CNM 010: Breaking Intergenerational Codependency – Portia Tells Her Story

Listen via Stitcher

Portia has worked hard over the last several years to overcome her issues with codependency, and felt the call to share her story in hopes that it would help and inspire others who are in a similar place.

She had little consistency in her early life. With an abusive father and an addicted mother, Portia looked out for herself for much of her childhood, she was a “latch-key kid” as she puts it. She also experienced physical abuse as a child.

Since the age of 14, Portia has never had a lapse in employment. She started trying at a young age to find self-esteem and parental approval through doing great work. It pleased her when her mother would brag to her friends about how hard Portia worked.

In romantic relationships, Portia would work very hard to please others, win approval, and try to keep things together. However, she was drawn to dysfunctional men rather than healthy men. She went through several relationships, including one marriage, which all eventually ended. Once her second child came into the picture, she decided to break contact with all toxic people in her life because she wanted her children to be raised in a healthy environment and prevent the intergenerational cycle from continuing.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Growing up in a physically abusive household
  • Trying to keep everyone else happy
  • Using high achievement as a source of personal value
  • Difficulty with dating “nice” men
  • Leaving a marriage to raise her children better
  • Portia’s “one-year self improvement plan”
  • Experience with seeing therapists
  • Why forgiveness matters
  • Portia’s best advice for codependents

Items mentioned in this episode include:

We LOVE your comments! Are you concerned about passing codependent behavior patterns on to your children? Have you had to put an end to toxic relationships?

  1. I just wanted to say thank you to Portia for sharing her story. She doesn’t realize how much her story helped me with my awareness of situations in my life. Portia, you are an inspiration and as I go through my recover process from being codependent (I just started), I will keep your story in my mind and try to put into action some of the things you do to take care of you. Thanks you again and God Bless You!

    Jenn L.
    St. Louis, MO

  2. Jenn

    I am happy that my story has helped you. This podcast for me was my public acknowledgement of my situation and no longer am I afraid for people to know the real me. I wish you well in your healing process. There will be highs and lows but believe me it is worth the work.

  3. Portia thank you for sharing your story. Your recovery is wonderful and lends hope. Hearing your clarity is amazing.

    Thank you for helping me understand “normal”. Hearing your journey is very valuable. The steps, successes and struggles are all great to understand.

  4. Portia, I am so glad you shared your story! You are an inspiration. You are breaking the cycle of codependence for yourself and for your children. It was so helpful to hear your story. I relate to a lot of what you shared. I am just recognizing how my patterns of codependency were learned in childhood and helped me survive. I am learning how those patterns are still alive in me and how they have been hurting myself and others. I am just at the beginning my healing journey. I am excited to become more conscious of my patterns and to learn to live life more consciously, to make more conscious choices rather than react to life. Your story gives me hope. You are a strong amazing woman! Thank you again. And thank you to Brian for interviewing Portia and for this podcast!

  5. Hi Portia – I really appreciated you sharing your story. I wanted to tell you how much I admire you for your bravery & courage to get out of the toxic relationships in your life & work so hard on rebuilding yourself. I am working on this process myself. I actually listened to your podcast twice. I hope to follow your example.


  6. Portia, wow I can’t tell you how many times I was shaking my head yes, while you were telling us about your journey. It sounded like you were telling my story, from being the do everything I could right child to being with a man who rather play with others than stay in a monogamous relationship. I just wanted to say thank you for who you are, thank you for sharing your story and thank God for getting you to speak on here. Your story has inspired me and i know that I too will heal from this. May God continue to send down his grace upon you as you heal from the tragedies of your past. Thank you so much!