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Advice for raising a victim of MSP

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Advice for raising a victim of MSP

Postby Raising_a_MBP_victim » Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:31 pm

So after a long court battle and 3 years of suffering through parental alienation, my fiancé was awarded full sole custody of his two kids. Munchausen was also part of the custody change decision, but because she (the ex) has not been diagnosed as such, we could only dance around the term and instead prove the behaviours with evidence time after time. As of right now, the ex has no contact with the kids (now 14 & 13) unless approved by my fiancé, and any contact is always supervised.

The main target of MSP was the daughter, and has lived her whole life in the sick role. After 1-1/2 since the custody change, and weekly counselling, she knows and admits that she was never sick and what mom did to her was wrong, and has a lot of anger because of that. She understands that Mom did this to her because she is mentally ill, however we (fiance and I) know that yes the ex is ill, but she is also fully aware of all of her actions and knew what she was doing at all time, but the daughter isn't ready to hear this.

In fact, since the custody change, the ex herself made two other kids sick, and has had multiple operations on herself.

My question is for the other survivors of MSP. How did you overcome the years of abuse?

The daughter struggles socially because she was never at school and has no friends, nor does she know how to make friends. She struggles with school itself as she always had people to do her work for her to carry her through school. Aside note - she missed on average 60% of her school days growing up! But the biggest struggle she has is her perception of reality. Like her mom, she has a very warped sense of reality and is very out of touch with how she perceives situations and people around her and how others perceive her.

Honestly, she struggles with narcissism. Has anyone else struggled with this? Does anyone have any suggestions to help guide her through this?

In the home, life can be hell some days. It's always about her and her drama in the home. She steals constantly and she has no remorse or empathy. We have locks on every door in the house now because of her. She has stolen at school and has been arrested because of her actions, and she doesn't seem to grasp the seriousness of stealing.

I'm not sure if I'm making myself clear here or just rambling.

In short, because this is so rare and even less research available for the victims, I am looking for some guidance and advice for a) helping her to overcome this and be a health adult and productive member of society and b) support of reassurance that there is hope for a healthy recovering for her.
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Re: Advice for raising a victim of MSP

Postby Terry E. » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:58 am

Wow, let me try and absorb this and I will give it a real think. I think you know how rare MBP is, although I am sure it is under reported, it is incredibly rare.

An MBP sufferer is actually an abuse victim. While I am thinking of some more indepth replies and I assure you they will come, was she or her sibling physically abused as well, and was she emotionally abused. Did her mother yell at her, manipulate things around her, make her feel that issues in her life were her fault.

Did the mother hate the father. Not just get divorced hatred but hate all that he ever touched or was part of, want to burn the ground he walked on hated ?

Did the mother suffer from narcissism.

Do you have an idea of who in particular she wanted attention from, doctors her father mother ??

Did she have a nursing background.

How did she make the girl sick, poisioning I am guessing, but do you know how.

Are there any medical after effects, (my brother is mostly deaf in one ear and I have liver damage.)

How long did you think the daughter suffered from MBP abuse.

Did the mother have Munchhausens as well, .. always sick but is faking it as she knows she is not sick .

Sorry for all the questions, but it will help me focus on the level of abuse your step daughter has suffered.

What hobbies interests does she have.

And the final one how behind in school is she, 60% off school is huge, my worst was just under 50% and that left a dent in my subject knowledge that dragged me down for years.

and now I would like to thank you for helping your husband fight so hard to save her. Not done yet, but I assure you she will turn the corner.

Thank you

Terry
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Re: Advice for raising a victim of MSP

Postby Terry E. » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:56 am

http://asca.org.au/About/Resources/Abus ... tions.aspx

this is a link for Child Abuse survivor PTSD. It is a little different from normal PTSD mainly as the victim has no "normal" to judge things by. I rate everyone but the somatic pain. I am much better now but it was a huge " albatross" to drag around.

