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If It's Hysterical, It's Historical

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2024 6:00 am

If It's Hysterical, It's Historical

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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April 26, 2024 6:00 am

Recall a situation where you witnessed an adult overreacting. Did it catch you off-guard? Did it make you uneasy? A psychiatrist friend once shared a valuable insight with his team: "When you see a patient overreact or act out, always remember there's a story behind that behavior." 

Understanding this 'story' is crucial for caregivers dealing with individuals exhibiting frenetic or hyper behavior, as it allows them to approach the situation with empathy and patience.

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 more significant 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 long-term wound is futile. Caring for that wound and its symptoms remains a more effective response. As caregivers, we encounter those panicking about pocket-sized problems. Outbursts of 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 understand better and address the volcanic turbulence behind the explosion.

However, it starts with us remembering, "If it's hysterical, it's historical" - and there's always a story behind the behavior. 

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 here on American Family Radio.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. So glad that you are with us.

Hopeforthecaregiver.com if you want to know more about what we do, why we do it, how we do it, and who we're doing it for. We're all there in the title, Hope for the Caregiver. If you're not a caregiver, I'm glad you're here.

You're going to get something out of what I have to say, but I'm not here for you. I'm here for that family caregiver, that person who is putting themselves between a chronically impaired loved one and even worse, disaster. They're staying up late at night. They're doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, going to the grocery store, going to the pharmacy, helping someone get a shower, helping someone go to the bathroom, on the phone with doctors, banging their head against the wall. A friend of mine told me the other day, he said, you know what the great thing about banging your head against the wall repeatedly is? It feels so good when you stop.

I thought that was kind of funny. Are you banging your head against the wall? Are you that individual? Then you're in the right place.

And I'm so glad that you're with us. 65 million Americans right now struggle with this journey of being a caregiver for somebody who has a chronic impairment. Maybe it's a special needs child. Maybe it's an aging parent. Maybe it's an alcoholic or an addict. Maybe somebody with mental illness.

Maybe somebody with trauma. Whatever the impairment, there's always a caregiver. And that caregiver is an untrained, outmatched, overwhelmed, overpowered individual on most days.

And on bad days, they are sinking. I understand that journey and that's why we're doing the program. I'm bringing you four decades of experience as a caregiver to offer you a lifeline to a place where you can catch your breath, take a knee if you have to, and then let's start developing healthier strategies for you to live a better quality of life as a caregiver. Can't take it away from you.

You can't take mine away from me. But we're not doomed to living a miserable life as caregivers. We are not.

That's four decades saying that. You're not doomed to this. But there is some work that has to be done. There are some things that have to be incorporated into your life, some idea changes, some mental shifts that need to happen for you to be able to live a calmer, healthier, and dare I say, a more joyful life as a caregiver. At the crux of everything I do is the belief, the unswerving belief, the conviction that healthy caregivers make better caregivers. So that's my overall summary of everything that I do, why I do it, who I do it for.

And I'm glad that you are here. Do you recall a situation where you witnessed an adult overreacting? I know kids do, but you ever seen an adult overreact? We're seeing that a lot across the country, particularly in our Ivy League institutions and in our cities.

It's just a bit nuts right now. When you see that, does that catch you off guard? Does it make you feel uneasy when you see it up close and personal? A psychiatrist friend of mine once shared a valuable insight about that subject with his team. He later told me about this. And he told his team, when you see a patient overreact or act out, always remember there's a story behind that behavior. They didn't just wake up that day and decide to start acting this way. Something happened, possibly several somethings over a long period of time for some. And understanding this story is crucial for caregivers who are dealing with individuals exhibiting frenetic or hyper behavior because it allows us to approach the situation with empathy and patience.

Now, I'll be the first to tell you, and Gracie will be the second very quickly right after, that patience is not my long suit. That is not what I'm known for. And I can get a bit bristly at times. But I try to remember that people don't lose self-control in a vacuum. There's a build-up and a story behind their behavior.

