Codependency Seeks Love, But Meets Narcissism

I remember what it was like to feel powerless. Exhausted in the futile attempt of chasing love and approval by 'doing everything right'. Bending over backwards to please. Being a good-girl. People-pleasing. Saying "yes I'll do that" when I really wanted to say no. Making sure 'you' had what you needed, even when it meant 'I' didn't get what I needed. Giving my all, and not getting it back. Why? I just wanted to be loved. And it was the only way I'd learned how.

Our parents commonly aren't equipped with the tools for teaching us self-love, self-worth, so pass on life as they know it. I took my baton, running through earlier life with flawed unconscious childhood programmings - the misguided paradigm of conditional love to avoid abandonment; the learned unconscious collateral of becoming 'needed' by people sitting at the other end of the spectrum, those 'needing' someone else to fuss over them - A fixer. Them, mistakenly believing someone else should fix their holes; me, mistakenly striving to be the hero that would fill them.

"Ms. Co-Dependent, meet Narcissist". I sought love and validation by focusing externally, on fulfilling other people's needs and wants, taking responsibility for others' happiness, problems, projections, as if by solving them I'd be granted admiration, loyalty.

The first turning point was the last day of relationship #1 – the day I realised no matter what I did, how I cared, rescued, twisted, contorted, I could never change them, fix them, fill their empty sieve, make them care about my needs. They'd remain blaming, piling their responsibility onto me, who took it on Hercules. That would've been the rest of my life; a donkey chasing the perpetually-dangling carrot, hoping for change.

That day, I left a bad relationship, but carried into my next relationship traces of co-dependence, tolerating some shitty things, until the day years later I started to truly honour my own truths, feelings, needs, and boundaries. A day my partner too, was also ready to heal his own life.

Together we finally had the courage to face what was before too scary to face. We became two individual strong mature trees, nourishing self-growth and sustenance, feeding through our own roots; our branches no longer entangled through fear, but entwining out of love, choice. This only became possible after learning how to love Me – Now I know not to try 'fix' others, but instead love, honour, and fill Me.

Healthy relationships of all kinds require both parties to love, care, respect 'self' as much as 'others'. It wasn't until I learned my ability to speak my own truth about what I felt, wanted, needed, and firstly provide that for myself, that I was able to experience love, heart, vulnerability, and generosity from others. Now I know. I once grieved for my past life, but now I'm grateful – the so-called 'bad stuff' was really just my pathway for learning how to grow into a strong, empowered beautiful loving woman. Let me show you how to do the same.

Date Published: July 4, 2019
Last Updated: July 17, 2019
Samantha Ember

About The Author

Samantha is an empowerment Coach and writer who is passionate about helping people uncover and start living their potential by helping them become clear about what they truly wish to experience in life and business for a meaningful, fulfilling, important and inspired life. Samantha is the founder of Empower Your Potential™, and host of The Real Woman Podcast.


This article is also featured in Sibyl Magazine, Vol 15, Issue 7, July 2019, with the Headline: "Codependency Seeks Love, But Meets Narcissism".
As part of my "Empowering Potential & Inspiring Possibility" Series


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