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My Mother's Behavior Makes Me Want To Start Drinking Again

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
October 2, 2018 7:13 am

My Mother's Behavior Makes Me Want To Start Drinking Again

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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October 2, 2018 7:13 am

Kim from Michigan called the show to express her frustration with her mother, the lack of help from her siblings, and her struggle with alcoholism. 

 

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Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver. I am Peter Rosenberger bringing you three decades of experience to help you stay strong and healthy as you take care of someone who is not. And we are glad you're with us.

The phone lines are open and evidently I hit a nerve with this topic because the phone lines started getting very full. And we're talking about relationships and people who are trapped in this very difficult place of thinking I've got to make somebody happy. Whether it's Alzheimer's, whether it's substance abuse, whether it's drugs, whether it's prescription drugs under a doctor's care, or whether they're taken illicitly, whether they have autism, that doesn't matter. If you are in that bondage of thinking you've got to make somebody else happy. You know that song, Make Someone Happy?

No, that's not good theology. I'm not here to help make someone else happy. What I am do is to live a calmer, healthier, and even more joyful life while I deal with sometimes very difficult situations.

Difficult realities. And that's our place as caregivers. That's a safe place for us as caregivers when we realize I'm not responsible for that. I am responsible to treat them with respect. I am responsible to honor my mother and father as scripture tells me.

That's our scripture for today. But I'm not responsible to honor Alzheimer's. I'm not responsible to honor Lou Gehrig's disease. I'm not responsible to honor autism. Okay?

It's really important that we understand the difference. When a disease calls, you don't have to answer the phone. All right?

You're not responsible for that. Let's go to the phones. Let's go to Kim in Michigan. Kim, good morning. Welcome to the show. How are you feeling? Wonderful, Mr. Rosenberg. I really appreciate your program. It's wonderful.

I wish there was more like this. I mean, you speak with ministers and pastors and nobody has an answer. Nobody. My mother- I'm not responsible for that on this show, but we do have a path. Okay?

That's the difference. I can't give you answers anymore than you give answers to me with my situation, but what I can do is help get a well-lit path to safety where we can all as caregivers catch our breath, take a knee if we need to, and then start developing better ways to deal with this. But tell us what's going on in your life. My mother is 92, and as far back as I can remember, she's from England, Scotland, and not a big medication taker, doesn't like it. And I've always suspected there's a little bit of an imbalance with her since day one, as long as I can remember, five, six years old. However, as she has progressed, she also has a brand new heart. She had quadruple bypass, so she's got a lot of energy. However, what was happening is I have to go over to her house every morning before work, give her her pills, almost drop them in her mouth, or else she won't take them, which is the hypothyroid.

And it's very difficult. Well, we went and got her checked. Her B12 levels are very, very low, which is dangerous for the elderly. And she said, I don't care if you ever talk to me again.

I'm not taking that B12 shot. And she has become increasingly aggressive, nasty toward me. So I'm concerned, got an adult protective services involved, because I'm worried. I'm worried about her. And she's fine with them. She's normal, she's clear, she's kind and sweet, but she saves it all up. She saves it all up for me.

And I was talking to, I'm Catholic, even though everything I listen to is on this American Family radio station, but he just didn't know what to say. I mean, you try to honor your parents, you try to do the right thing, and it's just continued nastiness, won't take the pills. And when she doesn't take the pills, what you reap with not taking a hypo or hyperthyroid is, you won't even believe it.

They're completely unbalanced. The digestive system doesn't work. And it's cyclical. It goes on and on and on. And this nastiness, I don't really, I think maybe it's progressed a little bit with old age, but it's been there since I was very young. Well, it probably won't get better, Kim. I mean, you know, at 90 something years old, she's probably not going to change from that too much.

It'd probably get a little bit worse, in fact. However, you got somebody that's helping you with the services. She's nice to them. Will she take the B-12 with them?

No. She'll pretend, and she's like, oh, I'm fine, I'm fine. She'll talk them into leaving. She's very shrewd. She's intelligent.

There's pockets of clarity. I think the word you're looking for is probably manipulative. Yeah, and narcissistic. I don't know what to do. I pray about it.

The last episode, very nasty, but intelligent enough to, boy, she can really pull it over. And then you try to discuss this with a care worker outside of the family, and they look at you like you're crazy because here's this nice little old lady. And I'll tell you, it's exhausting. And it makes you just, I quit drinking nine years ago.

I had an alcohol problem just because of the family I grew up. And that's okay. I mean, it's okay. It is what it is. You can either carry it around or you can fix it. So I went to AA, quit drinking.

But she makes you just want to guzzle a gallon. I'll tell you, I mean, you try everything. Everything. Well, first off, congratulations on your recovery. Okay?

