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Protecting my daughter

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Protecting my daughter

Postby BaronVonSpousky » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:55 am

Hello to anyone reading. I'm in a dilemma. My wife has either FD or Munchhausen and after years of unnecessary hospital procedures, panic attacks, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, depression, tantrums, etc. I've finally filed for a divorce. My hope was that she would let me take our daughter, as she had once told me that she wanted to walk out on us and has shown almost no interest in spending time with our daughter since she was born (she's now 4). She didn't do that, instead she's demanding 50% parenting time. Even though she views our daughter as a chore.

Actually my hope was that I could gather enough proof of her mental illness that I could prove she was an unfit parent and make her ability to spend time with our daughter conditional on getting therapy. But according to my attorney and a psychologist I saw, that really isn't possible.

My concern is that my wife's problems are traceable directly back to her mother, who suffers from the exact same issues. Now I look at my daughter and I'm trying to make sure these issues don't get passed on to her and that my wife doesn't start going the "by proxy" route when I'm not around. So far she's been keeping the attention on herself with her own imagined illnesses, but...

Does anyone know what the likelyhood of someone with FD or Muchausen moving on to MbP is? If it starts going that way how can I get my daughter out of the situation? Or for that matter...

Right now my plan is to keep the divorce amicable and not bring any contentious issues up so that as my wife has her problems she'll be comfortable giving me more time with our daughter. Which, if history is any indicator, should be quite a bit. Anyone know how I can document that and get sole custody of my daughter and/or require my wife to get therapy? She will always be my daughters mother so the best case scenario is always her getting help--which I've asked her to do, of course, but she refuses. I have always kept the reason she needs help vague so she doesn't "dig in" on the reality of her illnesses. But it's been really difficult moving forward with the divorce without talking about this issue directly as it's probably the single biggest reason for the divorce.

I've stayed with my wife this long because the thought of my daughter being trapped in a house with her mother whose mental state could be anywhere at any given time is horrifying to me. I thought if I was around I could protect her, but I could only protect her so much as I have to go to work. Due to recent events I decided I needed to try and take steps to get us out of the situation but it seems no one can help me protect my daughter because the only people that know about my wife's issues are me and a few of my family members whose opinions would be considered biased.

Any help is appreciated.
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Re: Protecting my daughter

Postby Terry E. » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:44 am

I am not a professional, but my mother had MBP, ( plus Bi polar, tactile schizo, OCD, emotionally abusive and extremely physically sadistic), both my brother and I suffered significant health issues that have left a large imprint on our lives.

Therefore I have perspective of a survivor. I am 59, and no wonder no-one looked twice at the unbelievable coincidences that occurred to us, as MBP was unknown back in the 60's.

It is still not widely understood today. If you look at the abuse forum here and see the number of posts compared to MBP it will give you an idea as to how uncommon it is.

Now my advice, for what it is worth on your situation.

Regarding the divorce, you need to play her.. I survived my situation by learning how to lie to make my situation bearable, .. the world will not come to your aid unless she threatens to burn down the school, so be as nice as you can and play her, it may make you feel very uncomfortable inside but this is all about best outcomes in an imperfect world

who is the focus of her attention,

was she trying to make your life miserable by her actions or was this just her general behaviour you got caught up in, .. were you the focus of her life ???

my mother was very sick, on the verge of death most of my childhood, so I became a carer, did all shopping mowed the lawns looked after maintenance from the age of 10 (Dad had been driven out), she is still fit and well at 90. This attracted minimal attention, most adults saw her for what she was as did family, doctors etc., but it was through her children she got attention, from her father (who she desperately battled with her mother for primary love) and from doctors. In my day doctors were regarded as VERY IMPORTANT. Therefore if they thought you as the mother of the sick child was important you were SPECIAL.

I have talked to other children from MBP and one thing we have in common in our memories is that there was something that clicked with our mothers when they pulled it off right. They were that happy they almost glowed.

My mothers health outside the immediate family was only a small issue, but our health was a cross too big for even Christ to bear, she revelled in that impossible burden..

I hope she does not go to MBP, let her play out her muncher role, love you daughter and be the rock that she grounds herself on.

