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#403 Playing the Melody: Caregivers and The Loss of Identity

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2020 8:55 am

#403 Playing the Melody: Caregivers and The Loss of Identity

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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May 18, 2020 8:55 am

Do you feel you've lost yourself in someone else's story?  As a caregiver, it's easy to do. Hooking up a keyboard for the show, I demonstrate how losing the melody  served as a teachable moment for me. 

From HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER, the nationally syndicated radio program through American Family Radio. 5/16/2020


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This is those of you who are caring for a loved one with the chronic service could feel the addiction. Whatever the impairment is always caregiver how are you. We are glad to have you with lab American family radio call with be a part of the show is 888-589-8840 880-589-8840 and we'd love to have with us will start off with our Scripture because I get ticklish subject able to talk about today will. Isaiah 4915 through 60. I'm not to wait for you to turn to it kid won't forget her nursing child or let compassion for the son of her bloom, even if she could forget. I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hit 11 translations. This engraved and if you look at the scars of Christ. You see a picture of that the crucifixion of how much God knows who you are and this is so important for us as caregivers, and so I want to go back and do a little bit of a review for those of you brand-new to the show in the shows growing every week, every every day and someone make sure you understand what the concept of the show is all about.

Some years ago my pastor back in Nashville. We live in Southwest Montana now, but when we lived in Nashville for 30+ years in and he asked me to play the piano is people were coming into the sanctuary before church started. It was kind of raucous and noisy and and disruptive to it atmosphere of of reference and so forth as it would just sit on play and that I was happy to do it. I love the old hymns in a pleasant and a sitdown started playing and I realized into this the him I was playing something was off in I was at a keyboard here set up and so I was playing and the Supreme Court. I realize I once played the melody. I did so used to hearing Gracie seeing a bit accompany my wife Gracie was in no kidding singer and I been so used to hearing her say that I was playing around her voice that I was hearing in my head but I wasn't playing the melody. I'd lost the melody and I had to go back and train myself to play melody now I will. I went back and just with one finger started doing it and that's hard for up yesterday but logistically was one thing my piano professor in music school used. That was an exercise with reduced take one finger and play the melody as expressively as you possibly could so that you could understand the song better and so when a sitdown to play.

I really went back and worked at that so that I would play that melody and force myself to do it.

But what does that mean to the family caregiver. A lot of us are so used to playing the harmony that we lose our identity. We lose who we are in someone else's story and we lose our melody were not playing the melody. We've lost our own voice and that's why when you call and the show a minute. First question would ask you is how are you feeling you'd be amazed how we people struggle with that question that are caregivers and I'm not not shame you for because that's that is the point is, I want you to wrestle with that question of how you're feeling.

What's going on with you. Do you know how important you are. So what went back and play that singsong that you just heard him playing something and sings yes Jesus loves me yes that like you were trying so hard to carry your loved one to Jesus that you couldn't see the road yourself you ever felt like that. It was all about them. If if God would just heal them.

If we could just tear up this roof and get this person to Jesus and everything to be okay, but you were not a part of the equation.

She is a family caregiver. That's why do the show because Jesus loves me this I know, yes. He loves Gracie my wife. He loves her.

He loves me to. My name is engraved in the policy and so is yours. This loss of identity cripples caregivers. We don't know how to speak from our own heart.

We don't know our melody. We don't know how to express ourselves in this and this is where it's a very, very dangerous place for us as a caregivers because once we lose our identity then were in a position where we don't function as a healthy human being is this where you are today. Do you know your name. Do you know he knows your name. Can you speak from your own heart. Can you speak in first person singular. I hurt I'm tired I'm struggling I'm feeling this way, whatever comes after I'm angry I'm despairing whatever comes after the word I now we can have a real conversation. This is the point of the show. So when you when you call in the show. Whatever's on your mind doesn't matter what we'll talk about whatever you want to talk about, but let's start off with how you're feeling.

It is not that your love is not important because they are so were you.

You know it it and I can't tell you over the years. How many people have asked me about my wife and me that numbers is too fast for me to to answer, but I can count the laws of asked about me that's a much smaller number is that where you are.

Is that what you are struggling. Do you feel like you just lost yourself in the story of someone else that you're taking care whether it's your parents or special-needs child or whatever you feel like your identity has just been compromised by this and you don't know your name anymore. You don't even know how to speak from your own heart.

