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"Friendly Fire." As a caregiver, do you feel attacked by your own team?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
July 13, 2020 4:54 pm

"Friendly Fire." As a caregiver, do you feel attacked by your own team?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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July 13, 2020 4:54 pm

In the physical therapy room  at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Gracie and I encountered wounded soldiers dealing with various forms of "friendly fire." One soldier in particular lost a leg due to being hit by his own team ...and other soldiers dealt with crumbling marriages and families as they struggled to recover from devastating wounds. 

How many of us deal with deep wounds caused by those “on our own team?”

How many of us have caused damage to the ones we love and swore to protect?

Sometimes “friendly fire” wounds are compounded with the shame of the wound itself. We feel like our wounds come with dishonor, and our fists clench with a rage —and we want to strike the one(s) who hurt us. One only needs to watch five minutes of the news each day to see the fury erupting in our country over the feelings of mistreatment. The protests on our street reflect that being wounded by those on the same team can leave scars that take can take generations to heal. 

In moments of clarity, we can also realize with horror how poorly we treated those counting on us—and the guilt and shame fill us with despair. In our pain, we might even lash out at people who are simply trying to encourage us.

In a quiet corner of a military hospital, a teachable moment for our nation’s current challenges occurred. When gripped with resentment over wounds that should not have happened, we discover the path to recovery is flanked by those walking in their own healing. Their successes help inspire our own.

Peter Rosenberger is the host of HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER.  The nation's #1 broadcast and podcast show for family caregivers, Peter draws upon his 34+ year journey as a caregiver for his wife, Gracie, through a medical nightmare that includes 80+ surgeries, multiple amputations, and treatment by 100+ physicians. 

Learn more at



Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger

Christmas gift why not want the chicken under the tree and leaving applicable as Christmas gifts chicken maybe it's not the get for your family but it is the perfect gift for poor family ninja chicken can break the cycle of poverty for poor family yes chicken chickens and provide nourishment for family and they can sell those eggs at the market for income when you donate a chicken or any other gospel for Asia. 100% of what you give goes to the field and get the ball went gospel fundraiser to support family.

Jesus family this Christmas, give them six explanation see chickens and camping for the number one chauffeur used was 65 million Americans were serving as security for a foldable of the Alzheimer's the offices of the addiction alcohol was whatever the chronic impairment there's always a cure. Are you for that's what the show is all about is helping you navigate through this little bit healthier, and dare I say it will be more joyful. I am Peter Rosenberger. I'm your host, I've been cared for myself now for 34 years and understand the journey in ways that if you do the hopeless will or going to get through this together and were going to talk through these things are tough issues together. You also want to follow along live on Facebook, Facebook page for the caregiver got to hope for the caregiver and you can follow along theirs. Well, and then our podcast and everything else is at her website.

Hopefully will do the broadcast today and then we podcast as well. Throughout the week and would love it's a free podcast you can you can follow along with that hopefully caregiver.come, hopefully there's lots of different ways that we put this all out there and we want you to take advantage of this. There is no other show like this and this show is the donations literally will exit the world's number one show for the family caregiver and were bringing this with a biblical worldview of understanding these things of what it's going what's going on with the person pushing the wheelchair stating in the hospital hospital room corner what's going on with all these individuals and and how do you help the because if the caregiver goes down. What happens to the patient in the in this this pandemic that were dealing with their lot more caregivers and their lot issues that are affecting caregivers in ways they never have before. People reticent to send their love one 280 and assisted facility over or or some type even go to the hospital because afraid if they go there though never see them again and so this thing is getting way out and in the weeds for us as is. Caregivers of water. Okay what were safety what is it look like, how do we navigate this where is God in this and so that's why we do the show is to speak fluent caregiver.

In those situations all right some years ago. Some years ago, gracing were at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We went there many times as as the war on terror ramped up starting back in 2003 is when we first started going to Walter Reed and what happened was that that commanding officers there recognize that Gracie brought a a valuable component to speak to these wounded warriors and me as well and their families as they were there and and course Gracie my wife is a bilateral, a beauty Bowflex. She'd been through it and this is the first time that we had women coming back as a PT sitting become large number it was. It was a kind of a stark reality for our country as we double this is new, more new kind of combat so were watching.

This is an ever growing up there back-and-forth quite a bit and in it one point I was in the physical therapy training room there and Gracie saying for the groundbreaking of this facility and we were up there for a prayer breakfast. My father actually joined us on this prayer breakfast and I was at his retired Navy chaplain and so were going work where talking to various soldiers and their families.

