Is Easter hard for anybody else?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Wow, Easter has been hard. I went to the brunch at church and then church with SO. From the minute I walked in, I felt out of touch. I made an excuse to go to the store and get some bottled water and was able to leave the brunch for about 20 minutes.

    Church was packed with people of course, and the music was achingly beautiful. But even before that, two little girls processed down the aisle with tall streamers waving and whirling that reached 30 feet into the air. They were so beautiful and hopeful. Easter lilies were everywhere, some ladies wore hats, and everybody was dressed in spring colors. The sun is shining today, and the sky is blue.

    I didn't want to cry the whole time but I also knew I needed to let go of my feelings, so I tried to cry quietly. How Great Thou Art, Majesty and other beautiful songs really made the tears flow.

    I was drifting, thinking about difficult child being in jail today on this most hopeful of days, and how to tap into the hope that I know is always there, available for him, if he wants it.

    SO and I didn't make any plans with friends today. My easy child and his fiancee are five hours away and SO's older daughter is a day's drive away and his younger daughter is in town but she has other plans. We may see her later tonight.

    So, no big dinner, etc. I took a nap when I got home from church (exhausted!) and now I'm working on grad school stuff.

    I am better, but still kind of melancholy.

    Feeings aren't facts, so I have been taught, so I am just trying to feel my feelings, realize this is a big Family Day and that's hard with one son in jail. This too shall pass.

    How has your Easter been today? I hope good.
     
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry you are having a rough time. Thankfully my Easter has been stress free this year. Other than major traffic issues.


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  3. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    COM,

    The days leading up to today (Easter) have seemed a bit painful, and also difficult child's birthday is this month.
    But, something happened this afternoon that is helping me. I just finished my bible study a few minutes ago. (Precepts Ministries)

    About Jacob, his sons, including Joseph, of course. Very interesting, reading commentaries, how dysfunctional Jacob's family was. And, how Joseph, with all that he went through, not only trusted God, but took on each new hardship with determination to please/obey God and with the belief that God was in charge and had a plan. He knew all along that God was working something through him and continued to praise God and be happy. Joseph's brothers came around and were repentant for the first time in years.

    So, I am thinking on this beautiful Easter, that I want to try really hard for that attitude. To welcome what is happening as part of God's plan for something great for gfg32. I am pretty good about telling God I trust Him and know He has a plan. But, Joseph's story makes me see I need to do more than just trust (or claim I trust). I want to actively continue to praise God, while knowing without a shadow of a doubt, it is part of something good...maybe even wonderful to come. And, it seems like a choice to feel this way. Deciding to work on that has lifted my spirits this afternoon.

    Hoping to march forward with a smile on my face. Granted, it will take some serious work and corralling my thoughts and fears. But, it sure would make the future look brighter.

    Happy Easter and I hope your evening is nice, with tomorrow even better.

    SS
     
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I love this, SS. Thank you. I do believe this, but sometimes I lose it for a time. Like today. Thank you for putting it right in front of me.

    Yes, and God works in God's time, not human time. I can't know what his timeline is, but even if it's after life on this earth, there is joy and peace and redemption.

    And it is a choice. My attitude is my attitude and only I am responsible for it. I can change my attitude at any time.

    Thank you for these good thoughts, SS. Happy Easter!

    SO and I are going out to eat somewhere now. It has been a better afternoon and I know tomorrow will be even better.
     