You don't know the melody.

What is your melody what is was that sound like if you think that it's not worth the of expressing then you're wrong.

If you get nothing out of what I'm doing on the show if you get nothing out of what this is all about that out except for that one phrase that your voice is important your identity, your name you as an individual are important and that is the first step towards being a healthy caregiver and healthy caregivers make better caregivers. So if you've lost yourself if you're over there just playing like I was at the beginning of just playing great cords together great cords, but I wasn't saying anything. I wasn't playing so men and sometimes his caregivers were playing great cords great harmony, but without the melody. The message is not there. The song is not there about you what you saw.

888-589-8840 888-589-8840 if you want to be part of the show lasted when you call. How you feel there is no wrong answer. If you start with a is the nation's number one show for you as a family. Pray for 888-589-8840 888-589-8840 that is rest after the imperials thing this on. He did say you are forgiven. Now you have a reason for loses.

I forgive the word how important is easy. Caregivers suffer from three eyes.

Okay. Just remember that three eyes we we have three eyes that we deal with.

We become isolated, we lose our independence and then we lose our identity. Three eyes and this one, this morning said identity were just going back and and rehashing that particular subject.

Have you lost your identity. Remember when that when I sit down at the church and I played this song and I and I got there and I was it was risk of embarrassing because I wasn't there playing for people and didn't realize that I was accompanying Gracie in my head.

She was singing but I couldn't get out. Nobody else surgery suggested by head not to go into voices in my head, but the point is, I was playing harmony. And there wasn't a singer.

I was so used to playing from grace, having been accompanied Gracie for 34 years. So without play. I'm usually about how she singing and I had to get up there and played the melody had to go back and physically teach myself how to do this at all these hymns that I've known since I was a kid, but it's work to speak from your own voice :-) 888-589-8848 eight 858.80 840 so so I got him playing is a great cords but I'm not saying anything and everybody can just marvel at my cords but they're not marveling at the song, there's no melody and you have to go back in the one finger, it takes time to do that. It takes a lot of work to go back and learn the melody. So then when you add the cords to it.

Then you can start adding all these less cords to still about the melody.

So would you please call you do these things make sure you're not overpowering the melody your voice who you are as an individual collector Scripture today. Isaiah 49 says 60. I have engraved you on the palm of my hands have inscribed you in the palm of my hands. That's how much he knows who you are and so it may sound a little bit weird when you start speaking from your own voice you have to do that in a safe environment.

I don't I don't recommend working at the melody in front of a church full of the thousand people. Like I fit so I really don't recommend that. That's that can be a little challenging but you get the principal the principle is try speaking from your voice in your own voice from your heart.

What's going on with you and that's when when I do the show.

I provide that opportunity for you to do that.

A lot of people when they called and they want to talk about their loved one, or they're mad about you know someone since that if they spend a lot of time with speaking in third person singular, which is he or she or in first person plural, which is we, our, us. But on this show. It's start with I and me yes Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Okay, you know that hips every time you are tempted to lose yourself in that go back to that little Tim and I put this on my CD songs for the character you downloaded from any of the streaming to the places iTunes modified Amazon whatever and I put this on their interest in instrumental I got from my to play the flugelhorn on this, and one for player and I did I put that some of the because I wanted caregivers to hang onto the message of that song. Yes, Jesus loves me. I know you love your love one. I know you love my wife but but do you know that he loves you. He died for all of us, but he died for each of us knows your name is important to you is important to me and it's life-changing once you understand that's the gospel that he knows you is interested in you that you are an extraordinary individual and interlocutors. I think 10 to unfairly beat themselves up because they see all the failures that I was doing a video conference with the group. Not too terribly long ago and that we live up southwest Montana were up at 6000 feet up in the Rockies in were backed up to national forests. Everywhere we look at the postcard is extraordinarily beautiful out here and I I held the phone up the camera so they could see behind us. I want to look at something in the group looked at and I showed him the mountains of snow covered beautiful trees and forests and so forth.

They could see behind me and they were just like, while within us that Scripture says all of creation is groaning okay it's groaning every bit of that is that you just saw. All this while, but every bit of that is groaning.

According to Scripture, every bit of but yet you sit well because of such beauty and majesty even in things that are groaning and that's just a foretaste of the beauty and majesty were to see when when all things are made new.

