Sep 27, 2021

The Fear of Intimacy -- Shadows Within

by Lisa A. Romano

alcoholism codependency fear of intimacy inner child parental narcissism

The Fear of Intimacy

Intimacy implies we feel safe enough to become vulnerable with another person. To develop intimacy, we need to believe that no matter what this other person thinks about us, at our core, we are enough. To be truly intimate with another, I must be courageous enough to allow someone to reject what I reveal through my choice to become vulnerable. 

Invisible Wounds

Unresolved fears create a fear of intimacy. Family enmeshment, parental alcoholism, family dysfunction, codependency, and narcissism distort a child's divine ability and RIGHT to trust. 

Family Enmeshment

Families who are enmeshed may appear 'close' on the outside. However, when you look deeper, you notice the truth. Enmeshed families behave as if they are one unit, operating under one mind.  Enmeshed parents are inappropriately over-involved in their children's lives, roles are reversed, and often parents rely heavily upon their children for many if not all of their emotional, physical, financial, mental, and spiritual needs. Children from enmeshed families struggle to think independently and often develop low self-worth, codependency, eating disorders, and other addictions due to living under the strain of family enmeshment.  Enmeshed families require children to deny their realities, wants, needs, and emotions rather than risk going against the rules set by caretakers. 


Parental alcoholism is a complicated and convoluted experience. When your parent is an alcoholic, you do not feel seen. As a result, adult children fail to develop essential life skills that rely upon setting personal boundaries. Childhood homes that lack boundaries cause a child to live in fear. When parents are unable to tend to the emotional needs of their children, the child develops shame. Shame ultimately impacts the ability to become vulnerable in relationships due to feeling unworthy of love. 

Codependent Parents

Codependent parents often begin their relationships, idealizing their partners, only to discover sometime later, they married some version of one of their toxic parents. Conversely, codependents rush into a relationship, looking to gain a sense of self through acts of service. A codependent parent can become consumed by needing the approval of a more narcissistic partner, all while living unaware of the negative messages they are modeling for their children. Codependents lack self-love and seek validation outside of themselves, hoping for a sense of worthiness. Codependent parents stay in toxic relationships longer than they should and struggle with the ability to set healthy boundaries. If your parents were codependent, you were denied insight into healthy intimacy and vulnerability, as well as the courage to love the self enough to set boundaries with others. 

Parental Narcissism

Narcissistic parents do not see their children as 3D autonomous human beings. Instead, narcissistic parents rely on shaming, blaming, criticism, and withholding of love and affection as ways to prove their dominance as well as power over their children. Unable to gain a parent's love, children learn to feel shame and fear rejection. Thus, as adults, children of narcissistic parents find themselves faking life, masking their need for love, and fumbling their way through all of their fears of intimacy. Inevitably, relationships become a source of massive confusion for the adult child of a narcissistic parent who craves love yet fears rejection, humiliation, and abandonment.


It's Not Your Fault

Trust is the cornerstone of intimacy. Therefore, reversing the fear of intimacy relies on your ability to trust the worthiness of your divine self. 

Healing the divine inner child helps reorganize the subconscious mind and brings your mental field into divine working order, making it possible to recover the fear of intimacy.  

The first order of business is you learning to better understand why you fear intimacy in the first place.


Many abused adult children FAKE life. We pretend to be happier than we actually are, and live in fear of revealing our true emotions. 


We feel and believe our needs are unimportant. We have learned that when we do trust, our hearts are quickly smashed into tiny pieces. We have learned then, love hurts and it is impossible to trust, and so, we don't. 

Intimacy requires self-courage. When I have learned to tame my shadows, they no longer chase me away from love. When I have learned that I AM enough, in spite of what my inner child has been brainwashed to believe, I can withstand the rejection, abandonment, and criticism of others, as I have learned to integrate with my higher self. 

Healing the fear of intimacy is possible and you are deserving of the RIGHT to love, respect, and honor yourself. As you learn to become more intimate with your inner child and their fears, without judgment, criticism, and the need to hide, you evoke the power of love!

I hope these ideas have helped raise your awareness of self and have allowed the spirit of self-compassion to wash through every worthy cell of your being. 

Dear One, you were born enough.