God bless AA. Here's the deal with your mother. You can't be responsible for what somebody else puts in their own body or doesn't put in their own body. I mean, at some point, she's a grown woman, 90-something years old. Now, she may be impaired. She may not be. She may just be mean. She may be manipulative.

All those things. But at some point, she's going to be responsible unless she is mentally incompetent for her own well-being. You're not. You are not dishonoring her if you take your hands off of this for a little bit. Now, you can do what I call a cutout. And you have somebody else that gets involved with this. And that may be her primary care doctor. Now, does her primary care doctor know about all these things?

He does. It's funny you said that. It's just ironic you said that. Actually, they called the other day and said, your mother's meds are ready to be picked up. And I said, well, I really can't take care of her anymore. And she's got a lot of energy. She walks, she talks, she gets around. So they went back to her doctor, her primary care, and I have a feeling they'll find somebody else in the family. Now, my other sister, we've never been close, but she lives on the other side of the United States.

And she was over there for a couple years and she was just dropped back. So the other sister can't care for her. I mean, she drives everybody nuts. It's very difficult.

I mean, she drives everybody nuts. Well, what is the plan if you go down, what's the plan? There's no plan. Nobody in the family communicates.

I've tried. I've got the legal thing involved, got the attorneys involved, got everybody on a conference call. What are we going to do? Did all her legal work, did all her beneficiary work. And then the other sister came in, took everything over, put everything in her name. They dropped her back off in Michigan.

No one called or told me. Well, I'll tell you, Mr. Rosenstein, the fine line with me is you want to do the God thing. You don't want to disappoint our dear Lord. Let's change our view of God a little bit that you're not somehow able to struggle with this kind of thing. And all of a sudden God's up there with a big grading pad trying to say, okay, Kim, you really messed this one up.

We're going to have to slap you around a little bit. That's not the way God works. He understands the pain of this.

He took care of his own mother from the cross. Let's put all this in perspective. And first off, it's Peter. You don't have to call me Mr. Anything. It's just Peter. We don't stand on formalities here.

It's seven o'clock on Saturday morning here in Nashville, so we don't stand on formalities. I think that the first thing you do is continue working your recovery program, okay? Because the stress of this is going to affect your own journey. If you struggle with alcoholism, this is not exactly what you call a helper for that. And so you keep working your program.

You stay in touch with your sponsor. You do that for you first. That is paramount for you to be in a good place on your recovery program. The second thing is you can talk with her primary care doctor and let them know, look, I've got to take a step back. My mother is unwilling and abusive and very difficult for me to deal with. There's too many family dynamics.

So you guys work it all out. And if you tell this to the doctor, say, look, if you think that she's a danger to herself or others, you're her doctor, okay? I will do what I can, but I'm at a standoff with her where I'm having to fight her to take care of her. And I don't think that's a good place. And tell the doctor, say, look, if something happens to me, there's no good plan. And the doctor may be able to refer you to some type of social worker who can help arbitrate this and move you guys down a different path. And I would probably recommend that.

But I think you're going to need those cutouts of buffers between you and your mom so that you can help her, but you may have to help her from a little bit further distance than you've been doing. There is no need to walk in to that, stick your hand in that blender. And every time you do, then by your own definition this morning, it makes you want to start drinking.

And that's a bad place for you. So if you turn back to drinking, this thing is going to turn into a Greek tragedy. And so what we want to do is help you get to a place of safety where you realize, okay, I'm going to work my program. I'm going to be going to AA, I'm going to be working on this, keep listening to this station, keep listening to this show, and keep yourself in that very narrow path of safety. And then have that honest conversation with her physician and with her care providers and say, look, this is what's going on.

If you don't like it, help me because she's going to hurt herself this way and I can't force her to take these things. And you're going to end up having to admit her into a hospital because her body's going to shut down. I can guarantee you if that doctor is dealing with a 92-year-old patient, it's not the first 92-year-old patient that doctors dealt with.

And that's where we start. Now, that's not an answer, Kim. We're not giving answers on this show. What we're doing is trying to develop strategies to deal with something that is way beyond our skill set. You do not have specialties in geriatric medicine, I'm assuming.

And so it's way beyond our skill set. But if it takes you down into a path where your addiction starts cranking back up, that's a bad place for you. And I can tell you that I'm speaking for pretty much everybody listening across the country right now saying, we want you to be safe. That's important to us, Kim. Okay? Great direction, Peter. Thank you. God bless you. All right. Listen, God bless you. Thank you for calling, Kim. This is Hope for the Caregiver. I am Peter Rosenberger. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-21 20:21:56 / 2024-01-21 20:27:06 / 5

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