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Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please help

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Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please help

Postby sunflower0527 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:06 am

I am so confused about the reality of my family and whether or not my mom has this syndrome. I am in my early twenties and have three other siblings. My older brother is fine with his health and has moved out. The only thing I would say about him is that he is very negative and can only converse with my mom when it comes to all the negative things in his life. We are all like that...we have it ingrained in us that we can only be acknowledged when something is wrong...otherwise growing up, if something wasn't wrong with you, my mom would completely neglect you. I remember wanting to be sick, starving myself, feeling happy when I was sick...I was conditioned to seek attention in this way. It confuses me. My mom is obsessed with medical issues. She spends time researching medical terminology...she feels we are all very sick and should file for disability. Over the past year though I am beginning to see things differently. I'll start by talking about my acne. As a child I had clear skin when my mom started picking at my face. She claimed I had severe acne. She would grab at my face and dig into it...it hurt a lot. She bought me make up and told me I had to cover my skin. I was only eight years old. After she started picking my skin and I started wearing make up I eventually did start breaking out...and she started bringing me to several dermatologists. I then I started picking at my skin because it was drilled in my head so much, she complained when looking at me...I felt like I had this huge embarrassing problem. When I stopped wearing the make up and picking at my skin it cleared up pretty well...although I may always have some scarring now. As a child I was shorter than the average height...and sometimes in school I was bullied. Upon telling my mom about this she told me is it was a medical issue. She took me to doctor after doctor saying I wasn't growing. Doctor after doctor said that I was short but still in the lower percent tile for normal growth. Finally my mom found a doctor who prescribed me growth hormone. I had to inject myself every other day for years. She was always bringing me to all kinds of specialist and doctors...she was constantly trying to get me diagnosed with a thyroid disorder with no avail. She had my youngest sister diagnosed with fibromyalgia after years of going to doctors with normal test results. My sister was then home schooled for a year and randomly recovered. She has this speech she says to every doctor we go to...talks about how sick our whole family is and everything. My other sister was fine for years health wise and now my mom thinks she has adrenal fatigue...but no doctor can diagnose a thing. I thought I was sick for awhile...I thought I had chronic fatigue syndrome...and my mom brought me everywhere. Finally a doctor put me on I.V. chelation treatments which made me sick to my stomach and caused my hair to fall out. No other doctor agreed that I should be getting these treatments. My mom said I needed to file for disability. Then I met my boyfriend and he immediately thought my mom was crazy. He started getting me out of the house more and I started feeling more and more healthier when I left my house. Then I moved out with him and wound up recovering entirely within a week. I was completely healthy for months. I started to see my mom for who she was at that point. I knew I hadn't been truly sick. Honestly I felt like I was brainwashed or something. When I left I started to really look back at my life...I was always told that something was wrong with me...I grew up thinking I was really sick and something was really wrong with me. Like I said earlier part of me also liked being sick because that's when I was the only time I felt loved. It was a very confusing dynamic. The scariest thing to me was when I questioned the abuse I went through. I was molested by a relative as a child and immediately went and told my mom. My mom started taking me to therapist after therapist but did nothing to separate this relative from me. She still had them over the house and didn't supervise us. I was left to be molested for seven more years. When I realized my mom seems to want us to be sick and that she feeds off of it I realized that her not protecting me from this molester may have been part of all of this...because it has always haunted me my whole life as to why my mother wouldn't protect her child from that...I was kept in harms way. I am really disturbed. I recently had to move back home because my boyfriend and I couldn't afford the place we were staying at anymore. I started to feel sick again here...I feel sick around my mom...I make that connection that I am sick at home...but better when I leave. I don't know if it's the way I am conditioned to feel here...if it's psychological from all that I have been through here...but I know that something is definitely wrong with this environment and my mom. Does this sound like she has this syndrome? I am specifically interested in understanding the specific effects this has on the victims...because I find myself questioning what is real or not when it comes to my health. I also have moments where I question whether I am the crazy one and this is all me being paranoid or something...because this is really unsettling to know if it's true about your parent. I also am wondering if this is something that people consciously do? Or do people with Munchausen's syndrome by proxy really believe their children are sick? because my mom seems to genuinely think I am sick...but she seems to love that i am sick. When I initially moved out of my house and told my mom not to have anything to do with my medical affairs anymore she couldn't let go...she went crazy...calling all my doctors saying that I was delusional and need hospitalization. I went to an appointment I had and wound up finding out my mom had called up and said I was schizophrenic. I really saw then how much my mom seemed dependent on having this dynamic played out with me. It was creepy. When I am around her I feel like she has some sort of hold over me still...I guess after being in such a dynamic for so long...part of me feels compelled to discuss medical things with her. It's the sole focus in every conversation she and my sisters have. They all think we are this poor sick family. Not one test shows a thing! My aunt recently confronted me about my mom possibly having this syndrome because my mom has a new diagnosis and specialist to talk about at every family occasion. Then my boyfriends mom asked me about this being a possibility too...when I looked into what Munchausen syndrome by proxy was it scared me and sounded just like my mom. I find it all very confusing...because like I said...I honestly thought I was sick for a long time and saw my mom as some great person trying to help me....but now I snapped out of it... I know I am healthy..I was perfectly healthy when i left my house and right away..it was amazing. It had just been drilled in my head for so long though...you are sick...you need to go to this doctor and that doctor...you need to file for disability. I see that this is nothing but a belief though with no sound evidence...and when I choose not to feed this belief I feel better. I never saw the depth of my mom's sickness before reading about this syndrome...she is nothing who I thought she was if she has this.
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Re: Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please h

