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Hi New Here

Postby layla34 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:18 am

Hi, I just wanted to now if anyone reads this board, I notice there hasn't been a post in a while, and wanted to tell my story.
I believe my mother had munchausen by proxy. I am in my 30's and my memories were never suppressed--it is more like I just pushed the knowledge of who she was and the things she would do into a closet in my mind. I knew, I was conscious of it, I just did not want to think about it, so whenever I began thinking about it, I would just push it into the closet in my mind. But now it is like the closet door is bursting open and I need to talk to someone who understands.
I never bonded with my mother. She began gaslighting me at an early age, injuring me and lying about it, and I caught onto it at an early age, which she did not like. She labeled me as "bad" and often referred to me as a "devil" for calling her on her lies. She also threatened that if I told my father she was a liar he would hurt me so bad (her words.) I suffer from severe headaches from an "accident' where she dropped me on my head. (No, not making that up.)
My mother was a very sick person, and I sensed that when I was quite young.
I grew up thinking "my mother is not like other mothers, she has no feelings." Looking back I wonder if she was/is a sociopath.
She abused me and all my siblings. My younger sister closest to me in age she gave PTSD to at a very early age through repeated hospitalizations for a "mysterious fever" that only occurred at home and then would go away once my sister was hospitalized. My sister was extremely shy, terrified of everything, which my mother attributed to "all the painful tests the doctors gave your sister when she kept getting that fever they couldn't find the cause of".
Much of the abuse she doled out, though, was in the form of deliberate, premeditated injuries that she would make look like "accidents". These injuries were quite serious. I am finding myself very troubled by these memories and just wondered if anyone else was around on the boards could I share my story?
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Re: Hi New Here

Postby jilkens » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:29 am

Hi layla34,

Thanks for sharing your story. Is there more of it you'd like to talk about?

You're right, this board isn't very active, but people do drop in from time to time and reply. Even though I'm on other areas of the forum every day, I have to be in a "safe" place in my mind in order to pop in here. It's an emotionally charged area because I'm a survivor of MSBP. I think you'd have more luck in receiving replies from the people in the abuse forums. Although they don't know what MSBP is, exactly, many of them have been traumatized at the hands of loved ones as well.

layla34 wrote:I grew up thinking "my mother is not like other mothers, she has no feelings." Looking back I wonder if she was/is a sociopath.

This is something that most of posters here have wondered or talked about. My own mother lacks remorse and empathy as well, but is remarkably high functioning. Part of that facade was to make sure the abuse stayed as hidden as possible. Everyone thought/thinks of her as a wonderful, vibrant person. Do you find yourself having to hide your feelings about her with other people?

I'm sorry you've had to go through this and process it so many years later. There are people around who really do understand and I hope you find the support you need here. If you need an ear, I'm here.
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Re: Hi New Here

Postby Terry E. » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:43 am

Yep your mum ticks a lot of boxes. Life is certainly not fair, and you got a real bad deal. Always remember that your mum does not define you, yes she has an effect on who you are and how you have been formed, but you can be happy moving forward. Just requires a bit more work than for many others.

Again in a world where simply being a mother raises the ordinary woman close to saint hood, very few people will understand or care. Understand though that some of us, care so much.

Wish you well, make sure you always love your sister.

If you need to kick around more, there are people here who listen, it is just much harder to join discussions here than say a fitness forum. Think you understand what I mean.

Yep your mum ticks a lot of boxes. Life is certainly not fair, and you got a real bad deal. Always remember that your mum does not define you, yes she has an effect on who you are and how you have been formed, but you can be happy moving forward. Just requires a bit more work than for many others.

Again in a world where simply being a mother raises the ordinary woman close to saint hood, very few people will understand or care. Understand though that some of us, care so much.

Wish you well, make sure you always love your sister.

