Intrusive parents are constantly in our faces. They give advice for every choice we make. They have something to say about everything. They have an opinion on everyone who’s involved in our lives. They believe they’re acting as wise guides, giving us the benefit of their years of experience. What they fail to realize is that the role of guide changes as we get older. The strong guiding parent when we were 3 becomes an aggressively intrusive parent when we’re 23 and 33 and 53.
Enmeshment and intrusiveness are a little different, although they play off of each other. In enmeshment, we’re seen as an extension of the abuser, so there’s a sense that we’re the same as our abusers. We feel the same, think the same, believe the same, and want and need the same things. Intrusiveness is more about control. Abusers direct our lives, making us feel like they know best. They keep us children forever, which boosts their self-esteem but makes it difficult for us to live an adult life.