enmeshes

4 Types of Unhealthy Mother-Daughter Relationships

1. Bosom Buddies: This is where the mother wants to be her daughter’s best friend. The relationship is usually warm and close, and the mother prides herself on always being there to emotionally support and advise her daughter. Communication is open, honest and real – which can start to feel threatening as the daughter gets older and wants to erect appropriate boundaries. In this type of mother-daughter bond, the mothers lives vicariously through her daughter and find it hard to discipline appropriately (as she’s too enmeshed with her daughter’s life).

2. Boss and Subordinate: This is where the mother wants to dominate and control every aspect of her daughter’s life. She’s always giving her opinion, making demands, and requiring her daughter to follow her rules, or live up to the expectations she has set. She’s also rigid, harsh and may lack empathy. Although the daughter may comply in her younger years, she is quietly resentful and will likely rebel – either strongly and loudly, or in a more passive way. She may feel she must be “perfect”, have low self-esteem and fear rejection and judgement by others.

3. Rivals: This is where the mother sees her daughter as a rival or threat so she’s always in competition with her. Thus, instead of seeing each other as completely separate people, and allowing each other to simply be themselves, the mother and daughter are constantly comparing themselves to see which one is thinner, smarter, prettier or more successful in life. This is usually done in a fun-loving way, and the bond they share is understanding and strong. However, it can lead to a feeling of not being seen, valued and accepted as they are – and unconditionally.

4. The Role-Reversal Relationship: This is where the mother expects her daughter to be there to support and bolster her. She has no concern for her daughter’s needs as her focus is ensuring her daughter nurtures her. This is clearly unhealthy as the daughter feels abandoned, and grows up feeling neglected and used. As a child, the daughter’s learned she must sacrifice herself and only think others, and their needs and preferences. This can lead to being a doormat, and to low self-esteem.

7

Finding a Cohesiveness in Dissimilarity with @zawhatthe

For more of Jonathan’s artistic explorations, follow @zawhatthe on Instagram.

Much of artist Jonathan Zawada’s (@zawhatthe) work is digital, much of it isn’t, and it’s often hard to discern between the two. “I’m really interested in the differences, similarities and crossovers between digital and real world experiences in our lives and how they become the stuff of an authentic experience of life itself,” he explains.

Jonathan, who was born in Australia, lives in Los Angeles and exhibits his work internationally, left a 10-year career in graphic design to pursue art full time three years ago. “I realized there were a lot of more complicated and subtle things I wanted to say that the rather simple framework of design wasn’t really right for,” he says.

It’s a deliberate dissimilarity that gives Jonathan’s art cohesiveness. Of his distinct but interconnected works, he says: “This simultaneous complete freedom but complete enmeshing within a bigger structure is, I think, the stuff of contemporary life.”

Types of boundaries

There are several areas where boundaries apply:

Material boundaries determine whether you give or lend things, such as your money, car, clothes, books, food, or toothbrush.

Physical boundaries pertain to your personal space, privacy, and body. Do you give a handshake or a hug – to whom and when? How do you feel about loud music, nudity, and locked doors?

Mental boundaries apply to your thoughts, values, and opinions. Are you easily suggestible? Do you know what you believe, and can you hold onto your opinions? Can you listen with an open mind to someone else’s opinion without becoming rigid?

If you become highly emotional, argumentative, or defensive, you may have weak emotional boundaries.
Emotional boundaries distinguish separating your emotions and responsibility for them from someone else’s. It’s like an imaginary line or force field that separates you and others. Healthy boundaries prevent you from giving advice, blaming or accepting blame. They protect you from feeling guilty for someone else’s negative feelings or problems and taking others’ comments personally. High reactivity suggests weak emotional boundaries. Healthy emotional boundaries require clear internal boundaries – knowing your feelings and your responsibilities to yourself and others.

Sexual boundaries protect your comfort level with sexual touch and activity – what, where, when, and with whom.

Spiritual boundaries relate to your beliefs and experiences in connection with God or a higher power.

