Dec 09, 2022

Codependency and the Fear of Intimacy

by Lisa A. Romano

codependency and intimacy codependency recovery codependency recovery coaching program

Children raised by parents who shamed them into submission, guilted them into becoming housekeepers, caretakers for their siblings, or perhaps their parent's therapists are forced to detach from their authentic selves.

As children, we were conditioned to associate safety with subordination and compliance. As a result, we live our lives looking for ways to satisfy others to avoid rejection in adult relationships.

Sadly, we are unaware that at a subconscious level, we have forsaken the authentic self for superficial and, often, narcissistic relationships. We over-empathize, over-listen, over-anticipate, and over-forgive others without understanding how little compassion we have for the self.

Dear One, this is not our fault.

As adults, these subconscious patterns control our lives. We enter into relationships believing that we must give up ourselves for relationships to succeed. We are the perfect cheerleaders for others while we overdo, take on all the chores, and become chauffeurs, babysitters, housekeepers, accountants, therapists, dog walkers, and the perfect entertainer.

As helpers, listeners, caretakers, and fixers, we exist for others, while below the surface, we boil with anger, resentment, and frustrations we are too afraid to confront.


Below the veil of consciousness, our ego and inner critic work together to keep us safe. In childhood, our subconscious minds understood that compliance, servitude, pleasantness, and agreeableness were the only option. Speaking up meant abandonment, death, obliteration, and utter aloneness.

Dare not; we speak up and tell our truth, yet, the truth is the only way we shall be set free.

The Horror of the Codependent Life

Our desire to connect remains superficial despite our efforts to please and be as helpful as humanly possible. Deep within us, we thrash with shame and fear of anyone discovering how unworthy we are.

We fear true intimacy.

We keep it simple, cater, smile, agree, and dare not rock the boat. Our childhoods taught us that intimacy is threatening and akin to death, so we settle for pleasing others while we die a slow spiritual death a little every day, unaware we are unaware.

Codependency Recovery is Possible

Until I could observe my codependent way of being, I was stuck in a false reality created in childhood. I was lost in the past, reenacting childhood abandonment wounds, unaware I was unaware, and in a perpetual state of self-abandonment. I attracted fight-flight narcissistic types who demanded to be catered to and who enjoyed being chased after. These men fit perfectly into my fawn-flight-type childhood trauma archetype until my body could no longer hold mistruths.

That is when the truth began to set me free.


Anger helped me detach and stop begging for approval. It also helped me cut ties with that part of me that lived in servitude to those who cared little for the emotions of others. Anger helped me find the strength to climb out of the pits of denial and to perceive myself objectively.


Hope allowed me to see the light at the end of the tunnel and also gave me the courage to know when it was time to walk away from my marriage. It also allowed me to understand the power of breaking cycles in me so that one day, my children might know something other than codependency.


Honesty allowed me to dig into my past with a heart full of curiosity, without a wagging finger looking for someone to blame. Putting the pieces of the puzzle of my personality together allowed me to understand the complicated creature I had become.

Self Compassion

Self-compassion allowed me to forgive the lesser self who did not know what she was doing. Many times during early morning journaling sessions, I wept for my younger self, the subconscious 3D self, who had not yet discovered the holes in her walls and had yet to understand the power of truth when wielded with pure intention.


Courage gave me the strength to keep looking within to cast out the shadows that held me captive for so long. Knowing that I would one-day BREAKTHROUGH CODEPENDENCY and live an authentic life kept the fire in me alive. I knew that one day, I would be able to model a healthy relationship with myself and others for my children.

Desired Outcome

Desire kept me motivated. I understood that NOT planning my life had left my subconscious mind no choice but to recreate the past. Understanding the power of the subconscious mind gave me the impetus to learn how to regulate my emotions and control my thoughts.

Hard Work Pays Off

Today, I teach what I learned on the path toward inner peace. I coach and mentor those who wish to create a more loving relationship with themselves to experience more meaningful and fulfilling relationships with others.

I am happily remarried to a man who reflects my inner values, whom I respect and admire, and who offers me the same in return.

I am at peace within myself because I have faced my inner demons and paved a new way for my children due to my codependency recovery journey. I have done what I could to heal the shame within me and to end cycles of self-abandonment, hoping my children show up FULLY as their true selves, embracing all that life has to offer without sacrificing themselves for superficial one-way relationships.

Dear One, if you are struggling with codependency, secretly resentful, frustrated, angry, sad, and hopeless, please know there is a way out!

Never give up healing the parts of you that keep you stuck, abandoning the self. You can BREAKTHROUGH and live a conscious and deliberate life that reflects the REAL YOU! And you can even heal relationships!

If you are ready to embrace the healing journey, feel free to register for my science based, trauma informed codependency recovery program. 

Lisa A. Romano is a Codependency and Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Life Coach. Her codependency coaching recovery program has helped thousands heal their lives of toxic shame caused by childhood emotional neglect.