Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Scent of Cedar *, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    "Love is not a victory march, it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah."

    Leonard Cohen
    Song: Hallelujah


    This quote seems so beautifully to describe the way it feels to walk the paths we walk with our difficult child kids.

    That we do love them is a miracle of sorts.

    "'s a cold and it's a broken hallelujah."

    Really, we are amazing people, to love and to fight for the people we love the way we do.

    As I read through the threads this morning, I thought about that quote, about the stubborn, determined courage and the triumph in it.

    I thought about Headlights Mom.

    Thought about her son's teeth.

    Thought about Echo, and Daze, about Seeking and Trish, about Try Again and Trinity and COM.

    About MWM.

    Remember Joseph Campbell's Heroes Journey, the quest for the Grail -- Superman, defending truth and justice against the Joker and the Penguin....

    Who was the actor who portrayed the Joker, and then, died of an overdose?

    That is addiction, right?

    That face, the Joker.

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  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I have always loved that song, back when it first came out when I was a young teen, and again when it came around in Shrek.

    Heath Ledger.

    Thanks for this thoughtful post, Cedar. I'm going to have to think about it. What does he mean by "its a cold"? Is it that the feeling is a cold and broken halleluhah, or is love like the flu, with aches and fevers?

    either way, not sure I am in. I always heard that song as about love lost, and heartache.

    Or maybe I am in...maybe that is where I am with difficult child.

    Food for thought today.

  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    I love that song! Awesome song. And great post Cedar.

    Love is a very complicated thing. And our love for our children is even more complicated.

    I used to think I hated my father. This went on for years and years and years. I had contempt for him, extreme dislike for his behaviors, his anger, his rage. I was holier than thou about it all. I wanted to have nothing to do with him, and I sure would never be like him in any way, shape or form.

    Be careful when you start saying never. That is always a sign that the "never" is something you are going to have to face someday.

    About 8 or 9 years ago, I had to forgive my father. I came to it so slowly, and I don't even know exactly how it happened.

    But I do know this: I have forgiven him. Oh, I still don't like a lot of his behaviors and I am a bit wary of him, at times. He still has a very volatile temper and he's 82 years old.

    But today, I love my dad. I can see that he---this struggling, broken, very imperfect person---has done the best he could do. Until he knows different, and seeks help, he can't do different.

    So I have accepted him. (it helps that he lives 11 hours away, lol).

    Love is a very complicated thing, and I think it may be way more than a decision. It may be in our DNA.

    Thanks Cedar.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    COM....I used to think I hated...well maybe didnt like is a better term because hate is dad. My mom helped foster that feeling by her portrayal of him to me and things she said but also he was a negative person in his own right. Pretty much always was.

    As I grew up and moved out on my own I learned some thing about life and about him. Number one I learned a lot about how awful my mom was. Much worse than I understood going through it as a child. Understanding can be brutal. Then I learned some things about how my father grew up and was raised.

    My father was one of 8 kids in a big catholic family born during the Great Depression. His father only came home to make another kid. I am not sure what my grandfather did before but when I knew him he drove a taxi. I think I met him two or three times. My father never told me these things but I learned them from family. He had to eat butter sandwiches for lunch many times. It was a treat if he got an onion on his bread. My dad joined the military when WWII started and he lied about his age to go. He was the youngest one on his ship in the Pacific. I know some of the things he saw but not from him.

    My father never learned what a father was. He knew what one wasnt. He didnt know how to tell me or express his love to me well. His way was to make damned sure I would not want for things like he did. I didnt understand that as a child. I wanted my father. I didnt understand why he wasnt there for me when I wanted him. To me that meant he didnt love me...and my mom told me it did. For my father, him working non stop meant he was providing for me. I learned years later to understand that hundred dollar bill meant "I love you".

    In the end, over the last 15 years or so of his life we became very close and he was able to say the words. Oh he still wanted to show it with money but I only accepted it at certain times...xmas, birthdays. One thing i think I will miss forever is he always sent me a mother's day card telling me I was a good mom...along with a fifty dollar
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Janet, that's a beautiful story.

    I heard the song sung on Super Soul Sunday. Maya Angelou was on, and a black female vocalist sang this incredible song, Hallelujah, during that broadcast.

    I think that's where I heard it.

    I saw this quote in rereading Brene Brown's Daring Greatly this morning. It brought remembrance of that beautiful song I heard when Maya was talking about spirituality, about being here on purpose.



    That will teach me to be pretentious!

    Echo, that phrase "'s a cold and it's a broken hallelujah" made me think of all of us, walking right there, right beside our difficult children, through the isolation, through the shame and the horror of dawning awareness that it isn't going to be alright.

