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The Loss of Independence, Isolation, and The Loss of Identity

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
August 20, 2022 3:30 am

The Loss of Independence, Isolation, and The Loss of Identity

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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August 20, 2022 3:30 am

Every caregiver - and I do mean EVERY caregiver will struggle with what I call the "3 I's." 

We lose our independence, we become isolated, and we lose our identity. 

During my ten years on the air, I've discussed these things often - and felt a refresher for myself was in order. 

I go into further detail in my book Hope for the Caregiver. 

Please share this episode with as many as possible ...all too many caregivers struggle in isolation, and this episode will help them learn how to push back against that isolation, as well as the loss of identity and independence. 

If you find this podcast meaningful, please consider supporting it at 

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Healthy caregivers make better caregivers with what we do the program. How do you help somebody. Stay strong and healthy. Is there caring for someone who was not. That's what we do. The program what is it look like to speak to a caregiver. What kind of vocabulary do you use and that's what we do the program so were glad that you're here hopefully

If you want to be a part of the program since the note, let us know.

Let us hear from you. Tell us your story. Whatever is on your heart. I just got a note from the website listener found the program a while back.

It's been listening to it faithfully taking care of now. A family member in her 80s with Parkinson's and has been dealing with this with multiple family members that am 60 I think 63 years old and worn out, but then went on to say I really appreciated the three eyes that you talked about and I thought you haven't talked about that in a while. So with your indulgence. I would like to talk with you about the three eyes that every caregiver deals with it. If you want to know the vocabulary of speaking to a caregiver tickle you pastors new counselors and doctors and so forth, listen up, because this is part of vocabulary of speaking to a caregiver. If you want to know how to ask for help as a caregiver, listen up, because this is part of the vocabulary. The caregiver understands on the heart level.

Okay, so it's important for us as caregivers to know how to express ourselves, what RR coordinates. We don't often know what we need. We don't know what help. Looks like a part of that is understanding this concept of the three eyes every caregiver deals with number one the loss of independence. The three eyes. By the way, is the letter I met eyeballs loss of independence starts with that I three guys we lose our independence as caregivers were no longer able to do the things that we wish to do when we want to do that.

That could be our limitation and going out of the house or on vacations or what type of career path we might like to take what type of dreams we want to pursue all those kinds of things you think okay will have caregiving now on my life's over and I am locked into this path and therefore we surrender that first I that independence all too quickly now I understand this something I've just now started my 37th year as a caregiver grace and I had our anniversary this week about a caregiver for 36 years now. Now in the 37th and I've had to adjust and I felt this way for a very long time. That okay I have to go out and get insurance about the way insurance is not one of the three eyes okay, but I had to work for medical insurance and therefore my career path and everything else was dictated by Gracie circumstances. That's the way I felt, but that's not accurate. My own shortsightedness.

My own lack of understanding dictated my circumstances not Gracie Nutter healthcare Nutter insurance needs.

Those were problem, but they weren't the problem is I think what what what trips a lot of people up. Is there a lot of people out there talk about problems that caregivers face and there are a lot of problems with this program deals with the problems that caregiver struggle with in order to understand the problems, then you have spent some time in this world is a caregiver, and of long enough time to understand what the core issues are and I refuse to believe that I have evidence to back this up. That Gracie's medical condition dictated my career path in the sense that I was trapped and that it took away my independence. Yes, it created roadblocks and challenges, but now I am doing things on career level using every skill set that I had before I ever met Gracie. I was always speaking.

I was writing things, writing music doing music being out in the public eye. All the things that I do now.

And yet I've learned to adapt them into a way that works around her circumstances, but it is not hindered me and hampered me. In fact, if anything, it has helped provide clarity and focus.

Now I didn't come overnight, and I would make sure everyone understands that it is taken a lot of work a lot of counseling a lot of smart people that I've reached out to that have reached out to me. I have reigned around these ideas, but it forced me into a path of ingenuity that would push back against the loss of independence and I think that's where we as caregivers can find ourselves is pushing back against that with creative ideas. Okay, we can't do certain things. That's okay we can do other things.

