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Mother Overwhelmed and Discouraged About Disabled, Alcoholic Daughter

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
October 24, 2019 10:06 am

Mother Overwhelmed and Discouraged About Disabled, Alcoholic Daughter

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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October 24, 2019 10:06 am

Caller shared her discouraged about her daughter who suffered a stroke following an attack, and is now disabled ...but has also turned to alcohol. 

It's difficult to watch loved one suffer. Watching them do so while addicted to alcohol and/or alcohol crushes the stoutest of caregiver hearts. This mother and I chatted for a bit on what her role is and isn't ...and what she can do and can't.

Sometimes, as caregivers, we must give firm boundaries ...but turn away to not show the hot tears that fill our eyes. 

Yet, there is a path to safety for caregivers of addicts/alcoholics.  We talked about it on this call. 

Hope for the Caregiver is Brought to You By: 

Standing With Hope

 

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Hey, this is Peter Rosenberger. Have you ever helped somebody walk for the first time? I've had that privilege many times through our organization, Standing with Hope, when my wife Gracie gave up both of her legs following this horrible wreck that she had as a teenager. And she tried to save them for years, and it just wouldn't work out. And finally she relinquished them and thought, wow, this is it. I mean, I don't have any legs anymore.

What can God do with that? And then she had this vision for using prosthetic limbs as a means of sharing the gospel, to put legs on her fellow amputees. And that's what we've been doing now since 2005 with Standing with Hope. We work in the West African country of Ghana, and you can be a part of that through supplies, through supporting team members, through supporting the work that we're doing over there.

You could designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you could be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking at standingwithhope.com. Would you take a moment and go out to standingwithhope.com and see how you can give.

They go walking and leaping and praising God. You could be a part of that at standingwithhope.com. Welcome back to the show for caregivers, about caregivers, hosted by a caregiver.

This is Peter Rosberger. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver, for those who are caring for folks. All right, let's go to Deborah in North Carolina. Deborah, good morning. How are you feeling?

Yeah. Hi, good morning, Peter. I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed and discouraged today. Two years ago, I had a daughter that was assaulted and she had a stroke and she almost died. And for two years I have been caring for her. She's aphasic, she can't speak, and she's a little independent. She can walk.

She doesn't have the use of her right arm. And her husband abandoned her. I went to another state and I have been totally her sole caregiver. She has her own place, but I find that the more I try to help her, she has somewhat destructive behaviors. She drinks and she wants us family members to bring her alcohol and she has a friend that helps her to continue in her bad habits of alcoholism.

And I don't know how to reach her. I don't know what else to do for her to try to get her to understand that, you know, she's going to die. I mean, basically, if she doesn't stop. Well, there are three things that happen with alcoholics, three potential paths that they can have, whether they've had a stroke or been assaulted or whatever else, she's still an alcoholic. There's three possible paths that she has. She's going to get sobered up, she's going to get locked up, or she's going to get covered up.

It means she'll die. Those are the only three choices that she has. You are not responsible for what she chooses to put in her body. You are not responsible for doing that and you cannot make her do anything different. And you don't have the vocabulary to fix this. There's not a phrase that you're going to come up with that's going to say, you know, all right, here it is.

Now you understand. And she's going to smack her forehead. I get it, mom, and I'm going to stop.

That's not going to happen. She's going to have to hit a place where she cries out for help. And then she's going to have to work a recovery program, period. That's the way this is going to play out or she's going to self-destruct. All right.

Period. Now, if she wants you to bring her alcohol, that's fine, but you don't have to do it. She didn't want all she wants, but that's not your responsibility. And that is not your place to do that.

You don't need to enable this in any way, fashion or form. And the way you care for your daughter is you put boundaries up and say, this is what I will and will not participate. Now, I say that rather firmly because you need to be firm in it. However, please understand that you're going to cry hot tears in those times because you're going to have to watch somebody you love circle the dream until she decides that she's had enough and she may or may not be capable of it.

I don't know. I don't know what she's capable or not capable of, but I know that you're not capable of going down this particular rabbit hole and saving her. And the best thing that you can do for your daughter is for you to go to a recovery program for yourself, for family members of alcoholics. That is the best thing you can do.

And as the Al-Anon program of his program start? That is a great place to start. That is a great place to start. And I would also recommend that you possibly seek some counseling for yourself on this and get a good social worker, a good mental health counselor who's been around the block for a while. You don't have to go to a psychiatrist or psychologists are pretty expensive.