    We are forever alone with the true, awful, endless to the point of eternity things we come to know, about ourselves and about our children.

    And we are.

    Loving them, standing up, finding our way.

    So tired, so determined.

    Like in those documentaries you see about the Great Depression, or in the movie The Grapes of Wrath.

    There we are too, not sure where we're going, not even sure there is anywhere to go from here...but here we are, watching, waiting, believing.

    And what we're going through is changing us, is changing everything.

    So yes, it would be more like a cold, raw wind that chills you to the bone...but still, we sing, we believe, we are kind, we endure.

    Pretty amazing.

    I wonder how much you would have to pay someone to do what we do?

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  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I love that song! And the line that says, "And even though it all went wrong, I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah." It reminds me that one day we each will be saying goodbye to all of it, the love and the pain, and will know that in spite of it all we have learned and grown and have had a beautiful life.
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  7. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I do remember my son came home after seeing that movie ( The Dark Knight) raving about Keith Ledger 's performance. Did not see the movie but I'm sure there were some similarities in the Jokers persona to an addicts...the lies and manipulation.

    We all soldier on despite the pain, not knowing the outcome but surely knowing it will not be good if we enable our lost adult children.

    Great post Cedar.
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Beautiful. Thanks Cedar. I love that song as well.

    This thread made me remember a poem I read a long time ago, I will try to find it and post it on another thread so as not to hijack this one.
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member



    And too, the sense that things extraneous to some core something are being or have been burnt away.

    Until all that's left is the song that we are.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen the movie, either. Just the flyer, that red mouth, those desperate eyes. That feeling of endless shuck and jive....

    It always felt to me that difficult child son was trapped in his addiction -- sort of kidnapped and whirled away.

    The Joker image fits, for what happened to him, for who he becomes and how that feels to me.

    difficult child daughter, mental illness...mental illness has a different feel altogether.

  11. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I have a friend I reconnected with after about 30 years of losing contact. She never had kids and has led and leads what I consider to be a very full life. The wrinkles in her face are in all the right places, if you know what I mean. We get together every year or so for some hiking and catching up, and for some reason hiking brings out honest conversation. The last time we met, I confessed to her that if I could go back in time, I would not take the same path. I would have lived my life more like she has. I told her that honestly, weighing it all, I wish I had not even had children. She was really quiet for awhile, and I was walking along thinking, "Wow, she could at least SAY something, I've never told that to ANYONE." Then she kind of burst into tears and was struggling to pull herself together and said, "I have never known what it's like to love someone to the depths of my soul, to love someone so much that I would be willing to give my LIFE for them, without even thinking." I told her that where difficult child is concerned, it has definitely been more of a curse than a blessing, and she said, "I know. I know it has. But I will never feel anything that deeply, and I really regret that." It blew me away, that she saw my pain and saw something good in it.
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  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have not seen the movie and never heard the song "Love." They both sound thought provoking.

    Albacross, this is for you. I don't like negative emotions. Maybe I dislike them more and can handle them less than most. I have often wondered if my life would have been better if I hadn't had any children. Some people can have kids and just go on and not take anything too seriously, but I'm the opposite. I used to literally feel all that they felt. It was so tiring. My latest is that Jumper broke up with her amazing boyfriend and nobody could figure out why. Now she wants him back, but he's afraid to try again and she is sad. So sad. He has told her he wants to cut all ties and will not even text her. She called me crying, but not too much because she hides her feelings, but I know how it hurts. And if I think about it, I can cry much more easily than her...for her. I know she caused it, but I hate when my precious daughter is sad. I have had to use my new coping skills to distract myself from focusing on her and how sad she is right now.

    So reading about your friend helped me see the pain my children cause me in a different light. I will still always wonder if, because of how emotional I am, not having kids would have been better for me, but I do love them so much. It is at times overwhelming. Would it have been better not to feel this love? It would have saved me a lot of pain too.

    I have no other family. I'm glad I have my kids. But I HAVE suffered a lot of pain because of how I am and how much I love my kids. It WOULD have been easier to have been childless, at least in my case. But easy isn't always best.
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  13. Walkinmyshoes

    Walkinmyshoes New Member

    Thank you Albatross. Somehow you have managed to put into words the pain and hope in my heart. I appreciate this community so very much.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is beautiful.

  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    That is one of my favorite songs. Originally by Leonard Cohen, but my favorite version is by Jeff Buckley. I'm trying to paste the link but don't know how on my phone. (I work in IT but can't work my bloody phone) Sigh.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
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  16. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Me neither Trinity. I too wanted to post the Jeff Buckley version, so moving.
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    Thank you, Recovering

  19. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Here is another tonic for the soul. Love the organ and the backup singers.

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  20. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Thanks RE and COM!