Source: What Are Personal Boundaries? How Do I Get Some? by Darlene Lancer

4 Types of Unhealthy Mother-Daughter Relationships

1. Bosom Buddies: This is where the mother wants to be her daughter’s best friend. The relationship is usually warm and close, and the mother prides herself on always being there to emotionally support and advise her daughter. Communication is open, honest and real – which can start to feel threatening as the daughter gets older and wants to erect appropriate boundaries. In this type of mother-daughter bond, the mothers lives vicariously through her daughter and find it hard to discipline appropriately (as she’s too enmeshed with her daughter’s life).

2. Boss and Subordinate: This is where the mother wants to dominate and control every aspect of her daughter’s life. She’s always giving her opinion, making demands, and requiring her daughter to follow her rules, or live up to the expectations she has set. She’s also rigid, harsh and may lack empathy. Although the daughter may comply in her younger years, she is quietly resentful and will likely rebel – either strongly and loudly, or in a more passive way. She may feel she must be “perfect”, have low self-esteem and fear rejection and judgement by others.

3. Rivals: This is where the mother sees her daughter as a rival or threat so she’s always in competition with her. Thus, instead of seeing each other as completely separate people, and allowing each other to simply be themselves, the mother and daughter are constantly comparing themselves to see which one is thinner, smarter, prettier or more successful in life. This is usually done in a fun-loving way, and the bond they share is understanding and strong. However, it can lead to a feeling of not being seen, valued and accepted as they are – and unconditionally.

4. The Role-Reversal Relationship: This is where the mother expects her daughter to be there to support and bolster her. She has no concern for her daughter’s needs as her focus is ensuring her daughter nurtures her. This is clearly unhealthy as the daughter feels abandoned, and grows up feeling neglected and used. As a child, the daughter’s learned she must sacrifice herself and only think others, and their needs and preferences. This can lead to being a doormat, and to low self-esteem.

Organize or Die by Jean Allen & Frank Castro

Never in the History of the World has an Election Destroyed a System of Oppression

Vote or Die. That’s the dichotomy rap mogul P. Diddy popularized back in 2006 in an effort to marshal the nation’s youth to the ballot box on election day. Fast forward two presidential elections later, as the American political machine gears up once again, how does Diddy feel now? In a recent interview at Revolt’s music conference the former star spoke plainly about his previous efforts and, in particular, on the issue of voting, saying: “We started Vote or Die, and the whole process was all full of shit. The whole shit is a scam.” He went on to add, “At the end of the day, I’m not telling you not to vote… I’m saying be a realist and know that they’re motherfucking kicking some bullshit up there.”

Whether or not he meant to, enmeshed within his response Diddy got to the central question many people have been asking themselves since this election cycle kicked off: If voting is a scam, should we participate in it? Before we tackle that question, we first have to backtrack a little. Because a typical American is not taught that voting is a scam, on the contrary — we are taught about voting in almost religious terms. We are taught that unlike the downtrodden peoples of authoritarian states we have this latent power, a voice or say in the workings of government. That we can control it, and our own fates, by use of the vote. And even if to some extent voting is imperfect, even if it is in fact a two-bit hustle necessitating a choice of “lesser evils,” what Malcolm X once called a game of political football, it is still the best possible means of influencing policy and creating change as opposed to any other alternative. This is why it is so crucial, we are told.

Any deeper analysis of the vote beyond the sort of “all or nothing” understanding peddled to us reveals it is a laughably limited means of generating change. One day a year (maybe two!) you get to (maybe!) cast a vote for a person who makes policy in your stead. Afterwards, politicians engineered into office theoretically heed the will of voters, but that never happens. In reality, as a mechanism of political engagement, the vote is one of the most powerful methods to discipline citizens along a patriarchal, heteronormative, and capitalist status quo. It encourages people to give themselves over to a corrupt social order in return for promises of reform which the state and its power elite have no obligation to fulfill. Put simply, rather than a mechanism for positive change, the vote is often a powerful means of managing — and obstructing — progress.

What is Voting and What Does It Do?

Voting is a limited expression of popular will, choosing which parties or candidates come into political office. In strict terms, it is nothing more or less than the choice of which politician you want to delegate your power to at a specific point in time.

How is the Vote Limited?

