Hope is the enemy.

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by gringo, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. gringo

    gringo Registered User

    Feb 1, 2012
    1,189
    UK.
    Several days ago, Adcat gave a link to an exceptionally well-written article by Dasha Kiper. The article related her experience of caring for a person with dementia.
    What has haunted me ever since reading it was her statement ‘Hope is the enemy. Such is the deviousness of dementia: it’s ability to keep hope alive while it’s symptoms signify only futility.’
    Nietzsche said that ‘Hope is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man’, but Pope says ‘Hope springs eternal from the human breast’.
    I wish I’ld never read the article, I hate to think of hope as the enemy, but her argument was too persuasive. Life without hope? What a prospect!
     
  2. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,042
    Never been a fan of Nietzsche Gringo. I have hope, its quite separate from the dementia symptoms I experience even though sometimes can be hard to see. Hope is what rises above the torments, don't be persuaded:)
     
  3. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    5,726
    North Somerset
    Don't think I could live without hope but agree that it doesn't really apply in these circumstances.
     
  4. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    I still think that most of us live with hope in our hearts even if we know that really we are kidding ourselves :) Maybe it is because love and hope go together x Don't let the article get you down. I thought it was a decent article but there were bits I didn't like so i just threw them out lol x
     
  5. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    Too tired to look it up now, but T S Eliot said we should live without hope because we might be hoping for the wrong thing. At least I think he did. I've never thought it was a negative statement, more about staying in the moment and not making assumptions about the future but letting it unfold. Don't know if that helps. Probably from the Four Quartets.
     
  6. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    “I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
    T. S. Eliot
     
  7. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,567
    Yorkshire
    We can all hope for a long healthy, wealthy life with no troubles or sorrows - doesn't mean we expect that it will be that way. If we all lived without hope, there'd be no children - why have children to live a futile life.
    I know life with dementia holds many challenges for each person with it and their carers - doesn't mean we don't hope each day for some pleasure and the sharing of human warmth.
    If we were without hope, we wouldn't be posting on TP.
    We may not expect a cure in the near future but we hope for one one day, or at least some means to alleviate symptoms.
    So I feel Esmerelda has a point - hope 'for the wrong thing' actually leads to despair, I think - hope with a sense of what is appropriate in given circumstances is life affirming.
    Sue J's
    is wonderful
    and reminds me of the Pandora myth - when all the evils were released from the box, finally Hope was discovered and released too.
    Let hope be
    Let's be still and dance
     
  8. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,016
    Toronto, Canada
    I also remember that phrase and it resonated for me. But in context, it is about family members not getting hopeful when their loved one has a particularly good day. In that sense, I understand the phrase and agree with it.

    But I don't think of it in terms of all my life. I am generally an optimistic person.
     
  9. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,567
    Yorkshire
    Thanks for the clarification Canadian Joanne - I couldn't find the article to check.
    In context it makes sense - and could be said to be about hoping for the wrong thing.
    Gringo - I hope this helps settle your mind.
     
  10. Trisha4

    Trisha4 Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    2,442
    Yorkshire
    Perhaps it is about hoping for the possible. To hope that a cure tomorrow will bring all our loved ones back to pre-dementia conditions is pointless and will only lead to despair. But to hope for things appropriate to our own situations must be right. It might be just a smile or an enjoyable event or something that goes according to plan. Life without hope would be very hard.


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  11. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,016
    Toronto, Canada
    It did refer to hoping for the impossible, which would only lead to more and deeper despair.

    I agree, completely.
     
  12. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,589
    Sometimes there are occasions in life when hope is a wasted emotion.

    Sometimes even 'best outcome' scenarios are hopeless.
    To continue to have 'hope' on such occasions is to refuse to face reality.

    These are the times that hope shifts and the best we can 'hope' for is an end to the agony.

    Hope....it's such an interesting word and an enigmatic and subjective emotion.

    Nevertheless , I am glad you shared your emotions, Mike.

    It's good to talk.

    Take care x


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  13. gringo

    gringo Registered User

    Feb 1, 2012
    1,189
    UK.
    Thanks Sue. I particularly like hope rising above the torments!



    Having read this several times ,I’m still not sure what he is saying, but it is part of a large work, and many people have interpreted it in many different ways. But ‘wait without hope….’!!!

    Oh Gwen! Of course you are right if we hope for too much. I think it all depends on what we hope for. I must say I can't contemplate a life without hope of any kind.

    Miss Rossetti tells of a future ’stripp’d bare of hope’.

    Talk what you please of future spring
    And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:
    Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,
    No more to laugh, no more to sing,
    I sit alone with sorrow.

    A Daughter Of Eve
    Christina Georgina Rossetti

    Clearly, we don’t want to go there; we must be allowed some hope. But, for us, hope has to be qualified.
    Yes I agree with this. Whilst we cannot, in our time, hope for a cure, we can hope for small things, a good visit, a smile of recognition, perhaps it is not even too much to hope that our loved one remains sure of our love.
    Rather than 'the enemy', for me, hope for small things is very much an indispensable ally.
     
  14. Trisha4

    Trisha4 Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    2,442
    Yorkshire
    And for me Sue


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     

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