Why do we need to do certain things. What is the loss were feeling and then how do we speak to that core loss was something else is that it is that the only thing that will satisfy those desires is being able to run to the grocery store when I want to go is that the only thing that will satisfy those. Is there anything else I can do. Is there anything else I can do this creative pushback is at least the questions I've had to ask over my life and yeah there's always that rub but you know what is human beings we don't have the independence we think we do. Anyway, it's often an illusion. That's another word. But that's not one of the three euros so that loss of independence is a real deal, but it's not a death sentence to us as caregivers, we can pushback Scripture reinforces this and give you perfect example when Paul and Silas were in prison. They were beaten around midnight as they were singing hymns.

There's an earthquake in an everybody was let loose all the chains fell off and the jailer was just horrified because he knew that he was going to get killed for this. He was responsible and posit hey were all here okay were all here. Paul and Silas were the two most free people in that jail. They were in the Middle East as they were in the middle of it so they were in the inner part of it. So they were not only shackled then they were imprisoned within they were imprisoned within the prison so they were in bondage to the third power if you will, and yet they were the most free men in that person in that dungeon. They were free.

There independence had been clamped down on by the authorities and yet they were free.

Set a paradox.

Well, if you don't have a biblical worldview.

It is, but when you have a biblical worldview. It makes perfect sense that we are free in Christ, we are not enslaved in this loss of independence that we feel this shackling this bondage. If you will. This this curtailing of our freedoms that we sometimes chafe against this caregivers in the context of Scripture in the perspective of Christ. What does this mean is he unaware of this or is he purposed in working through this and allowing this and weaving all these things together for our benefit, not just our love once but four hours.

Is there something we can become through this and I suggest to you. Yes, there is so the first of the three is that every caregiver struggles with is that loss of independence and before anybody can come along to us as caregivers and help us process through that loss of independence, we ourselves need to understand what's going on with us, push ourselves to go deeper and not just settle for the fact that well okay I could do it and be resentful understand that there is a world of opportunity is gonna look different than we thought. It's good require little creativity little ingenuity is another outward and faith to trust that God is working through all of these things in ways we truly cannot imagine and invites us to trust it with for however long the season last may last a long time. In my case be my 37th year.

It may last a long time a room to trust's Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver over the caregivers. A conviction that we can live Kolber healthier and dare I say it more freely as a family caregiver will be right back over its amounts are in Oman over time I've tried to say to all that was she caregiver the speed Rosenberger this is for you as a family caregiver were talking today about the three eyes every caregiver struggles with last block we talked about the loss of independence. What that means to assist family caregivers second I that we all deal with this caregivers is isolation, not isolation comes in many different forms and I've said often that caregivers can feel isolated in a crowded room and we can feel isolated on a crowded pew and is a very lonely existence to serve as a family caregiver you were cut off from a lot of things because that loss of independence, partly because of our own dark thoughts, and we get into this place where we are struggling to find reality to anchor ourselves when we get disoriented. This is not to be confused with solitude to solitude is important.

We, we, Jesus modeled that force being alone with our thoughts and being able to kind of gather our thoughts in an instant time alone with God. It solitude and prayer. Those are important things for us, but isolation is a cutting off we are. We are disconnected we are not separating necessarily for a purpose of wellness. We are cut off and we suffer because of note go back and look at Genesis and all the things God said this was good.

This was good. This was good that he created man this is good. Before the fall, God said something was not good and that was that man was alone, go back and look at it in the text is not good for man to be alone.

Isolation is not natural for us were made in the image of God. God is not isolated. He's in perfect union with the Trinity, God the father, God's son got the Holy Spirit persecuted. This is why by the way, we really struggle to understand the magnificence of the cross because for the first time God split himself apart from son and you this is the anguish that Jesus bore for us but as caregivers we bring this back down to where we are as caregivers, we become isolated we become cut off. We could be in the same room with people, but we still feel isolated was that mean to us.

