All through the years of that relationship when friends would complain of her behavior I'd drop them and carry on. So that in time I became more and more isolated and dependent on that one bond.
I recognize this now as addict behavior. What does a helpless alcoholic do when well-meaning friends suggest sobriety? Dump the friends.
So that as the relationship evolved it became ever more co-dependent, to use the term they teach in rehab. Perfect recapitulation of the family dynamic of addicts, including, of course, the radical loss of perspective which follows inevitably.
So that it was only after recovery that I was able to rejoin my life.