The Thing About The Codependent Dream…

When I grew up, I believed that love would heal me, that being in a relationship would do that for me.

I believed that, one day, an amazing human would cross my path and make it all better.

Of course, I knew that they weren’t going to be perfect.

I didn’t think I was naive enough to believe in ‘The One’.


I accepted that there would be challenges we’d have to face. I knew we’d annoy each other at times. I understood that life wasn’t going to be the ‘Happily Ever After’ out of a Disney movie.

But I saw us tackling life together.

A united front, madly in love, always choosing each other, feeling absolutely unbreakable.

Then I experienced the reality of the relationships I co-created. And they broke me.

Well, I guess I felt broken already but the relationships I found myself in didn’t help me to feel any different about myself. If anything, they confirmed my worst fears.

That I wasn’t lovable because whoever I was with and I weren’t unbreakable.

I couldn’t trust them.

They didn’t treat me well.

I didn’t feel safe or secure.

And I certainly wasn’t the best version of myself either.

It was all a mess.

Not a dream at all.

My fairytale didn’t come true.

I was, in fact, living the codependent nightmare.

In the name of love, I was putting up with behaviours that were not only disrespectful but incredibly harmful and damaging.

Out of fear of being alone, I stayed no matter how horrible the relationship got.

I numbed my feelings and denied any of my desires or needs.

I existed and went through the motions.

For love, I thought.

I needed to keep my dream going, not realising that I was trapped in a nightmare of my own making.

Because if I could make that dream come true, then I’d feel happy, healed and whole.

Only then.

But I was wrong.

I kept myself trapped in that cycle for years. Decades. 

My choices, my actions and my inactions were all based on one big lie: that I would be saved in a relationship.

While sacrificing myself for it. 

Wasting my time.

Disrespecting myself.

Not living my dreams.

But always hunting for someone to love me.

Because I hadn’t learned how to love myself.

I’m going to be honest with you … I had to hit rock bottom to let go of the codependent dream.

I had given it my all.

I had sacrificed more than I ever thought I would be willing to sacrifice.

I had made mistake after mistake and I was left with more regret than I knew how to bear.

I knew that in order to go on, to actually change my life and how I felt about myself, I had to stop repeating this pattern.

I needed to stop harming myself in all of these ways that never led to love but only to more pain and sorrow.

So I made a choice.

I gave up my codependent dream.

And for the first time in my life, I chose myself.

And that’s when everything changed.

By Marlena Tillhon MSc.

1 Response

  1. MK says:

    you summarized my life so perfectly

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