We didn't just show up today and decide to start acting like this. And when caregivers find themselves in the unpleasant predicament of engaging an individual with that kind of behavior, it's helpful to remember that the behavior is more significant than just that moment. Can we take a step back and think this through a little bit?

Can we remind ourselves that there's a story? If we can, then that enables us to speak to the deeper issues driving the outburst, which often requires assurance rather than reason. Now, when you get these violent behaviors like going on there with the people, pro-Hamas people that are chanting death to America and death to Israel and everything else, well, you don't want to necessarily spend a lot of time trying to reason with that kind of behavior until they are in a place where that behavior is being contained.

Because right now they're destructive. It's like dealing with a wild animal. You don't try to reason with a wild animal.

You make sure it's contained before. I get a lot of information out here from ranchers and vets that come out to treat the animals. And you have to basically approach them the same way I'm talking about with human beings. You don't just walk up to a massive horse and stick a needle in its rump and give it an injection. You have to get it settled down, get it tied up, calm down, make sure you just don't do that kind of stuff. And it doesn't work that way. You don't go up and brand a calf that is just sitting there.

That's not going to work. And you certainly don't try to castrate a bull without that bull being restrained. Now, these are just common sense things you learn when you live around livestock. But people who are out of control are not much different. You don't try to have a meaningful, substantive conversation while they are acting out and doing destructive things. They have to be somewhat contained.

But in order to get to that place, it helps to be able to detach from it, not take it personally and try to see what's going on here, how did we get here, and then reverse engineer it from there. Now, those police officers are having a time with all those folks protesting around in our universities. They're going to lock those kids up, but eventually those kids are going to have to deal with the, well, I don't know if they'll have to deal with the consequences of the actions in this day and age, but I saw this one lady that was addressing some kind of city council somewhere, I don't know if you saw this on the news, and she just went off just swearing at them and everything else and told them she's going to kill them. She said, we're going to murder you. And then she walked off and she felt very emboldened in front of that microphone. And then they arrested her and charged her with basically, I think, some type of terrorism, making terroristic threats or something.

And then she's sobbing in the courtroom and feeling real bad. You know, just kind of, I didn't mean it. Well, now you're going to have to pay the consequences.

I was surprised that there were any consequences in this day and age, but still, you get the point. Sometimes people just act irrationally, but when they're confronted with boundaries, then that's when they have the opportunity to see the error of their ways. But there's a story behind it.

Now, we can argue with a long-term wound and the reaction thereof, but wouldn't it be more appropriate and better if we cared for that wound and its symptoms versus trying to argue with it? As caregivers, we encounter those panicking about pocket-sized problems. You ever seen people that just overreact to something that's not that big of a deal?

I had a guy that used to say, it's pole vaulting over rat droppings. But those outbursts of a temporary or minor problem are rooted in a long journey that could stretch back a lifetime. And when we detach from the immediate eruption, it allows us to better understand and address the volcanic turbulence behind that explosion. However, it starts with us remembering this one phrase. If it's hysterical, it's historical. If it's hysterical, it's historical.

There's always a story behind the behavior. There's a great quote from Martin Luther King Jr. says, We are not makers of history. We are made by history. We're not makers of history. We are made by history. Interesting quote, isn't it?

If it's hysterical, it's historical. Something to remember as we journey along the path of being a caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver.

We'll be right back. You've heard me talk about standing with hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?

No kidding. There is a correctional facility in Arizona that helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. And this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called CoreCivic. We met them over 11 years ago and they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks. All these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it. Before CoreCivic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville. I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, feet, boxes of them and so forth. I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me.

It got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.

And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs.

We do arms as well. But the majority of amputations are lower limb and that's where the focus of Standing With Hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prosthesis. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years. So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking and it goes to this prison in Arizona where it's such an extraordinary ministry.

Think with that. Inmates volunteering for this. They want to do it.

And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see, again, all of that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises and they need it badly in Ghana. So please go out to standingwithhope.com slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.

We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be. And we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do. And that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope. Standingwithhope.com
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-26 09:00:19 / 2024-04-26 09:05:31 / 5

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