Did you grow up in a household that lacked boundaries? It’s possible you experienced enmeshed parenting.
Enmeshment is when individual family members are not able to function as individuals. Some might think a family without boundaries can form a unique and strong bond. But this lack of boundaries fuses the family into an echo chamber of unhealthy emotions.
Keep reading to find out more about enmeshment and how you can take steps to heal from it.
Signs of Enmeshment
Enmeshment tends to be a pattern of behavior that is passed down through generations. It can be challenging to identify this family dynamic when you are in it because it may be all you know.
If you experienced enmeshed parenting, it could’ve come in different forms. Your parent may have had a mental illness or could be repeating a trauma cycle. Your parents or family of origin may have tried to prevent you from becoming your own person. Their entire lives may have revolved around you, and if you didn’t live up to your parent’s expectations, they could have seen that as an attack.
Parent and child have little to no boundaries. Privacy is not a thing in an enmeshed household. The parent will often burden children with adult responsibility and expect their children to take care of them before reaching emotional maturity.
Healthy families can be close, but the difference is an understanding of boundaries and respect for them.
Effects of Enmeshed Parenting
Enmeshment can be very hard on your mental health. An adult child who grew up in an enmeshed family likely cannot deal with conflict. You may feel responsible for things that are not your fault and feel guilty about setting a boundary by saying no or needing space.
You may have difficulty setting boundaries and struggle with your sense of self because your emotions were tied to your parents.
You may constantly seek approval from others, have few personal boundaries, and search out codependent relationships that mirror the home you grew up in. Anxiety and fear of abandonment in relationships are a possibility. This repeats the pattern of the enmeshed relationship of your household.
You may also have a difficult time self-soothing or sitting with challenging emotions because you weren’t allowed to have your own when growing up.
Recovering from Enmeshment
Recovering from an enmeshed household is possible. If you feel trapped, know there is a way to learn how to set healthy boundaries and experience healthy relationships.
Adult children may not realize they grew up in an enmeshed household and could be repeating the same type of family relationships themselves. If you think that you may be showing signs of enmeshed parenting and have feelings of guilt after reading this, it’s time to break the cycle.
One of the best things you can do is discover yourself and figure out who you really are. Seeking help from a therapist for emotional support can help you learn some new skills to help you reduce the residual shame and guilt you may feel from growing up in an enmeshed household.
Permit yourself to feel free. Start taking your life back and find yourself today.
Enmeshed Parenting – Episode 4 – Modern Intimacy Podcast with Rupin Rach
In this episode, Dr. Kate Balestrieri and Rupin Rach discuss how to identify enmeshment in parenting dynamics, how to move toward a style of parenting with healthy boundaries, and begin to address the effects as an adult child.
Guest info: Rupin Rach helps parents invite conscious presence into their parenting. Clearing out their familial and cultural conditioning, he helps them use mindfulness techniques to build healthier relationships and connect more deeply with themselves, their children, and everyone around them.
Connect with Rupin on his website: meetfox.com/e/consciousparentingcoach
and on Instagram @rupinrach and Facebook @consciousparentingcoach
or Email [email protected]