One of these issues is trust. Once the light globe goes on, you realize that you have been lied to throughout your life. What that means is someone has just stolen it. When I was a child, my identity was the sick kid. At school there were fast kids, fat kids, strong kids, handsome kids, smart kids, ... me I described myself with great pride that I was a "Chronic Bronchitic". It was who I was. It made me different and gave me my identity.

I became very good at lying, it solved many issues, and I stole a lot (my mother starved me). I was not a nice child, but I was concentrating on surviving, future consequences were managed, but survival was critical.

What is the daughters weight, and what does she steal ??

If I look at the definition of narcissist, I was not, never was, but I only thought of myself, it was a self preservation thing. Please check the definitions of narcissism and think whether she is just prioritizing herself.

With her illness was she just sick or was their an emotional element to it. You have "X"and therefore if we cannot get "Y", you will die, be sick forever, be in pain forever ?? Can be very scary.

Did she have confidence in any doctors or her mother to make her better (I was always confident she could make me better - I never blamed her). This made a huge bond between us. Even though she was brutally sadistic when I was sick I was cared for, therefore I enjoyed being sick, more than being healthy. I was never physically abused when sick. This is me, and not the daughter but as a MBP victim your thinking is scrambled. What was her bond with her mum like ??

I am still thinking, but as you can see, the more I can hear the better the advice.

One thing I have found our in following all MBP cases I can find for last 20 years, they are all different, but they have some common threads.

Terry
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Re: Advice for raising a victim of MSP

Postby Raising_a_MBP_victim » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:59 pm

Let me try and give more detail and answer your questions. I appreciate any and all help I can get so thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply.

Mother has a life time history of wanting attention and seeking medical help. As a child would beg her mother to take her to the hospital. Mother's mother works in health care but never recognized this as an issue at the time. According to parents, she would be very manipulative between the mother and father and constantly was trying to split them up as she greatly favoured her step dad and the attention from him than her own mother. As the mother grew up and was on own, she starts having surgeries for various issues. She also had a child in her late teens whom was raised by her parents, and would become the biggest manipulation point with her parents to get whatever she wanted.

Excellent question on who she wanted attention from. Her parents divorced when she was less than 2 yrs old and her bio dad was fairly absent. The kids were definitely not a priority. She attached very quickly to her step dad and they were inseparable. Her mother saw the manipulation right from the start, but it took her step dad well into her teens before he saw it. I think it would be fair to say she wanted the attention from her step dad. Plus she has said that her child that was raised by her folks "replaced" her with her step dad. So ya, I would go with step dad.

When she married my now finance, because she was pregnant, they had two kids within 2 years and the father worked away from home most of the marriage with only a few days home a month giving the mother free reign to do whatever she wanted.

First reported medical issue was when the SD (step daughter) was 20 months. Nothing was ever found and was labelled with something which was later thought to be wrong. Since 20 months, my SD has been in an out of hospitals her whole life.

Because the finance was away from the home he wasn't there at the appointments and just trusted what he was being told. It wasn't until they split up that things weren't added up and he looked deeper.

The mother was, and still is, a master manipulator and I know did yell at the kids. So yes, emotional abuse was prevalent.

Physical abuse...not sure. I do know people have reported seeing her drag the kids down a hall by their arms. But I don't know for certain. What I do know is that there are a lot of breaks in their medical history that don't jive with the reported accident. My gut tells me yes.

The divorce and split was ugly. The mother used anything and everything she could to talk bad about their father to the kids and discussed EVERYTHING with them! Most of which was lies. She would tell the kids that their Dad was evil and let them. The alienation those kids suffered was severe! The main reason she lost custody in the end. It took those kids more than 6 months of living with us before they would even call him Dad and that was begrudgingly.

I think the mother is narcissist or borderline personality. Both of which fit with not just parental alienation but Munchausen. Still after 1-1/2 yrs she is focussed on how he is trying to destroy her not how her actions lead her to this.

