The Heartbreaking Lesson Billie Lourd Learned From Her Mother Carrie Fisher

has been gone nearly five years, but her legacy looms large over the industry, growing little by little every day.

Only after people have left the world do we realize the value they brought to the table. Carrie Fisher was mostly known as Princess Leia from the Star Wars franchise, but her charismatic and sharp-witted personality made her a standout in every single situation. She knew exactly when to turn on the charm and when to be her authentic self, when to be sarcastic and when to be earnest – she could basically read everyone like a book.

However, as striking the character she’d been in her lifetime, she also faced her own set of struggles and impulses, some of which she never managed to overcome. Her daughter, Billie Lourd, has to reconcile those memories accordingly, balancing the good with the bad, the love with the hate. Today, Billie, who is also an actress, is experiencing motherhood herself, and there are definitely a few learnings she’s passing down to her son from her mother.

The first thing to note about Carrie and Billie’s relationship is that it significantly differed from the traditional mother-daughter dynamic.

Whether most mothers just accept that they’re going to have to keep an eye on their children for the rest of their lives, the roles were reversed in this case. Carrie Fisher had bipolar disorder and suffered from a deep-rooted dependency on cocaine and prescription medication, which meant Billie had to undertake the responsibilities of a caretaker more often than not. “I was her main support, and I was seven for a lot of the time,” Billie said in the Next Day podcast. Carrie was crumbling under heaps and heaps of “pressure” from every direction, so young Billie did what she had to do and functioned as her mother’s close confidante whenever called upon.

In addition, Carrie’s mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, had not been a stable figure in her own upbringing, so Carrie made sure she wasn’t repeating history and would try to spend as much time as possible with her only daughter. However, this only amounted to more pressure on Billie’s end as she had to ensure she was “everything” for her mother — available and responsible every single minute, every single day. To say the least, it became pretty overwhelming, and Billie had to learn new ways of sharing space with her mother. There are only so many hats you can wear until you crumble under the weight. “That was really hard, and that’s why I grew up really fast,” the 29-year-old said.

As a result, Billie is going the extra mile to make sure she isn’t putting the same “pressure” on her own toddler. It impacted her innocence, and if she isn’t careful, it could have severe consequences on her child, too. “That’s one of the things that I will not do to my son is put this pressure on him that I had on me,” she said.

She vows to not let her son go through the same “pressure”

In the podcast, Billie acknowledged that while her mother imparted a lot of sage knowledge to her over the years, there was a lot she learned by simply observing her mother’s bad decision-making. “There’s a lot of things that my mom taught me to do and there’s a lot … of what not to do,” she said and added that the latter category is what ended up being more “valuable” in the long term. It’s next to impossible to listen to parental instruction and just take it at face value; however, the bad choices and their harmful outcomes do way more in making you conscious of your actions. That’s exactly what happened with Billie Lourd: she loved her mother, but she also bore witness to her mother’s weaknesses, and they spoke volumes to her. They told her exactly what she should or shouldn’t do with her son.

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