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Is Detachment Advisable?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2021 3:30 am

Is Detachment Advisable?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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May 4, 2021 3:30 am

Detaching from the poor conduct of an impaired loved one remains one of the toughest challenges for family caregivers. Sometimes the behavioral issues stem from chronic pain, dementia, pharmaceuticals or fear—maybe they’re just having a bad day. Regardless of why, we don’t have to take it personally—even if it sounds personal.

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That's 800-937-9673. Thank you for caring. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberg. This is the nation's number one show for you as a family caregiver. How are you doing? How are you holding up? What's going on with you? More than 65 million Americans serve as a caregiver right now, putting themselves between a vulnerable loved one and even worse, disaster. What does it look like to help a family caregiver? How do you talk to them?

What do you say? That's what this show is all about, and we're glad that you're with us. 877-655-6755, 877-655-6755, if you want to call in. We're streaming the podcast live on social media and on our Facebook page at Hope for the Caregiver on Facebook, and then you can always go out to Hopeforthecaregiver.com to see all the other episodes that we offer.

I think we have well over now 500 episodes of the show and various things that we put out on the podcast. We hope you'll take advantage of those things. It's a free podcast, so please take advantage of it and listen today and find out more ways that you can grow stronger as a caregiver and help caregivers that you know grow stronger. Detaching from the poor conduct of an impaired loved one.

Have you ever had that problem? It remains one of the toughest challenges for us as caregivers, and sometimes the behavioral issues stem from chronic pain, maybe dementia, maybe pharmaceuticals, or fear, or maybe they're just having a bad day. Regardless of why that happens, we don't have to take it personally, even if it sounds personal, and sometimes it even may be personal, but we still don't have to take it that way. If our self-worth stays tied to someone else's opinion, then our emotional healthiness remains elusive. You are an extraordinary individual. You're created in the image of God, and amazingly, you show up repeatedly, consistently, to care for an impaired loved one.

Although your loved one may pop off, berate, or say hurtful things, it's still important to remember they are impaired on some level, and if you attach personal value to a sickness or pharmaceutical or an addiction, it just doesn't make any sense, and that's one of the things that we spend a lot of time on this show with and in my books and in our podcasts and everything else is how to help shore up the self-esteem of a caregiver so that when you're in those very vulnerable moments, and you feel these things coming at you, just feels like it's just ripping you down, we want to provide a way for you to get back up on to the path of safety where you know that you can stand firm in who you are as a person, and that's why I really challenge myself and others to don't attach your self-worth to someone else's opinion, number one, and particularly an impaired loved one's opinion, particularly when pharmaceuticals or a diagnosis of dementia or things or addiction is involved, and in most cases like that, they're not doing it to you, they're just doing it, and you happen to be the closest one to them. Detaching from that doesn't mean severing. That's the amputation, okay? That's different. Detaching from that okay? That's different. Detaching is like a key in a lock. It's kind of unlocking it, but it's not amputating it. Caregiver's hearts can detach from the impairments of a loved one, but it does take help from mental health professionals, clergy, or trusted friends to help reinforce that step. Until you can feel a little stronger in this area, just remember that phrase. They're not doing it to you.

They're just doing it. Again, there are always exceptions to the rule, but that is consistently playing out in the lives of so many caregivers where they're taking these things into their heart that don't deserve to go there, and so the opening monologue of the show today is for you to learn to detach from some of those things, particularly when an impairment, a significant cognitive impairment is involved brought on by pharmaceuticals, disease, or other issues so that you're not getting dragged into the impairments assessment of you and staying healthy back in a good path of self-esteem for who you are and what you're doing as a caregiver, and that's today's opening monologue. Join me now in welcoming himself, the guy that is just so delightful, de-lovely, and de-tall. He is John Butler, the Count of Mighty Disco, everyone.

John Butler, the Count of Mighty Disco, and he's so tall. You never get tired of that, do you, John? Of course I don't. No, it's fantastic, and that's a new one today, but you said a couple of really great things in there that I find to be just valuable even outside of the context of being a caregiver. You know, like wrapping ourselves up in the opinions of others can be a really dangerous path, and it's something that it's a seductive path. It's very easy, especially. That's a very good assessment. It is a seductive path, isn't it?

