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If It's Hysterical - It's Historical

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2022 3:30 am

If It's Hysterical - It's Historical

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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May 4, 2022 3:30 am

Think back on an encounter with an adult overreacting to a situation. Were you caught off-guard; did you feel uncomfortable? A psychiatrist friend of mine shared a phrase he often communicated to his staff: "When you see a patient overreact or act out, always remember there's a story behind that behavior."

Adults don't lose self-control in a vacuum – there's a build-up and a story behind their behavior. When caregivers find themselves in the unpleasant predicament of engaging an individual with frenetic or hyper behavior, it's helpful to remember that the behavior is bigger than the moment. Reminding ourselves that “there’s a story” enables us to speak to the deeper issues driving the outburst – which often requires assurance rather than reason. Arguing with a longtime wound is futile. Caring for that wound – and all its symptoms – remains a more effective response. As caregivers, we encounter those panicking about pocket-sized problems. Outbursts at a temporary or minor problem are rooted in a long journey that could stretch back a lifetime. Detaching from the immediate eruption allows us to better understand and address the volcanic turbulence behind the explosion.

However, It starts with us remembering, "If it's hysterical, it's historical."

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. More than 65 million Americans right now are serving as a family caregiver. Are you one of them?

If so, you're in the right place. If so, how are you doing? What's going on with you? You see, if a caregiver is not in a good place, what happens to the person they're caring for?

Okay, that's a pretty obvious question. Now, the less obvious question to ask, of course, is how do you help a caregiver? A lot of people think that a caregiver needs help, but a lot of people don't know what that looks like. And that's what this program is all about. And I'm bringing you more than 35 years of experience to help you stay strong and healthy while you take care of someone who is not. And that's the whole point of Hope for the Caregiver, that we can live a calmer, healthier, and dare I say it, a more joyful life, even while serving as a caregiver during very dire circumstances and dealing with very harsh realities. We can do this.

I know because that's what I do. You can go out and see more about what we have to offer. You can check out our podcast, which is free. We have now getting close to 700 episodes out there.

It is the number one podcast for caregivers in the world. And we have the numbers to show that they just came in and it's kind of exciting. So please take advantage of this books, music, podcasts, blogs, whatever else that you want to find out there. There's plenty of stuff. Take advantage of it.

Friends don't let friends care give alone. And that's the purpose of this program. Let me tell you an old joke. You've probably have heard this when the guy was getting some things checked out on his car and testing out his lights and everything else. And he asked the guy behind him, you know, he said, he'd go back and check on some things. And he said, is my left blinker working? The guy says, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes.

What does that have to do with caregivers? Well, we're going to talk a little bit about that today and spend some time unpacking, seeing something, but not understanding something. The guy checking the blinkers from behind, he was looking at it. He had sight, but he didn't have insight.

He recognized that there was a current being applied and the brake lights were coming on, but he didn't have insight to the meaning of what he was seeing. Now that has a lot to do with us as caregivers because we see things, but do we have insight into what we're seeing? If we don't have insight, then we are doomed to keep repeating the same processes over and over without understanding and just reacting to them in the same manner. We don't grow.

We don't evolve. We don't increase our understanding of what's actually going on. Now go back and look at Matthew 13. And Jesus said this in verse nine, whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples came to him and said, why do you speak to the people in parables? And later on in that chapter, just a couple of verses down, Jesus said, this is why I speak to them in parables. Those seeing, they do not see, though hearing, they do not understand.

And in them, in verse 14, is fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah. You will be ever hearing, but never understanding. You will be ever seeing, but never perceiving. I see so many verses in scripture that talk about seeing and understanding, opening your eyes, opening your ears. Listen, do you grasp this concept of teaching people how to see and have insight instead of just relying on sight? Go back and look at what Jesus said to Thomas. When Thomas said, okay, I believe now, I see you. And Jesus, blessed are those who haven't seen, but they believe. Those people have understanding.

