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Caregivers and Anger Management

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
April 2, 2022 3:30 am

Caregivers and Anger Management

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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April 2, 2022 3:30 am

After a recent program, a friend asked me to delve into the subject of caregivers, anger, and lashing out. 

Given the recent incident at the Academy Awards with Will Smith striking out at Chris Rock, the timing for this topic seemed appropriate.

 

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That's Lecrae from his record Rehab The Overdose, that is Anger Management. And we're going to talk about what that song is saying today. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberg. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. After last week's program, I got a note from a friend who asked me to talk about lashing out as a caregiver and the anger that comes over us. And we've been talking about, you know, for the last couple of weeks, various hymns that strengthen our hearts, that speak to that fear in us. You know, when last week we did A Mighty Fortress. We talked about that spine stiffening song, that text that helps us to face these terrible, terrible things that we have to face. And then in the last block, we talked about My Faith Looks Up to Thee and how it sustains us in these places.

But, you know, the dark side of that fear is that it produces anger and rage and the shame and all of these things that add to it. You know, you can see so much of this on display in our culture, but nowhere was it more visible than what just happened at the Oscars. And you saw Will Smith. At first, he was laughing at the joke that Chris Rock told, if you saw this. And I don't know if that Chris Rock knew that Will Smith's wife had alopecia and she's losing her hair, and this has been a very difficult thing.

But they've also had an enormous amount of public conversations about their open marriage and a lot of different things going on with this couple. And if you look at the clip of it, you'll see Will Smith is laughing. And then you see the face of his wife and she looks over at him and the disapproval that comes up. And that's when he got up to go do what he did, which was assault Chris Rock.

Now, I'm not going to get in all the nuances of that, but I think that John Nolte at Breitbart said it best. All those decades, all that work, and then at the very moment of his career triumph, when he gets an Oscar for Best Actor, he drops his pants to reveal a eunuch, the ultimate insecure man, a cuckold who sticks with a woman who serially humiliates him, an insecure bully who takes his public humiliation out on smaller men. And this is what happened. That is an exact representation of what happened. He has been serially humiliated by his wife and she has whatever hold on him or whatever it is.

I don't know. But that shame, that rage, all of a sudden just erupted. And he did what he did and he just absolutely torpedoed his career and his life. And he'll never be the same from this. What about us as caregivers? Now, we don't do this on a public stage like he did.

But let's not kid ourselves. Each one of us possess great frustration that seeds in our hearts and turns often to rage. And we lash out. We'll lash out sometimes at our loved ones. We'll lash out at people, other people or a security guard that's just wearing us out, been there, done that. You can read about it in an article I wrote about the TSA. I think what happens is we feel so helpless that, by the way, I wrote the article, not the TSA. But when I go into airports, particularly when I'm pushing Gracie in a wheelchair, and I see all the craziness that they make us go through. And you just feel it well up within you.

And you want to lash out. We were at the hospital the other day, and I took Gracie down to the piano in this huge lobby. Nobody was around us. I had permission to play the piano in the lobby. I had to audition for it. And we went down there, and I was going to listen to her sing. It's the first time she's been out of the room like this. And we went down. I pushed her in a wheelchair, and she went down and sat by the piano there in her wheelchair. And she was facing me. We both had on masks.

Nobody was anywhere near us. And one of the staff members there went and told that Gracie was singing. And they came and told us that she wasn't allowed to sing because of COVID. And it puts particles in air. We have to follow the science.

Well, now, that same science also is causing a great deal of confusion among some of these people about what a man and a woman is. But we'll have that discussion another time. But the point is, I'm sitting with a woman who's been in the hospital for two months. And singing softly to me through her mask, facing away from, not even near anybody.

And we can't do it. Now, what do you think that caused me to feel? We do lash out. I didn't lash out. I wanted to.

I just got up, closed the piano, walked away. But, because I'm getting too old sometimes to fight every battle. But I can understand that.

And so can you. There are stupid things that hit us, that fly all over us. It seems like we keep it together for the big things. But on the stupid things, we lose it. And I cringe when I tell you what I'm about to tell you.

I mean, I cringe over it. But I remember years ago, one time, we just got home from the hospital. We've been at the hospital all day with some tests. We weren't planning on going to the hospital.

