Checklist of Enmeshment

  1. I felt closer to one parent than the other.
  2. I was a source of emotional support for one parent.
  3. I was “best friends” with a parent.
  4. A parent shared confidences with me.
  5. A parent was deeply involved in my activities or in developing my talents
  6. a parent took a lot of pride in my abilities or achievements.
  7. I was given special privileges or gifts by one of my parents.
  8. One of my parents told me in confidence that I was the favorite, most talented, ormost lovable child.
  9. A parent thought I was better company than his/her spouse.
  10. I sometimes felt guilty when I spent time away form one of my parents.
  11. I got the impression a parent did not want me to marry or move far away form home.
  12. When I was young I idolized one of my parents.
  13. Any potential boyfriend/girlfriend of mind was never good enough for one of myparents.

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  1. A parent seemed overly aware of my sexuality.
  2. A parent made inappropriate sexual remarks or violated my privacy.

 Part B. Indication of Unmet Adult Needs

  1. My parents were separated, divorced, widowed, or didn’t get along very well.
  2. One of my parents was often lonely, angry or depressed.
  3. One of my parents did not have a lot of friends.
  4. One or both parent had a drinking or drug problem.
  5. One of my parents thought the other parent was too indulgent or permissive.
  6. I felt I had to hold back my own needs to protect a parent.
  7. A parent turned to me for comfort or advice.
  8. A parent seemed to rely on me more than on my siblings.
  9. I felt responsible for a parent’s happiness.
  10. My parents disagreed about parenting issues.

 Part C. Indication of Parental Neglect of Abuse

  1. My needs were often ignored or neglected.
  2. There was a great deal of conflict between me a parent.
  3. I was called hurtful names by a parent.
  4. One of my parents had unrealistic expectations of me.
  5. One of my parents was very critical of me.
  6. I sometimes wanted to hide from a parent or had fantasies of running away.
  7. When I was a child, other families seemed less emotionally intense than mine.
  8. It was often a relief to get away from home.
  9. I sometimes felt invaded by a parent.
  10. 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

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