It is a long hard road ahead, I wish you luck

take care
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Re: Protecting my daughter

Postby BaronVonSpousky » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:31 am

Thank you so much for your reply Terry. Yours is a perspective I'm very curious about. I'll answer some of your questions and ask you some of my own

Terry E. wrote:the world will not come to your aid unless she threatens to burn down the school, so be as nice as you can and play her, it may make you feel very uncomfortable inside but this is all about best outcomes in an imperfect world

You are telling the sad truth here. I can't believe how no one seems to take this seriously, or even if they do they wring their hands and tell me there's nothing they can do. Your advice is the same I keep getting from my lawyer. Just let her have what she wants and hope for the best. That isn't good enough for my daughter. Her long-term mental health is at stake here and no one seems to care. But with no one having any authority to help that appears to be my only option.

Terry E. wrote:who is the focus of her attention... was she trying to make your life miserable by her actions or was this just her general behaviour you got caught up in, .. were you the focus of her life ???

That's easy and difficult. She is always the focus of her own attention and she needs attention from other people. She's obsessed with what other people think of her and has 2 or 3 different characters she plays to different crowds for maximum attention. When those aren't working or the facades begin to crack she fakes illnesses, both to get sympathy and to escape responsibility.

I wasn't the focus of her life, but she relies on me to take care of our daughter, finances, and social obligations so that she can live in her fantasy worlds. She seems to basically view me as a tool (literally and figuratively I suppose). Although that may have been different back when I actually believed her illnesses were real so she was getting that attention from me also at one time.

Terry E. wrote:(Dad had been driven out)

I see this a lot in these stories and it angers me a great deal. I understand being driven out, as I'm there myself, but I have no intention of leaving my daughter to fend for herself. I just can't understand why there are no mechanisms in place to protect children from the bad parent when it wouldn't be that difficult to prove. If a parent has credible evidence (via family doctors, dentists, etc.) it should be possible for them to take their children away from an unfit parent, but it's seemingly impossible. There's also a double standard at work here, but that's another topic.

How old were you when your father left?

Did you think your father should have stayed to help you?

Terry E. wrote:most adults saw her for what she was as did family, doctors etc.

This is something else that amazes me. How quickly everyone around us figured out she was faking these illnesses--long before I did. But I've seen "that look" so many times. When I go to a family or neighborhood or social event and they ask me, "Where's your wife?" And I shrug and say, "She's sick." and they give me this quick downward glance, as if to say, "Come on, seriously." I wonder how many times I saw that look before I knew what it was.

Terry E. wrote:but it was through her children she got attention, from her father (who she desperately battled with her mother for primary love) and from doctors.

This is probably the one thing I have going for me right now, but it isn't far away. Right now she wants attention for herself by herself. In a way, it may be a good thing that she has shown so little interest in our daughter to this point. But she has already talked about getting our daughter into children's theater when she's a little older. Once my wife gets her stage mom going, and starts getting attention through our daughter that way, it's probably all over.

Terry E. wrote:love you daughter and be the rock that she grounds herself on.

I can assure you I will do at least that, and more if I can.
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Re: Protecting my daughter

Postby Terry E. » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:32 pm

I will answer more later I will try to help as much as I can, look through the abuse forum you may get some light bulb moments there as well..

in my case MBP started before I was 1 year old, Hospitalised around 6 months, (nose also broken before I was old enough to remember), so it did not develop it started at the start

in other cases I have read, and you will read here it was early, not all but in a lot.
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Re: Protecting my daughter

Postby jilkens » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:46 pm

Hey there,

I'm going to reply as soon as I'm feeling safe. This forum triggers me but there are several things I'd like to contribute to your thread.
Blame it on me, but know that I won't regret one iota.
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Re: Protecting my daughter

Postby Terry E. » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:36 am

Coming back to your post, Dad left when I was seven but it was very extreme, he had a very low self esteem even though he was brilliant (became CFO of James Hardie eventually), and she manipulated him thoroughly, She initiated constant physical violence (saw her open dad up on at least one occasion ) and eventually cut up all his work clothes, but one set, .. at that time he reluctantly left... a source of conflict had been that he was too soft on us and he tried to get her to calm down.

