I often listen as my client’s describe chaotic childhoods. Inevitably, we come to a point in the conversation where they ask me, “Why didn’t anyone do anything about it?” Didn’t anyone see what was going on? Why didn’t they get in the way? Why didn’t they stop it? These are questions I’ve asked myself in terms of my own childhood.

And the truth is: enmeshment.

It’s the tool that toxic, abusive, manipulative, and (especially) narcissistic families use to keep control and hide the secrets of the pain and chaos working beneath the surface. It’s why you couldn’t understand what was happening as a child. And it’s the reason why so many people mistook your abusive family for a close and caring unit.

The enmeshed family projects an image of perfect closeness, but behind closed doors there’s a distinct lack of boundaries and personal autonomy.

Children aren’t respected. They aren’t allowed to set boundaries. There’s no such thing as having a personal identity in these families. You go the way of the power structure, or you get punished and rejected.

This week, on the Practical Growth Podcast, I’m breaking down family enmeshment. Taking a good hard look at the signs, effects, and recovery process — I share my own stories and illuminate ways in which you can improve your life and the way you see yourself.

Because that’s the truth of it. The biggest consequence of being raised beneath the ties of an enmeshed family is that you never learn how to really see and celebrate yourself. Ready to start?

Listen to the latest episode now on your Apple, Spotify, or Google. If you’re really serious about taking your personal growth journey to the next level, then check out one of the other great episodes.

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