They have great faith. And as caregivers, how many times are we repeating the same events, but not growing? Now, I don't know about you, but this has been a longstanding issue with me.

And I felt stupid most of the time, still do. A friend of mine tells me the obvious becomes obvious right before it becomes obvious. But part of the issue is, are we looking at things with the intent of understanding or are we just seeing it? Do we want to have insight?

Do we want to grow? Do we want to learn and understand what is going on here? Do we want to see the fingerprints of God? Do we want to see the precepts of God? Do we want to see how scripture is applying to this? Or do we want to just cherry pick whatever makes us feel better for the moment? You see, this is the challenge for us, I believe, as caregivers, as human beings. But we as caregivers live in a crucible of relentless challenges that bang our heads pretty hard. And we have to somehow grasp something greater that's going on.

Otherwise we become just incredibly bitter, miserable, despairing people. And it starts with, do you want to understand? Do you want to see this? Do you want to learn through this process? Do you have that thirst in you to be able to do that?

And then once you decide, yes, I do, I want to see beyond the circumstances. I don't want to just sit there and look at a blinker going on and off, on and off, and say, it's working. It's not working. It's working. It's working. We're not getting the big picture. It's doing exactly what it's designed to do.

It's built to do. And we're not getting insight into this. Do we recognize that there is a sovereign Lord in all of that we're dealing with? These are hard questions, but I believe that if we are willing to humble ourselves and submit some teaching on this and learn from this, that we can gain a sense of insight that will not take away the sting of what we have to deal with, but it will give purpose to it that has eluded us.

Maybe that's a better way of saying it. It will give purpose to the journey that we have not considered. Now, I'm not trying to go down that path where people have said to Gracie and me over the years, oh, you know, I know God hadn't healed Gracie, but look at the great testimony. But that's not the purpose I'm talking about.

Okay. That is man's concoction of what we think God has purposed that we can have some kind of great ministry. There are a lot of people who've had great ministry, had both legs and didn't have to go through all the stuff that Gracie's gone through. That's not really where I am. And I've always found that a little bit cliche when people say that to us. The purpose I'm talking about is going deeper into the things of God, having understanding.

Sometimes that can be a very lonely place. And Jesus alluded to this back in Matthew 13, when they asked him, why do you speak to people this way? And in Matthew 13, 11, he says, because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more and they will have an abundance.

Whoever does not have even what they have will be taken from them. And this is why I speak in parables. Though seeing, they do not see. Though hearing, they do not understand. That's a very difficult concept to wrestle with, but there it is in the text. And Jesus said it, some are going to get this, some are not. And the challenge for us is, okay, we live in this circumstance. We live with these harsh realities.

Are we willing to go deeper? Because I think this is where peace and contentment and then ultimately joy comes from being able to trust God in this, because you're seeing greater evidence of his work in your life. Not just necessarily in the life of your loved one, in your life. I've fallen into that trap like so many others have said, okay, if she gets better, then I will be okay. I will feel better. I will be better.

But I got news for you. After living a lifetime of this, Gracie's situation hasn't gotten better for her. It's gotten substantially more difficult as the years have gone on. But what about us? Can we get better in this?

Can Gracie and I both get better in this? And the answer, of course, is yes. Scripture says we can, but it requires doing more than seeing something. It requires more than sight.

It requires insight. We're going to talk a little bit more about this on the next block. This is Peter Rosenberg, and this is Hope for the Caregiver.

We'll be right back. As caregivers, we have so many things that hit us all the time, and we can't always nail these things down by ourselves. Who helps you?

What does that look like? I'm Peter Rosenberg, and I want to tell you about a program I've been a part of now for almost 10 years, and that's Legal Shield. For less than $30 a month, I have access to a full law firm that can handle all kinds of things. If I get a contract put in front of me, if I got a dispute with something, doesn't matter. I've got a full law firm that can help me navigate through all the sticky wickets that we as caregivers have to deal with, power of attorney, medical power of attorney. I will. Every bit of it. As a caregiver, we need someone who advocates for us, and that's why I use Legal Shield.