And I'm talking some of the Gracie goes up to this young man who's laying on a physical therapy table. Working out is a cingulate beauty below the knee and turns out this young man had suffered injuries from friendly fire friendly fires when basically you you get shot hurt even killed by your own team and it wasn't intentional or just this is what happened sometimes in combat. You may remember the NFL star Pat Tillman who joined the military left in a village on the material that from what I understand that's what happened with him. With this young soldier lost his leg due to friendly fire.

Gracie walks over there to see him and she's wearing a skirt and she doesn't wear skin coverings on her prosthetic limbs there exposed so they look, robotic.

This gas line on the table and he couldn't see her but from the waist up and so she walks over to see him and Harry doing soldier and he was just really rude, ugly to her and the physical therapist that was worked with him. He knew Grace and he was really embarrassed for her and he told the soldiers should look you might want to listen this lady she's got a lot to offer. She's welcome here, and he looked over at at her again was just real hateful and just ugly to her.

Gracie was a little bit taken aback within. She cannot regain her composure and she put her hand on one of the parallel bars. It was close by. One of the workout bars and she propped her foot. Her prosthetic foot, right beside his head and in I was. She's wearing a beautiful shoe epic outer shoes. I go to the store.

Often times with water for feet or her leg and that I hit her shoe so she didn't have to go without a video conference or from the storage they hate you like this you whatever and I but out of literally take her leg to the shoe store so just to the side. I know you think I'm goofy with that what you try. Subtilis lot easier to take her leg and is take her sometimes to the shoe store so she propped his foot upside his head and she looks at him square in the eye and she says you ain't the only PT in here begat and he turned his head. He sees this metal leg of this prosthetic foot reps that his head and then he looks over and sees her bouncing on her other prosthetic leg that point the soldier in him Manda and he yeah he nodded his head and then they had a meaningful conversation point most talk about that for a moment. Friendly fire and what that means.

It's sometimes when you feel like you've been and what that means to caregivers by the way and when you feel like you been hurt by your own team. There's a different kind of wound that enters into the play here. It is this guy looked down at his amputated leg. You know, he felt he was even denied the bragging rights. They lost the first country rather hate the thought lost because of his country and those are hard feelings to fight you know being wounded in the service of one's country doesn't automatically instill a sense of patriotism. You know that just because you get one for you country doesn't mean that wow I just love this country you're still wounded and you got a deal. Some of that reality. When we experience wounds from people that were counting on it. It creates a dynamic in us that we need to work through that is hard to work through.

I was while Gracie was talking with this guy I was nearby. Talking to a fellow that lost both of his legs in combat and he was joking around and kidding around and have a good time and then I looked at them or the cleanliness and how are things back home this with his face clouded over and he and his wife looks like were going to make you sleep naked choke and even with prosthetic legs when you asked him about matters of the heart get a little dicey because the relationship fell apart, felt wounded by the warnings counting friendly fire. Talk about that with just 888-589-8840 888-589-8840 dispute arose open theater here in America for millennialist. This is the Masons them. You 888-589-8840 888-589-8840 if you want to be a part of the show were talking about friendly fire. Friendly fire when you are wounded by your own team and this message was driven home to Gracie that what we were when we were over at Walter Reed, we been there many many times to visit wounded warriors and their families in this particular time when Gracie encounter this young soldier who was bitter, lewdly lost his leg and he was very angry and bitter, and he snarled at Gracie until he realized that she herself was a double amputee, and she confronted him she didn't pander to them. She didn't cower.

She confronted that you know he's not the only amputee in that room and and that however horrific this is. There is a path to healing through this thing in recovery to be different, but of this could involve a lot of different things, but there is a path she's traveled in a stock of this fellow that's you know his wife is leaving both of his legs are gone and he was joking and kidding around until I asked him about his marriage, his family and our things at home and that's when he just went dark. We talked for a while about that is asking a mother same same day same room with her son and he had a halo and over his leg in the end they were. He had a right to his right leg was amputated. I believe in the other one had a halo around it and Hoffman device they were trying to save that one, but it didn't look like it was gonna make you either have been through that with Gracie and sometimes I'll try to say things that don't need to be saved but they were trying and ended every appearance look like that that right leg that both of his legs to be casualties of this and I asked the mother and and and I said about about his father's is he been around and she got all her job is tight. She said he left years ago in good written friendly fire specimen the same team but she was a caregiver somebody on your team tear new part somebody on your team causing you great ones. The person you're caring for how many of you will right now are caring for someone who is ugly tea while you're caring for the your your change in their adult diapers and they're just cursing that you are saying hateful, hurtful things to come to you all are dealing with. You got an alcoholic or an addict in your family you love them you're trying to get you given the money you've done all kinds of things treating like garbage you taking care of your special-needs child and the husband bails on or cheats on these are things that are happening to caregivers happens to all of us how you deal with that.

