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Here are a few traits to describe what emotional enmeshment can look like:

  • Usually I don't know what I feel. I don't know how a feeling of joy or sorrow feels in the body. 

  • If I get insecure or afraid, I get angry because that was the way I took care of myself as a child. 

  • Sometimes when I cry I am exploding with anger inside. 

  • It's essential for me that other people like me, if I think they don't I feel overwhelmed with shame. 

  • If I do something wrong I am very hard on myself, I don't deserve to be loved or even exist. 

  • If someone gets angry at me it means I am bad in some way, I feel anxious, stressed and unlovable. 

  • I don't like to tell others what I need, I don't want to be a burden.

  • I don't know what I need. 

  • It's hard for me to take action on what I need. I don't know where to begin. 

  • There are more important things then to practice self love.  

  • I want others to know what I feel and need without having to ask or tell them. If they could just "read my mind". 

  • When people don't do what I want them to do I get bitter and feel resentful. 

  • I control and manipulate others with my feelings. 

  • I let others treat me bad as long as they don't leave me. 

  • I trade sex for love.

  • I let others abuse me as long as I have economic safety. 

  • I think I need to do things that others say I need to do before I ask myself "do I want to do this?" 

  • I feel so different from others.

These are suggestions of what emotional enmeshment can look like. No one of us has had exactly the same experiences growing up. 

You can

learn to live with your unique emotional imprint,

 emotionally sober

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