Postby Terry E. » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:34 pm

sunflower0527 wrote:


I grew up thinking I was really sick and something was really wrong with me. Like I said earlier part of me also liked being sick because that's when I was the only time I felt loved.

Or do people with Munchausen's syndrome by proxy really believe their children are sick? because my mom seems to genuinely think I am sick...but she seems to love that i am sick.

When I am around her I feel like she has some sort of hold over me still...

I guess after being in such a dynamic for so long...part of me feels compelled to discuss medical things with her. It's the sole focus in every conversation she and my sisters have.


I honestly thought I was sick for a long time and saw my mom as some great person trying to help me....but now I snapped out of it... I know I am healthy..





welcome glad you found us

okay you know the answers, I agree your mum has MBP.

the items from your post I have quoted have very strong resonance with me,

the only time I felt love from my mother was when I was sick

do they believe their children are sick, I will let a specialist answer that, but in my case I was very cleverly poisoned, and my brother was infected with bacteria (four ear operations major hearing loss)

you mother brought about your issues, and as you get older you may see some of the other things she did to contribute to them, but she knew what she wanted to achieve, whether consciously or sub consciously I do not know

your mother has no hold on you .. now is time to grieve, grieve that you never had a real loving mother, take time to grieve and emotionally let her go, try to cut her out of your emotions, so that she has no influence on your decisions , very hard takes time, but start now

I refuse to discuss our family's illness, so when I visit my mother we try to divert her attention with the cricket, birds outside whatever, but eventually the medical monolog starts, we do not participate we just sit there and let it run. My mother in law was told never to ask my mum how she was, but took a long time to learn, many long very boring times

you have made a breakthrough, well done, be strong, understand your mother was very sick (but not in the way she would ever admit) and understand that I know exactly what you went through, but as recently as 20 years ago many professionals refused to believe MBP existed, and you are in a very select club

I have also read that Munchers are the most hated of all professional clients as they make doctors look like fools
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Re: Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please h

Postby Terry E. » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:21 pm

I would also like to say that I think you have done a great job in getting where you are, it took me a lot longer

also your post gave me an insight into my own situation that I had never seen before.

yep I loved being sick because that is the only time I ever felt loved by my mother

when people asked me what I was, others were soccer players, cricketers, piano players etc,..me I would say with pride "I am a chronic bronchitic " it was my identity, it was who I was
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Re: Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please h

Postby sunflower0527 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:41 am

Terry E. wrote:yep I loved being sick because that is the only time I ever felt loved by my mother

when people asked me what I was, others were soccer players, cricketers, piano players etc,..me I would say with pride "I am a chronic bronchitic " it was my identity, it was who I was


Yes, it has definitely confused me in understanding how to relate to others properly...For a long time now I have only understood a relationship with someone else as me needing to be pitied or seek negative attention. I know that this is because of how I was psychologically conditioned. I am working to consciously fight these urges that are so ingrained in me now...because logically I know that I can be loved for who I truly am...being sick is not my identity. It's so strange...as a child I always felt abandoned once I recovered...so now if everything is okay with me I feel like I will be abandoned. I hate how much this has messed me up...but I find it very fascinating...for the complexity in this mental illness is staggering.
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Re: Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please h

Postby Terry E. » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:00 pm

sunflower0527 wrote:

...For a long time now I have only understood a relationship with someone else as me needing to be pitied or seek negative attention.