When I would say that he was a caregiver there is a wow factor to you. Yes, there is groaning and there's brokenness mistakes and all kinds of things but there's a wow factor to do you say wow when you see you because he does in your name is engraved on the palm of his hand. So the journey to being a healthy caregiver does not start with dealing with doctors and insurance companies, and all those kinds of things.

The journey being healthy caregiver starts with you learning to speak in first person singular. I just as I am, without one plea just as I am not we not he that she not us are all y'all. I and all you need is neat. That point comes when you say I need I hurt turn I'm angry. I'm struggling that's that's the melody that's what melody looks like for caregiver starts with the word I and translates into your heart. Just as I Jesus loves me this I know. Do you really know that. Do we know that. I think as we look around the fear that our country is going through, which is me. I'm stunned about you know what our country is in the terminal or country didn't partners is the sphere that were driving this driving all the stuff but then once you understand who you are in Christ.

Once you know that melody and that fear becomes it abates he's not given us a spirit of fear but of power, of love and of Salem mine and part of that sound mind is understanding who you are and who you are in him. This is that it will be too ethereal. But I want to drive this point home.

That's what brought the keyboard at this one because there's something about just a simple song that helps really drive that point home. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so if you just hang on to that in those moments when you feel like you've lost yourself.

You not get a lot of people asking how are you doing, they don't know what to do.

That part of the mission I have on the show is to not only provide a vocabulary in place for family caregivers but also to provide vocabulary for people who are caregivers for counselors for pastors for church leaders for for lay members for the general population of what it looks like to help a caregiver. In some so what you say to a caregiver that I was doing an interview one time in the civil what you say to kicker.

How do you know what to say. This is what you start off with this essay, I see you and I see the magnitude of what you carry. And I hurt for you to start with that say very gently to a caregiver that you see them because if you ask most caregivers that been doing this for any length of time they go to express that feeling of invisibility that it's their life at someone else's expense. Their identity is gone. People want to know how their loved one is doing. And there's nothing wrong with that. I appreciate the concern for that. But on this show in this hour. This message I want to know how you're doing.

I want to know how you feel. I want to know how you are hanging in there with this and again I had a try to avoid the God talk when when you do that I had a lady: how you doing blessed but I should take my mama lit list. Don't try to put on God talk when we do this is just be real about okay 888-589-8840 888-589-8840 and if you will be part of the show and you know what they did take a request or to them. If you get an old hymn that you like, or something to make that something 888-589-8840. This is hope for the care I am here I'm glad you with like heart coming healthy caregiver caregivers will copy the bruise on your heart to give that CD basis, but why would you put out there so we let the thing I have to do 888-589-8840 888-589-8840 if you want to be a part of the show he'll give you hope for tomorrow Joy for your sorrow. If you believe that you are well on your way well on your way to being a healthier caregiver and I'm glad for that I mark in Texas.

Mark good morning, how are you feeling well I just woke up from. I'm still figuring that out and you just woke up and you're talking to me. Just as you woke up, that is not a good thing for you Mark. I'm sorry for that but when you get a cup of coffee first. Well I will go by. I'm a musician and that some of the analogy that you're using regarding music and have hit home and I'm a caregiver for my wife now, so I've had a lot of music on hold and the soul stuff primarily at play in a band and I also played solo and deeply I play course guitar and I played bass and white dobro little bit of banjo run the needed time a little bit of banjo goes a long way to know that the you you know the definition of the gentleman is definition of gentleness and knows how to play the banjo but won't know I'm just kidding out that just don't know letter for the banjo fans of just kidding is just a joke. Okay I will tell you what's the size feeling groggy this morning Debbie what's going on with well here my wife. Have Alzheimer's the point where you're talking about doing different functions where your company and and and you're also playing solo and it is like I feel my functioning in that regard is ever-changing because they are good days and bad days and so is like letting like in the middle of the song you get the lead. Let's stay with the but I double see some specifically to you because you get this. It's hard to play a lead into him probably did you just want to just kinda take off and do that in the middle of the of the of the set. So now, how about this for today. You just go back and work on the ability of the cell door about the improv of the lead just hang on just hammer that melody down so that becomes anchored in you, the improv will come the lead will come but hang on to that melody, go back to my PFS until we dig one finger disappeared us. That is torture to place all with one finger, but take one finger never trumpet players, no big deal.