The mother does not have a nursing background, but she has a failed attempt at school for personal support worker and she is very fixated on working in the medical field.

I'm not sure to what extent she would do to make her daughter sick. It was always vague things like fever, nausea, joint pain and mouth ulcers. However, when we got custody the SD was battling a ear infection for 4 months already and went away in 3 weeks in our care. How she got the ear infection you ask? Feces. Ya. That was what convinced me that mom was indeed making her sick and not lying about stuff.

So the daughter formed her identity for 13 yrs as the sick kid too.

Now that the mother does not have the kids around to focus on, she has gone back to herself and making herself sick and had already had 3 or 4 surgeries for stuff that hasn't been an issue before.

The SD had no hobbies or interests. She was so enmeshed with Mom that she came to us saying she was into things but once she had the freedom to explore, she discovered quickly that she did not like it after all. All she truly likes to do is watch TV.

It was very interesting for me to read about your experiences especially with the stealing. Nice to know that we are not alone with this.

She will steal anything. In the house she has stolen sock, contacts, tampons, make-up, expensive watches of her father, her brothers coin (collection), stuffed toys, runners, ziploc bags, anything really. But the common one is food. We have a well stocked pantry and fridge and they can eat any fruit and veg any time they desire, but she will eat the whole watermelon, or the whole tub of nutella, or box of cereal. There is no self control. We consider stealing food when she has specially been told that something is off limits or a family treat or that she needs to regulate and make last for XX amount of time.

The big thing though has been stealing a wallet from school and then draining the bank account. She was arrested, but nothing seems to have sunk in.

The main issue I am struggling with is the stealing and having every door locked in my house. We have tried explaining to her the emotional impact her actions have in the house, but she doesn't get it. She has not remorse or empathy. This is why I wonder about narcissism in her. I have asked if she thinks rules apply to her and she had said no. She says if she want it she will take it. But I can see the self preservation thing...sort of...

What can I do to help her with the stealing? Is there any one thing?
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Re: Advice for raising a victim of MSP

Postby Terry E. » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:34 pm

Thank you, that was so hard to read, so very hard. Thank you for taking the time.

I had a proverbial intervention when I was 16 turned me around. I had already stopped stealing at 13.

I will come back to you with some personal observations and some advice.

I will post later today Australian time.
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Re: Advice for raising a victim of MSP

Postby Terry E. » Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:27 am

Okay, my story has lots of parallels but I had an intervention which I will mention later.

Who is she close to?? Having lost the bond with her mum she is going to be hard to get through to. In past years has she related to her maternal grand parents. Are they able to be enlisted as support. How have they been in all this. I became very close to my grand father over time. He was a large influence.

It is hard to discipline her out of stealing. She has to grow out of it. That is why I was hoping that the respect she has for a grand parent may help.

The lack of hobbies etc is a big issue. She needs strong role models, obviously you are one but someone special would help, hence if she could get in to sport it would help. There is a lot in that which can add to her social skills and help her move on. I am not a Crossfit fan but they have a strong social thing. Check it out first as it is kind of "full on" and diet etc everything is on the agenda. But for someone who is struck with negative behavior and apathy (TV ) it may be something. If not taking a big step to Crossfit what about a gym. Pay for a trainer to show her around give her a workout. Maybe a family friend who can help.

These things will / can help a lot. She will have goal set, have a routine in place. Have some structure, peers and some social involvement. She will also gain some identity. Not the sick kid anymore but the gym kid, the weightlifter etc.

Has she been taken to local football games, drag racing, anything with color noise and crowds ?? Something she can feel part of, part of a tribe.

Is she into specific music, fashion is she a goth, etc. ??

I know you said she has no friends at school but is there not anyone she goes to movies with etc. ?


If she can't become seriously engaged, with you as a family, if she can't find some sort of happiness, then pushing goals at school, social goals are just meaningless words. I think you have tried reasoning, love explanations, if only it was so simple.