  5. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    Sorry it's been a hard day...it is a day that signifies 'rebirth' and it's hard not to yearn that something like that will happen to our difficult children...I've been struggling a lot with my faith given all the difficult child stuff and my husband has me watching TD Jakes...have you ever watched him? he's a very inspirational minister and one of his videos just released (on youtube) talks about the story of Jericho and how (like with a lot of stories), those who kept the faith and handed their troubles over to God, survived the best...in his sermon (he gets really dramatic and is fun to watch) for this week, he talked about how many of us are facing problems far bigger than we are...he said it a lot better than I am but basically he said that if you're struggling with something painful (and he used a son on drugs as an example), the best alternative is to get on your knees, tell God you don't know how to handle it, and to take it from you...it's not a new message but the part about letting God know you don't know how to handle it struck a cord with me...I'm so proud, I want to try and figure it out myself so I read all these books, and meditate and such but at the end of the day, I don't know how to handle this...how to handle my difficult child not talking to me, how to handle not seeing him, not knowing if he's ok, not understanding how things got to be this way...I said that prayer that night and then again in the morning, and you know what (this was Friday, Good Friday)?, my difficult child called me for the first time since March 5 and asked to come over and pick some things up...and then he stayed and sat and talked to us so pleasantly, it was like I was in a dream...we kept the conversation light, just catching up on each other and husband was here too...it was a lovely gift for Easter and hard not to believe it was given to me because I finally let it go, even if just for a time...that's so hard to do, that letting go and letting God...not something I'm comfortable with admitting but maybe that can help you get through the rest of today...it's helped me the past few...now the challenge is to keep it up with God and not get my hopes up too high with difficult child...
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am spiritual (very), but not religious so maybe it is easier for me, however I also do value family time. But we have a very small family and our holidays are informal and light and pretty stress free. I have learned to think of these special holiday days as just days. If we have fun, good. If it's not exciting, that's ok. Often I go visit my Chicago daughter after or before the actual holidays because she has less to do and less to entertain and we can travel from Wisconsin to Chicago area without back up traffic and can get there with relatively little stress and just enjoy each other more. The only day I'm sensitive about is Mothers Day and I make sure all my kids at least call me on that day...lol.

    The only time that was hard was the first few years that Scott abandoned our family and did not call.

    Since you are a christian, can you focus more on Christ's message than the fact that you couldn't be with your kids? It has such significance in of itself and, like us, you can set up a dinner get together with your kids, together or one at a time, another day. As for difficult child, you know you can't count on him. It is his "normal" not to be around for family gatherings. I think that in a way our difficult children are ashamed so they stay away for the holidays when they are not in good shape.

    Hugs and sorry you had a hard day. Sometimes I really wish there were no such things as holidays!
     
  7. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Easter Sunday was a beautiful day. Church was fantastic. I cried off and on through the service and Sunday school. Sometimes they were happy tears and sometimes they were about my son. My daughter came over with my grands and my son called me from the facility. I had to remind myself that if my son had been here and still behaving the way he was, the day would have been ruined. He is in HIS hands.
     
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    That is great BITS. I love that you had some peace descend and then a good experience with difficult child. I do believe God is working all the time, it's just that we can't see it much of the time. I want to so much give it over, give it over, give it over....really give it over. It's so hard to do that, like you said, even with lots of hard work.

    My melancholy ebbs and flows and part of the problem yesterday is that we really didn't have any plans after church. It would have been better for me to cook an Easter dinner and invite people over or something. I told SO that this morning. His daughter and her boyfriend came over for about an hour last night, impromptu. That was good.

    But anyway, the day is now past. It's a day of hope, of family and like you said, BITS, rebirth. I can get really philosophical about why difficult child is like he is, why it all keeps happening, why he is in jail again for another occasion and on and on. There is no answer to why. It is what it is. Ugh.

    Yes, it isn't so much that I even wanted him to be here, unless he can be in a better place. My tolerance for his chaos is very limited. It's more sadness-at-a-distance that I was feeling yesterday. He does have the capacity to ruin things but a lot of it is my own attitude about him. That is an ongoing stumbling block for me.

    I do find so much hope in my faith, MWM, and I know that that hope and power and love is always there for difficult child to access at any time he chooses. It's just sad that he doesn't choose. And then I wonder if he will EVER choose and that it will always be this way (feel me wandering into black and white thinking? Always and never? No redemption there.).

    Like a dog shaking off water, I'm shaking this off! I can't do anything about all of this.