If you need to kick around more, there are people here who listen, it is just much harder to join discussions here than say a fitness forum. Think you understand what I mean.
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Re: Hi New Here

Postby layla34 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:43 pm

Thank you Ladyswan and Terry E. for your kind responses--it is really helpful to talk about this, and ladyswan I am so sorry that your Mom abused you too and appreciate you trying to help me.
Ladyswan, you hit the nail on the head when you asked do I find myself having to hide how I feel about my Mom from other people? Absolutely, in fact, in a lot of ways I hid it from myself until very recently when I had just had it because she has been in recent years trying to convince my father and sisters that I have paranoia (long story she likes to gaslight people). Anyway, I had just had enough with the lying from her and decided to admit to myself her true nature. She is not the saintly, charitable, baby-loving martryr she has pretended to be all these years. I got caught inside of the giant lie that is my family of origin when my father raised suspicions about my mother when I was 5 yrs old. There had been MANY injuries mostly to me by that time (for me a near drowning, her saying "I'll show you!" and slamming on her car brakes while "forgetting just that one time" to buckle me into my carseat--the force of it threw me from the back seat into the front seat into the dashboard, putting out her arms b/c I wanted her to pick me up out of the grocery car seat and then dropping her arms down so I fell on my head (she has multiple stories to explain that one), etc. My baby sister (I have 4 siblings) who had just learned to crawl had fallen head over heels down a flight of like 15 stairs into the basement after my mother intentionally left the door open (it was odd because she would talk for about a week "telegraphing" her plans saying "make sure you shut the door the baby could fall down the stairs" when me and my other sister came up from the basement and then would "leave the door open" herself and commit the injury. Anyway, a couple months after the stair thing, she had slammed my fingers in the kitchen door and I had to beg her to open the door to release my fingers. My father was in a panic when he came home from work after he found out about my fingers and took me into an unfinished room and told me"he needed to talk to me and didn't want anyone to hear him" and "you need to tell me exactly what happened when your Mom shut your fingers in the door" (b/c she had told him it was an accident). He asked me questions and after I answered them he started crying and said he was terrified to go to work, because of the injury with the baby falling down the stairs and my fingers being shut in door. I felt so sorry for him, because I had known for years she injures her kids for fun (mostly me at the time), but it seemed he was just then figuring it out, and I felt so bad for him being terrified, and also was scared we would have no food if he stopped going to work, so I said the lie "She didn't do it on purpose." And I have been imprisoned inside of that lie ever since. It may sound dramatic, but the truth will set you free I realize.
Terry E. you are absolutely correct that because mother hood does elevate an ordinary woman practically to sainthood MANY do not understand or care. Particularly if most of these offenders like my mother speak constantly to anyone who will listen of their sacrifices and all the wonderful things they do for kids and babies as if they are Mother Theresa. As you put it ladyswan, it is a facade they hide behind, and as a child this can be extremely confusing--everybody else thinks this person is a living saint, you ask yourself "is this what a good person is? Someone who does bad things but tells everyone they are good?" They seem to be utterly convinced of their goodness.
I am realizing my mother was sadistic. That is an extremely ugly truth I did not want to face. But having faced it is helpful, because she continues her emotional sadism with me and I have only in the past month decided that for my sanity I need to have no contact with her.
Thank you both for listening and showing me understanding. I really needed it. And it is also what I needed to hear today that my mother does not define me and I can find happiness. I hope I can help someone out too if they need it. Layla
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Re: Hi New Here

Postby Terry E. » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:48 pm

Hi great post, yep your mum has MBP (and is a sadist as well) sometimes it goes together, saint on ouside "how does she cope with such sick children .. she is amazing" - monster on the inside

you dad sounds great, (mine bailed ) not sure how I would have handled it, he may have started to doubt his own sanity, however will say one thing.

anything you said that you now feel was wrong to say was not a lie... don't feel guilty, and maybe explain to your dad one day as you explained it here..

you did what a small child does to survive..you looked at a situation, food, roof over head, stuff no child should wory about and, and made a decision, not lying dear it is called surviving

in the decades that go by your memories do not fade .. your understanding however of what happened gets better, with that understanding does come greater peace.

Drop back in occasionally your insights will help others

take care
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Re: Hi New Here

Postby layla34 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:23 am

Terry,
Thank you, it feels good to have gotten this all out. You are absolutely right--saint on outside, monster on inside. I read somewhere that they act "too good" and that is a fairly apt description--they will tell everyone what a saint they are, something a truly good person probably does not do.
I am so sorry you suffered from this treatment as a child and what happened with your Dad. I don't know how or why mine stayed but I think he too has problems from being gaslighted by my Mom. An example would be when he loses something at work or someone at his work loses something he often thinks it's a trick someone is playing on him or lying to him. This is a form of gaslighting my Mom does.
Thank you for helping me and for telling me that with time comes greater understanding. I am finding this to be true and also looking at things (even the very unpleasant) as they were is bringing greater clarity. One of the big negative effects I think about this type of abuse has is making the victim mistrust their own instincts. It starts when they think Mom loves them, but she doesn't. Then they think Mom is doing very bad stuff but Mom presents her self as a living saint (very confusing). Being able to trust your instincts is so important both for detecting good and bad in life. When we lose this ability we don't trust the good or the bad. I am happy to be getting this ability back.
Thank you again for listening and I will definitely drop back in,
Layla
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Re: Hi New Here