There is so much but these are the major issues to me.

When 16 a friends father got me into weightlifting, and seeing my state of health took it further, visited my home and subtlety let my mother know that he knew something was wrong. Changed my life.

Something else. My mother drove my father out when I was 7, she cut up all his clothes but one suit and shirt and threw them on the front lawn. Dad had tried for years but that was it. My mother spent the next 8 years damming him, but brought him back into our house when I was 16 (very long, very violent, very unpleasant story). Dad was a very quiet ordinary man, a rather brilliant one as he wound up CFO of a large multi national (James Hardie) , came from poverty to the top. Even though he never really did anything negative and I had seen so much violence aimed at him. I just never engaged with him and he did not know what to do. Eventually we clicked after my boys played sport. So I am telling you this as it is very hard for a child to just scrap how they feel when they know the truth. She may know it is wrong, but it was a fact her dad was evil, just like she had to go to school each day. Hard to turn that around in a year or two. It can happen and the more you do of this it will, but it is a super tanker, takes time to turn around.

Also don't worry about others not advising you here people are looking at it I assure you.

I wish I could say more. I will think some more on it.
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Re: Advice for raising a victim of MSP

Postby Terry E. » Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:08 pm

One other thought. I grew substantially after I was 16. At 16 I weighed 56kgs, 123lbs at 5 feet 11 1/2 inches or 182 cms. I reached 82kgs 180 lbs at 18, and was not fat. My intervention occurred at 16.

I trained a boy whose mother had a brain tumor when he was 8. People prepared him for his mother to die. She did Chemo, radiation and is still with us. During that year he stopped talking and stopped growing. At 14 he was the height of a tall 8 year old, and was teased terribly at school. Got so he was nauseous before going to school. I started him lifting at 14. By 18 he was tallest person in his family, he got to a little under 6 foot. He also was a brilliant conversationalist (talked a lot) .

Another child a girl had an abusive step father and a bi-polar mother. Before they separated she was quite short for a 16 year old. By 22 she has become a rather tall woman and has grown substantially. At 16 she had been very immature physically.

I don't know the science of this but high levels of stress mucks around with your hormones. Take the stress away and unexpected growth occurs.

May not apply but something to think about.
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Re: Advice for raising a victim of MSP

Postby Raising_a_MBP_victim » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:52 pm

Quick update for whomever may be reading this thread.

Nothing has changed with the SD. She still continues to lie and steal. We are basically at a stand still with therapy as you all are well aware, you can't change what you don't acknowledge, and she thinks she is perfect and doesn't think she has any problems. When she is stealing something (lately the theme seems to be money), she genuinely feels that she deserved that money and subsequently the junk she bought with the stolen money. She has an allowance and the ability to earn additional allowance. Something needs to break through the entitlement she has. We are cutting back on therapy for now to see if the dialogue improves at all in sessions.

We have tried many and various activities to engage her and she just isn't interested. She says she is, but then won't put in any effort. This is getting costly for us as well. So one last attempt at air cadets in the fall. She is really excited to start, but we have seen this before from her, yet we are staying positive. The plus is that this is a free service. I'm praying hard that this is the thing that reaches her.

I know a lot of people read these threads and don't comment, but I would really love to hear from other survivors of MBP on some direction on what we can do to reach her. Private message me if you would prefer.
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Re: Advice for raising a victim of MSP

Postby Terry E. » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:29 am

I will go out on a limb and say that defensive attitude, not addressing the problem is survivor mentality.

I hope the air cadets get some traction with her.

Any activity which she buys into with some self pride will help pull her out.

Has she got many friends ??

Is she a a girlie girl ??

How are the two of you getting along now ??

Does she ever rage (low impulse control under stress).(hyper arousal)

Does she show signs of hyper vigilance. (can wake and be instantly alert)


Sorry but don't think I am helping much
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