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Enmeshed Families

Mar 25 | By Sarahfin | Views: 981 | Comments: 39



First of, I want to acknowledge that this article is not my work. It was forwarded to me by a former member from the old PFB. I kept it since it is such a good article. I am resubmitting it for the benefits of those who are still new to Filipino culture and might be struggling to understand what makes them tick. Well from my point of view, money is what makes them tick. Others might have a different opinion. Feel free to disagree.


I picked the accompanying photo because that is the reality in most of the Filipino households, the oldest child, usually the daughter bears the burden of supporting the family....by whatever means. She can not refuse because well, she is enmeshed with them. They abuse her and use her till she can give no more, she loves them today, she hates them tomorrow and she loves them next day.


_________________________



Enmeshed Sociopathic Family Systems- Be Aware of their Toxicity

Enmeshed Families



Enmeshment
– This means family members become too closely bonded with each other. Under the control of a parent, cohesiveness is often forced on the members. In an effort to overcome family shame, efforts are made to keep the family together. Members are expected to be loyal – being together is not necessarily desired; it is required. Enmeshment is often referred to as co-dependence, and it manifests itself in number of harmful ways. Family members sometimes feel too much, depend too much on, or do too much for each other. While some sacrifice is o.k., sacrifice can be harmful, not just to the one who is sacrificing but also to the one for whom the sacrifice is made.

This family system is like a bowl of noodles, it is totally enmeshed. Another name for this would be dysfunctional family system. In this family, there are no boundaries. Each walks into the other’s space and is not even apologetic about it. Boundaries are not respected and this behavior is not considered wrong.



Toxic People

Toxic people don’t like the scrutiny of looking at themselves and their behavior toward others. Toxic people tend to:

    Use others for their own needs and benefits, regardless of the impact on the other person

    Lie easily and frequently to shape reality to serve their own wants and interests

    Pit one person against another in a “divide and conquer” manner to keep control of others

    Create chaos and conflict during which invariably others are to blame and they are the faultless victims

    Completely lack empathy for others, even, and especially, when the toxic individual themselves have caused the harm

    Frequently find fault with people who threaten them or disagree with them, in order to discredit the other person.


The Disordered Family


“Don’t trust; don’t feel, and don’t talk.” A functional family has no such rules. Fear and shame keep family members from discussing it. Initially their feelings may be so overwhelming that they deal with them by trying not to feel. Ignoring the most important family matter causes them to ignore other feelings and thoughts as well. Communication is superficial because of the threat of talking about their shame, fear, and depression.


*Denial and Reality Shifting – People in dysfunctional families usually have a distorted view of reality. They see the terrible things happening in their homes, yet they don’t recognize them for what they are. They may minimize the problem. They may consider themselves normal. Forcing children to disregard what they experience distorts their sense of what is true and normal, causing them to live in doubt and confusion.


*They have a sober personality and an addicted one – and their families do too. What is so amazing about these cycles is that the family members tend to behave like the addict.


*Role Reversals — when one family member becomes increasingly disabled, other family members will begin to carry an extra load to keep the family going. Unlike the teamwork that exists in a healthy family, these responsibilities are unfairly distributed.


*Isolation – They are cut off from the many benefits people receive by being linked to the wider community and their contact with growth-producing relationships is limited. Because the family members are so enmeshed with one another, outsiders threaten the precarious “balance” of co-dependency. Also, because of their rigidity, they reject others whose ideas and practices may challenge theirs.


The Effects on the Children


Unhealthy boundaries are generally as a result of being raised in dysfunctional families where maturation and the individuation process was not properly understood nor the child respected as an individual. In these types of families the unmet needs of parents or other adults are sometimes so overwhelming that the task of raising children is demoted to a secondary role, and dysfunction is the likely result.



As children we want to please our disordered parent and get along with a disordered sibling or relative; however, a personality disordered individual lacks appropriate personal boundaries of their own. This can result in inappropriate affectionate gestures and lack of personal privacy for the child.



We become frustrated and angry that our boundaries are violated yet we are unable to express what, exactly, our boundaries are. Constant yielding to a parent, sibling or relative becomes second nature. We lose our own sense of self and often find ourselves in unhappy relationships, jobs and life situations.