Postby jilkens » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:17 am

Hi Layla,

layla34 wrote:in a lot of ways I hid it from myself until very recently when I had just had it because she has been in recent years trying to convince my father and sisters that I have paranoia (long story she likes to gaslight people).

Unfortunately this is a very, very common thing to happen between the abuser and victim of this disorder!!! When the physical abuse tapers off, that's when the psychological abuse begins to get worse. It's so devilish it's beyond belief. They do this so you have no shred of credibility within your own family, the people you're supposed to feel loved and protected by. It robs you of the chance to feel and be accepted among them. Narcissists often believe that if they tell a lie to someone, then that person must believe it's true. Gaslighting is also a tactic narcissists use, and I believe it isn't a coincidence that munchers and narcs do the same thing - I think that the perpetrators of MSBP have heavy narc traits. My own mother lacks empathy but loves attention.

layla34 wrote:Anyway, I had just had enough with the lying from her and decided to admit to myself her true nature. She is not the saintly, charitable, baby-loving martryr she has pretended to be all these years.

It really hurts to get to that point and then realize your whole relationship with her was an illusion. But now you can start working on what you need to do to heal from the fantasy bond you've been living under all these years. You can free yourself.

layla34 wrote:My father was in a panic when he came home from work after he found out about my fingers and took me into an unfinished room and told me"he needed to talk to me and didn't want anyone to hear him" and "you need to tell me exactly what happened when your Mom shut your fingers in the door" (b/c she had told him it was an accident). He asked me questions and after I answered them he started crying and said he was terrified to go to work, because of the injury with the baby falling down the stairs and my fingers being shut in door. I felt so sorry for him, because I had known for years she injures her kids for fun (mostly me at the time), but it seemed he was just then figuring it out, and I felt so bad for him being terrified, and also was scared we would have no food if he stopped going to work, so I said the lie "She didn't do it on purpose." And I have been imprisoned inside of that lie ever since.

That is such a huge burden for a child to carry - the weight of your family's well-being was placed on your ability to tell a good enough lie. You had to sacrifice your self, your ability to stay safe, and your childhood innocence in order to make sure you and your siblings could eat. You did the best you could at the time, with your limited knowledge of the world. That lie doesn't need to imprison you anymore, and here you are talking about it and starting to process everything. You're going to get through this.

layla34 wrote:it is a facade they hide behind, and as a child this can be extremely confusing--everybody else thinks this person is a living saint, you ask yourself "is this what a good person is? Someone who does bad things but tells everyone they are good?" They seem to be utterly convinced of their goodness.

They don't grow out of it, either. I've yet to hear of an abuser of this kind having a sudden change of heart, admitting the wrong they did, and trying to make amends. They go to the grave defending their "honor". I've made the mistake several times of trying to mend the relationship between my mother and I, only to get burned again. They can't admit the truth because their entire world is a lie.

layla34 wrote:I am realizing my mother was sadistic. That is an extremely ugly truth I did not want to face. But having faced it is helpful, because she continues her emotional sadism with me and I have only in the past month decided that for my sanity I need to have no contact with her.

Don't be surprised if she starts to use other family members to get to you. Going no-contact with her is going to make her very angry and she'll try to destroy whatever shreds of dignity you have left to anyone who will listen to her stories. I've learned this the hard way.

Terry E. wrote:don't feel guilty, and maybe explain to your dad one day as you explained it here..

Touching on this briefly... my father apologized to me a few years ago about all of this. There were several people in my family who knew or had suspicions of what was going on but were afraid to say anything. The apology didn't heal all the trauma, but it did provide an opportunity to mend the relationship with my dad. Up until then, I didn't trust him either.

I hope everything is going well for the both of you.
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Re: Hi New Here

Postby layla34 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:18 am

Ladyswan,

Thank you for your reply to me--what you wrote helped my spirit in ways that I can't probably describe exactly right.

