My grandmother was a difficult woman. She didn’t handle stress well.
My grandfather, a doctor, knew just how to handle that.
He gave her drug after drug. She was unconscious through most of my mother’s childhood.
twenty thirty years or so, other doctors in the community found out what was going on, and threatened to have his license pulled unless he put her in The Institute of Living.
Unfortunately, when she got out of the hospital, the world was large and overwhelming (especially since she hadn’t really been in it for the last
twenty thirty years). She found ways to get what she needed in order to cope.
After my grandfather died, she found a doctor – a friend of his, I believe – to keep up her prescriptions. When she went into the hospital at the age of 80 with an asthma attack, she was too embarrassed to tell them everything she was taking. So she went into acute Valium withdrawal. And that, combined with her age and general weakness, killed her.
My grandfather was a monster, yes, but a socially sanctioned monster.