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Does being an empath make you co-dependent?

So many times, I have heard people say that being an empath is a fancy way of saying that you are co-dependent.

I do not believe that being an empath makes you a co-dependent at all.

For much of my life I was independent, I had to learn to rely on myself to meet my own needs.

Everything I have achieved in my life, I earnt it by myself with my own efforts.

Image by Pavel Danilyuk

But deep down, I had a lack of knowing what real love was, and I had a lack of self-love and self-acceptance.

Although I would keep this part of me hidden from the outside world.

I relied on alcohol to suppress my true emotions and to forget my traumatic experiences.

My thinking became; nobody cared about how I feel, so why should I?

I became numb and longed for someone to see my worth, and that was my emotional weakness.

It was this vulnerability that allowed the narcissists in my life to use against me.

They only saw how much they could take from me, and they only pretended to care about me.

I allowed them to use me because I believed their empty words.

But I chose to stay in these relationships at the time, and it wasn’t because I needed them.

I needed real love and the narcissists used this information to trick me by offering their false love I thought I desperately needed.

I wanted them to see my worth like they said they did, I wanted their promises to hold true and I genuinely wanted to help them.

Image by Tima Miroshnichenko

Does this make me co-dependent?

Maybe a little. But mostly, I believe I was simply too trusting and naïve.

As soon as I am aware they are playing me, then my fight for justice wants to come out and I want to exit the relationship immediately.

I believe there are many empaths out there trapped in toxic relationships,

and it’s likely not because they are co-dependent.

It’s because they choose to always be the bigger person, give the benefit of the doubt and forgive over and over.

Empaths truly believe that the narcissist can be fixed or saved.

They stay in these one sided relationships because their heart is huge and their spirit is strong to begin with.

And many times, we also stay in the relationship for fear of repercussions if we left.

Narcissists have a way of inciting fear into their victims, through threats, passive aggression or physical aggression.

I believe narcissists deliberately break empaths down over time to become co-dependent on them,

by taking away the empath’s independence, finances, confidence,

and all their support systems through manipulation and coercion.

We can all become dependent in these lonely and traumatic times.

Image by SHVETS production

But the narcissist will never be our true savior, although they want us to believe they are.

They intentionally put their victims in dependent situations, just so they can ‘save them.’

Although vulnerable narcissists believe they have to be seen as the victim,

they also relish on playing the role of the hero.

And they will sadly manipulate situations and stories just so they can appear as one.

Narcissists cannot live without people’s admiration, attention and validation.

They fear their victims will leave them, so they want the victims to need them,

because they cannot survive without having someone to manipulate, control or dump their shame onto,

and many cannot stand to be alone.

I believe it is the narcissists who are the true co-dependents.

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Awareness is power.