Ladyswan wrote: "They do this so you have no shred of credibility within your own family, the people you're supposed to feel loved and protected by. It robs you of the chance to feel and be accepted among them."
Exactly, and when they know someone knows their true nature, they do try to do a seek and destroy mission on that person's credibility.

Ladyswan wrote: "Gaslighting is also a tactic narcissists use, and I believe it isn't a coincidence that munchers and narcs do the same thing - I think that the perpetrators of MSBP have heavy narc traits. My own mother lacks empathy but loves attention."
I am so sorry that your mother is like this, but I completely understand--there is no empathy and it is a completely alien trait! It is a very horrible combination of zero empathy and craving for attention.

Ladyswan wrote: "It really hurts to get to that point and then realize your whole relationship with her was an illusion. But now you can start working on what you need to do to heal from the fantasy bond you've been living under all these years. You can free yourself."

This really helped me what you wrote! It was an "illusion" and a "fantasy bond". It was so delusional in a way like an unconscious voice in my brain kept prodding me "you must believe she is good" and "bond" with her. But it was so not healthy! And also, in ways that are hard to explain it seemed like it was making me unable to trust bonds with other people or trust my instincts. Hard to explain, but it is a lot built on fantasy when you're wanting your mother who is or was msbp to love you!
Ladyswan wrote "That is such a huge burden for a child to carry - the weight of your family's well-being was placed on your ability to tell a good enough lie. You had to sacrifice your self, your ability to stay safe, and your childhood innocence in order to make sure you and your siblings could eat."
It was really healing to read these words, to have someone acknowledge and sympathize with something I've held inside so long and until very recently never even faced myself. Thank you.

Ladyswan wrote: "They go to the grave defending their "honor". I've made the mistake several times of trying to mend the relationship between my mother and I, only to get burned again. They can't admit the truth because their entire world is a lie."

They are relentless. I had said to my boyfriend (the only person I had told about the stuff with my mother until very, very recently) that I just can't believe she does not get tired out from age and just quit her behavior. And I totally understand why you did try to mend the relationship with your mother, because it is the most natural thing in the world to want a mother's love! I used to think if my own mother would just admit the most recent stuff, then maybe that would be something. But like you said they don't just deny it, it is so much stranger than that, they act like they are persecuted martyrs being accused of crimes they have never heard of. This used to be so frustrating and confusing! But what you said explains it. How can they let one crack form when their entire world is a lie.
Ladyswan wrote: "Touching on this briefly... my father apologized to me a few years ago about all of this. There were several people in my family who knew or had suspicions of what was going on but were afraid to say anything. The apology didn't heal all the trauma, but it did provide an opportunity to mend the relationship with my dad. Up until then, I didn't trust him either."

It won't heal all the trauma, but I was happy to read that your father apologized to you. These munchers try to ruin the relationship between father and child, they try to take that love, and your mother didn't succeed. I have mixed feelings towards my own Dad--in the end there is so much hurt that they didn't or couldn't protect us even if they wanted to. But I am starting to see the ways my own mother tried to break that relationship with my father down from the very beginning. There is little out there it seems to read about the fathers in these situation, but if my experience is similar to others I will say my mother gaslighted my father (not just emotionally but literal gaslighting like hiding important things and after he'd search for days making them reappear in different place) and they do this to make them doubt their perceptions or to lock them in a state of confusion that is beyond normal confusion. Over time, this kind of gaslighting will start eroding someone's perception--it sounds like it might not but she'd done it to me too and over time it is just such insane behavior it starts making you feel insane and make you stop wanting to reach out to people. It is good your Dad apologized to you, because these munchers do so much damage and I am sure your Dad loves you, and I am happy to hear she did not take that from you and him.
Thank you so much for helping me and I hope that you and Terry are both doing well!
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Re: Hi New Here

Postby jilkens » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:52 am

Hi Layla,

Just letting you know I haven't forgotten about you and will reply as soon as possible.
My mother is moving back to my country soon and it sort of threw me for a loop with regards to all of this.

Hope you're well
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Re: Hi New Here

Postby layla34 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:21 pm

Ladyswan--I am sorry to hear that about your mother and that you have to deal with that. It sounds extremely stressful. I really appreciate all the understanding you gave me. I will check in here to see if you need to talk. I hope you are doing OK.

Layla
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