frequently, they'll get angry and start an argument or fight: and may just walk away from
those people, and cut all ties; more avoidance of facing the reality. These simple acts of
denial, lying about their dysfunctional behaviour and actions, are clues that the
addict/perpetrator knows deep down inside that s/he has a problem.
The addict/perpetrator (the person that has the behaviour problem) covers up and denies
is willing to admit to the reality. If it's not a problem, why lie about it to anyone? To
The true addict covers up and denies: he/she is unwilling to admit openly to the reality;
they already know deep down exactly what trouble they're in, and are causing for
themselves and others. In part, it is that inner knowledge that they are trying to run away
from. It has become their defence mechanism, which is made possible by others.
Yes. The people who love them, help the addict's situation but finding, and making
excuses, etc - for him or her. Much is swept under the rug.
It is called, enabling. These are the other players in the game of "Let's pretend" who
despite good intentions, make it possible to keep the game going. Denial and enabling
together create Codependency.
|DENIAL: Avoiding Ownership and Responsibility
|A Dawn Cove Abbey Information Resource, and support
for Adult Children of Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Families
Please note: Denial isn't just connected with alcoholism: Denial happens whenever people
deny they have a "problem" or issue of any kind, whether it be a "bad" habit, anti-social
behaviour, trust-issues (as in being untrustworthy), rudeness or other forms of insensitivity
Denial means avoiding taking responsibility for, or ownership of one's behaviours,
addictions, etc. The addiction impairs their judgement, and results in self-delusion which
keeps them in a very destructive, continuing pattern.
There are several forms of denial:
Simple Denial: (pretending it doesn’t exist);
Minimizing Denial: (trying to make it look as something “innocent”)
Blaming: (denial; shifting attention)
Diversion: (denial - change the topic)
In all cases denial is purely a deliberate refusal to take ownership or responsibility for one's
own behaviour: it is a conscious choice. They deny that there is a problem. For them,
the only "problems" they "see", is getting that next drink, that next bottle, that next "hit" or
whatever; and the "bitching" and "preaching" people do at them. That is the power of
alcohol (and other highly addictive substances)/
They simply lie about their dysfunction. Little lies at first. For example, in alcoholism; “I only
had two . . I haven't had a drink in a week . . I don't drink as much as s/he does . . ."
The denial will get worse over time as the behaviour continues.
|Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside Assistance for your Journey through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From, "One! The Journey hOMe", the eBook by Klaas Tuinman MA, © 2007-17
Questions and comments welcomed.
This thing called Denial is definitely not a river in Africa. It is:
- a synonym, or euphemism, for a quite effective, "let's pretend"
game. As in, "I'll pretend I don't have a problem; drinking, or
otherwise". In reality, they are fooling themselves, and embarking
on a destructive, cunning con game. Most people who have certain
substance-use problems (alcohol, narcotics, violent, controlling,
abusive behaviour, lying, stealing, etc) put up a buffer against their
families and society.
- It refers to knowing that something we don't want to admit exists,
and thus make up excuses or rationalizations that allow avoidance of
acceptance of the reality (that can include Stress levels).
It's polite name is Denial. In the pretend game, the pretense is the denial
in action. In the long downward path of such dysfunctions toward
mental, physical and moral decline, the first thing to go is honesty.
Denial is the most common and often frustrating aspects of alcoholism
and other addictions, and dysfunctional behaviours. They won't accept
that they have a problem - nor do they want to admit/accept what is
happening to them. It is not just a form of lying: it is lying to oneself
(and then others) - about anything, to anyone; including those closest
and formerly dearest to him/her: they have been replaced in importance
by the substance, and by whatever it takes, to acquire the substance.
They become consummate actors and actresses, engaged in such
convincingly authentic roles and performances, while actually being
totally in-authentic, chameleon-like performances to achieve their goal:
the next drink, the next hit . . . . or whatever it is . .
It is quite different from being delusional. Being delusional means
believing in something that doesn't exist, that isn't real; holding onto a
false opinion or belie in spite of all evidence to the contrary. In our
society that is typically considered to be a symptom of mental disorder.
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