Tales of Caregiving


So a little about my grandmother. In short, she is very toxic. Old, of course, and sick. And I was her caregiver. There are six of us, including her, living in our home: my mom, dad, and two sisters. I’m the middle child.

My grandmother is always trying to start drama with the rest of the family. A few months ago she accused me of stealing $5 from her. Before that, she had made my younger sister’s friends miserable. My younger sister wanted to play with a friend – who was black – so in response to this, my grandmother went into her car and followed my younger sister around the neighborhood telling her to go home and not play with black people.

My grandmother has also bothered our neighbors about things, got into an argument with my neighbor’s mother, and if she doesn’t get what she wants, she will lay on the couch near the front door and scream.

She screams that she is dying! And does this on and on for at least two hours straight. One incident happened roughly two weeks ago when my older sister refused to buy her chicken. Consequently, my mother actually took my grandmother to the hospital where she was checked out for 60 minutes and given some prescription medicine.

This wasn’t the first time my grandmother pulled a stunt like this, crying and screaming and pretending to die on the couch. She had done this before, I can’t remember what for, […]



A young child is born. Nature has seen fit to equip this child with an incredibly adaptive & effective system for recalling every experience they have ever had, summarizing all of this information, and delivering it to their consciousness in microseconds: this system is called emotion. However, like every system in the human body, it is prone to dysfunction & failure when subjected to more negative input than it can withstand.

From an early age, the child endures neglect, abuse, & random, unpredictable behavior from its caregivers: moments of tenderness & kind words interspersed with violence, vicious insults, & withdrawal of affection, with no apparent correlation between the child’s actions and the resultant treatment.

The child’s emotional system cannot integrate with the rational conscious mind; the developing intellect cannot make sense of the conflicting input. At times, the child feels affection, comfort, & love from one caregiver or the other; but other times, the child feels hatred, abandonment, & pain from that same caregiver. Yet evolution has programmed one thing into the child: being abandoned by their caregivers means death. Regardless of how poorly one or both caregivers treat the child, the child feels an imperative need to maintain a positive relationship with them; this need will diminish as the child matures, but so profoundly is it written into the core that it will never truly fade completely.

If one or more of the caregivers are primarily physically available, but emotionally distant or neglectful, with only occasional episodes […]