Hey White Liar
December 17, 2012
Hey White Liar
I had this little, sweet 9-year-old girl sing the Miranda Lambert song “White Liar” a couple days ago for her vocal lesson with such truth and authenticity, it took me off guard. In the same week, I had a couple young high schoolers talk about how they were afraid to take classes in the arts that they enjoyed, but were not completely terrific at, because it would ruin their GPA for college if they got a B+ instead of an A.
I guess this hits home for me. I don’t want kids to feel like I did when I was a child—growing up way too fast in a world where I wasn’t ready to bear its heavy burdens. I don’t want them to have to be cooking meals for 5 kids, making lunches, baking the bread, making the cupcakes, because they can’t afford to by store-bought anything. I don’t want children to have to play parent at age 10 when they should be thinking of things like “who is going to be captain of the kickball team” or who is going to go with whom to the hip hop dance.
We are in this jam with children because parents are foregoing their roles and forcing the children to take over emotionally and physically. I know that is what happened in my case. If I hadn’t stepped up, none of my siblings would have had food. Or maybe they would have.
Maybe me stepping up caused my father to be irresponsible and drunk and the rest of my siblings to keep from doing their part. I’m not sure. But I shouldered the role and did it until I let go of the burden of being everyone’s codependent sometime very recently. I made (or attracted) lots of little dependents along the way. It’s a way of life, you know? You learn codendency/dependency at a young age. Shaking it off is a hard thing to do.
I got a message from Spirit a couple days ago. The message was: “You are to be “peace” in the midst of chaos.” I clearly felt the intention was that I was to be there for people, but not to get entangled in their messes.
That’s a good lesson for all of us.
To be dependent, you must have a co-dependent.
To have a narcissist, you must have a co-narcissist.
To have a behavior that is allowed to exist, it must have people allowing it to co-exist (parent, teachers, friends, spouses, children). If you are one of those people, it’s a learned behavior. And you will continue to let those people in your life act the way they do, until you stop YOUR behavior. It’s a symbiotic response. Each behavior feeds the other.
So, what I’ve found is that great boundaries and no action is the healthiest way of maintaining my “un-co-dependence.” If someone acts as if he or she wants me to enter into a drama, I step back and watch without reacting or participating. I call it the “no action plan.” It works every time.
Soon, someone makes a move that is out of character, and it’s not me. Alas, growth happens in the other person, or they find another codependent. In which case, I smile and wish both of them well.
As adults, we have a choice… a big choice whether or not we want to get involved in other’s lives and dramas. But as children, they need to have a choice in life. Let’s try to give them one.
If you’re a parent drinking too much and have children, you are causing that child to shoulder a burden he or she shouldn’t have to. If you’re a parent that has a child that is working to help support the family, that is not fair. If you are a parent that sits around watching television, while you’re children clean the house and you boss them around, you are creating codependent children. And let me tell you, they are not going to grow up appreciating you at all. They are going to resent your actions. And you will spend your life wishing you could change what you had done.
I have 50 clients that bear that burden and would ask you from the deepest part of their hearts to stop right now and quit being so selfish.
I’m never sure why I write what I write, but I’m sure someone needed to hear this today. I hope it helped someone. Loving all you guys and gals big. xoxoxo