The Answer is (Still) No

Judy Honigfort because i said so

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No means no.

Regardless of what you do, or don't do.

Even if it makes you terribly unhappy.

Or unpopular.

Or left out.

Without friends.

No means no, because I care more about your long-term health and well-being than your current, temporary, situation.

You can nag me, cry, spit hateful words that penetrate my heart.   You can point your finger, unfairly accuse me, roll your eyes, stomp your foot, and pull your hair. You can exaggerate, use the words always and never. (You always do this, you never do that.)

While unpleasant, none of these will shake my resolve.

Because, my darling, you are my third teenager. I've been around this block before. I've learned from my mistakes. Inconsistency sends the message that I am not trustworthy. I'm weak. And deep down, that will scare the hell out of you. You need me to be strong, though you're incapable of admitting that. Your world is spinning out of control. You need me to be your anchor.

The answer is still no.

Oh, it would be so much easier to give in! I hate seeing you unhappy. My own mother said no. It was her default answer to everything I asked. Therefore, saying yes was my gift to you and your sisters.  A childhood where (almost) every reasonable request was granted. Candy from the grocery store check out lane. New shoes. Blow-out birthday parties. When your eyes lit up in surprise and delight, it confirmed what I needed to know: that I was The Best Mom in the World.

Your joy has always been my joy. Your pain, my pain. Because we were one. I was you. I lived through you. How could I not have realized sooner how damaging this was?Relationships built on dependence are no relationships at all.

The answer is still no.

Go ahead. Scream. Cry. Slam your bedroom door. You will get through this. The pain you're now feeing is shaping you, teaching you, strengthening you. You'll be a better person.

And so will I.


About the Author

Judy Honigfort

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother, small business owner, and writer living in St. Louis. Catch up with me at .

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May 2015 – Better Together
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