Go to Look on the left-hand side where it says Legal Shield. Just select it.

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If you don't need any of those, don't select them. Check out and be protected starting today. That's 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 for

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 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, typing 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 promo code caregiver. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. We're glad you're with us. If you have some suggestions, some comments, things you want us to weigh into and just talk about whatever's on your heart, whatever's on your mind, send us a note and we'll be glad to call you from the program if you want or whatever, whatever's on your heart. This show is for caregivers. And if you're struggling with something, guess what? Out of 65 million other Americans who are serving as caregivers right now, not to mention those listening around the world, I bet you they do too. Got the same thing. Somebody's got it. Nothing that any of us are dealing with on a core level on a heart level is unique to us.

And that's the good news. Okay? Yes, our circumstances may be unique. The type of caregiving circumstances we find ourselves in. But the cry of our hearts as human beings, as caregivers is going to resonate literally around the globe because it reflects the fear, the obligation, the guilt, the resentment, the despair, the anxiety, all those things that we deal with as we look at the caregiving landscape in front of us.

And so that's what we talk about here on this program. I don't tell people how to caregive. I can't tell you how to take care of your loved one anymore. You can tell me how to take care of Gracie.

You know, we have tips that are pretty universal, you know, and we'll do that a couple of times on how to talk to doctors or insurance companies and things such as that. But the nuts and bolts of what we're about here on this program is helping detangle the heart of a caregiver, which is often a dumpster fire, let's face it. And if yours isn't, give it some time.

It'll come. And that's okay. There's no shame in being exasperated in all the things we're going through. Scripture knows this. That's why it speaks so much to this throughout Scripture. You know, and if you're having a hard time with this, you're in the right place. So we're glad you're here. Think back on an encounter that you've had with somebody who was overreacting to a situation, an adult, not a child, but an adult. You know, and this is all part of what we're talking about in the last block, gaining insight.

We really want to understand what's going on. And when you saw that person overreacting, you see this a lot with politics now. People are just, you know, all over the map. I mean, honestly. I mean, you look at some of these people and you're thinking, how do you get out of bed in the morning?

And there's such virulence going on in our culture. And when you've encountered somebody like that up close and personal, what did you do? How did you feel? Were you caught off guard? Did you feel uncomfortable? Did it make you back off?

How did you feel with that? You know, a psychiatrist friend of mine, uh, he shared a phrase that he often communicated to his staff, you know, when they would see patients come in. And you think about a guy who's in practice as a psychiatrist and the kind of folks that are coming in. You ever watch monk?

And, uh, if you haven't, you'll get a picture of that. But when you, when you think of a psychiatrist, often it's people going in, there's going to be some very challenging people that come through those doors. And this guy was not only in clinical practice, but he was also a professor and been around a long time, has the alphabet after his name. But one of the things he said to his staff was this, when you see a patient overreact or act out, always remember there's a story behind that behavior.

Now let's dig a little deeper. What he's saying is adults don't lose self-control in a vacuum. We just don't wake up one day to say we're just going to lose self-control. There's a buildup and there's a story behind that behavior. And again, this is part of us gaining insight. When caregivers find ourselves in this unpleasant predicament of engaging an individual with a frenetic or hyper behavior, it's helpful to us to remember that the behavior is bigger than the moment. It could be something very simple that triggered a behavior that is disproportionate to the event. And there's a reason for that. And if we remind ourselves, like this psychiatrist told his staff, if we remind ourselves that there's a story, it enables us to speak to the deeper issues driving the outburst. It has been my experience that in those moments, reason doesn't always serve us well.

It'd be great if it did. And I'll give you an example. There was a well-known celebrity playing in a pro-celebrity golf tournament in the Nashville, Tennessee area some years ago, and he was paired with Payne Stewart. You may remember Payne Stewart, a wonderful godly man who died tragically.

