Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Prayer and Meditation. A Wordpress Production

Love, Loss, Mourning, Pain

tumblr_l9jckmnvBG1qab9oro1_500 jack's empty mind

This response, was sitting in my box since I got it, and it applies directly to something I am going through right now. Forgot it was there, so I had to find it and post it for posterity.

You had quite the birthday this year. Any time spent with the “littles” as I call them is a blessing.

It wasn’t long ago, about a month or so, that I was on the phone with my friend Mary, the woman I took care of and her daughter when she moved back here.

Lu Lu heard my name every day. She saw me almost every day. I talked to her, and on the odd occasion, I would get he undivided attention. That was Joy.

So one night, a little while back, I was on the phone with Mary. Lu was in the tub. And Mary said to her, Jeremy is on the phone. Say hello to Jeremy… And for the first time in her life, she said my name. It was pure joy.

a little joy before more serious topics.

A while back, my cousin Carol died. I had decided to call my mother, whom I had no spoken to in fourteen years. She cursed me when I arrived in Montreal, telling me that if either she or my father died, nobody would call me and nobody would tell m where they were buried. I took that as a direct word of goodbye.

My parents are “Light Switch” humans. If you piss them off, or deviate from the family gospel they preach, they shut off your light. They put you in the dark, they cop resentments and they carry them for lifetimes.

I watched them do that to countless family members while I was growing up. And to this day, those people are still in the dark, never to see the light of day ever again.

So I decided to call my mother and talk to her, to try and get something proper from her.

I am an idealistic man, who on one side believes that one day, everyone will grow up and become human beings again. And one day come to the table and talk.

That never happened. My bad.

Family is at the root of most of my past pain and heartache. Because when i got sick and almost died, they all walked away and told me to just die already.

So my mother says to me that, “I was the cause of all of her problems, from the day i was born, till the day I left home.” It was all my problem. And she said assorted other hateful things as well about family that I talk to today, and she does not.

So hasn’t spoken to her sister in over thirty years. My aunt is also on the dark list like me.

Then she hung up on me. Naturally, I was devastated, and it took me a couple of months to get over that conversation.

Mary’s parents celebrate 50 years of marriage on the 13th of August. I sent a card to New Found land last week.

I also wrote a three page letter to my mother and father. Explaining just who was the cause of whose problems. It was not all about me, it was about the choices, both my mother and father made, well before I was even conceived. Because for years while I was growing up, my mother and father used to boast, quite openly to whomever was around, just HOW I was conceived, and where.

That would have been in the back seat of a Ford GTO at a certain Drive Inn Cinema, we were all familiar with, back home in Connecticut. We were all part of that grand story.

A story I reiterated to my mother in my letter last week.

I explained how my alcoholism took me to pitiful incomprehensible demoralization and just how bad it really was.

And also that when I moved away, nobody wanted to know where I was going, or how I was going to survive. And that has been the problem the whole of my adult life.

Nobody wanted to know, nobody really cares and to this day, none of them, my father, mother or brother, want to speak to me because of their perceptions of just HOW life went down for them. And they all blame me for their perceptions as how life went down.

We all have a story about life, based on our personal recollections and perceptions. This becomes apparent when sober people attempt to make amends to family.

My family is neck deep in denial and alcoholism. That subject was Never spoken about in our house.

And when I left home, I was an alcoholic, It was terribly bad in my twenties. I just managed to work out my drinking career for longevity, until I finally put the drink down fifteen years ago.

Is it all my fault ? Does no one else in my family bear any responsibility for the way they treated me, abused me and said abominable things to me when I came out and got sick?

My parents have a bible, they never open nor read. Yet they can quote the seven deadly scriptures as if they studied them theologically. They can throw an arrow with pin point precision, at fifty paces and always hit their mark.

Somewhere in my deluded soul. I believe that every human being has redeeming quality, and that one day, that will make all the difference.

So I wrote this letter, and I sent it a week ago, and today it would have hit its mark. I know I will not get a response, because my parents have hardened their hearts against God and me.

I will never get a fair hearing.

A while back, I read a book about Toxic Parents. It was all about my abusive father, and my silent mother.

In the book, the writer, a PHD talks about the confrontation. That time when some one gets their day in court, to say all those things we need to say and she tells you how you are going to speak the words, from what direction and with what inflection and tone.

i will never get that day, Ever. My parents will probably go to their graves, bitter, angry and spitting hateful words as they suck their last breath.

That is really not a nice thing to say, coming from me right now, but it is the truth, as I see it.

I just don’t know if I really should invest an inquiry to investigate if the letter achieved what I needed it to do. It was a literal shot in the dark.

I know, that talking to estranged family always turns into heart break and weeks of pining and moaning in meetings about things I should not have done in the first place.

I know that in my case, trying to teach old dogs new tricks is pointless and will be fruitless, based on the depth of their denial and sickness.

