Untangling Enmeshment

“I see the light in my own darkness. I face my ego beliefs to be set free.”
I cut those cords for a reason, 
I thought to rid myself the weight of cargo
Sinking ships in far away seas
I hope to fill your mind with imagery
Imagine me, long fringed bangs
And black lined, hungry eyes
No awareness of power buried inside
Beneath the rubble of a family’s sooted dreams
Of futures past long before me
Deaths of loved ones I would never meet,
Tarnishing the hearts of my creators.

Enter, unexpected green-eyed angel,
Bandage of Hope, new soul to gaze upon like a temple where salvation is perhaps promised, 
given I grow to fulfill the parents needs.
Tall order for small child,
Impossible task for teen,
Trudging through oceans of emotions
Never allowed to explore the depths,
Having only a candle to hold
To keep a light glowing in the dark for weary mother, conflicted father.

I learned to be what made love smile on me.
Comforting, jovial, quelling my heart’s cry to satiate an adults needs.
Only age three.
Enmeshed neck deep,
I exist because you allow it.
I exist because you need me.
I exist to please you.
In ten years I’d be brimming with rage and angst, fueled by father’s shame.
He called me belligerent, belittling me,
Not seeing that my bones were breaking beneath his emotional load I had carried far too long.
Weary, conflicted daughter with stifling clairsentience companioning stark confusion.
No personal power to be called upon in my defense and loneliness
I know something is off with this dynamic
and all I can do is push back and fight you
Until I can grasp it
Until another soul comes along to play in this space with me
Reenact these dynamics

Enter, unassuming, timid boy with eyes only for me. For me?
To me, you’ll devote your life to pleasing?
Out of love? Burning desire?
You feel so strongly that I feel it too.
Clairsentient, remember? 
You need me so I must need you. 
Let’s play the games my parents played and I’ll make you responsible for my tumultuous, ill defined emotion monsters.
You’ve just as little power as my upbringing left me. 
Who can harness more, as hormones wreck our minds 
and we try hard to be in love like in the movies?
You drain me and I’ll drain you
And we’ll leak our power all over school
Until we’re bled dry from emotional highs,
And I move on to find another power source to replay the same twisted cycle
Until it runs its course and off I go, again,
To the next devoted romantic type.
All along the way just trying to merge on my long journey to individuate.

It has been revealing and healing for me to examine family dynamics and reflect on how those relationships shaped my early romantic relationships, which, like most, were dramatically disastrous. The repeating cycle I speak of is one in which I have, and still have to work to break free of. Enmeshment and codependency are draining of one’s personal power. When you make another responsible for the way you feel, think, or behave, you are giving away your power, and that is an injustice to your very being.

Notice when you think, or speak: “You make me feel ____.” A person’s actions may be hurtful, but only you get to dictate the way you feel. And when you give yourself that control and responsibility, your personal power is restored. A sense of power allows you to make positive change in your life and relationships.

Examine your patterns, stand in your Power, and Transform.

Sat nam,


  1. Maddie! Girl, you are so talented and wise and insightful. Compared to you, I was dumb as a freaking rock when I was your age. Your website is gorgeous. There is some pretty magnificent blood in your family to have produced both you and Rosco!!

    So good to see you last night. You really rock that short hair. Hope you are having a good week.




    1. Thank you so much! You’re so sweet and an absolute well of wisdom now 💜 and I think I can speak for myself and Rosco when I say that we wouldn’t be nearly as awesome without the wonderful yoga community giving us words to describe our experiences and practices to heal ourselves 🙏🏼🌈🥰


    1. Wow, thank you so much! I very much enjoyed reading the article as well. It’s laid out very directly and thoroughly. I didn’t know about the connection between enmeshed families and daughters developing anorexia. I struggled with ED for a decade and I feel like I just found another piece of the puzzle. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading more from you site!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, thank you! I’m sorry to hear that you had an eating disorder. I’ve heard those can be incredibly difficult to deal with and overcome. I’m glad I could offer insights that help you, and I hope you’re able to thrive now.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey there! So sorry for the inconvenience, but I renamed my sight so you will need to edit the link to this post. I didn’t realize it would pose an issue, but I hope it is easy to fix!


  2. Oh, and the link was an easy fix!

    There are WordPress plugins that handle redirects. You may be able to use that to get links to your old site’s name to redirect to your new name. I’ve used plugins on Cheryl’s blog (the blog I featured your piece in) to handle redirects successfully before.


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