How does that affect our ability to function as healthy individuals that suggest to you that it cripples us. It allows these festering thoughts of of resentment and loneliness.

Bitterness and despair to Griffis. There's no light coming in to our hearts. The part of this is due to the physical realities of caregiving and the love one. We have may be very mobility limited. They may be socially limited that I get that list. Let's let's go to 1/3 and I think it part of this isolation that cripples us is self-inflicted that will be explained before you get all upset with that we indulge ourselves in those places and don't push out was that look like will for a lot of us it looks like we just can't have a pity party been there. Nobody would understand study were trying to exploit. I don't want to risk it.

I don't want to be judged. I don't want to be this week we set up these defenses for things that haven't even happen yet because we don't want to feel the sting of what could happen and so therefore because it could happen. We shut it down from ever happening in the process we go all scorched earth on our relationships in the way we approach life but God has a different plan for us it he meets us in these places. If you go through all of Scripture, particularly the Psalms you see this lament for being cut off. What it looks like you see when the Israelites were in bondage and they felt isolated away from their homes in their community and everything else and you hear these laments of these crus you see this all the way all the way to the cross where Jesus is my God, my God, why has thou forsaken me, and you see this lament, but because of what happened at the cross. We are not doomed to isolation that made it possible for us to fellowship with God. Even in our suffering, especially if you will and are suffering that sounds counterintuitive to a lot of things because we think will be slow to fellowship with BMI suffer what it is. Just heal it what it is taken away. Why must I do this. What kind of good and loving God would do this to these are the kind of things that we think about in the isolation and those lonely places when were having that conversation with the ceiling fan. This is what we think about and if you say well Peter I don't think about that what that's okay spittle, but wartime caregiving that you will because it eventually happens to all of us that have been doing this long enough to make that statement.

It is a is a very lonely road.

The valley of the shadow of death can be a very long valley in a very frightening and we feel alone and so what does he say that for go spin a tough time describing the valley of the shadow of death, the what does he offer into that but I will fear no evil for thou art with me. What Jesus tell his disciples to let your heart be true. Go to prepare a place for you works of art that day will come back for what you say to get low. I'm with you always, even to the end of the ages I'm leaving, so the comforter can come. In other words, his Holy Spirit now can come in just in fellowship with us. There is this assurance of his presence. Isaiah 4110 fear thou not for I am with the peanut dismayed, for I am thy God I will strengthen the game will help the AI will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. These are only a few of the assuring passages in Scripture that speaks directly to that isolation. That is the human condition.

We as caregivers feel it very acutely.

Because of our circumstances because of her challenges but make no mistake, it is not unique to us in Scripture speaks to this is why some of the Scriptures when used.

Seen in this light starts leaping off the page to John 1423 Jesus said if anyone loves me will keep my word and my father will love him, we will come to him and make our home with him.

Jesus's name, Emmanuelle. One of his names. Isaiah prophesied means God tabernacles with us. He puts his home with us. We are not isolated is the core of everything that Scripture is all about is God invading this world that is broken. We lost fellowship always back in Genesis and that plan of redemption Tobias back so that we are not isolated were not isolated is caregivers either.

We don't have to be despondent even in our loneliness. Loneliness is an unavoidable part of life. Isolation, however, is something we can fight against and we fight against this in several ways with each other fellowship among ourselves horizontally with other human beings more poorly fellowship with God was that look like well on the human side it looks like building those relationships trustworthy relationships.

It may take some some work at first because you don't want to just jump into relationships with people that are not prepared to walk with you in these very tough roads that you would not have to walk is caregivers so you will be very selective and discerning on this. It may start with the counselor trusted counselor trusted pastor that you spent time and get used to speaking out loud about these things, trusted family member trusted friend. I don't make him drink from the fire hose okay just the first conversation. Have you don't need just tumble everything out.