Absolutely. Well, I mean, if you're surrounded with people who do admire you and do love you and and all of these things, that can reinforce that behavior. If you've spent your entire life, oh, well, mom loves me, dad loves me, my kids love me, and they admire me, that can just, like I said, reinforce those reward pathways that we all need but can be deceived by. And, you know, we hear this all the time, that true confidence comes from within.

Now, how to achieve that is different for everybody, but I really enjoyed that aspect of what you were talking about. Well, thank you. By the way, I do apologize for my voice.

I've gotten a bad cold, and of course in the COVID world, you know, having a bad cold could be the sign of leprosy. That is correct. Well, luckily, you're about a 18-20 hour drive away from me. Yes.

From what I understand, you cannot catch COVID over the air, but I wanted to tell, I heard something this week, John, and I want to run this by you too, and I want to spend some time on this and up to the break and maybe even beyond because it plays into this thing of they're not doing it to you, they're just doing it. I launched a support group out here for caregivers. Oh, okay.

Good on you. And we meet every week, and we have just a lot of fun. It's a great group, and in the little town we are. And so, I had a lively discussion with the group this week because we had a full moon.

Ah, yes. And one of the participants worked at the Sheriff's Office in years past, and every full moon, they got together and reinforced, you know, hey, we're going to be dealing with some crazy stuff this weekend, just be prepared, or this week, or whatever. It's a full moon.

It's a strange statistic, but that does hold pretty true. Well, and I inquired further about it. And the conversation led to, well, if you think about the moon's effect on our tides, on the water in this country, you know, I mean, in this world, in this planet, and how it affects the tides, and what are we made of? We're mostly water. And, well, or as I said in Star Trek, The Next Generation, ugly bags of mostly water. Thank you. That was exactly what I was thinking.

I knew you would do. But we are mostly fluid. And so, if there's any type of gravitational pull, and it stands to reason, if individuals have some type of issue going on that fluid imbalances in their body could affect it, it's something to be considerate of. And I just never really thought it. I always thought it was more of like, you know, urban legend or old wives tale, that kind of thing. But obviously, there's some real science to it.

Yeah. And we don't even need to know exactly why it is. It could be something like, oh, it's just lighter out at night. And that means that stranger things can go on, or maybe you've got some, you know, you don't sleep as well, or, you know, whatever it happens to be. But crime statistics absolutely do, you know, spike around four moons.

Well, crime and drama, relationship drama. Yeah. And caregivers. And you touched on something when you first opened up your conversation with it, is that this applies across the board to more than just caregivers. Most of what we do that we talk about here on this show and beyond applies across the board. There is nothing that caregivers on a heart core level deal with that is not common to the human condition. Correct. We just deal with it on a often nuclear or nuclear.

George W. Bush and my wife. And I think I told you one other person that said this, didn't I? Oh, I didn't tell you this. Nuclear was also the way the word nuclear was pronounced by DeForest Kelley.

Okay. He was from Toccoa, Georgia, who played bones on Star Trek, the original series, Dr. McCoy. And they said he was from Kentucky because, you know, to justify a southern accent, but he's really from Toccoa, Georgia. Hey, this is Peter Rosenberg. In my three and a half decades as a caregiver, I have spent my share of nights in a hospital, sleeping in waiting rooms, on fold out cots, chairs, even the floor. Sometimes on sofas and a few times in the doghouse, but let's don't talk about that. As caregivers, we have to sleep at uncomfortable places, but we don't have to be miserable. We use pillows for my pillow.com.

These things are great. They have a patented interlocking feel that adjusts to your individual sleep needs and for caregivers trying to sleep in all the different places we have to sleep. Believe me, our needs get ramped up significantly. Think about how clean your pillows are. In the COVID world, we're all fanatical about clean. Can you wash your pillows with my pillows from my pillow.com? We throw them in the washer and dryer.

We do it all the time. 10 year warranty, guaranteed not to go flat, 60 day money back guarantee, made in the USA. As a caregiver, you need rest. So start by going to my pillow.com, type in the promo code caregiver. You get 50% off the four pack, which includes two premium pillows and two go anywhere pillows. You'll also receive a discount on anything else on the website when using your promo code caregiver. That's my pillow.com promo code caregiver. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the show for you as a family caregiver. How are you feeling? How are you doing?