It was just one of those things that we had to go through all these tests. I was so tired. We needed to make dinner for the kids.

Gracie was in her wheelchair in the kitchen. And she said, do you want me to help make dinner? And I smacked the kitchen cabinet door, slammed it shut.

And I said, no, I'll do it. I have to be in control of something. I cringe to tell you that. Such is the journey of a caregiver. Will Rogers said, people who fly into rage always make a bad landing.

You get that feeling? Listen to this quote from Herman Melville, from Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump, the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down. And then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart shell upon it.

We will fixate upon things and then pile all of our rage on things. And you saw this happen right there in front of the world with Will Smith. The rage he felt at what he was personally going through in his relationship with his wife. He poured it all out on Chris Rock in front of the world. How many of us, now before we judge Will Smith, I'm not here to do that. Now this is not a post-mortem on Will Smith's behavior. It is a teachable moment for all of us. Because we all live with fear and shame and guilt. And that stuff's going to come out as rage if we don't deal with it.

So I appreciate this suggestion from my friend that we talk about this very, very difficult issue. And I appreciate this song from Lecrae. Listen to these lyrics. I'm angry and I don't really care what they say. I'm angry.

Nobody better get in my way. I'm angry. I'm fighting. I'm busting. I'm popping. I'm caught up in a rage.

Man, somebody better stop me. I'm angry. I'm hating. I'm pushing. I'm shoving. Somebody better get me because I'm about to do something. I'm angry.

And listen to this verse. Been up all night. Got me feeling weak. No sleep on the first day of a long week.

I guess I'm still in school. These people testing me for disrespecting me. I will respond aggressively. A long day, short fuse, in the worst mood, my temper red hot. Does that describe you as a caregiver? It certainly describes me as a caregiver many times. And there are times when the fear in me and sometimes the shame and the guilt well up so powerful. It just comes. I can't see straight.

You can't be a caregiver for any length of time and not go through this. So what do we do? How do we deal with this? Well, let's go back to scripture. James 1 19 through 20. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this. Everyone should be quick to listen. Slow to speak and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Now there are things in this world and things in our life that are worth getting angry about but not raging about. And there is a proper place for this. I think it was more than acceptable for Will Smith and his wife to feel a bit of anger about being poked fun of like Chris Rock did.

He's made fun of people for a long time. It's a good thing they didn't go to a Don Rickles show. But I think there's always an opportunity to feel a bit of indignation. But how we act on it is different. And as caregivers, we have to understand we are already at the breaking point on any given day. We are tired. We are weak. We are frustrated.

Just like it says in that song that Lecrae, it'll been up all night and feeling weak. This is the way we are as caregivers, you know, but anger is one thing. Rage is another uncontrolled unreasonable rage.

And this is where we as caregivers must guard our hearts. Look at this scripture from Ezra 9-6. And I said, my God, I am ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to you, my God, for our wrongful deeds have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens. You ever prayed like that? Ezra was under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit. So it sounds a whole lot better and more poetic the way he wrote it.

Better than anything I've ever prayed. But the sentiment's still the same. I'm too humiliated to even look up.

You show me a man or a woman that lashes out in rage and I'll show you somebody who is tormented by fear, shame, and or guilt, but usually all of the above. So rather than cluck our tongues at Will Smith's behavior at the Oscars and somehow say, well, I thank thee Lord that I'm not like that guy. Well, we haven't been nominated for Best Actor. We haven't lived his life.

But I understand the out of control feelings that erupted over him that he somehow felt like this was a good idea to go up and do this. And if you told him 10 years ago, hey, here's what's going to happen. You're going to get nominated for Best Actor.

And at the peak of your career, you're going to go up on stage and slug a guy and start yelling obscenities from the floor of the Academy Awards. He'd have never believed you. But you know what?

How many of us would never believe some of the things that we've done? So let's just learn from this and let's explore this together. Let's go deeper into this. What do we do with all these feelings in us? How can we confront them so that no matter what happens with our loved one, with the TSA, with some guy that comes and doesn't want us to sing at the piano, whatever stupid stuff we've got to deal with, that we do not lash out? This is something we can explore as believers. It is right there in scripture, and we're going to talk about this when we come back. This is hope for the caregiver, the belief that we can live calmer and healthier and, dare I say it, more joyful as a caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger.