Sometimes it's okay to just be be with someone just walk someone the other day I had a friend visiting from back east and Virginia. The key, but here we settled up some horses just wrote around the vast magnificence of Montana on horseback, just be wasn't a lot of preamble, I didn't have to give Holland a background anything. He already knows me knows my journey and we just hung out on horseback pushing against the isolation. In many respects is the same way with God you just hang out and talk with you read his word.

You listen, you may bring up Scripture to mine. He may bring a hymn to mine. He may point out something is going on around you in the world I see a lot of that out here where I live in Montana because of sick so much of nature which cries out to God. Maybe it's something where you just settle down and sit and be still and know that he is God. Be still and know that he is God was hard to do the latter.

If you don't do the former. To be still, and it may seem a little bit counterintuitive because when you feel isolated want to rush out to get involved in something and and and and have his interaction, social events, as important as they are pale in comparison to the deep communion being still seeking him out seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added all these things includes freedom from isolation is. This is hopefully caring caregiver is a conviction is caregivers can living, healthier and even more connected line is where I got a letter the other day from somebody that was really kind of upset with me because how could I use this In his products and they were upset and its products from my pillow and often use these pillows for years long for politics and everything else wonders.

I got a biz because it really helps Gracie and helps her back and I can travel with these things.

She can go to the hospital with him. She's done it before about a pillow topper to go to her hospital bed and I was able just the wood in the washer we use it over and over and knowing that I wouldn't bring hospital cooties of the sheets are wonderful and I've tried all these products in they work, they're not made in China. There made here, and I like and they do exactly what they said to go to do and then some. So I got this one guy upset with me but you know what I like the really good products and they would help people and so that's why blog and I like him. I also like the fact that there made here in America like that to because I don't like having to trade imbalance with China and I'm also sure that we ought to be doing things to support the Chinese economy.

Maybe we could support our own economy here in the states and workers here and recently Gracie loves coffee in sheet of strong coffee and she likes coffee reaches out and slaps you cut a coffee, that's critical. She liked in the coffee. She liked the company said they would start paying for some of their employees to have abortions after this Roe versus Wade thing and so I started looking around for a better coffee company because I want to help support that and I saw Mike Linville talk about coffee is that well I don't know McCaughey's slippers.

One thing pillows sheet second step, the coffee, that's a whole different matter but I tried it administrate coffee, you can let the Gracie left all of the scope.

Why don't you give it a try. Go to my use the promo code caregiver when you purchase items from my it helps support this program. Hopefully caregiver it allows me to offer this podcast for free, so please visit my promo code caregiver and plans to prosper you and me and he no and a book about the hopefully caregiver here in America for Rosenberg and this is the program for is a family care that is my wife Gracie. I wanted to let that play because love to hear her sing that and love that voice.

Happy anniversary Gracie 36 years. This week, what a what a party. What a journey we fit.

He does know the plans that he has for you and I want to bring that into the conversation with our last point of the three eyes. We talked about the loss of independence.

We talked about the isolation never to talk about one of the toughest issues that I think we as caregivers face that third eye, which is the loss of identity. And we lose yourself in someone else's story. I myself struggled with this for many years asked caregiver. How are you doing and listen to the reply. Well, we just got home or she's not doing well or he's doing okay or our situation or us. We is very hard for caregiver speak in first person singular.

It takes a lot of work to push back against this and we have to force ourselves to speak in a way that feels unnatural to us to say I hurt.

I'm tired of struggling. I need help I'm lonely I'm isolated all of those things those I words that need to come out but they don't because we feel guilty and embarrassed obligated to Shane fearful lost there's a there's a whole lot of reasons why that we don't do it, but we still must do this in order to be a healthier individual and for me it was driven home at the piano and I got up and I played that church on Sunday the pastor asked me to play before the service started and when everybody was coming in just to create a more reverent atmosphere. Gracie had been off the public stage for a while. She's been very sick and I been playing for Gracie since we were in college since we first met, so I had her voice in my ear for a lifetime. So get a complete church and I started playing songs that I was familiar with and I realized I wasn't playing the melody.

