Abusive babysitter

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A re-enactment of what happened to Chris and his duck.

The abusive babysitter was a female babysitter in Chris's neighborhood with the surname Roach or Roche who watched Chris when he was 18 months old.[1] According to Chris' half-brother Cole Smithey, Roach was "unfit" as a babysitter, yet Borb left Chris alone with her every day for years anyway while they went out drinking.[2] She allegedly locked him in a room filled with toys while she babysat him because she was angry at him. According to Chris, he was so traumatized by this incident that he didn't talk for six years.[1]

Chris has blamed this event for his autism, although evidence suggests that it is a congenital disorder rather than something induced by emotional trauma. Generally speaking, the age at which Chris was allegedly abused is around the same time that symptoms of autism begin to manifest themselves anyway.[3] Once, in the Mailbag, Chris shied away from this explanation for his condition, referring to the popular (and long-debunked) myth that links autism to childhood vaccinations instead.

While sparring with Clyde Cash in Mumble 3, Chris said that he held no ill will towards his parents for leaving him with the babysitter: "They did not know better." This might explain why they would later become paranoid and belligerent towards others they believed to be antagonizing Chris over the following years.

The irony of it all is that, after all this, Chris spent much of his life willingly locking himself in a room filled with toys, and for days on end instead of merely hours. More ironic still is that the same was true for much of the Jail Saga, only Chris did not have his toys to accompany him.

How Chris even knows that this happened in the first place, given his very young age when this allegedly happened, is a mystery; it's possible that the babysitter had aired her frustrations with Chris to Bob and/or Barb and they eventually told Chris himself when he got old enough (assuming that, knowing Barb, it wasn't entirely made up in order to deflect from parental negligence, of course) and he believed it ever since.

References by Chris

The earliest reference to the abusive babysitter is in the Song of Christian videos from 1998. There, Chris explained the basics of the story and pegged her as the cause of his autism.

I had a babysitter, but, uh, she was kind of [a] mean babysitter. Anyway, ah, one day she was on her phone and, uh, I came up t—I came up to her, I came up with her, and said something and, uh, she was kinda angry at me, 'cause I interrupted her phone call, AND she locked me in a room fulla noth—n—fulla nothing but toys, and, uh, she just locked me in there, and, uh, I was very lonely, so I just sat there and cried, and... uh that's how my autism began. Thanks to an evil babysitter.
Chris, Song of Christian Part 1
  • Chris mentioned her in passing in Chris Chan's Public Announcement, the initial response to his Encyclopedia Dramatica page, in November 2007, although in this instance he didn't directly link the babysitter to his mental handicap.
  • In an IRC chat from October 2008, a troll pumped Chris for information about the babysitter, but Chris didn't offer anything new. When asked for details on what she did that he considered abusive, Chris replied, "only locked me in a room, alone by myself; no one else around in the room."
  • In a Mumble chat in February 2009, Chris clarified, "I was born autistic, but the babysitter who locked me used that room to bring it out." Whatever that means.
  • When chatting with Sarah May in March 2009, Chris again held his parents blameless, shouting, "They DID NOT KNOW she was abusive until it was too late."
  • Chris's Wikipedia user page from the spring of 2009 tells much the same story as the Song of Christian video, albeit in not so many words. In that case, though, he referred to her by name: "While being babysat by a woman in my neighborhood, whose last name was Roach, she was angry for some reason, so she locked me in a room, all by my lonesome, and it was then at 1 1/2 Years of age, I stopped talking."
  • The abusive babysitter was incorporated into the ridiculous ghost story that JenkinsJinkies told the Trollin Train in August 2010.
  • On 3 September 2013, Chris published a list on Facebook that starts with the incident:
Roche (Roach) woman, resided in Yellow House on Westwood Drive in Green Lea Subdivision in Ruckersville, VA, locked me in a room all alone with nothing but toys; initiated my speak stopping at 1.5 years old.
Chris to his Facebook audience.
  • A 1983 telephone directory names a James R. T. Roche who lived at 6 Westwood Drive, Ruckersville; presumably this is a relative of the abusive babysitter. Google Books link
  • In 2021, Chris posted about "the Roache woman who locked [me] in a room with toys and all by [my] lonesome."[4]


See also