I’ve heard so many stories of how people felt relief when receiving a diagnosis for some disease or other conditions and I will admit I didn’t understand, until now. Coming across one of Teal Swan’s videos on this subject, I actually felt that relief. I’ve described this phenom to myself in so many ways over the years, particularly recently but to pinpoint it with a name rather sealed it into place so that now I can take steps to work through it. Isn’t that weird how that works sometimes? The fact that I needed that name to validate what I felt I was experiencing is also telling of how traumatic of an experience enmeshment is.
So, if you’ve never heard of it, let me do some explaining…
Usually it begins in childhood in which one parent (at least) raises you in such a way as to force you to identify with him or her as a unit, not as individuals. S/he demands allegiance by controlling what beliefs and ideas you express to the actions you take to the emotions you express. If you do not line up with that parental unit, there are consequences to be had, such as ostracism. They will give you gifts for your loyalty or punish you for your rebellion. The only Self that is to be identified with is that parental unit. Your wants do not matter, your ideas do not matter. If it does not line up with the only Self that matters or is not acceptable within the confines of the defined boundaries, punishment is automatic and swift. This creates within the child a lifelong rebellion, compliance, or a fluctuation of both. The child’s self never matters and is therefor considered worthless, insufficient, and a detriment to the only worthwhile Self of the family unit, that of the mother or father. This enmeshment trauma is then carried on into the next generation as well as to other relationships in varying degrees. If the job of enmeshment was done sufficiently, the child will have zero ability to authenticate any true aspects of their own self apart from the parental unit. It’ll be either do this to rebel or conform because that’s all you know.
For those of you who didn’t really experience this or may have only to a slight degree, I can say with absolute clarity how traumatic it actually is. All of my life I have struggled with just wanting to be me but was shamed if I voiced me in any way. It’s rather amusing that most people know they have no clue who I am for I trust very few and therefor say little of consequence about myself. Those that I have been subject to an enmeshment situation, on the other hand, claim they know me completely. Not really amusing, I know. Truly terrifying to think about really. It has caused a lifelong rebellion for me that, despite the demands to have a career of value, I remained stagnate. Technically, I have had many different jobs over the years, many of which would fall under the guidelines of acceptability that I received, but were still never good enough. In fact, never will the enmeshed ever be good enough. The only possible way would be to reflect the parental self completely and that would be dependent upon that parent’s perception of self. To further complicate this is if the enmeshment goes beyond the parental unit into the other branches of the extended family. You more than likely take this even further to become enmeshed in other relationships. You essentially have been forced into disowning your own self. There is no I… at least not your I.
To be honest, I have no answers yet on this. In the last year, I deliberately chose to take the last year off (prior to whole year’s hoopla) for a spiritual journey of self-discovery. Much of what I have been confronting is this enmeshment trauma, mainly due to the fact that it became blatantly obvious. Whereas I had no fear this year, those that were my enmeshment manipulators demanded I fear like them, believe the ridiculous contrariness like them, and proceeded to go after me with very personal attacks to diminish me when I stuck to my truth. It’s why much of what I write about seems to have a theme – that of self-discovery and self-sovereignty. My main enmeshment trauma comes from my mother but extends to many other family members. It appears to be one of my family’s main generational trauma’s that many of us have been experiencing in the mental and emotional purging of this past year.
I just had a thought about being an Empath, as I identify myself. It may have been Teal Swan again that said Empaths become empathic because of childhood trauma and the survival need to know every aspect of the emotional nature of their tormentors. As an Empath, or survivor of childhood trauma, I can walk into a room without paying any conscious attention to anyone yet automatically read the mood of everyone in there. Survival. Fascinating to think of it that way really. The emphasis on empaths learning how to differentiate themselves from others instead of taking on others emotions cannot be expressed enough. It’s how some of end up in relationships with people we never would willingly choose in a million years – we feel their interest and cannot differentiate from the self’s interests.
When you can destroy the illusion of who you are to others and be yourself, you will have restored your innocence. Mirroring is based on which face would bring us approval. Memory approval entangles ourselves with the fear of being different. Disentangling truths allows for entering the heart space. Our beautiful uniqueness begins co-creation, where life begins. Fears can destroy the light within. And, fears have no place alongside love, light, or joy.
If you have had a similar experience, I really stress looking within and doing everything you can to learn how to find your value. The world needs you. Feel free to explore my blog, as mentioned before, the bulk of my writing is about self-exploration and declaration of the I AM. Understand too, the more you exert your I AM, the more you will be attacked. Hold firm. It just means you are on the right path. The more personal attacks I receive, I know without any doubt that my world is breaking free in so many ways. About two weeks ago, I had, as far as I am concerned, my final confrontation with my mother. I have never in my life felt so free. A week later, I received personal attacks on my character. If you need support, send an email to me and let me know how you wish to be contacted (email/phone/video chat). I’ll be more than happy to listen and help you through. Know that you aren’t alone.
In the meantime, I will continue to write more about this journey of mine, so feel free to follow along. Ask questions if you need to. Leave comments of your own journey if you wish to share.
Remember always, you are awesome and loved!