What enmeshment looks like: Therapist explains
From overstepping our boundaries to growing unhealthy emotional attachment, here are a few signs of enmeshment to be aware of.
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder or Complex PTSD is a condition when a person experiences the symptoms of PTSD with additional symptoms such as difficulty in controlling the emotions and feeling distrust for the world. Enmeshment is one of the conditions where a person is not able to distinguish the boundaries, leading to over-concern for others. This can become harmful for their own development. "Living with Complex PTSD can sometimes blur the lines in our relationships. Enmeshment, where boundaries become hazy and identities blend, can be a common challenge. But recognising it is the first step to reclaiming your sense of self," wrote Therapist Linda Meredith. Knowing the signs of enmeshment helps us to address it more effectively. Here are a few signs:
Unhealthy emotional attachment: Enmeshment can lead to unhealthy emotional attachment with someone. Not being able to control our emotions around that person can make things more difficult for us.
Guilt: One of the unhealthiest symptoms of enmeshment is the sense of constant guilt, especially when we try to stand up for ourselves or advocate for ourselves.
Isolation: We feel isolated from other relationships and have difficulty in feeling the connection and intimacy.
Boundaries are overstepped: We overstep our boundaries or shut them down – enmeshment leads to diffusion of boundaries, and it can be very harmful for personal development.
Conflicts: We have a difficult time navigating conflicts – we either end up offending the other person or feel scared of losing them.
Rescue from emotions: We constantly feel that we are trapped in our emotions. So, we need to be rescued from them to feel better.
Happiness: Our happiness depends on others. Unless they are happy, we are not able to make ourselves happy.
Dependency: We are extremely dependent on others. We find it safe and comfortable when we are extremely close and dependent on others.