Frequency of Voting. Because voting is limited to a specific point in time, politicians are only truly accountable to the general public in the months leading up to an election. This means that for the rest of their term politicians are primarily concerned with the needs of special interests groups, lobbyists, and their funders rather than working class people. Effectively, they can ignore the needs and popular will of the electorate until it is politically expedient.

Time and Location. Votes are only counted at specific places, which has led to voter manipulation and suppression as long as the institution has existed: for instance the recent Turkish elections, where the AKP moved voting stations in Kurdish areas during election times. But even in the United States, bastion of liberal democracy it is, elections are held on workdays and often in difficult to reach places. Subsequently, low participation and lopsided representation become unavoidable. The most privileged can vote most easily while the least privileged are least able.

Choosing Candidates. While voters have a choice between candidates, they have little to no influence over the organizational forces which bring these politicians to the point of candidacy. Yes, we can vote in primaries, but we have no say in the machinations of party machines (think super-delegates), little to no control over the funding of candidates, etc. This is all the more evident in local elections. These contests which are supposedly the moments when we as voters have the most influence are also the place where it is most common to see uncontested elections, with a candidate running on every party line.

How is the Effect of Voting Limited?

Oligarchy and Plutocracy. Voting is not only limited as an act, it is limited in its influence and powers. Though there have been major and recent concerns about the capture of the state by a small portion of the people, this is a feature, not a bug. The revelation in the Princeton Review article Economic Inequality and Political Representation, that economic and political elites are the only groups with a say in matters of policy, was just as true now as in the ‘60s when Robert Dahl wrote “Who Governs?”, a book on the corruption and unaccountability of the municipal government of New Haven, Connecticut. Such is the direct result of representative government, which isolates policymakers from the public 364 days out of the year while simultaneously creating an inequality of information which the wealthy position themselves to exploit.

Most policy-making is not done by elected officials. Since 2010, an increasing majority of actions by the government have been new regulations written by civil servants rather than new bills written by legislators. This means that the majority of new laws created by our government have little to no relation to the outcome of elections, and while this is connected to deadlock in Congress, this deadlock is going to continue for the foreseeable future. While this happens, the majority of policy will be made not by elected officials accountable to the people, but by clerks and bureaucrats accountable only to their bosses and to the lobbyists who participate in the rule-making process.

We do not directly make policy. All this is not coincidence. The very system of representative government is designed to limit popular engagement. This fear of truly popular government can be seen in the desperate fretting our esteemed Founding Fathers had as they designed the Constitution. The decision that we would do our policy-making through middlemen was a purposeful attempt to silence the masses from expressing and enforcing their political demands.

How is Voting Used as Obstruction?

Disenfranchisement. The vote is a right. And like all rights conferred by state power, they can be and often are taken away or restricted. Voting, therefore, is useful for generating change only insofar as the marginalized can consistently and reliably participate in it and depend on the state to carry out their electoral will. Rarely though, if ever, does the will of oppressed people and dominant political classes coalesce. Instead, they are almost always embroiled in conflict — the dominant class undercutting the needs of the oppressed, using the state as a primary mechanism to do so, in part, through disallowing or restricting voting rights (the Black Codes, Jim Crow, felon restrictions, etc).

Gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is another method deployed to restrict a community’s political will. As editorialist Joe Collins described it, gerrymandering is the act of “distorting the way votes are counted in order for a party to stay in office, or stay more in office” by “moving district lines, splitting up groups, and sending their votes elsewhere to be counted — or wasted.” Collins went on to elaborate, “Packing the majority-minority districts is like stuffing a few more clothes into a full laundry bag — you can put more stuff in there, but it still just counts as one bag. The more black votes that go into a majority-minority district, the fewer blacks there are to contend with in other [elections].”

The ramifications of gerrymandering are far-reaching in places like the Deep South where electoral politics have been divided along racial lines. Historical trends like white flight have created districts which mirror segregated communities, meaning fewer marginalized voices at every level of government to champion the programs needed to lift the impoverished. Here, like with disenfranchisement, the vote becomes a tool of institutional inequity when wielded by the dominant class.