What does it look like to deal with that was the path back to healing and recovery look like in that situation that you're going through that. But Tracy and Mississippi Tracy good morning, how are you feeling well are you know now calling and when you get there.

I'd like I could no longer there. Very abusive and you know verbally and I get. I've been through a lot of different types of support group your show and it validate what I'm going to take that life you know what I mean and I will. I'm glad to hear that because Libby reaffirmed that you are not the stupid wife is putting up with the drug you are him to put up with a drawbridge not stupid wife, but he has. He has an impairment. He has an illness that is beyond item and if he's not actively seeking recovery then you it's really important for you to do what is necessary to protect you in this. You're not his punching bag verbally or physically right he's sick and you don't get out and get help me usually are not alive trying to not know, and it probably beyond well he could try to quit all he wants, but unless he is actively working to recovery program something like AA or whatever he said is going to care.

I can all kinds of promises that he will do better you will be better you will do better but the reality of it is he's got a chronic disease that he's going have to wrestle with for the rest of his life and so will you have to wrestle with his chronic disease. Now when you say you been a support group for review been Al-Anon. How often do you go to a meeting. Recovering my own, how often, how often do you go to a meeting one night.

How often do you call your sponsor or time.

Good pick up the phone.

Call your sponsor to don't just text pick up the phone. Call your sponsor okay if she's she's too busy for you to call her will. She's too busy for you to call her.

You might want get flat looking fighting another sponsor or go into more meetings okay because the best place for you and I mean this with all sincerity, the best place for you is in a recovery meeting like this because it's going to help reinforce all the things that were trying to establish right of the show that it your husband has the problem when you've developed a set of survival skills to deal with that problem that are destructive to you.

Okay, so it's really important that you start getting healthier. No matter what he does, he may never deal with this. He may never get this right. There are three possible passport alcoholic. They're going to get sobered up there to get locked up or the go to get covered up those of the three paths that he has in front of it and if he's not actively working on a recovery program, then he's going to face either being locked up in jail or dead that's the bottom line for you. On the other hand you, this can tear you apart is will and no matter what happens to him. It it he may not make but you have to and right here. It is not selfish for you to care for you in this you have children, my don't be sorry this is your place. This this is a safe place for you here okay yeah held her son your husband's drinking didn't start before or after your son's death, no unit will use your husband is basically dealing with whatever he's got a deal with and to give you idea how much pain your husband is is in his alcoholism is what he thinks is the is the answer. That's how much pain is right but you but you can't fix that now want to ask you what I ask you real quick, but don't try to fix it. He didn't cause the hold onto that. We got to go to break I got to the break will be right back don't noble waitress this Peter Rosenberg's hopefully caregiver will be right back. Are you enjoying our podcast on John Butler and I coproduced Peter so hopefully caregiver since it began. I like to think that I'm responsible for the explosive growth the shows enjoyed.

I'd like to think that but while Peter pays me not to. So let's move along all jokes aside out. I do have a great time with the show. We absolutely love it.

In this podcast we not only publish things from the show, but also include special bonus materials. We really don't want to have a subscription section that would rather make all of this great content available for free to hurting caregivers you can help us do that by clicking on the become a patron button for as little as a dollar a month you can be a part of the world's number one podcast for family caregivers. There's all types of gifts that we love to give you depending on what tear you like to join. Maybe it's five dollars. Maybe it's 10, whatever you'd like. Consider sponsoring this podcast today and help strengthen family caregivers and yourself. Thanks so much and remember healthy caregivers make better caregivers.

