In New Memoir, Deborah J. Cohan Explores the Complexities of Love, Illness and Parental Abuse – Ms. Magazine

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With her new book, Welcome to Wherever We Are: A Memoir of Family, Caregiving and Redemption, sociologist Deborah J. Cohan explores the complexities of caring for an aging parent with a history of abusive behavior.

How do you go about caregiving for an ill and elderly parent with a lifelong history of abuse and control, intertwined with expressions of intense love and adoration? How do you reconcile the resulting ambivalence, fear, and anger? (Amazon)

When she was growing up, Cohan’s father was at turns a loving and kind man—but also one prone to unpredictable, vitriolic outbursts of shaming criticisms that cut to the bone.

As he got older and Cohan began to observe memory loss and a decreased ability to care for himself, the responsibility fell to her. Before long, she knew it was time to find a nursing home to offer him more continuous care. The realities of…

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