A Sidekick's Blog

Under the Gun | September 3, 2012


“Grammy” was once
a sweet, loving Christian lady. She battled mental illness, marriage trouble, obsessive-compulsive disorder, nonsensical spending sprees that bankrupted her and nearly destroyed her family.

Years ago a series of mini-strokes and a heart attack left her with “high functioning” dementia. Severe to merit a court finding of incompetence and appointment of full plenary guardianship. Suzie, her daughter, is her legal guardian. “Grammy” doesn’t have enough income to afford the wild shopping sprees that she has been addicted to all her life. Now she will obsess about a new pair of sandals or a blouse to the point that she is willing to destroy anyone between her and what she wants. Her every whim must be satisfied. Now.

That obsession has gotten her thrown out of three assisted living facilities and Suzie and I have had to take her into our home. But Suzie said no too many times, so Grammy grabbed Suzie’s purse to get the credit card for the next shopping spree and Suzie had to stop the tantrum. In the process a strap from Suzie’s purse snagged Grammy’s bracelet, and Grammy pulled against it, creating a bad bruise. Just the ammunition she needed for the next step in getting her obsession. An early morning call to 911 and a tale of woe to the police, and Suzie and I are under the gun.

So last week, this big investigation, which is standard for “elder abuse,” no charges filed, and Grammy’s incompetence is further documented. Grammy’s home from the hospital again and on Day One, she wants something she can’t afford. Then another temper tantrum. But this time, the telephone is hidden from her and Suzie’s purse out of sight and inaccessible. But no matter. She has only to sneak next door, or just yell and scream and make a fuss, and make another go of it. The police and fire departments know Grammy well, from the previous times this has happened at the other facilities before they refused to take her back. Grammy wants a new guardian because she’s sure that Suzie is stealing from her, and a new guardian will give her whatever she wants. In fact however, a new guardian will lock her up in a mental institution and she’ll spend her final days raging in a strait jacket.

As long as she lives here, we live under the constant threat of her next obsession and tantrum. In all this Suzie has still managed to finish college and graduate Magna Cum Laude! But Grammy takes no pride in her daughter. Grammy hates her. Because Suzie tells her “No you can’t have that.” So we have tantrums, threats, and calls to 911, investigations, and etc. Twice already since she moved in with us last March.

We see only rare, fleeting glimpses of the woman that was once Mom. Perhaps she’s still “there” somewhere, buried under this wicked, selfish woman who calls the police with crazy outrageous accusations against the only people left on Earth who care about her and tells her church friends that Suzie steals from her, beats her, poisons her, etc. I find myself praying, “Lord God, either free Grammy from her demons or take her home!”

Now speaking of the Lord God: What happened to sanctification? I know, I know, you’re gonna tell me it’s the stroke, it’s the old age, it’s the medications she’s on, blah blah blah. Granted. They’re all contributing factors. But Grammy has become a completely selfish, wicked, hateful, manipulative liar who deliberately seeks to destroy her family in the hope that it will get her a new guardian who will give her everything she wants instantly on a platter. But surely the indwelling Holy Spirit can work through those things. Is Almighty God’s sanctifying work thwarted by such things? I suppose God could be using Grammy to sanctify Suzie and me, but so far it has only driven Suzie farther and farther from Him because of the depth of hypocrisy shown by Grammy’s “church friends” and the absence of any support from our own church “friends.” And me, well… I’m feeling the pressure I guess, on top of a bunch of other stuff going on. Scripture promises that the trial of our faith renders patience, endurance, and all that follows.

But I still pray that God will either free her from her demons or take her home. I can’t bear living under the gun for much longer.

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1 Comment »

  1. That’s really rough… I pray things come around. I’ve seen sharp people transformed by age. It isn’t pretty.

    Comment by David the Good — September 14, 2012 @ 2:23 pm


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