Disempowerment and Apathy. Never have oppressed people made progress through the vote alone. Once again, history paints a different picture than popular myth. A picture where greater access to the vote has typically been a byproduct of powerful grassroots movements for greater social, political, and economic equity. Movements whose origins, though they have varied deeply, have always exercised a willingness to act outside the narrow confines of electoral politics. It is this willingness, and the actions that followed, not ballots, that have brought about change. These movements increasingly have been erased from history, sublimated under the genius of the legislators who did little but place a rubber stamp on actions made in the streets.

Learning to Act

How many times have Southern States voted to remove flags imbued with the heritage of slavery above their capitols? And if or when they did, the vote counted for many formerly Confederate States has been clear: The flag stayed, just as it did towering over South Carolina after the brutal murder of nine black people by a white supremacist shooter. And yet, in the wake of tragedy, one black woman fed up with inaction decided that a flag which constantly inspires hate needed to come down, immediately. Bree Newsome, an advocate and activist of the Black Lives Matter movement, scaled up the flagpole in front of the South Carolina capitol and removed the hate-filled banner. Just like that. Done. No pleading with legislators to do the right thing. No waiting for someone else to save the day either.

When asked by a reporter “Why not wait until lawmakers vote to take it down,” she replied:

“What is there to vote on? There’s doing the right thing, and there’s doing the wrong thing. It’s time for people to have the courage. Everybody who knows what the right thing is to do, we have to step up… We have to do the right thing, or else it won’t stop.”

What Newsome did, exercising her agency to create change outside a strictly state-sanctioned political process, is called direct action. Direct action occurs when a group, sometimes an individual, takes an action intended to “reveal an existing problem, highlight an alternative, or demonstrate a possible solution to a social issue.” This can include nonviolent and militant forms of resistance which target institutions, persons, or property deemed hostile to a community’s well-being. It can be any form of activity people decide upon and organize themselves which is based on their own collective strength and does not involve getting intermediaries to act for them.

Most of us, like Newsome, have power enough to make immediate change to our communities through direct action, because we have far more flexibility to create change than the state itself is capable of, or allows. This flexibility stems from the fact that direct action does not ask us to delegate our power, or to defer it to a set of unjust laws and corrupt institutions. Instead of getting someone else to act for us, we act for ourselves. And by acting for ourselves we are expressing the ability to govern ourselves, to take control of our own lives in the pursuit of liberation. In other words, we stop waiting for a better world to happen to us and begin doing the work of creating it, for it is through acting and learning to act, not voting, that we will open the path to a world free of oppression.

History is the greatest demonstration of direct action’s potential. It has been the essential element of organised protest by ordinary people. Remember, safety regulations did not drop from the heavens after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire; they were fought for by hundreds of thousands of women who struck before and afterwards. The Second New Deal did not burst like Athena from Roosevelt’s skull; it was crafted under pressure from ever increasing wildcat strikes. And neither did the Voting Rights Act nor the fall of Jim Crow leap from Johnson’s benevolent heart, decades of resistance necessitated it. We forget this because the ideology of the vote tells us that elected leaders are the true agents of history, that as normal people we can only hope to influence them. The truth is that the politician is merely the notary of history, that it is normal people, working together, who make change.

Though Newsome acted on her own she was not acting in isolation. Any successful action occurs with a scaffolding of organized people behind it. Consider that Newsome herself was saved from a three thousand dollar bond through immediate crowdfunding by her fellow organizers, a point which highlights how a spectrum of people with a diverse array of competencies can all participate in shaping their communities. It also highlights that organizing is not limited to a place and time, but is rather rooted in local people and local organizations aimed directly at the interests of local communities.

Whether you decide to vote or to not vote is up to you. But let this be a call to action, a call to organize, to resist, and to struggle for our communities’ collective needs with full awareness of elections’ inherent limitations. After all, if it were true that voting is the best possible vehicle to creating positive change in our society, we should give pause to how frightening it is that a ballot box alone is what separates the United States from the totalitarian regimes to which it is opposed.

Jean Allen is an activist based in New York and the writer of A Critical History of Management Thought. Frank Castro is an independent journalist in the Bay Area, radical educator, and author of the blog AmericaWakieWakie.

Signs of Enmeshed Relationships

Ross Rosenberg, a psychotherapist who specialises in relationships, says: “Typically people in enmeshed relationships have a hard time recognizing that they’re actually in an unhealthy relationship. Doing so means acknowledging their own emotional issues, which can trigger anxiety, shame and guilt”.