    Today is another beautiful sunny day and I have a lot to do. Hugs and thanks to you all for talking to me about this.
     
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I would think it would be normal to feel a bit sad under your circumstances. I felt a little sad at times yesterday re: my difficult child, but I'm not sure why as the circumstances are not dire, just weird and a bit concerning. I'm questioning myself today. I watched Joel Osteen (religious/not everyone's cup of tea) and that did help me. He is super positive and talked about how the holiday brings strength, hope and encouragement regarding the ability to overcome adversity. As hard as it is to accept, it is our choice to chose happiness, even under very difficult circumstances and yours are rough. It was wise of you to get that water to give yourself a moment of reprieve. We are not robots. Although we need to gather the strength to concentrate on the good things in life, everyone has their moments when this is very hard. You may have been struck by all the cute children running around, proud parents, etc. It happens.
    Don't be hard on yourself. But, gather your strength and push forward and find joy in life even with this difficult situation in the background.
     
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Though we would not see difficult child son for long stretches of time once he began using, difficult child daughter always came home for the holidays. She would refuse to sleep in her bedroom. She slept on the sofa in the living room. I can remember being up early to begin preparing for the holiday and just standing there, watching her sleep. She would be bruised and battered and dirty, and I was always so sad.... She wanted to be there with everyone, though.

    difficult child son, no.

    So I would miss him in absentia.

    Man, what our kids do to us.

    I am very, very sad on every holiday. Each has its own terrible memory, things I would change in a heartbeat if only I could do it.

    If only I could.

    It helped me to set a place for my son in my bedroom, in private, where no one could see that I was in mourning. It never seemed right to ignore his absence. Without the kids to ground me, to put purpose and form into what I was doing with all that cooking and cleaning, the holidays feel hollow to this day. They are occasions for sadness, for me. I know and try to prepare for those feelings. It is getting...it is no longer overwhelming. Stabs of regret, of fresh pain over old wounds.

    I think of your imagery of the cloud and the silver lining, COM. I try to hold that feeling in the face of the loss.

    But in my secret heart, the holidays are the most punishing times of the year, are the times when everything we lost is a palpable thing.

    As the years pass, even the tradition of spending those times together has been lost.

    I never dreamed this would be me.

    Cedar
     
  11. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I think that it is time to rewrite the holidays. There are so many people that I know that do not have anyone at all at any time. There is no reason to not bring joy to others. Our kids may not be able for any number of reasons can't be there. Perhaps we can feel joy in bringing a bit of happiness to someone else. It is something to think about.
     
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  12. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Hi COM, hope your day is going better. I find myself lately getting melancholy about a lot of "family" stuff, Easter services and FB posts about cute grandkids on egg hunts, spring picnics with kids playing with new puppies, even TV commercials seem to lately be reminders of what road I *thought* we were on. And it seems to be especially prevalent right now, like food images seem to be everywhere when I'm on a diet. Maybe it's part of the grieving process.

    Anyway, I hope your day is going better.
     
  13. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I think you have hit on the absolute answer. Getting out of my own head about things I cannot change and doing something for somebody else is the pathway to peace. Thank you Pas. I am going to remember this and do better planning on the front end next time.

    I know that part of my problem on Sunday has been the growing realization since difficult child got arrested nearly three weeks ago that I have not accepted the reality of him. I have still been holding my breath, every single day, waiting for "the change" to occur. I have stopped enabling, I have detached with love fairly well, but i have not accepted. I have been dealing with the disappointment in myself on this issue for the past week or so, and I think it culminated on Sunday with more grief for him and for me.

    I know that I can only be where I am in my recovery. I am getting to "okay" with that now. But I truly thought I had accepted more than I have. As I told a close friend on the phone yesterday, I just wish God would say to me, clearly: Things are not going to change with him for a long, long, long time (decades, ever, in your lifetime) whatever the timeline is. I think then I would stop waiting and start accepting more. However, that isn't going to happen, obviously. And in the lack of that happening, I still have to figure out how to accept.