How are you holding up? We're glad to have you with us. That's Gracie Rustow from our City Resilient. You can get a copy of that out at hopeforthecaregiver.com. Be a part of what we're doing. Support this work that we're doing. And we'll send you that as our free gift to you.

And I think you will very much enjoy that. By the way, she was in the studio just this week and she's laying down some new things and it was a lot of fun. We had a good time. A friend of ours got a studio out here in Montana.

Way out here in the Hinterlands. And we still have all this recording equipment, everything else. And he's from LA and he's got a great setup down there. And it was just great to see Gracie in the studio again. And so that was wonderful. So we got more stuff coming. And John, I wanted to circle back to our conversation about this because this detachment issue that we struggle with as caregivers. Because I think we get to a point where it's all or nothing. As I was saying earlier with nuclear, but we tend to, as caregivers, we deal with everything that we deal with is common to the human condition as far as our heart level. And we just deal with it on a nuclear level.

Not nuclear, but nuclear level. It's a crucible of a situation. It is. But using that same word, we tend to go nuclear if there's a conflict and then just cut everything off and sever an amputation.

And that's not healthy either. Exactly. And let's move this back and go back to what you were talking about.

Yes. I wanted to circle back to that. I was talking about that sort of thing about, and it really kind of goes back to what we talk about.

You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anybody else. I mean, not before, but you have to do it at least concurrently. And I mentioned a couple of things about the power of no. Which is a complete sentence. It is a complete sentence.

No is a complete sentence. And it doesn't need to be, I didn't get to wrap that up with the not amputating, with not, and especially not amputating part of your own soul when you're doing this. Yes, we try to reason through things to, to make sure that we can, we can like, know that we're not, I know I'm, it sounds bad that I'm, you know, I got to tell this guy, no, that I can't help him right now, or that what he's asking for is not going to help him.

That's kind of where I was going for. That it's not about an amputation. It's not about absolutely cutting off someone from your life, or especially a part of your, your own kindness or your own, your own particular beauty.

That it is really just a lens through which you can look at things and make sure that you're, you're utilizing those very important gifts that you have in the most effective way. Well, I'm going to run this quote by you, this, these two sentences by you that I heard. Okay. And I think they're applicable here because you, you test, you touched on that with the word no. And here's, here's something a friend posited it out to me to ask yourself in those situations. Can I say yes without feeling resentful? Ooh. Can I say no without feeling guilty?

Oh, yeah. And sometimes, yeah. That's where, that's where it hits for us because I want to, I want to say yes to something. I want to agree to something, but I don't want to resent having to do it. That's that obligation that we talk about in the fog of caregivers, fear, obligation, and guilt. But if I say no, I don't want to feel guilty about it either. I'm saying no because it is not good stewardship of me.

And that's what you're talking about when you say taking care of herself, at least do it concurrently. We're being good stewards of me. And once you understand the concept of stewardship, it's a much different term than just, I got to, I have to, a need to, a must. Yeah. Yeah.

And it's like, if, if let's say you're a, let's say you are the steward of a, like a public park or something like that. I know it's a weird example, but there are operating hours. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

There's operating hours. You're a weird guy. Yeah. Yeah.

Hey, back at you. But let's say you're a steward of like a public park or something like that. It doesn't matter where it is, but you know, you can't, I got to stop drinking it, taking a sip when you start saying something because you all over the microphone. Oh, that's terrible. But you know, there, there are operating hours and you tell people, no, you can't litter here. I know that's, you know, or whatever.

No, it's a very good example because it takes it, it takes it out of the caregiving mode and puts it into something we all have a frame of reference for. The gates close at dark. You can't go in. It's I'm sorry. It's not personal. It's just, we have to be good stewards of the park and yada, yada, yada. Yeah. If, uh, well I, uh, uh, uh, I was, I was having a conversation with someone online that was kind of a time-based deal recently and they were monopolizing the conversation when there was a lot of other people that really were, you know, they were, they were taking, they, they thought something was unfair and I was trying to deal with it with them. But, uh, uh, they, they were really taking a lot of time away from everybody else. And I said, you know what, let's take this to a private message. We'll deal with this here in a second. And, um, and it was, I was basically running a zoom call, you know, and, and, and I had to say, look, we can't, we can't deal with this right now.