Play one noted, but now that's a joke, but take one finger and play that melody is what he would say if you had to play as expressively as you can before you do any improv he wanted you to know the melody and so before you go often to any improv really really really hammer down on that melody because that's who you are in your core. That's the song and then when you add the flourishes. Then you at all the other things right now. Mark your net place of of losing yourself in this thing of losing the melody and you're doing great improv stuff and that's what you get a lot of the old that that great jazz with the jazz are all over the map, but where's the melody. The song and that's where that's what gets into our soul and and so I I don't want you to put your music on hold because it's going to be a lifeline to you, Mark. Yeah, we realize that when you use make an effort. Today the just pull out the guitar not the banjo but no obfuscated but left Qatar and and just play the melody of of a song that is deeply meaningful to you and and play that melody just to simply as you can.

But as expressively shaky. Well, you something that are Mark Carmichael drawn to certain songs like you your lawyer, James Taylor and on a long Caroline on my mind, Caroline, in my mind being being that I was raised in South Carolina.

Yes I do know that so that song could be the theme song for an Alzheimer's person and if you listen to the words that the line with holy host Romney so I'm on the dark side of the moon exited grabby guitar and played the melody that solves nothing else. Don't try to improv audit just play the melody and watch what happens to your heart as you taste good leasable is a lot more work he did you realize just play the melody, but it's if you go back and do that and play that and played slowly because your your brain and your talent move a lot faster than your heart and it's important to get those things in sync. Just play it slowly if you if you tear up and cry what you doing it. Mark, that's okay, those are healthy tears but if you know if you're slamming you guitar delegated 70s rock band. Those are not healthy face. The two and and so you want you want to you want to slow things down when you when you do these things because it it it it it's a way to to their stuff that's pinned up in our hearts is caregivers and sometimes music is the is is a powerful way to let some of that stuff out now. Well, if we had hook you guitar up, you and I could we could play some music you this morning but like I forgot how to do that remotely.

Yeah, I've had a lot of friends that there are are playing these virtual characters on the living room and that I haven't figure out how to do that myself. I will I've always been more in tune with music and media technical aspects, machinery bill that will come but I think my hope for you is is that you will play virtual concert for yourself first and and let it let it express from who you are because that I think that's that's the challenge we have is caregivers is that sometimes something submit to be worn like a sweatshirt on the outside so people can see it and so forth. Another things are are undershirts or T-shirts that we are under all that is just for us and maybe today when I go to the piano. A lot of times I'm not playing for an audience. I'm just playing for myself. This is a way for me to be able to work this out and I'm not onstage about doing those things.

I'm just just working it out working the kinks out of my own soul. That's where I think it starts for us as musicians. So why would I would really recommend if you could today let you guitar and and just softly, slowly play Caroline on my mind. The melody just ability then go back and start adding the stuff to it. But you know it's just then then add that in slowly, as we know how to do harmony weekly harmony all day long, but when I get kicked at some churches that coordinate their just just in different churches there in time to and and you know I got a little bit rocking her people shaking her head. That's I think they can pay like they get happy to say she's a get mad.

It just played some play it and then you know what I'd like you to do if you after you do that, would you call me back sometime just let me know how it went for our eye. Well, this is listed.

This is your show. This is your time. You were both musicians were both caregiving husbands we get okay this is your time to be able to have this environment just to kind of, you know it.

It you don't have to have some kind of prepared word or anything else. Sometimes you just need to just to hear the voice of an another fellow caregiver whose wrestle with these things and said okay. Where were worse about places where am I in this. Who am I in this where is God in this and that's what we do on the show. It's it's unlike anything else. And so this is your time.

Okay well you are I member Carla just wanted to call and let you know that your ministry here is your definitely doing God's work and somebody is something that's needed and I tell as many people who are caregivers about it and I can because it's it's dialogue you have with people the things that you're able to relate is priceless to person whose. Scott Lord is given this to you now so think you know that I recognize it for will appreciate it very much. Pulsating printing you we comfort one another with the same comfort we ourselves receive from the God of all comfort, sound, I'm just simply passing on what people have done for me of aggregated way that makes sense. The people done this for me and I've had to work these things out the hard way and I am grateful for the opportunity just to hang out with you guys this morning and and we all speak fluent caregiver here that's that's what goes on. We speak fluent caregiver. This is a place where you can hear in your own native tongue. What's going on in smart guy. I really appreciate the call. I want to hear back.