    The work ahead of me is clear. I am going to redouble my efforts to focus on myself.

    I went to Al-Anon yesterday and it turned out to be a wonderful thing to do. For a long time, nobody else showed up. I decided to sit there and read my Courage to Change book. I ended up going to the Index and reading all of the entries on Acceptance, then other "A" listings. 20 minutes into the meeting time, one person came. Then 10 minutes later another person came. We had a meeting. We also talked about the three As.

    Awareness. Acceptance. Action.

    Between each one we are reminded to feel our feelings. Not necessarily act on them, but feel them.

    It was a good thing for me to focus on.

    I am doing much better yesterday and today. I am in grief again---I see that.

    Thanks to you all.
     
  14. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Child,

    I think dealing with these holidays and our difficult child's is like dealing with death. The first holiday "without" or in whatever situation we are in with our difficult child's, is awful and then...it becomes the new norm. We don't forget them, and we may grieve a bit...but it is OK.

    My mom was wonderful with transitions. We face them all the time, whether we have difficult child's or not. Kids grow up, move abroad, die, get married, forget...and we get used to the changes, as moms must. This is just another of those transitions.

    One of the four sufferings in buddhism...you must accept that we are of a type to change. You must accept that you will lose those you love. You must accept that you will grow old. You must accept that you will die. Clinging to the status quo in any of those areas is the source of all of our suffering. We are of the type to change (meaning our circumstances change). We will lose those we love. It is as it is.

    I hope you found some joy in Easter, my friend. I did, even without the church, and without three of my four egg hunters, and without being at home. It was a beautiful day. It is what it is.

    Echo
     
  15. Terryforvols

    Terryforvols Member

    We didnt go to church on Easter but had planned to. We were always very active in our UMC when difficult child and easy child were growing up, esp our SS class. We all had kids the same age, we had parties together, and even for sev years abt 15 or so families vacationed together in St Augustine. For the past 6 yrs or so, I just dont want to go. I have not lost my faith at all, that is what has helped me survive. At first, it was depression that stopped me, then/now is laziness. Our kids have all grown and moved on, and some couples have left. I guess I still have such sadness there after so much of our lives, and esp the happy times, were spent with these people. They are still there for us, and we cld ask them anything and it wld be done. They have known both kids since toddler yrs, and know all abt difficult child and have supported us.

    I love Easter and Christmas, esp the hymns. husband doesnt like our current pastor, I really have no feelings abt him, so husband is fine not going. We have talked abt a new church, but Im not sure I want to deal with mtg new people, beginning all over, etc.

    What a whiner I am!! The sad thing is, I no longer have any CLOSE gfs. OMG, that makes me sad, but its of mg own doing. I just shut completely down yrs ago and am content to just sit in my house. I love my job, and my coworkers, but dont want to put out the effort to get back out in the world, even though I am lonely. Over the past 2 months, I made myself start wearing makeup again and had my hair highlighted. I have worn makeup to work everyday but one, and got compliments. It brightened me up, but still no motivation. I was hospitalized 3 times in 1991-1992 for 3-4 weeks at a time for severe depression and have taken SSRIs since. They were lifesaving for me but now dont seem to work. Last yr I switched off Prozac to Lexapro and for abt 8 wks I felt reborn! Then, it stopped. I have a gr8 therapist I see as needed, so my tools are there. I dont feel overall depressed abt difficult child, of course have sad days, but I cldnt tell you what is wrong. I have a husband that I adore....what is wrong with me???? So lonely inside but so unmotivated to do anything abt it!!!???

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  16. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Having girlfriends does make life more doable. I too suffer from clinical depression. I should have been hospitalized on several occasions. I was a single parent and could not leave my kids. I joined a church so that I would meet people and get out of the house. It was difficult at first. I am meeting people and making new friends. The church also has a faith based support group for people with mental illness and their families.

    Sending you hugs
     
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