Rapid Solutions for Entanglements © Martyn Carruthers
Solve relationship problems – with your cognitive mind,
your emotional heart and your intuitive soul.
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?
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 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 person
- 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 …
- If you identified with a victim you may express chronic anger or rage
- If you identified with a hero you may express chronic anxiety or panic attacks
- If you identified with a dead person you may express chronic sadness or melancholy
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.
- 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 very distracted?
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. London
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.