The parent who becomes enmeshed with her child seeks to control everything the child does. Her justification for this control can be boiled down to “It’s my child. I can do what I please with him.”



When a narcissist and their child become enmeshed, the roles of parent and child become reversed. A narcissist with an enmeshed child—or children—expects her child to continually anticipate and meet her needs. In this role reversal the child finds himself catering to his parent’s physical and emotional needs. Meanwhile his needs go unmet.



Enmeshment is very difficult to see when one is in it. Members share in the dysfunction to cope with the fragility of their family. These families attempt to find strength in numbers and cope by fusing members together. Sadly, this often results in shame, blame, and criticism. Justification and rationalization and an individual's lost sense of self.



Children, being dependent, become victims of their parents’ problems and inadequacies. Most of the parents I am describing can be characterized as narcissistic, putting their needs ahead of those of their children.



Narcissistic Parents


We all recognize that parents’ true mission is to take care of their children. In the case of narcissistic parents, however, the reverse is often true, and these children learn to feel guilty unless they are attuned to meeting the needs of their parents. You learn your self-worth throughout childhood in the way you are treated by your parents and siblings.


In such enmeshed or dysfunctional families, the children are not taught any responsibility and since there are no boundaries, they will not learn to respect other’s boundaries. They will exhibit this behavior with others and this may not go down well with others.


Dysfunctional family members will grow up to be dysfunctional and have relationship problems. When they recognize the family system of their childhood, they can set it right and make sure their family will be more connected. It is good to learn lessons from our childhood and not repeat the mistakes. This does not mean our parents were bad, they just did not know any better.


The Sociopathic Family


If you are the child of a Narcissist and/or grew up in a dysfunctional family, you have been raised to have no boundaries. Nothing you own is yours, not even your body.  You are not an individual, separate person to your N Parent, you are an extension of him, her, or them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change when you grow up.



Enmeshed Family Systems: In enmeshed family systems, conformity is essential for the fusion to solidify. Autonomy is not tolerated. The parents sacrifice their children’s budding independence on the altar of family unity. The children are discouraged to think for themselves if contrary to parental ideals. These children grow up without a solid sense of identity apart from who their parents want them or need them to be.



Sociopathic parents lack a moral compass: They have a marked disregard for the rights and feelings of others. They are generally insensitive, manipulative, sneaky, dishonest, cold, and very much "out for themselves". They have been described as "lacking the full range of human emotions" or having nothing other than self-interest and anger. Families of antisocial parents are often among the most highly dysfunctional and abusive.

Parasitic lifestyle: an intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.



Learn Respect Yourself and the Life of Others


It is important for us to close the door on people violating our boundaries and to learn to set and enforce boundaries in our own lives. It is the only way we can ever gain respect and maintain respect from those around us and teach it to our children.



Understand the reasons behind sociopathic behavior.


The cause of this disorder is unknown, but biological or genetic factors may play a role. Remember that although it may not be a person's fault that he or she is a sociopath, this individual is still responsible for his or her actions, and you do not need to fix those issues or damage your own life by staying around.


You can start the healing process right this second by telling yourself—and believing—that “I have the right to my own thoughts, feelings, and life.”



Share:
Mike
Apr 2
@CDO, why rabbits? Well after the popes last visit he was on the plane flying out when he said filipinos breed lie rabbits. Fucked up huh? I mean here's the same guy/church telling them not to breed like rabbits then telling them they go to hell f they use a rubber,.@CDO, why rabbits? Well after the popes last visit he was on the plane flying out when he said filipinos breed lie rabbits. Fucked up huh? I mean here's the same guy/church telling them not to breed l...See more
Sarahfin
Apr 2
Tuco, I can understand your wife's concerns about leaving her daughter in PI. Not only there is the risks of the girl being molested, there is also the likelihood that she would become "hostage" for money. When I say hostage, I mean that she would be used to extract money from your wife, with all sorts of excuses. I have seen situations where Pinay mum sends money to the Philippines to pay for the child's needs, like school fees, books, clothing etc. only for the child's guardians to ask for more, because the child's money was used for something else. What can the mother do but find more money to send over there? If she does not send more money, the child is deprived. See what I mean about the child being used as "hostage" for money?

