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From: Entanglement Part 1
Between Enmeshment and Detachment
Some people are enmeshed - they
have woven their lives and identities around one another so tightly that it is
difficult for anyone to function independently. And some people are
detached - they are so independent that they don't feel connected. Many relationships are somewhere between
enmeshment and detachment.
Relationship Enmeshments & Dysfunctional Families
Entanglements and enmeshments refer to
blocks and habits that can cause confusion and suffering in
relationships. Relationship entanglements are often associated with dysfunctional
families, abandonment, betrayal and crime - and relationship problems are very, very common.
Were you blamed for whatever happened in your
family? If so, you may still feel unworthy, and criticize yourself
for most things that you do, or not do, including how other people behave.
You are entangled or enmeshed if you believe that you really have so much power.
Are you Enmeshed?
- Do you fear rejection?
- Do you feel like a victim?
- Do you blame and criticize yourself?
- Do you reject compliments or praise?
- Do you avoid buying things for yourself?
- Do you feel endless guilt?
- Do you feel ashamed of who you are?
- Do you think your life is not worth living?
- Do you try to help people live their lives?
- Do you believe you deserve good things?
Fear and Control
You may have lived with unpredictable people.
You may be afraid to let other people be who they are. You may worry
about ridiculous things or offer endless unwanted advice. People may call
you a know-it-all if you try to control people with
knowledge. They may call you a control freak if you
try to influence them with threats, or a victim if you
try to manipulate them through helplessness. Eventually they will
express anger - and you may feel hurt, rejected and perhaps devastated.
You may ignore problems, or pretend they aren't
happening, or pretend that your situation isn't so bad.
You may lie to yourself that things will get better soon, and distract
yourself. You may feel confused, depressed or sick. You may try to
control whatever provides good feelings - even people.
- Do you you stay in bad relationships?
- Do you you worry people will leave you?
- Do you try to prove you're good enough?
- Do you claim you can't look after yourself?
- Do you worry if people love you?
- Do you know which people are good for you - and which not?
- Do you accept abuse just to stay close to some people?
Do you allow or even invite people hurt and humiliate
you, perhaps in similar ways that your parents hurt you? You may
not trust yourself, your feelings, your decisions
or other people. Do you trust untrustworthy people? Do you may
find yourself oscillating between being passive and aggressive?
You may feel confused about your problems, but avoid solving
them. You may hide, lie about and protect your problems. You may pray for your
problems to go away and you may seek someone who can "magic" away
your problems - for few days anyway. But long-term change is not that easy.
Enmeshed Behavior - Enmeshed Identity
If important parts of you are missing or hidden,
you may behave in robot-like ways. Identity Loss is often the first and
most important block to reaching a goal. We divide Identity Loss into:
- Identification - you identify with another
- Lost Identity - you lose contact with your
sense of self
- Identity Conflict - you identify with two
or more other people
- Relationship Bonds - you replace your
sense of self with limiting beliefs
Identification refers to the unconscious acceptance
of a dominant personality (think - "possessed").
Lost Identity refers to chronic dissociation and Identity Conflict
refers to bi-polar behavior (think "split personality").
Relationship bonds refer to beliefs and
emotions that bond you to other people.
Chronic Inappropriate Emotions
Are you partially or totally identified with someone else? Many
people are. Do you feel normal, just and right when you express
emotions with behavior that other people call inappropriate or
abnormal? Do you try to make sense of a senseless life?
Personality identification follows systemic rules ...
Note that to identify with
someone else, people first lose their own identity. We call
this, surprisingly, identity loss,
and extreme cases we call Lost Identity.
I always felt like
something or somebody was near me and influenced my behavior.
I felt protected but I could never define my goals. Liverpool
A victim identified person is generally angry and may enjoy
annoying people; a dead person identified person is generally
melancholy and may be obsessed with death; and a hero identified
person is generally anxious and may avoid change.
You said that my symptoms indicated that I
might have "identified" with a dead person
... yes, my dead grandpa felt totally
"me" - he felt more me than myself.
More on Identifications .
Consequences of Abortion .
- Do you feel little or no motivation?
- Are you unable to define your own goals or outcomes?
- Do you express few or no emotions and appear
You probably know people who seem so dreamy or
lost or immature that they cannot make practical decisions. (See:
Recover Lost Resources).
The lights are on but nobody seems to be home. They are unlikely to
want to change ... rather they are more likely to lack any meaningful
goals. There may be little trace of a real human being inside the skin.
For years I felt hollow and devoid
of emotion. My work seemed robotic and my life felt empty.
I had no real goals, I could only follow other people's directions.
Do you feel normal, just and right, even when switching
between two different personalities? You may not notice - although other
people will be puzzled by your swings - not only in mood but in beliefs,
values and priorities. Identity conflict is how a person (usually as a
child) makes sense of two powerful conflicting influences - usually (but
not always) conflicting parents.
If you have identity conflict, you
may prefer many simultaneous tasks.
If you make decisions or
promises in one mood, you may forget,
deny or rescind those decisions
or promises in another mood
- Do you have strong mood swings?
- Can you keep your attention on one thing?
- Do you may forget or deny your promises or decisions?
Symptoms of enmeshment are so common that
you may not see them as symptoms.
Contact us if you want to change.
Online Life Coaching & Counseling to Dissolve Enmeshment
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