I'm, yeah, it's, it's nothing personal, but it's not fair to everybody else either. We've all been in classrooms. The teacher says, see me after class about that. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great.

See me after class about that. I'm going to steal. And it's not, it's not that I'm not, not that I'm invalidating what you have to say.

It's just that it cannot monopolize the purpose that we're here for right now. And I think this is the situation we, as caregivers get into is that it's not that we don't care about what you're saying, but I must attend to this issue first. I have to, I have to, you know, keep the main thing, the main thing. And, um, you know, and, and so I'm not saying no to you out of a sense of rejecting you, but I'm detaching from that so that I can focus on this. Good, good call. I really do like that metaphor of see me after class.

That is a, that is exactly what I was going for. Like, Hey. Well, and I would love to, I would, I would love to say that this show is going to tell everybody how to be better at caregiving, but that's not the goal here. I cannot go through all the nuances of caregiving in every situation and provide some kind of roadmap to how to do this when you have a loved one who has Alzheimer's or when you have a loved one who has this or whatever. The point is, is that how do we stay healthier as caregivers? That is the roadmap that we need to focus.

Well, that I am focusing on and I'm encouraging my fellow caregivers to focus on as well is that here's the roadmap to healthiness for us and healthiness is learning to detach without feeling guilty about it and without severing the relationship. And, and that applies across the board in every situation and nowhere more graphically, I think, than when you're dealing with addiction issues and alcoholism, because then you have to separate from this, however painful it is. And sometimes you bite your tongue and learn to like the taste of blood, but however painful is you're having to separate from this destructive pattern. If somebody is driving down the wrong side of the interstate, you get out of the car, even if you have to tuck and roll, you know, because that's a dangerous place.

That is a very dangerous place. You know, I mean, you, you, you may, you may end up maimed, but you're not going to be dead. You're not going to be dead. And, and that's, that's detaching, but you're not severing the relationship. You're just detaching because you've got to be a good steward of you. And that's the message I wanted to leave today with my fellow caregivers is that, you know, it is okay to say no, and you don't have to feel guilty when you do it because you're being a steward of you. John, as always, you're a great American. An extreme pleasure, Peter. Thanks so much for being a part of the show today.

We'll see you next time. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver, hopeforthecaregiver.com.

Thanks so much. This is John Butler and I produce Hope for the Caregiver with Peter Rosenberger. Some of you know the remarkable story of Peter's wife, Gracie. And recently, Peter talked to Gracie about all the wonderful things that have emerged from her difficult journey. Take a listen. Gracie, when you envisioned 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 CoreCivic and you see the faces of these inmates that are working on prosthetic limbs that you have helped collect from all over the country, that you put out the plea for, and they're disassembling. You see all these legs, like what you have, your own prosthetic legs. And arms.

And arms. When you see all this, what does that do to you? Makes 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. Of course, being in the hospital so much and so long.

And so these men are so glad that they get to be doing, as one band said, something good finally with my hands. Did you know before you became an amputee that parts of prosthetic limbs could be recycled? No, I had no idea. You know, I thought of peg leg. I thought of wooden legs. I never thought of titanium and carbon legs and flex feet and sea legs and all that. I never thought about that. As you watch these inmates participate in something like this, knowing that they're helping other people now walk, they're providing the means for these supplies to get over there.

What does that do to you just on a heart level? I wish I could explain to the world what I see in there. And I wish that I could be able to go and say, this guy right here, he needs to go to Africa with us. I never not feel that way.

Every time, you know, you always make me have to leave. I don't want to leave them. I feel like I'm at home with them. And I feel like that we have a common bond that I would have never expected that only God could put together. Now that you've had an experience with it, what do you think of the faith-based programs that CoreCivic 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 men that are involved in this particular faith-based program and other ones like it, but I know about this one, is just an amazingly low rate compared to those who don't have them. And I think that that says so much.

That doesn't have anything to do with me. It just has something to do with God using somebody broken to help other broken people. If people want to donate a used prosthetic limbs, whether from a loved one who passed away or, you know, somebody who outgrew them, you've donated some of your own for them to do. How do they do that? Oh, please go to standingwithhope.com slash recycle. Standingwithhope.com slash recycle.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-22 12:13:25 / 2023-11-22 12:23:27 / 10

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