Regarding incests....one asswipe uncle's duties as senior PNP is to compile crime stats for Cebu province. For a country who prided themselves as highly religious, incest crimes are surprisingly high in the provincial areas. Of course, those are just the reported ones. What about the ones that don't get reported?


Once I asked uncle why so many incests cases in the provinces. He theorized communal living, often the child was left with another (lazy) adult back home. Uncle, Kuya, cousin, father and even grandfather. Like you mentioned Tuco, a bit of red horse, a bit of coconut wine and they lose their minds.
Tuco, I can understand your wife's concerns about leaving her daughter in PI. Not only there is the risks of the girl being molested, there is also the likelihood that she would become "hostage&q...See more
Sarahfin
Apr 2
Tuco, glad you and your wife are slowly getting along. But have you given it a thought what if she eventually gets citizenship and learns the ways and means here? Be careful, don't give her ammunition to charge you with domestic violence. Even a bakla here who entered a fraudulent marriage with a Pinay, then divorced her three months after the marriage got away with it because he claimed domestic violence. He should have been deported but he was not because he used domestic violence as defense/Tuco, glad you and your wife are slowly getting along. But have you given it a thought what if she eventually gets citizenship and learns the ways and means here? Be careful, don't give her ammunition...See more
redrose28
Apr 6
That is typical in Angeles City..and some part of manila..
Sarahfin
Apr 7
"I get tired of hearing about how westerners treat their parents when they get old. Most of our carehomes treat the aged very well. But here,,, when grandma dies, thenfight is on overmthe estate." (Jackson).

I'm with you Al Jackson. I get really pissed off when Flips mouth off about close family ties! Just look at how they exploit each other from cradle to grave, the daughters especially. I still remember the mother of that murdered Ladyboy Jennifer Laude, wailing after his death "you have so many dreams for us, now none of them will come true". WTF?? I was yelling at the TV "so it's alright for you to see your son prostitute himself for you??". Such lazy lowlifes!

On another note....my Flip Great Grandma raised 6 step children. She was still alive when the step children started fleecing the house. They would come to visit, but each time would fill their bags with household items. Even the sewing machine was stripped of parts, that by the time her rightful heirs, the children from the first marriage realized what was happening, too late to retrieve anything. They could not take anything back since the thieving step children became indignant when asked as to the whereabouts of said items. Have you ever seen a guilty Filipino look at you in the eye and say "you accusing me of thief?". I have.... And you know, they could not even win a rotten tomatoes award for terrible acting!
"I get tired of hearing about how westerners treat their parents when they get old. Most of our carehomes treat the aged very well. But here,,, when grandma dies, thenfight is on overmthe estate....See more
Jackson
Apr 7
My neighbor had a grandson who stole money out of locked cabinet. Of course he was seen with some high priced stuff, so it was not hard to figure that one out, he is a high school student. Grandma felt sorry for the grand kids becos the mother cant keep her closed and living with some loser.My neighbor had a grandson who stole money out of locked cabinet. Of course he was seen with some high priced stuff, so it was not hard to figure that one out, he is a high school student. Grandma fel...See more
Jackson
Apr 7
The same daughter came over on New Years day to ^^^^BARROW^^^ 50k pesos so the low life could work in New Zealand, . Needless to say we did not have any money. Then the daughter wanted money for taing care of grandma, when grandma was sick.!!! Family ties, my ass, only if they can weasel something out of you!!!,The same daughter came over on New Years day to ^^^^BARROW^^^ 50k pesos so the low life could work in New Zealand, . Needless to say we did not have any money. Then the daughter wanted money for taing...See more
Jackson
Apr 7
To Tuco.
Jackson
Apr 7
Do a forrest gump!!! Maybe she is not the sharpest knife in the drawer but she will lots of advice from her friends. Take care.
georgie
Apr 24
good article... glad to see some understand the dynamics in some of these families, prevalant in s/e asia
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