He was a kind gentle mad and was lost in a world he never really understood until just before his death..

would I have been better with him there, yes it would, but it never could have happened, as she would have become even more extreme until he left..

from what you have read I am guessing she will not go MBP, as she likes to be the focus, in MBP part of it appears to be the joy they get from conning the medical fraternity, to hear a specialist say ...." that is amazing.. the chances of this happening are millions to one" ,

the joy they get from out smarting very highly respected people, .. it is not just a way to get attention, it is more than that

I suspect she will move around in different circles playing her games, her tricks to a new crowd

now your issue is that your daughter is going to grow up with this as "her normal world", my brother believes I was the victim of MBP but still hangs onto the belief that his deafness was caused by extraordinary bad luck (don't think he can handle the reality), as a child abuse victim you struggle to grow and develop the way you should,

your daughter growing up with her I would say falls into the "emotional " child abuse category, .. not the "you are so stupid" kind, but the subtle one where she simply has the world tilted on it's side, I assure you it becomes damaging in its own way..

you are the one to straighten that out for her and guide her on the way, when she is young it will be harder, as she grows she will start to see the real world and your support

as I said before check out the abuse forum many people caring for loved ones friends etc. face similar challenges,

all that said, take care, if your daughter starts to become ill or get sent for tests, you need to have a chat with the Medical team involved and very quietly raise your fears,

use guile and stealth, amazing what you can achieve in an imperfect world

as a side note as a child when asked who I was I would always introduce myself as a chronic bronchetic, ...my brother with his hearing loss, .. we had no idea how nutty that was until we were much, much older as that was who we were and as unbelievable as it was, I would proudly tell people how many times I had had pneumonia and what types I had, no one at my school came close, it was my identity, it was who I was

best wishes and take care
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Re: Protecting my daughter

Postby BaronVonSpousky » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:44 am

Thanks Terry, I had written a response a couple days ago, but I had gotten logged out so what I'd typed got lost when I tried to submit it.

I'm sorry your father wasn't able to get you and your brother out of your situation. I'm fortunate mine isn't anywhere near as bad as that.

I was looking forward to moving out of the house at the end of the month after I toured an apartment yesterday--as my wife said I could take my daughter for the first week and then we'd begin our parenting time split. But my lawyer put the kibosh on that and said to stay in the house until everything is final, (as long as it isn't endangering anyone) which is probably wise.

Thus far my wife has actually done a pretty good job keeping herself together around our daughter. It's awkward, but the funny thing is she hasn't faked any illnesses since I filed for the divorce. This is almost certainly the first 3-week span since we met 10 years ago where she hasn't been laid-up on the couch, with phantom aches and pains. She may be saving up for another big show with more hospital visits soon, but I can hope she may be taking responsibility for herself since she knows she won't have me around much longer to take care of everything for her while she plays sick.

My lawyer was asking me a lot of questions about all the things she's doing in the divorce that aren't in her own best interest right now. She's setting herself up for a disaster financially, which is going to lead to a mental breakdown, and faking illnesses may become the least of our problems. But I should be able to get some distance and set up a safe place for my daughter and myself before then.

Thanks for your support and advice. It has helped me a great deal just to know there are people out there that understand.
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Re: Protecting my daughter

Postby Raising_a_MBP_victim » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:11 pm

Your divorce battles and concerns resonate with me, as I walked this path for two years. My now fiance, was being denied access to this two kids for over 3 years before custody was changed to him. After meeting him in 2011 and hearing his story and all about his daughter who was supposedly sick and dying from some undiagnosed disease, I obviously had questions. The more I asked, the more he realized how little he knew and what he did know, didn't add up or make sense. Once we started asking doctors and getting our own copies of medical reports, it was very apparent that his ex was suffering from Munchausen and MBP, and this was our push to file for custody.

Because we were self represented in court - half his income was going to her for support and he needed the other half to live on. We were not able to get psychologists and diagnosis for the mother. However, what we can and did do, was dance around the terms - we were very careful to never say Munchausen or Parental Alienation, but we constantly and consistently provided evidence of all of the symptoms and indicators for those two recognized forms of child abuse.

Document, document, and document. I can not stress this enough. Ask for copies of the medical reports from her visits. If she doctors shops, document all the different doctors she has been too and why she went and why she stopped. Chances are she leaves the doctors when they refuse to give her the treatment she is demanding.

In my experience she was guilty of both forms of Munchausen. She started with herself as the target growing up and once she had kids, she shifted her focus to her daughter mainly, but also partly her son. Once the kids were removed from her care, she shifted to her boyfriends daughter which resulted in her leaving her Dad's home, then she shifted to his other two kids who also left the house. With no kids around, now she is in and out of surgeries.

In the end what lost her custody and any parental rights were hers and hers alone actions. The best thing we did, was give her enough rope and she basically hung herself.

Finally, thank you! Thank you for caring and standing up to protect your daughter. The damage the victims suffer is great and deep. Please be vigilant if your daughter falls ill or is complaining of not feeling well. This is a serious cause for concern.

All the best.
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