However, making this realization is liberating. It’s the first step in making positive changes and focusing your attention on building healthy relationships, including the one with yourself.

In his therapy work, Rosenberg does a “cost-benefit analysis” with clients. He helps them understand that they have much more to lose by staying in an enmeshed relationship as is than by making changes and finding healthy relationships.

Rosenberg shared these signs, which are indicative of enmeshed relationships.

• You neglect other relationships because of a preoccupation or compulsion to be in the relationship.

•Your happiness or contentment relies on your relationship.

• Your self-esteem is contingent upon this relationship.

• When there’s a conflict or disagreement in your relationship, you feel extreme anxiety or fear or a compulsion to fix the problem.

• When you’re not around this person or can’t talk to them, “a feeling of loneliness" pervades [your] psyche.

• Without that connection, the loneliness will increase to the point of creating irrational desires to reconnect.”

• There’s a “symbiotic emotional connection.” If they’re angry, anxious or depressed, you’re also angry, anxious or depressed. “You absorb those feelings and are drawn to remediate them.”

Hillary Clinton’s recent foreign policy speech was an attack on Donald Trump but was also a reminder that Clinton is a deeply flawed and worrisome candidate. Her record as Secretary of State was one of the worst in modern US history; her policies have enmeshed America in new Middle East wars, rising terrorism, and even a new Cold War with Russia. Of the three leading candidates, only Bernie Sanders has the sound judgment to avoid further war and to cooperate with the rest of the world.

Clinton is intoxicated with American power. She has favored one war of choice after the next: bombing Belgrade (1999); invading Iraq (2003); toppling Qaddafi (2011); funding Jihadists in Syria (2011 till now). The result has been one bloodbath after another, with open wounds until today fostering ISIS, terrorism, and mass refugee flows.


In her speech, Clinton engaged in her own Trump-like grandiose fear mongering: “[I]f America doesn’t lead, we leave a vacuum - and that will either cause chaos, or other countries will rush in to fill the void. Then they’ll be the ones making the decisions about your lives and jobs and safety - and trust me, the choices they make will not be to our benefit.”


This kind of arrogance - that America and America alone must run the world - has led straight to overstretch: perpetual wars that cannot be won, and unending and escalating confrontations with Russia, China, Iran and others that make the world more dangerous. It doesn’t seem to dawn on Clinton that in today’s world, we need cooperation, not endless bravado.

— 

Clinton’s Speech Shows that Only Sanders is Fit for the Presidency

I thought Clinton’s speech was good. It was a very well-delivered speech, and nailed Donald Trump (and to a lesser extent) the Republican party on all of his disgusting … well … everything.

But what this writer said is what I kept thinking while I listened to her. “Okay, so we can’t trust Donald Trump or the Republicans with the use of military force, but we are supposed to trust you?”

Months ago, I linked an article that observed that Hillary Clinton lacks political courage. She mistakes military strength for diplomatic strength, and she never saw an opportunity to drop bombs on people that she didn’t enthusiastically embrace. 

She’s a warmonger. She will embroil the United States in conflicts that we don’t even know exist right now, because she believes that leadership means killing people until they agree to follow you.

So her speech was good, as speeches go. She baited Trump into every single trap she could, and he sprung them all. Good for her. That needed to happen a year ago.

But the thing that is getting lost, the thing that the national political press is ignoring, is that she very clearly and unambiguously committed to embracing and expanding a neoconservative foreign policy that has embroiled our country in wars of choice for a generation.

net

Who ties us in knots?
wet ties,
that intertwine,
Entangle
our lives,
with heavy promises;
And when we are happy
we are all
but soaking,
clogged in the water,
too wet to rise;
And now
enmeshed
we struggle,
with the connectedness of others;
Our swarming bodies
caught,
in frenetic expectation
rubbing intolerably
close.

© SoulReserve 2016

How do you recognize if you have a codependent personality or a tendency in this direction and need help healing this?

If you are a caregiver, overly responsible, a dependent type person, do not like to be alone, are the rock your family leans upon, have made yourself indispensable to at least one other’s functioning, need to be needed, are a people pleaser, or attract needy, dependent people, then you are a great candidate for this condition.