Once you those of you putting yourself into a global level and even worse disaster could even be addiction or alcoholism. As were talking with Tracy this morning here is dealing with this with her husband after the death of her son. It really took on a dark Atlee turned and Tracy appreciate you hanging onto the break. I really do couple things I was thinking about it, will we went to the break working your program through Al-Anon is going to be paramount for you. I mean it. It has to be the highest priority for you through this process because that is your path to safety. It's going to equip you with the understanding of the vocabulary and the in the you be able to borrow the courage from other people who have been in this situation before, but you gotta get this out and work this program. It is work you have to work it but it is not it.

It is, you will see that that your husband may or may not be able to beat this thing that's entirely on his right, but you have to write that's on you for you.for hearing and in causes stuff you can't cure. You can't change that is not your gig.

Your thing is Tracy. How does Tracy get healthy in this and lives that look like and and I'm not asking you not worry about making decisions about your marriage or anything else at this. Your husband is in torment and what you going to go through.

Would you go through this program with Al-Anon or other like things like that you go to come to understand that your husband truly is in torment, but you can't can't fix that for him and and and the best thing you can do is for you to be in a healthy healthy healthy place in the way you go to get that is you going to do it. I don't did you hear the opening part of the story. What I thought about Gracie.

With that with that soldier.

Note she did, she did pander to this God. You see a lot of people out there in our streets when everybody you'd get a friendly fire hurts were seeing people riding in the streets because of generational wounds that we had in this country. I get that but she did pander to it and she didn't care what night she confronted me to sit here you think the only APD in your big boy and is it it but this is what happens when we start dealing with our trauma and our wounds in the confines of a safe place like a support group with Al-Anon like a 12 step program like a counselor, and so forth, is that and then your husband could have the same opportunity whether you will take it or not. We don't know what he needs to some point be around people who could look at him and say you're not the only one he's done this and you will find this is what I have failed it and you will find though Tracy that the the path to recovery is flanked by those who are walking in their own healing.

This is how we do it. Their successes inspire hours it will we have enough of those successes may we can even heal a nation, but the morning around your sponsor, the more year-round a meeting, the more you're going to be able to borrow from their courage and then you are going to be able to get stronger through this process and in and in doing so what'll happen is it'll surprise you, but what happened is you turn around and you'll find that people are being or borrowing your courage right it'll happen and and and and you won't necessarily be able to see the changing you so much. But what happens is you start seeing the change in the people you're working through these things with in your own group.

There you start see the change in the eye and then you then that will be the lease signed the things are changing and you but you've got to stronger this and you've heard me say if he was to show it all. You've heard me say over and over and over healthy caregivers make better caregivers and and I'm I think I'm the only one that has any kind of national presence on this that is addressing the issue of addiction alcoholism in the terms of the family caregiver and then I hear I don't think eBay is doing and I don't know why they're not doing it but I'm doing because I understand that it's a chronic disease and when you have a chronic disease.

How grateful I care ministry director in your heart you know help you do like morning before I called and I can't cure linking information to probably 15 of my friends that I know deal with and I'm just so grateful I had to call in and tell you thank you thank you thank you will. Tracy listen you. You you are why do the show is just that simple. I understand. What do I have one of my offering, the people haven't done for me and I would be a lousy steward if I didn't use the things that people invested in me important to me and walk with through me and I borrowed their courage to be able to offer that I use here today on the show I'd be a lousy steward of that incident. This is what we do, were all on a path to recovery.

Were all on a path of redemption were all on a path of God working through these things and I will I will tell you this, that every every every bleak moment that you have with your husband.

You have a Savior that is there with you and he truly he has not forgotten you and all of this is being woven into his purposes. I don't understand it and I don't particularly even like it but internationally I like it even asked me to understand that I did ask he truly yes he asked us to trust in you know what your husband has a Savior to and you are not that Savior God. Do not look at your hands look out your hand to start a fight. Do you see male bricks on your hands now. There, this is not yours to fit but you do have a response eligible artists thing to give up what it always is because we all we all want to see think somehow we can fix this. This is our own sickness that we have and you have one of the things you come to grips with. As you walk through this recovery program yourself as you come to grips with the fact that you develop your own sickness and cope with the amazing yeah but there is a path.

There is a pet. This is this is the crux for every caregiver. We are so wired to go with and try to rescue her try to fix somebody that's broken and we don't have the skill sets. This is way above our pay grade.

So here's what I'm asking unless you two things I number one okay, I'm going to ask you after the John hold and and Jason's go get your information I will sent you copy by book hope for the caregiver.

Okay you copy of it.