...for the complexity in this mental illness is staggering.




you have a very good grasp on this, you have done very well

can I ask how old you are, and do you have any siblings still living at home,

have you ever talked about this or maybe raised the possibility with your siblings

my brother with the four ear operations (at three infections the doctor said odds were over 1 in a million . ) believes I was a victim but he was not, .. our mum was very brutal and sadistic, and maybe he can't cope with reality, so I leave it
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Re: Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please h

Postby layla34 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:09 pm

Hi Sunflower--I wanted to respond to your post and tell you that yes, your Mom does have MSBP. That is really awful what she did picking at your face, how terrible for her to attack a part of you that is so visible and important to a person. It sounds like she was trying to maximize the attention she could get, since someone's face is usually the first thing people notice about them.
Your post resonated with me, because my mother also did injure her children for attention, but as I am now an adult, her focus shifted her attention to both trying to create (through gaslighting) and lying to others including medical personel the impression that I supposedly suffer from mental illness (paranoia). I read a while back someone wrote to me that oftentimes MSBP Moms shift from physical illness/injury to trying to simulate and lie about mental illness when the kids grow up. I believe these people are 100% responsible for their actions, however what they find to be like a drug is getting attention/pity for having a (supposedly) sick/injured/mentally ill child.
The fact that when you moved to your boyfriend's you became 100% better tells you all you need to know. I also had lived with my Mom for a time, no longer live with her and in fact, have gone no contact for a few months (this is how it will stay) and feel so much better emotionally. These MSBP Moms NEED YOU TO BE SICK. They are extremely toxic and don't change. I actually do have a severe headache disorder from my mother dropping me on my head onto cement as toddler. However, when my headache cycle would stop, my mother would get so sad. She would be sad to see me out of severe pain!!! But, the mental stuff that they do I actually feel on some level is worse. Now that I don't talk to my Mom, I feel like a competent person. I don't have to worry about being gaslighted or having her lie about me or try to institutionalize me. I am free!!!
As you wrote, it is something in the environment, these MSBP Moms are very dark, very hungry emotional vampires. They need to constantly feed, and over time, this will drain you mentally as well as physically. I am not surprised you felt like you had chronic fatigue syndrome. These MSBP Moms suck the life out of you. You know this, as you summmed it up by saying that she needs her kids to be sick. You are not sick, you just have a very powerful emotional vampire feeding off of you. My advice, try to get out of the house as much as you can. Can you stay some night's over at your boyfriend's or another friend's? This will help a great deal. You need to convey to her as well as yourself that she cannot attach herself to you--you will take space from her when you want. I hope this helps. You have my understanding--I know how hard it is.
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Re: Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please h

Postby Terry E. » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:39 am

Layla, I had read some of your pieces before but now understand you a bit more.

things that resonate with me

My mother was most alive when dealing with doctors. I am not sure how common this is, but it was like she was communing with a higher being, when she was with a doctor one on one, that attention was more important than anything (and her fathers attention as well ).

I would suggest they are all totally lacking in empathy, let alone normal motherly feelings

keep her at arms length (use chair and whip if you have to)

take care
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Re: Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please h

Postby sunflower0527 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:52 pm

you have a very good grasp on this, you have done very well

can I ask how old you are, and do you have any siblings still living at home,

have you ever talked about this or maybe raised the possibility with your siblings

my brother with the four ear operations (at three infections the doctor said odds were over 1 in a million . ) believes I was a victim but he was not, .. our mum was very brutal and sadistic, and maybe he can't cope with reality, so I leave it


Thank you! I am 21 years old and I have two younger sisters at home. I tried to subtly introduce this concept to my one sister who's just a year younger than me...my other sister is too young. She didn't agree with me at all. She truly believes that she is seriously ill...despite the fact that she was able to work and go to school full time up until a year ago...and no medical testing can find one abnormality. She never leaves the house anymore. She spends all her time with my mom...both obsessing over her "condition." I feel I don't even know her anymore, can't reach her at all. I used to literally think I was ill as well though, and thought my mom was this amazing person for her devotion. There are people who really are sick though and still have lives. My mom makes it so that illness is the only aspect of living...she didn't root for a recovery...it was a never ending mind game that consumed all of my time. It's so strange to go through. It is really disturbing to be on the other side watching her harm my sister now. I feel like I am in this twilight zone where only I can see the reality of my family. Thank God for my boyfriend...he saw from the start.

-- Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:00 pm --

layla34 wrote:Your post resonated with me, because my mother also did injure her children for attention, but as I am now an adult, her focus shifted her attention to both trying to create (through gaslighting) and lying to others including medical personel the impression that I supposedly suffer from mental illness (paranoia). I read a while back someone wrote to me that oftentimes MSBP Moms shift from physical illness/injury to trying to simulate and lie about mental illness when the kids grow up.

But, the mental stuff that they do I actually feel on some level is worse. Now that I don't talk to my Mom, I feel like a competent person. I don't have to worry about being gaslighted or having her lie about me or try to institutionalize me. I am free!!!

As you wrote, it is something in the environment, these MSBP Moms are very dark, very hungry emotional vampires. They need to constantly feed, and over time, this will drain you mentally as well as physically. I am not surprised you felt like you had chronic fatigue syndrome. These MSBP Moms suck the life out of you.


First I want to say I'm really happy and proud of you for breaking away! Your post was really helpful, Thanks! My mom also has shifted a great deal towards mental illness now. She has done a lot to try and discredit my sanity. I had not yet heard that this illness can shift towards focusing on mental illness. You also said it perfectly with the emotional vampire explanation. It is hard to put into words...but that says exactly how I felt.
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Re: Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please h

Postby layla34 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:40 pm

Terry--Thank you for the encouragement to stay away from my mother. She has been so terrible to me over the past couple years I know I will never speak to her again. Strangely, I don't feel any sadness!

Terry wrote:
"I would suggest they are all totally lacking in empathy, let alone normal motherly feelings

keep her at arms length (use chair and whip if you have to)"

I agree with you that they are completely lacking in empathy. As a child I understood this and mentally processed it as "my mother does not have feelings like other mothers do. She has no feelings." As a 4 or 5 yr old, this is what I saw as being the "problem" which caused her actions, which is just kind of interesting--at that early age it seemed to be as simple as that "she has no feelings". I understood if she had "feelings" she would not be doing the things she was doing to us kids.

Sunflower: You have so much insight into your situation, and it is a gift in a way that you are able to see your family's dynamic as a "twilight zone" because this way your Mom cannot manipulate you and suck you in, and this may be why she has moved on to your younger sister, who seems to be very much under your mother's spell.
As a young adult, I was very much in denial about my mother's problem (I feel I had actually mentally disassociated from the truth about my mother--it was there but would slip away whenever I tried to look closely at the things she had done in my mind).) This opened me up to continuing mental abuse as an adult, especially since I had been so starved for maternal love. You have been given this gift of insight, and this can protect you against your Moms deceptive and manipulative abilities. You see through what she is doing.

Sunflower wrote:

"I used to literally think I was ill as well though, and thought my mom was this amazing person for her devotion. There are people who really are sick though and still have lives. My mom makes it so that illness is the only aspect of living"

I noticed that your Mom seems to like to zone in on convincing you and your sisters that you have illnesses of exhaustion like chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue--I know that around my Mom I would often feel tired or like I would like to lie down (I also felt the strong urge to escape her), I don't know whether your Mom can sometimes make people feel similarly, but if so, these people are keen observers and they know what they are doing to others. I think that unconsciously the children of these types of mothers know that their Mom actually wants them to be afflicted with something(!) and I think this knowledge is somewhat exhausting and depressing/disheartening. Then it sounds like if your Mom is observing people seeming tired or drained (because of her!) she is using it to create the fantasy that your sister has a disease and cannot function! It is crazy! I've seen it, I've lived it!
It sounds like you are doing really well though. You will not be able to convince your sister what she is doing. I understand wanting to, but you should concentrate on your own emotional health, because these types of MSBP Moms are master manipulators, it is very hard to get others close to the situation to acknowledge what's going on. It must be extremely frustrating though to watch her convince your sister she cannot function! I am glad you see through her though! It took me way too long w my Mom!
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Re: Does my mom have Munchausen Syndrome by proxy...please h

Postby Terry E. » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:31 pm

actually I must confess that unless my mother had been forcibly institutionalised I would never have worked it out, I was totally in denial of my life and things that were absurd in my house, (my mother living on a camp bed in an outside laundry because the air was fresher and she would not catch my father germs) , me living in just two rooms in a three bedroom house just became my version of normal,

I was totally brainwashed and everything bad in my life had been suppressed never talked about never remembered, My wife barely met my mother, so I knew to hide her, but somehow I thought the problem that needed hiding was actually me, I was what I hid, she did not become aware of anything until years into our marriage, now that was 30 years ago, no forums, and I had not ever heard of MBP

but in many ways my mother had total control of my head, I lived my own life but between narrow lines,

so to both of you well done, it only gets better

take care
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