Here's what I was doing simple here to caregiver keyboard and admitted something was missing. I was hearing Gracie my head thought is was inherent and I had to make some adjustments because I wasn't playing the melody.

I was hearing someone else sing the melody in my head and I wasn't playing and I had to go back and switch it up so now I'm playing something saying something and I realize that as caregivers we can easily lose the melody and it's wonderful play of his great cords but nobody knows what were saying nobody knows what were playing if nobody hears the melody. It's very difficult to be understood. Have you lost your melody. Are you playing the harmony to someone else. What is your voice sound like an for me it started with that him because I love the lyrics of this is one of the 25 hymns that every Christian ought to know we've done. Be still my soul. We've done Joy to the world and now is done. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Think about the message of this hill we thought as little children, seven kids learning that's great, but this hymn has a great deal more weight to it that we probably ever imagine.

Particularly for us as caregivers.

I spent a lifetime trying to get Gracie to Jesus if I could just get Jesus to the healer that our life would be better. Things will be okay. Gracie's needs are more important, we just get those addressed. I can make do. She must increase must decrease. You see how that works for us as caregivers that form that actually becomes a form of idolatry. John the Baptist said that about Jesus and he's the only one you could say about he must increase, we decrease only say about other people were putting them in the place of whole, is that what were doing. You yet we are, our identity is in Christ, and it's not about somehow focusing on someone else to the exclusion or self. It's learning who we are in Christ, not that we're increasing in that sense, but that we are in Christ Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so it's very personal.

It's very specific. Yes he died for all you done for me. He died for you.

He knows you know journey, he knows the hairs on her head. This was driven home even further to be the caregiver support group I help facilitate here in our little town and one of the attendees carves tiny birds out of just pieces of wood is woodshop with a real-time you mean like maybe 2 inches long with a very exquisite but he does it eat any buff small, absent some down then puts a lacquer on it and just holding your hand, but he does it to remind himself and he gives about others. Matthew 626 which says consider the birds of the air, how they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not of much greater value than the hose of Jesus's words, so I'm asking you fellow caregiver, are you not of much greater value than the birds of the air. Does that imply that you're counted to fade into the background, or that you are extremely important to our Savior.

You personally by name, and for a season and that season may be a lifetime. You are charged with caring for vulnerable love abuse a child.

Maybe it's apparent.

Maybe it's a wife or husband friend cousin whatever whoever your charts with caring for that in no way is a license for you or anyone else to put you into the background and make you secondary.

Your identity is important. Your identity was created by God.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knows the plans he has for you.

You knew you before the foundation of the world and he loves you as an individual and this is where it starts for us to reclaim our identity. This is where we launch this quest to regain our identity in Christ because he is the one who assesses our values. He is the one who establishes our value in this always points to the cross. Think about the thief on the cross he said he chastise the other guy. He said hey look we wait.

We deserve what we got. Then he looked at Jesus on the cross, he said, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. He didn't say remember us. They went up with the other guy. He did love himself and with that, he said, Lord, remember me and what is Jesus look at you. Jesus said to him from the cross.

He said today you will be with me in paradise. Not you all.all y'all.

You very specific to that and I look forward to one day meeting him in heaven because I just like to be thick, but I think this incredibly important for us to remember as caregivers that this is a very personal savior who's invested in us personally who knows us and he sees you in your reflection, he sees you and what you're doing, those late nights when you are just losing it.

He sees you when you have to clean up all this, stuff and deal with all the things that you got it, deal with. He hasn't abandoned you. He is keenly aware of this and he knows you by name as you go through the day. Seeing this hymn, Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so to great him to remind us of our identity and how important we are to Christ and it devalues in our mind the work of the Savior when we don't recognize that if he values you that much. Who are you to devalue yourself.

You are a child of the most high, a joint heir with Christ. You can call God daddy house that rediscovering your identity. This is hope for the caregiver Peter Rosenberger. Hopefully caregivers that conviction we can live calmer and healthier as a unique individual, loved by God, will be right back in

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