Don't don't. Next time you link allotted to call or something I want to call it whatever don't hold up. Just call okay I will. I will try to get my guitar and it looked today. Today I have the seventh two today you have a seven play the melody Carolina mama and let it take you let someone take you where to take okay thanks I call this Peter Roseberry. This is hopefully kick 888-5888 85 eight hey this Peter Rosenberger your help 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 follow this horrible Rick that she had as a teenager and she try to save them for years and if it just wouldn't work out. And finally she relinquished him and thought wow this is that I'm not a happy 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 been doing now since 2005 was 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 were doing over there, you can designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you can be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking and standing with would you take a moment ago understanding with and see how you can give they go walking and leaping and praising God. You could be a part of back.

I hope caregiver here in America for caregivers about hosted like caregiver here. Are you feeling very old public completely filled up so I've got to see if I go through these quickly your settlement leave anybody but will do the best we can Judith in Ohio Judith good morning how are you feeling, Judith lost you and Donna in Illinois done in Illinois. Good morning how you feeling wonderful show great had just catching many lives. You are blessed to have a cat and I just want to share that with your show today will thank you very much. We enjoy doing it and were grateful for it to see if we can squeeze in a couple more calls here Roslyn in Florida Roslyn good morning, how are you feeling morning I'm doing great how are you. You know that a mental inventory.

Most of us here so I think I'm okay and I am tired a little flustered. Roslyn Russell was not. You said you were great now you're tired caregiver part listlessly, let's lead off with the tired and flustered it will go from there it will work our way back to great goods and working my way back to great now I go ahead well I am I going to take care of one of my history that had a late and completed about six years ago and that very reason that right now about going to the doctor should not in the band for three days without eating or drinking our pretty much anything for last week on Mother's Day claimed by other family members came by to get her up so today I'm here with her trying to get her to go get a blood test is online now. Not not diabetic. She had broken a smoking on my wife's today. PT did you know that I didn't know that my old legacy. Well thank you very much for both legs your smart phone pull up pictures of my wife and show it to your sister okay okay and and say look, look at what she's doing anywhere where were sitting some supplies right now to Africa, but was speaker prosthetic leg.

Did you know we could recycle prosthetic legs.

Wow, and I want tell your sister when she goes she could never want that they may not not found another one with don't throw away those old ones. I know I'm glad to go to go, but glad to standing with and will take those things and and goes to prison in Tennessee where inmates volunteer to help build, disassemble, will take all the usable parts were put together shipment right now were hoping to go there once this virus thing incident and go there and help continue our work.

We been doing it for 15 years, but I want to show those those pictures to your sister of my wife doing this. My wife had 80 surgeries that I can count body is lightly broken both her legs affect receipt of process on Monday to cut it work through some stuff she's got a wound on her leg but never try to get fixed and ask your sister to borrow a little bit of my wife's courage to help her get out of the bed little bit in my yard and daughter granddaughter would been coming over every day helping out in doing things with time for an generated had.

Like okay we got a go get the bucket got ago, I got up this morning and I'm waiting on her now to get the show solicitous what are you doing for you. Well, now what I'm doing. I read a lot. I started school my math and that was way too much I I'm not going to go.

I just don't like all online classes is heartwarming and so I take a walk and I Ryan and I ate my employee a lot for me right now you zero school locally that you could maybe check out to just do a little bit of classes online Doing that I can back focus and that I can afford because before I have to get another grand I'm going to print that don't make don't want to know for a get certificate classes and and help out that way for as I have my degree in psychology and I have experience counseling so I would like to do more with that but I think that would be a marvelous idea and you don't go deeper in debt that is working less years. Evidently the Congress United States analysts were Nancy Pelosi wish list over there to the house represented on think I'm these people are now less their heartrate. They have a no you know you you can't fix that level was stupid of me that they knew meant that so but do look at those certificate classes for yourself.

Okay right that you could afford, because it Roslyn. It's important that you push yourself mentally to stay engaged out there and and show show pictures the grace of your sister let Gracie's courage up and spell your sister, but right now I want you to be able to have a little bit more pep in your step. So keep running reading Learning and know what thank you for calling all right proceeded to. Hey, this is open. The caregiver we got ago healthy data greatly disturbing healthy proceedings with

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