Now a lot of it's go to apply to things in that book that may not say, alcoholism or addiction. Okay, but you couldn't get something out of this book for you specifically in that a lot of it will if you just if you hang on and understand that impairment is impairment okay when orange amputation. Whether it yeah whatever it is chronic impairment. You can't fix okay right but you go this book.

I think this could be very comforting to you and it's it's it's it it's this. The crux of everything we do here. So Jason's go to get your information and will message that if something happens and you don't get it. Then you call back you know and then will will the office by crack staff, which is me basically but blessed me with. The second thing I want you to do and I'm asking you do this, would you please would you please pick up the phone and call your sponsor. I will edit the medical I probably will just that because that the the Texas fund, but there's something about have that conversation if your sponsor is too busy and I understand she made me then look at getting another sponsor that can take the time with somebody's really been down this road and is get some some mileage on him with with dealing with this Stuff. Okay. And it's not personal.

What your current sponsor, but your needs are so intense right now that it's going to require daily, sometimes even hourly engagement. You know that you know that all humanity. The every hour is an old hymn uploaded. I put it on my CD sales for the caregiver, because the reason I put there's because there's not a him this riddance as I need the every minute I may have to write that him and I don't this is this is the place where you're in and you're going to be with you all the things that you learned in coping with your husband in coping with your grief of your son. All those things that you learn the survival behaviors. Those are learned behaviors and guess what, they can be unlearned and you can learn new coping mechanisms new, healthier ways for you to approach the grief that you have with your son the grief that you have with your husband and and these are things that are that are going to break you apart without proper help and and so and I want you to. I want you to keep listing what you call it is many times you what I'm not your sponsor but you know what I'm your friend and I understand your journey and I'm asking you just to to take advantage of the resources that are out there okay and I message you copy this McRae got and will he does and it blessed me this morning just to have a conversation. Lisa don't hang up Jason's go to get your information and thank you Tracy for trusting me with your pain on this okay and I don't by the way, Tracy. By the way last thing there a lot of people listen to this you there a lot of people to be praying for you and a lot of people are getting strengthened just by hearing you admitting what you admitting today dealing okay never know do you get to heaven and they won't even matter, but there are a lot of you have helped engage with right now, how very, very grateful that you had the courage to do so today. Okay, you're quite welcome Tracy hold on the Jason's.

Go get your information, hey this is John Butler, producer over the caregiver and I have learned something that probably all know that Gracie, his wife lost her legs many many years ago and started a prosthetic limb outreach ministry called standing with hope and recently they ended up with a rather unique and unexpected partner, Peter had a conversation with Gracie and Nicholas Gracie. When you envision doing a prosthetic limb outreach.

Did you ever think that inmates would help you do that, not in a million years.

When you go to the facility run by core civic over in Nashville and you see the faces of these inmates that are working on prosthetic limbs that you have helped collect from all of the country that you put out the plea for and their disassembly sell these legs like what you have your own prosody and arms and arms everything when you see all this. What do you make me cry because I see the smiles on their faces and I know I know what it is to be locked someplace where you can't get out without somebody else allowing you to get out course, being in the hospital so much and so long and so that these men are so glad that they get to be doing as as one man said something good family with my hands.

Did you know before you became an amputee that parts of prosthetic limbs could be recycled now had no idea and I thought a peg leg. I thought of wooden legs. I never thought of titanium and carbon legs and flex fate. The legs and all that.

I never thought about that as you watch these inmates participate in something like this, knowing that there there helping other people.

Now walk the providing the means for the supplies to get over there. What is it do to you. Just on the heart level. I wish I could explain to the world. What I see in here and I wish that I could be able to go and say the this guy right here Denise go to Africa with us. I never not feel that way out every time you know you always make me have to leave. I don't want to leave them.

II feel like I'm at home with them and I feel like that we have a common bond that would've never expected that only God could put together. Now that you've had experience with it what you think of the faith-based programs. The core civic offers. I think they're just absolutely awesome and I think every prison out there should have faith-based programs like this because the return rate of the man that are involved in this particular faith-based program and other ones like it, but I know about this one are.

It is just an amazingly low rate compared to those who don't happen and I think that that says so much that doesn't have anything to do with me just has something to do with God using somebody broken to help other broken people. If people want to donate or use prosthetic limbs, whether from a loved one who passed away or you know somebody well groomed. You've donated some of your own for the did it how to how they do that now. Please go to standing with staining with text Gracie

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