We'll be right back. As a caregiver, think about all the legal documents you need. Power of attorney, a will, living wills, and so many more. Then think about such things as disputes about medical bills. What if, instead of shelling out hefty fees for a few days of legal help, you paid a monthly membership and got a law firm for life? Well, we're taking legal representation and making some revisions in the form of accessible, affordable, full-service coverage.

Finally, you can live life knowing you have a lawyer in your back pocket who, at the same time, isn't emptying it. It's called Legal Shield, and it's practical, affordable, and a must for the family caregiver. Visit caregiverlegal.com. That's caregiverlegal.com.

Isn't it about time someone started advocating for you? www.caregiverlegal.com, an independent associate. Hey, this is Peter Rosenberg, and 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 from mypillow.com. These things are great. They have a patented interlocking field 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 MyPillows from mypillow.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 mypillow.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 mypillow.com promo code caregiver. Welcome back to Home for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberg, and this is the program for you as a family caregiver. How are you doing? How are you feeling?

That's Keith Green. You put this love in my heart. Perfect love casts out fear, Scripture tells us. And we're talking about fear and guilt and the shame and things that launch us into these uncontrollable lashing out moments of rage and dysfunction. Sometimes we lash out at ourselves and that becomes despair. And I wanted to spend a little bit more time on this. A friend of mine sent a text to me and said, look, can you talk about this, about lashing out?

I said, yeah, I can't because, you know, again, I am the wily coyote of caregivers. I have had more anvils dropped on me, more pianos dropped on me, run into more painted tunnels on a wall. I mean, you know, I have failed on every level. And so this is something that I want to spend a little bit more time with in this block. And I'm going to read some scriptures to you, you know, and of course the context is when we lash out based on fear, based on shame, and based on guilt. And usually it's a combination of all of the above. We feel indignant over offenses and that's okay. Some things are worth feeling indignant about.

But when we lash out, out of these things, and sometimes it's great, just great weariness, and just, I've had enough of you people, and you think a little bit more of what you're entitled to. And I'll tell you a perfect example in scripture. Moses, go back and look at Numbers 20, verse 7. And God spoke to Moses, take the staff, assembled the community, you and your brother Aaron, speak to that rock that's right in front of them. He said, speak to that rock that's right in front of them and it will give water. You will bring water out of the rock for them.

Congregation and cattle will both drink. Moses took the staff away from God's presence as commanded. He and Aaron rounded up the whole congregation in front of the rock. Moses spoke.

Now listen to what he said. Listen, rebels, do we have to bring water out of this rock for you? And with that, Moses raised his arm and slammed his staff against the rock once, twice.

Water poured out. Congregation and cattle drank. God said to Moses and Aaron, because you didn't trust me, didn't treat me with holy reverence in front of the people of Israel, you two aren't going to lead this company into the land that I'm giving them. Now I read that from the message.

Sometimes it's a little easier to understand it. But God told him to speak to the rock. Moses got upset. He got mad. He lashed out and he slammed the rock.

Hit it twice. And God said, oh, Moses. He lashed out. And it cost him. It cost him.

It cost him the promised land. But he said, you didn't trust me. You didn't trust me.

And you didn't treat me with holy reverence in front of the people of Israel. So it always comes back down to trusting God. And when we are lashing out, we're saying, we'll do it ourselves. We don't trust him. We don't trust him with this loved one who keeps asking the same question over and over and over and over and over.

We don't trust him to work with this individual who is behaving poorly and being ungrateful or irritating or in many cases, and I've heard this more times than I want to recall, cursing at you while you're trying to take care of them. Now we do have a breaking point. We do have a limit to how much we can take. But see, that's the point. We need to see that limit and recognize that we really can't do this on our own. And a lot of times, God will let us get to the point where we just reach our limit and we say, I can't do this anymore.

And God says, you're right. You never could. That's the point. We're not doing it under our own strength. And that's the problem for us, I think, as caregivers. We are extremely capable people. We're highly resourceful. I often say that we're high-functioning multitaskers. We can do a lot of things. And it gives us the illusion that somehow we can be in control of something.