I think you'd go to a licensed clinical social worker and do just fine, but somebody who's just been around the block for a while. And what about your church? How's your pastor? Do you get along pretty well with your pastor? I do. Yeah, I do. I do go to church.

I'm a regular attender. Yeah, he's pretty aware of the situation. Do you feel like your pastor's got some good insights or some good savvy to him? I'm not sure he's real. As far as that type counseling, I do know that there are a couple other people in my church that are actually counselors.

I may go to them. It's just, it's hard. It's hard for me to open up and talk to other people about it because it's hard. Deborah, I get that.

I truly do. And I know it's hard, but that's what this whole point of this conversation today is that we're learning that we're going to have to ask for help. And right now you need help. I mean, you just do, but help is not getting your daughter to stop drinking.

Help is for you to accept the fact that your daughter's an alcoholic and disabled and all the other things and make peace with it, with yourself and knowing what is yours and what is not yours. I remember one time a reporter asked me, you know, what's the hardest thing for you to do as a caregiver? And you've heard my story.

I mean, Gracie's had 80 surgeries and a hundred doctors have treated her in 12 different hospitals. But the hardest thing for me is to know what is mine and what is not mine to carry. And I go back to what we talked about at the beginning of the show with Moses.

He was out there trying to carry the entire burden of a nation. And his father-in-law said, dude, back away from this. It's too big for you. And I'll read that same scripture, but in the context of your daughter, this is what Moses' father-in-law said to him. And I'm going to say it to you.

You will certainly wear yourselves out for this thing, but the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. You can't fight alcoholism. You can't fight what's happened to your daughter, but you can deal with what's going on with you. And that's where a good recovery program for family members of Alcoholics comes into play.

That's where good counseling comes into play. That's where a good church situation where you're hearing the gospel repeated over and over and over to you to understand how God is faithful to you in this. Speaking life. What I'm hoping that you'll do, and I saw this with the last caller, she's speaking death to herself in the midst of her pain. I want her and her husband and her son, and now you, to speak life to yourselves. And if nobody else is speaking life, you're going to have to speak it to yourself. David did that at Ziklag when his men were going to stone him.

And he just knelt down and he strengthened himself in the Lord. That's what we have to do. But that's why I do this show so that you have somebody that's saying to you, hey, Debra, we're going to speak life to you in this thing. Don't know what's going to happen with your daughter. She may not make it, but you have to. You have to. That's hard. That's hard to hear. It is hard. It is because you try to, I've tried for two years to save her, to try to help save her, but she doesn't seem to be interested in wanting to be saved. You know what I mean? As far as her life is concerned. Go back. Our savior was literally hanging on the cross, wanting to save people that were not interested in being saved.

Yeah, that's true. Look down at your hands. Look down at your hands.

Do you see nail prints? This isn't yours to fix. You cannot save her. She has a savior.

You're not that savior. You are her mother and you will grieve over this. And that's why it's so important for you to be around other people who understand this, who can build you up in it because you will grieve over this and it will hurt. I'm sorry.

It just will. That's not going to be fixed this side of heaven, but that doesn't mean you can't get stronger in this. That doesn't mean you can't make peace with this. That doesn't mean you can't have joy in this.

That doesn't mean you can't be calmer in this. See, the goal here is not for you to fix your daughter. The goal is for you to trust God as he moves in this thing, no matter how this plays out, so that you can be calmer and healthier as your daughter goes through these things.

And if you end up standing at a grave, that you're not doing it with clenched fists. But it's really important for you to understand what you can and cannot do and you cannot fix this. She doesn't want to be saved and you don't have the power to save her even if she does. All you can do is point her to safety and decide what you will do and what you will not do. And I would highly recommend you not enabling her by bringing her alcohol or anything else and just saying no to her. You're going to get blow back and she's going to say ugly things to you or communicate ugly things to you. Yeah, she does. She does. But you know what?

That's the disease. Peter, I really appreciate it. Let me just tell you how much I appreciate how hard it was for me to make this phone call but I can tell from your conversation. You really understand. You do.

I do. And that is so much appreciated and I respect you so much for that. And thank you. Well, listen, don't hang up. I'm going to get your information.

I'm going to send you a copy of my book, Seven Caregiver Landmines. But the phone does feel like a hundred pounds but I'm glad you picked it up and called. That's why we do the show, Debra, and I appreciate you. I appreciate you taking the time to call. Don't hang up. Debra's going to get your information.

This is Hope for the Caregiver, hopeforthecaregiver.com. We'll see you next week.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-22 23:01:33 / 2024-01-22 23:06:29 / 5

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