A good rule of thumb to determine if your normal giving and interest in a loved one is dysfunctional and becomes codependent is answering “yes” to any of the following statements:

• I take care of you when you will not take care of yourself.

•I take care of you before I take care of myself.

• I foster dependency on me by doing what you need to be doing for yourself.

• I take care of your needs and do not take care of my needs.

• Giving and receiving are not balanced in my adult relationships with family members and friends.

Source: What Is Codependence and How Does It Affect My Life? by Suanne E. Harrill

For so long I loved him without knowing if he even likes me.
Every thought was somehow enmeshed to him, all I was - was all he did. Every move he made, made me think about all the times he moved like this before. I was able to tell how he felt just by seeing him walking a certain way, I was able to know every single word he would use to answer a certain question. But now I finally know that he loves me and everything is so different.
Official Xbox Magazine Dragon Age Inquisition Preview

[From the Bioware forum]

1. There will be 5 regions in Dragon Age: Inquisition: Fereldan, The Free Marches, Orlais, Nevarra and the Dales:

  • 2 of the areas you can expect to visit are; a war-torn region in Orlais and an elven burial ground, known as the Emerald Graves.
  • The Emerald Graves, according to executive producer Mark Darrah, is where the Dalish Elves planted one tree for every soldier killed in the Exalted Marches.
  • According to the magazine, while enemy levels don’t scale to your characters, you can affect environmental changes to drastically influence local settlements, establish trade routes, capture territory and disrupt the local ecosystem.
  • Wild flora and fauna, useful for crafting can be hunted to scarcity, allowing other species to proliferate.
  • Defeating intelligent enemies like bandits or dragons will have a significant effect on a given region.

2. Dragon Age Inquisition Companions:

  • There will be no DLC Companions: According to Creative Director Mike Laidlaw: “Because of how deeply enmeshed in the system companion characters are, we can’t just add them on the fly; part of them has to be shipped on the disc…which was led to criticism that we’re forcing people to pay for content they already own. It’s not the case, but we’ve decided this time to not go that route. There will be no DLC party members.”
  • Solas is an apostate and an expert on the Fade.
  • The Iron Bull is confirmed as a companion, who is described as “a one-eyed mercenary and outcast from the Qunari faith”
  • Sera is confirmed as a companion, and is described as “an elven archer. Little is known about them [referring to both Sera and the Iron Bull] at this point, particularly Sera, who turned up seemingly on accident during one of several combat demonstrations…”

3. The Dialogue Wheel:

  • “We have three wheels that we use in response to any given piece of dialogue” says Gaider. “One of those is what we call the ‘tone wheel’, which is mostly for role-playing choices. The other two are the 'choice wheel’- for taking an action or stating an opinion-and the 'reaction wheel,’ for emotional moments”

4. The Inquisitor:

  • There will be 4 voices for the Inquisitor 2 for each gender, for all races
  • To address why the same voices apply to all races, Mike Laidlaw made the following statement: “It’s a matter of file size…if we were to have eight voices, two for each race, we would be shipping on 14 discs or something. We figured that with four voices, that would give players enough options while staying within our size limitations”
  • Bioware is currently exploring options to differentiate the voices, like changing the pitch of the audio.
  • The Prologue Section (or the “Origin” section" will be the same for all players. The player’s appearance, class and dialogue responses during the prologue section will fill in the details, presumably of the Inquisitor’s background, and in particular inform how other characters respond to you throughout the story.
  • The Inquisitor is the sole survivor of a reality-shattering event which results in the Fade tearing opening throughout Thedas.
  • “Presumbly as a result [of the Fade tearing open throughout Thedas], you’re also endowed with a singular ability: you can close these rifts wherever they appear throughout the continent.”

5. Endings:

  • “Bioware is promising a staggering 40 possible endings for the game, dependent not only on choices made in character generation but by actions taken throughout the storyline. [Mark] Darrah stresses, however, that the endings will all be meaningfully different from one another. You won’t find 40 endings with only slight degrees of variation between them.”