I am going to be 50 next year. They will be married 50 years as well. And try as I might, at my age right now, I just wish I could finally make peace, one way or another. And I am not quite sure if that would even be successful, since my mother and father still blame me for all of their problems to this day. I’ve been sober a long time and I am tired of fanning this flame.

What does one do in cases like this ? Do we ever get peace and hope? Because my love hate relationship with then is sunk in hate and has been for ages.

What happens when we turn 50 ? Because I know what happened to me when I turned 40 and beyond. My entire world shifted, in ways I was aware of in ways I had never knew before.

I am trying to age gracefully with the time I have left, because I am living on borrowed time, the grace of God and several bottles of assorted pills I have to take daily to survive.

My parents don’t get that either.

Sad.

I’m not sure where this is going or what I need from this note, but I know you will pray on this and what ever words you get, you will send back.

 

I hope you and the missus are well and the young adults are all fine. I think of Micah quite often and wonder how he is doing. We don’t get to see him very often.

Anyways, it is way late now and I should go get some sleep.

Thanks for listening.

Hi brother,
Your email overwhelms my heart. I’ve been sitting with it for days now, just holding it and you there in my heart, and before God.
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Your life journey is epic in size. There has been great cost to you, and much brokenness. Caring and nurturing parents have not been a part of your journey it seems.
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Yes, you know the joy of the little ones calling your name, and so you also know some of the pain of missing their little hugs. Its such a bitter sweet thing. Their love and the distance that separates your heart from theirs. Life and its distances seem to be such a challenge these days.
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Even distances of the heart.
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Your heart distance with your parents is a longing that, as you are seeing, may never be crossed over. I’ve seen aged men long for and crave the love of their moms and dads and it never comes. Never ever comes. And how is the aged man supposed to live with that love gap in their lives?
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Maybe it’s connected with your love for this little girl, Lu Lu.  Perhaps it stirs your own questioning of your parents and how they could so easily reject their little boy?
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The pain you are experiencing, the desire to be heard, the desire for justice, that is all legitimate and real.
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But you may never feel heard this side of heaven.
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How are you to live then with this glaring injustice in your life?
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There is an emotional need in you, in all of us, to be respected. To be loved and cared for, supported and listened to. We crave emotional connections, or intimacy with significant humans in our lives. Our parents, our spouses, our friends.
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And when it is slow in coming, we end up getting our self worth our intimacy our value and love from other places. Maybe from our jobs, maybe from our financial worth. Whatever, but we crave it, we want it.
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For Leah, she just wanted the love of her husband, Jacob
Remember, Jacob thought that Leah’s younger sister Rachel was beautiful. Jacob had been tricked into marrying Leah when he wanted Rachel.
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Genesis 29:14-35
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31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”
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33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.
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34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.
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35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
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For Leah, she was not loved, something which she craved. So she did what women of that time were to do, have babies, male babies. And she did it really well.   She thought that if she had God plus her husbands love, she would have all she needed.
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And so she kept trying to gain his love, by producing male babies.
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“Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”
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“She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.
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“Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.”
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Each new baby you see her heart torn out that maybe now Jacob would love her. But he never did.
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All these sons she was producing, and the reason was to gain the love and respect of her husband. She craved his love and affirmation just like many of us do today. She was willing to try the best that she could to gain his love. But it didn’t work.
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We think if only we could have the love of someone close to us, then it all would be ok, and life would be good or better or we would feel heard.  But that equation never worked for poor Leah.  And it really doesn’t work for us either.
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And then we see with her last son, a shift in her heart.
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35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
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This last time her focus was not on her husbands love, but on her God. Her heart changed and she decided to focus her needs her value, on God who was worthy of praise.
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And when she did that shift, Judah was born. When she stopped trying to gain value and love from her husband, and just from God, life came.  The line that Jesus would be born into, came through that line of Judah. Life came then and there.
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And interestingly enough, Rachel would die in childbirth and Jacob was buried with Leah.
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God took notice on the unloved Leah (and he took notice on the “unloved” Jeremy too). When she stopped trying to gain Jacobs love, she was free. When she decided to gain her value and self worth from God, who was worthy of praise, she was free.
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There is something there for you too Jeremy. It is a grief you go through realizing that you will never be heard and received by your parents. Thats real pain. But as you are able to shift your sense of value or self worth or even just being loved, from your parents to God, you gain freedom.
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And there are prayer things you can do to unhook the barbs from your parents that are still hooked into you. Things that I can explain later. But shifting your measure for happiness from the love of your parents to the love of God, is a real start.
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This letter has been a few days in the writing, because its included prayer and some levels of discernment. I believe God is here too, and I’m asking you to prayerfully consider what God may be inviting you to consider. I assure you of my own prayer for you these days.
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It seems like things in your heart are opening up in these love areas these days.
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I’m praying for you my brother, and I’m here if I can help in any ways.
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Sincerely,
Randall
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