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MBP and Attachment Disorder

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MBP and Attachment Disorder

Postby Raising_a_MBP_victim » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:51 pm

As I have previously outlined, 3 years ago now, my (now) husband got custody of his two kids and they all moved into my home. Behavioural issues with the step-daughter, now 16, have been constant and escalating. Because of this, she was placed in an inpatient psych ward for kids for 2 weeks a few months ago for testing and observation. From this, she was diagnosed with Attachment Disorder.

We of course never heard of this and went home and read everything I could find online about it, and boy did things click for us. We had many, many light bulb moments reading the behaviours of kids with AD and linking them to numerous examples of what we live with daily.

My question is this - is the diagnosis of Attachment Disorder (can also be called Reactive Attachment Disorder) common in Munchausen by Proxy victims? It mimics PTSD closely.

Also, a very common trait of AD (or RAD), is the kids are constantly looking for attention by complaining of being sick or injured and making things up. I think this coupled with the fact that her mother does indeed suffer from Munchausen, was a recipe for disaster.

Curious if any of the survivors have had this mentioned to them in therapy through the healing process.
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Re: MBP and Attachment Disorder

Postby Terry E. » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:35 am

Welcome back. Things have moved along but there are still lots of issues. I commend you for hanging in there. Very easy to say "I have a life too", and bail. Most people have very little effect on the world around them. You are changing someones life.

Now about attachment.

Firstly my knowledge of MBP is self taught, and a lot learned the hard way. As you know apart from a few Bios, most of what is out there is basic and often dates right back to the 70s. Every time someone comes on here, about 3-4 a year I spend lots of times going back and forth on PMs. So there is lots here but the ugly part I spare for PMs. I have found lots in common across the board. The thing that may separate these people from your step daughter, is self awareness. They come here knowing what their mother did and are looking for support and answers. They do not play the sick card as they are trying to right the ship and move on. Many have real lasting health issues that they are trying to fix. Your step daughter does not have this self awareness nor have I ever talked to anyone who was not aware.

I think it is highly likely that such learned behavior is the child's go to. What I can tell you in almost all cases that the mothers of these children are usually emotionally and often physically abusive as well. So the child is dealing with abuse issues, alienation from their peers and real health issues (they may make you sick, but that 104 deg temperature is real). So your step daughter may have abuse issues, plus if your mother is often unpleasant you may find the only time she appears to act supportive of you (shows love ??) is when you are sick. As a young child I was happiest when sick !!!

As for lots of the other AD stuff. You can learn and unlearn, things.

As a survivor I could steal and lie extremely well. (I stole money for food as we were barely fed) I lied to protect myself. As an adult I am a company auditor renowned for my integrity. I made a choice to go this way. I had someone or a few someones show me what else I could be. She may have AD but that does not mean she cannot find some ground to be "normal".

I have CA PTSD. Apart from the nightmares, hyper vigilance and hyper arousal of lot of it is the same. Self esteem and trust.

(Is she the one who was stealing food ???)

for the knowledge bank here can I ask, "How did she make her sick". ( Usually poison and stress.)
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Re: MBP and Attachment Disorder

Postby Terry E. » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:50 am

I was reading again about the deep seated rage with AD.

I am not sure about this.

Is the deep seated rage part of AD or is it from what has caused the AD.

I can tell you personally that I will die angry. You can have part of you angry and be in total control. I will say most on here at some level will carry anger about their mother, the enablers who let her ruin their childhoods, the system, but they keep it under wraps and lead normal lives.

Most people who get AD, have been poked with a sharp stick often enough that when they see a stick coming they snap and bite. So is it AD which produces the rage or beating a child again and again until they feel absolutely nothing for their mother. Was it the AD that did it or the beatings and starvation.

Got to understand that this stuff is in its infancy. My mother got away with causing four ear infections in my brother's left ear in around 6-7 year each requiring major surgery. After the third infection I clearly remember the Doctor saying "the chances of three are over a million to one". What he thought the fourth time we will never know.

That preceded Fellows by around a decade. Today she would have been watched like a hawk after the second and possibly investigated. Things change. This is the infancy of studying child abuse. That term did not exist until around 1980. In 1960 it was Child Battery and unless there were repeated black eyes, broken noses no one cared.

So read and think but keep an open mind. Nothing set in stone.
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Re: MBP and Attachment Disorder

Postby Raising_a_MBP_victim » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:00 pm

Thank you for your prompt reply.

No she is not self aware...not even a bit. And she knows what her mother did to her was wrong but she really doesn't fully understand how wrong. Like she knows her upbringing was not normal and typical, but it is her normal. Does that make sense?

And you are correct also that she is not even interested in getting help and changing her destructive behaviours. She has told us this many times now and we are at a loss with how to proceed with her.

