E = Enabler, A to Z Blog Challenge

I’ve been watching old episodes of Hoarders and, from deep within the recesses of my DVR, Half Ton Dad, and it makes me think about the people who, usually through the best of intentions, help these people get that way.

Hoarding is a terror for me. I lived with a mild hoarder of a grandmother growing up and I loved her to absolute death, but the cardboard! Jesus! Now, I don’t know that she had an enabler as much as a prolapsed goat vagina of a daughter who took advantage of it. However, the daughter (my aunt, obviously) decided not only to bring some of her stuff over to store, but decided to sell Avon out of my grandmother’s house where I was living.

Imagine having this in your living room for years, knowing not a box of it was yours.

Imagine having this in your living room for years, knowing not a box of it was yours.

My aunt doesn’t have the ambition the gods gave a 300 pound armless sloth with half its head missing, so the Avon never got sold and it never moved. It wasn’t until my grandmother passed that my uncle told his sister that she needed to get that old shit out or it would be thrown away within the two weeks it would take her to find her fat fucking feet and get over there to move it.

In that way, the brother and sister showed a duality. One took advantage, yes, but she enabled my grandmother who was given occasional free Avon as a storage fee. Like a bottle of shampoo every two months made up for having next to no living room. To that extent, though, my grandmother enabled my aunt’s hoarding but housing the problem so that my aunt didn’t have to face it. After the passing of my beloved grandmother, my aunt’s hoarding got out of control. My uncle, however, was having none of it. He got rid of that shit at the absolute first chance he had and didn’t do it before because it wasn’t a battle he would win. (Watch an episode of Extreme Hoarders and see what happens when someone comes in to try to tell a hoarder to clean shit up).

This brings us to Half Ton Dad. I saw this show a long time ago and was struck by the mechanics of it all. This man (pictured below) was a very nice, caring, kind man with an obvious problem. However, as you can see in the picture, he was literally in no shape to move around. He was house bound for years and years, and when he finally decided to do something about it and try to get help and have surgery, they had to knock down walls to get him out.

Half Ton Dad

Half Ton Dad

So, you know someone was feeding him, and feeding him a great deal. It turns out, this person was a close loved one who would frequently raid the McDonald’s dollar menu and other fast food places to satisfy this man’s eating habits. She thought she was caring for him and showing him love in the only way she could, but she was hurting him more than anything. She directly contributed to his weight. Granted, he had a problem or he wouldn’t have been that big, whether it was a need for food comfort, filling an internal void, or whatever. I’d just like to hope, as someone who has admittedly never been in that situation, that I would feed him healthy food. What’s he going to do? Get up and go to McDonald’s himself? Make his own food? Not eat at all? Good! He needed to get himself under control, and when he has no choice, his care (or destruction) was 100% in the hands of someone else.

I was in a supermarket once about 5 years ago and I saw this little fat kid, between one and two years old, sitting in the front part of a shopping cart as his chunky (but not obese) mother and father pushed him around. He was at least 50 pounds, probably closer to 70. His fat little legs barely fit through the holes in the cart.

Something like this.

Something like this.

They had two other hugely obese children, but none were as striking as the baby. That was completely, totally, utterly the parent’s fault. Unless there was a thyroidal or glandular problem in the whole family, those parents were enablers to their fat children. They caused it, and those kids will likely have to struggle their entire lives with weight because the parents couldn’t say no.

Yet, I feel for these enablers. They usually think this is a way of showing love, and when you are in the situation, you probably don’t realize how bad it has become because it’s a gradual thing. Their love is almost twisted, you might say. Yet there is love.

Except my aunt. She was just a bitch. *cackle!*

Alternate letter considerations: Earthbound (video game), Evil Dead, epidemic, esper (Final Fantasy VI).

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~ by Darren Endymion on August 6, 2015.

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