6. Customization:

  • Armour weights are no longer class specific. Meaning a rogue can wear a mage’s robes, and a mage can wear a warrior’s armour. The magazine speculates the penalties will be similar to the  fatigue penalties used in DA: Origins

7. Other information:

  • There will be a jar of bees, which can be used as a combat item which according to Bioware: “You throw it, the jar breaks open, and little bees fly around stinging your opponents.”

Emerging artist Lauren Marx explores the intricate process of decay with her surreal and often grotesque drawings and paintings. Animals become enmeshed in each other’s flesh as tendons and sinew rip apart, exposing their innards. While the subject matter often triggers an initial reaction of repulsion, Marx’s ornate line work and graceful compositions are pleasing to the eye. Take a look at some of her latest work on Hi-Fructose

Reflections on relationship recovery

Enmeshment begins with childhood fears of rejection or abandonment.

The response to this fear is the “enmeshing” decision.

In negative enmeshment, there is the exchange of critical words, defensiveness, and a deep involvement and investment in continuing to fight and argue. If you feel that you have to defend yourself constantly or provide reassurances to your partner or close friend regularly then you are enmeshed.

In a more positive or affirming experience, you may be rewarded for rescuing someone in an emotional struggle. The person may feel grateful for the relief, but actually experience limited personal growth. In the moment, this feels positive.

Either way, it is the choice to be overly involved with another, losing your sense of self.

This is unhealthy for both people. It is merely a defense to control the other person’s behaviours. This is not based in a healthy need, but might fit the dynamics of an enmeshed relationship.

This decision is made instantly if there is a sense of impending abandonment. Abandonment that might be emotional or physical.

This dependency is normal in childhood. In adult relationships, it is our personal responsibility to notice when we betray our voice and trade-in our ability to choose other options.

Enmeshment can kick into high gear, allowing fears to gain dominance in decision making during parenting or in intimate relationships. Enmeshing feels comforting at first, but in the long run leads to frustration and abandonment. Why? Because the choice was not based in what you or another person truly needed. It isn’t gaining a real resolution to an issue. It is a mistake in judgment that is fear based instead of healthy need based.

Enmeshing can lead to more strife, anger, mistrust, and blaming. The emotional distress eventually does cause break downs in the relationship.

Enmeshing can feel controlling and over bearing, which contributes to more cut-off and abandonment experiences as the other person tries to pull away. The purpose of enmeshing eventually comes to the surface over and over again if the original issue is not addressed.

Source: Reflections on Relationship Recovery - Therapist Writings on the Disillusions of Marriage and Relationships

2

Věra Čáslavská (Prague, 3 May 1942 - Prague, 30 August 2016)

  • 11 Olympic medals (7 gold, 4 silver)
  • 2 time Olympic All Around champion
  • One of the two female gymnnasts to win the All Around at consecutive Olympic Games (the other one being Larisa Latynina)
  • Olympic Champion in all the individual categories
  • 10 World Championships medals (4 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze)
  • 14 European Championships medals (11 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze)
  • Won every individual medal at the 1965 and 1967 European Championships
  • 1st gymnast to score a perfect 10 at international competition (beam and floor at the 1967 European Championships
  • One of the three female gymnasts to be Olympic, World and European All Around champion at the same time (along Ludmilla Tourischeva and Lilia Podkopayeva)

Interestingly, Caslavska came close to missing her second Olympic appearance. Leading up to the 1968 Olympics, she became enmeshed in political reform and was forced to flee from authorities to escape imprisonment. As outlined by Minot Simons II in his fabulous and much recommended Women’s Gymnastics - A History, Volume 1 1966 to 1974, on June 27, 1968, Czechoslovakian Communist Party member Ludvik Vaculik published a manifesto, expresing concern about elements of the Communist party and advocating liberal and democratic chance. Having signed the manifesto, Caslavska found herself having to flee from authorities. Relatively safe in the remote town of Sumperk, Caslavska found herself without training facilities. Instead, she stayed in shape by lifting sacks of potatoes.

Days leading up to the 1968 Olympics, Caslavska was grated permission to compete in the 1968 Olympics. Despite the fact that she (unlike all of her competitors) had not had time to acclimate to Mexico City, Caslavska succesfully defended her Olympic crown, pleasing fans and judges alike her Mexican Hat Dance floor routine. At these Olympics (at least I think it was at this competition), Caslavska performed a further act of defiance: on the podium, she snubbed the Soviets - evidence of her disapproval of the Communist stronghold over Czechoslovakia.