This is, again, many years ago. And this particular celebrity, every time he shanked a shot or did something, missed a putt or whatever, he would act out horribly. I mean vulgar, screaming, hollering, throwing stuff, just being a real petulant child. And Payne Stewart used reason and he pulled him aside and he said to him, you're not good enough to act this way when you blow a shot and if you were good enough, you wouldn't act this way. I think he actually said, you're not good enough to act this way over this and if you were, you wouldn't. That's a situation where reason worked.

And it pierced this guy and he got his act together and changed his tune. There was a story behind it, of course, that this celebrity could hear reason. He wasn't impaired, he just was being a jerk. But what about your loved one that may be impaired? Maybe they're on some type of narcotics. Maybe they're an alcoholic. Maybe they have dementia, Alzheimer's, whatever, any other cognitive impairment. Reason often comes up short in situations like that and we have to use a different tool and that tool is assurance.

When you see somebody behaving erratically or acting out demonstratively or I don't know how to say it any better than that, spazzing out, not like this celebrity, but you know, for something else going on, something over the top. I don't know, maybe like that celebrity, but oftentimes it is due to a long-standing wound and it has been my experience that you cannot argue with a wound. You tend to it. You care for that wound and all the symptoms involved with that wound.

It remains a much more effective response. You don't argue with a wound. When my wife lost her leg, both legs, I don't argue with amputation. You don't do that.

You don't reason with amputation. You assure, assure, assure, assure. And in the process, you'll find a couple of things happen. Number one, you're speaking to the root cause of that. Whatever that behavior is, you're speaking to the root cause of it.

They may or may not listen, but here's what happens. Here's the second part of that. The more you speak to the root issues, the more insight you have into the deeper issues, the stronger, the more calmer, the more focused, the more peaceful, the more safely you walk through these things, the more effective you become, the healthier you become, I become. The more we say these things, the more we act in this manner, the healthier we are.

Outbursts at temporary or minor problems are rooted in a long-time journey that could stretch back a lifetime, way beyond yours or my skill set to deal with. But if we detach from that immediate eruption, it allows us to better understand and address the volcanic turbulence that's behind the explosion. We're not just victims of the lava that's pouring out of it. We understand what's going on. We recognize it.

We can operate from a place of safety. But it starts with one simple thing. I'll leave you with this on this segment. It starts with us remembering this phrase. If it's hysterical, it's historical.

You might want to write that down. If it is hysterical, then it is historical. Now go back to the blinker analogy we used in the last block. Are we just seeing this phrase? Are we getting insight?

Do we have sight or insight? Do we understand what that means? If it's hysterical, it's historical. There is a story behind it.

Remember what that psychiatrist said. There is a story behind this. And our invitation, it's not necessarily our job and it's not necessarily our responsibility, but it's our invitation is to learn the story, to understand the story behind it. And in doing so, it better equips us to deal with whatever we're dealing with in front of us.

Now we can't fix it. We may not have any impact on it, but we can have an impact on ourselves as we navigate through this. Which would you rather do? Would you rather go down a whitewater river with no understanding and no paddle and no life jacket and no helmet?

Or would you like to go down prepared? You're going to hit the rapids. You're not going to change the river, but you're going to navigate it more smoothly.

And that's the journey for us as caregivers. We can't change these circumstances. We can't fix it. We can't undo it. We didn't cause it. We can't cure it, but we can navigate this more peacefully and in the process, better minister to those who are in distress. Because if we're doing it from a place of understanding and insight, then we're allowed to apply scripture to it.

And the work of the Holy Spirit comes through that scripture and brings calmness and peace. If to no one else, to you. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, we're not makers of history. We are made by history.

You understand what he's saying there? There's a story behind each of us of how we got here and how we respond to things. And God is interested in that story. Each of us, our stories, he knows us all intimately. And as we learn to trust him in it, we'll see him speaking to us in our distress. And his words are always assuring. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-23 11:20:47 / 2023-04-23 11:29:55 / 9

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