Checklist of Enmeshment
- I felt closer to one parent than the other.
- I was a source of emotional support for one parent.
- I was “best friends” with a parent.
- A parent shared confidences with me.
- A parent was deeply involved in my activities or in developing my talents
- a parent took a lot of pride in my abilities or achievements.
- I was given special privileges or gifts by one of my parents.
- One of my parents told me in confidence that I was the favorite, most talented, ormost lovable child.
- A parent thought I was better company than his/her spouse.
- I sometimes felt guilty when I spent time away form one of my parents.
- I got the impression a parent did not want me to marry or move far away form home.
- When I was young I idolized one of my parents.
- Any potential boyfriend/girlfriend of mind was never good enough for one of myparents.
- A parent seemed overly aware of my sexuality.
- A parent made inappropriate sexual remarks or violated my privacy.
Part B. Indication of Unmet Adult Needs
- My parents were separated, divorced, widowed, or didn’t get along very well.
- One of my parents was often lonely, angry or depressed.
- One of my parents did not have a lot of friends.
- One or both parent had a drinking or drug problem.
- One of my parents thought the other parent was too indulgent or permissive.
- I felt I had to hold back my own needs to protect a parent.
- A parent turned to me for comfort or advice.
- A parent seemed to rely on me more than on my siblings.
- I felt responsible for a parent’s happiness.
- My parents disagreed about parenting issues.
Part C. Indication of Parental Neglect of Abuse
- My needs were often ignored or neglected.
- There was a great deal of conflict between me a parent.
- I was called hurtful names by a parent.
- One of my parents had unrealistic expectations of me.
- One of my parents was very critical of me.
- I sometimes wanted to hide from a parent or had fantasies of running away.
- When I was a child, other families seemed less emotionally intense than mine.
- It was often a relief to get away from home.
- I sometimes felt invaded by a parent.
- I sometimes felt I added to a parent’s unhappiness.
- 10 or more endorsements – possibly emotional incest. Look at how the checked itemscluster.
- The Adult Cost of Being a Chosen Child
- They feel polar opposites: Privileged and victimized, talented and worthless, blessedand cursed.
- Sometimes these opposites are felt every day and sometimes years apart.
- For every privilege from a parent, there is a jealous reaction from someone else.
The Emotional Incest Syndrome
What To Do When a Parent’s Love Rules Your Life By Dr. Patricia Love