One short day after competing in the event finals (where she medalled on all four events), Caslavska married Czechoslovakian 1500m runner Josef Odlozil. Caslavska emmersed herself into writing (her autobiography) and motherhood (raising son Martin and daughter Radka).

Caslavska quickly learned that Communist authorities had not forgotten her acts of betrayal. Attempts to get her autobiography published were squelched, and when a Japanese company agreed to it’s publication, the Czechoslovakian government insisted that parts deemed unacceptable be removed. Repeated attempts to get a coaching job with the National gymnastics team were denied, and when she was finally granted employment, she was forbidden to travel with her gymnasts.

Source: Whatever Happened to…? GymnasticGreats.com

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Enmeshment creates almost total dependence on approval and validation from outside yourself. Lovers, bosses, friends, even strangers become the stand-in for parents. Adults like Kim who were raised in families where there was no permission to be an individual frequently become approval junkies, constantly seeking their next fix.
—  Toxic Parents: overcoming their toxic legacy and reclaiming your life by Susan Forward

I was thinking about Stuckony and I how I tend to put Tony in middle, and so I started asking myself why him in the middle and not Bucky or Steve. 

The more I mulled it over, the more a headcanon formed. It makes sense for a lot of people to expect Steve to tend to be the center attention in the trio due to Steve connection to Tony and Bucky, and while Steve may enjoy it when he is the center of attention with said boyfriends, it makes sense that Steve would get extra joy seeing Bucky and Tony love on each other.

There are two reasons for this: 1.) Steve knows his feelings; he knows he loves them, and he knows they love him in return. However, Bucky and Tony’s pasts are enmeshed in a way that would at glance make it appear impossible for them to have a romantic relationship. Seeing the two be romantic to each other would soothe his worries. 2.) Steve just loves seeing his boyfriends happy. They all have led hard lives and he just wants everyone happy. 

So why not Bucky in the middle? 

I can see Bucky, like Steve, enjoying the love and attention (heck, even spurring his boyfriends on), but what was really interesting for me was the more I mulled on it the more an idea formed. What if when Bucky is happy and in good spirits he loves Steve and Tony’s attention on him? However, (and contrary to usually how these scenarios are written) Bucky can’t stand being in the middle when he is having a bad day? He just absolutely loathes it. What makes him feel better is being the doting partner. 

Bucky feels like he’s done so much damage in his life when he’s in one of his moods, and so what makes him feel better is making others happy. When Steve or Tony try to give him extra affection during this mind set, it just makes his skin crawl and makes him feel even more unworthy of love. Him stealing Steve’s breath away with a passionate kiss, or hugging Tony and making the genius laugh? That’s what makes his day. 

Then there is Tony. Tony loves love. He may try to hide it, but when he’s in love he likes to show it. His methods of display may be a little roundabout, but he does make his feelings known constantly.

That being said, Tony has a lot of insecurities/issues, and a lot of them tie into relationships and love (in all of its forms). Just as much as he likes to smother his boyfriends with romantic gestures and affection, he adores receiving it too. Sometimes even needs it, because, unlike Bucky, when Tony is having one of his bad days, helping others and showering his boyfriends with love just isn’t enough. He doesn’t feel like he is enough. It doesn’t matter if he saves the planet a thousand times over, he just isn’t good enough, and therefore doesn’t deserve good things. And odds are the good things he have aren’t real (such as his relationship with Steve and Bucky).  

He usually retreats away at first, but the moment Steve and Bucky catch on they go out of their way to show Tony how much they love him.

So that’s the headcanon my brain formed while mulling over: Why do I (and quite a few others) tend to put Tony in the middle of Stuckony? 

I’ll probably mull it over some more in my free time. 

Usually, someone’s sense of self is linked to and enmeshed with what they feel. So if we say to ourselves, “I feel angry,” or “I am angry,” what we are really saying is that at this moment my sense of self has fused with the emotion of anger. And, of course, that fusion is an illusion, because what we are cannot be defined by an emotion that runs through the body.
—  Adyashanti
The End of Your World