But there's nothing like taking care of somebody with an illness and an impairment and a dysfunction and a disability for a couple of decades to expose how little control you have of anything. And that's when we go to our knees and realize, oh, wait a minute. Do we trust Him? Do we trust Him? Now listen to this in Isaiah 50, verse 7. But the Lord God helps me, therefore I have not been disgraced, therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. Do you resonate with that? He helps you, and therefore I have not been disgraced.

Do you set your face like flint? This is what we do as caregivers. We get to the point where we realize we cannot do this, and we are trusting in God on this, and we set our face like flint. Instead of your shame, Isaiah 61, there shall be a double portion. Instead of dishonor, they shall rejoice in their lot.

Therefore in the land they shall possess a double portion. They shall have everlasting joy. God is in the business of replacing shame with joy and honor. And that's what the cross is all about. Christ despised the shame of the cross in order that we wouldn't have to experience that.

And we can plunge ourselves into that. I sought the Lord, and He answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. Romans 10.1, for the scripture says, everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame. Psalm 31.17, O Lord, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon You. Let the wicked be put to shame.

Let them go silently to Sheol, but I'm going to call on You. And we can do this as caregivers. We can do this in the midst of whatever. And again, I offer this disclaimer. You know, there's a disclaimer at the end of the broadcast from the network. The views of the opinions of this, I've been threatened to put one on here for years. It says, the views and opinions expressed by the host of this program are not things that he owns, but that is being worked out in him over a long period of time and a lot of failure. But now I see that path.

Okay, and I head towards that, that's solid ground. So in the midst of all this craziness that we deal with, and you are going to lash out, make no mistake about this, if you haven't, give it some time. And some of you are even lashing out at yourself. In fact, most of us do.

A buddy of mine told me, he said, you know, I wouldn't hang around somebody who treats me as bad as I treat myself. Some of you are lashing out at yourself. Let's take all this to where it belongs, the only place that it can be dealt with. And that's the cross. So then we can, like Paul said in Galatians 2.20, that's what this verse means. I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body as a caregiver.

I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Now listen to the way Lecrae says it in that song that I played at the last block coming in. In this hip-hop song, he said, I'm angry and I don't really care what they say. This is anger management. Then he says, I would die for my respect, but I got no humility. And Jesus paid my debt while I reject him willingly. Man, I got some nerve holding anger in my heart. The Father could have come and served me that beef up a la carte. Not to mention torture. Jesus took all my misfortune.

I have been freed from the law, but I'm serving these court orders. Unforgiveness is my pedigree. You say you're sorry.

Better be. Better being mad at you than trying to be a better me. Ain't nothing in my working trying to demonstrate his worth. And though he showed me plenty grace, I don't extend to other persons. And that anger led to murder. When you pull up that murder scene, it's Jesus nailed upon the cross.

Yeah, that murderer was me. Then he goes on, 1 Peter 2, 23, Man, when they used to hurl insults at Jesus, he didn't retaliate. He entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. The gospel manages our anger. You feel me? The solution is to gain a heart that's thankful for grace in Jesus Christ. Well said. Don't you think?

This is how we do it. When you find yourself lashing out, understand that you're in a host of people who've done the same. But you are not in bondage to that. And he will not only equip you to walk through this. He will give you the grace and the strength to make amends and to learn from this. And he will reach into all of that guilt, all that shame, all that fear, all that indignation, all of that weariness.

Every bit of this. He will touch all of that and flip it in a way that makes sense for his glory. So that you can walk in freedom in this. Even Moses, after God said you're not going to the Promised Land, he accepted God's provision of that and had the grace to walk that out. For his own punishment, his own consequences of his anger, of his lashing out. If you are beating yourself without mercy right now, if you're lashing out at yourself over your lashing out, understand this great grace in Christ. And he will walk with you through this. These scriptures mean something. This wonderful artist, Lecrae, got this and he wrote this in this great, great text that he said, The gospel manages our anger.

You feel me? The solution is to gain a heart that's thankful for the grace in Jesus Christ. And that's the solution. And that is hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger, HopeForTheCaregiver.com.

We'll see you next week. 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, too.

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. 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? Please go to standingwithhope.com slash recycle standingwithhope.com slash recycle. Thanks, Gracie.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-13 02:02:04 / 2023-05-13 02:13:54 / 12

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