In 2 years she will be 18 and hopefully done high school. We have already decided that she will be moving out and learning to live independently. But getting through the next 2 years with a kid who thinks she is perfect and won't change will be hell. I have already been threatened by her...

I do strongly feel she is product of her environment in which she was raised, and buy the time she was removed at 13, she was just too enmeshed in the lifestyle to change, even after 3 years.

I do not think that any poisoning was taking place, but I honestly don't know. I come to this conclusion that this was not her mom's MO as blood work was a very very regular treatment. The kid has been poked more times than I have breathed air! But this too was part of the sickness game as they were part of a kids program in the hospital system where kids get beads for every poke and procedure they receive. So I can't see her mom doing poisoning that could have been so easily detected. But I really don't know. The few times she has opened up about it, she said her mom would coach her with what to say and how to act. And she would drill her until she had it right.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Any insight is greatly appreciated.
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Re: MBP and Attachment Disorder

Postby Terry E. » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:02 am

Raising_a_MBP_victim wrote:
Thank you for your prompt reply.



Like she knows her upbringing was not normal and typical, but it is her normal. Does that make sense?

It is amazing how insane a child's "normal" can be. In abuse we often see examples of coping behavior learned as a child which becomes an issue later in life. As a child you adapt and prioritize. If you don't see normal behavior then what ever you experience becomes your normal. Makes it hard to adjust. Takes lots and lots of time, and usually maturity.


In 2 years she will be 18 and hopefully done high school. We have already decided that she will be moving out and learning to live independently.

Wish I had something for you, but I think until she is forced to survive without a safety net she will never become self aware. It is painful to write this, I have no idea how much more painful it is to live it.

I do strongly feel she is product of her environment in which she was raised, and buy the time she was removed at 13, she was just too enmeshed in the lifestyle to change, even after 3 years.

Correct, and she is too young to understand, truly understand.



I do not think that any poisoning was taking place, but I honestly don't know. I come to this conclusion that this was not her mom's MO as blood work was a very very regular treatment. The kid has been poked more times than I have breathed air! But this too was part of the sickness game as they were part of a kids program in the hospital system where kids get beads for every poke and procedure they receive. So I can't see her mom doing poisoning that could have been so easily detected. But I really don't know. The few times she has opened up about it, she said her mom would coach her with what to say and how to act. And she would drill her until she had it right.

Thanks for that info. It must have made them very close, but for all the wrong reasons.



Thank you for taking the time to reply. Any insight is greatly appreciated.


Every now and then I get some insight when helping here. I will offer this not sure whether it will mean much.

As I said I have tried to live with honor and integrity even though I am basically extremely cynical (that trust thing, and quite critical - it goes with negativity that most of the abused develop). I may come across caring here, and I believe I am, but I was not always that way. For a really long time if I saw child abuse, (except in truly extreme cases) I would simply say "suck it up, I went through everything you endured in your childhood in less than a week and more". I don't think it was a contest but for many I had absolute contempt for them being weak, and failing to survive the unbearable. I wore my ability to work and marry and have a career, without drugs with pride. I could never see or admit the damage. That I hated phone calls, crowds, meeting people other than in a very small group of friends and family, that I could not sleep with light or noise, that I was often emotionally dead, that in my early 50s I was still plagued by the same nightmare. I was a survivor, a tough guy. I did not realise how hard that was to live with. I had no support. Conventional psychology (tell me about your childhood) was useless. (very traumatizing, since been rubbished) It took a long time to become more conventionally normal. A lot of reading, a lot of helping.

She very well may get there, but right now she may wear, the survival thing with pride. She may not let herself see or feel what happened. Doing that really hurts, and it can seem better just to tough it out and move on.


I wish I had more. I really do. I admire you, but this story has a long way to run, and there is no text book. Good luck.
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Re: MBP and Attachment Disorder

Postby Raising_a_MBP_victim » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:19 pm

I feel that if we knew back when she was 13 that she had attachment disorder, we would have been able to parent her using the best techniques for RAD kids (which are completely different from parenting a "normal" child) and stood a chance of getting her on the road to healing and recovery. Instead because everyone just wanted to say it was ADHD or PTSD, I feel like we wasted 3 years and now the techniques for RAD will not work on a teen, nor is she willing at this time.

I was just curious how common AD was in MBP victims, as I personally think it is 100% for the survivors. And maybe someone reading this will take this info about attachment disorder and do some research and can start their path for recovery and working with a therapist.

Sigh.
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Re: MBP and Attachment Disorder

Postby Terry E. » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:44 am

I basically agree with everything you have written.

No matter what happens, she now has a chance, and she will always owe that to you and your husband.

Recently someone in a PTSD forum was talking about issues she has with personal contact. Even at my age I had a "wow" moment.
"You mean that is NOT normal". Explains some of my issues, which I never realised I had.

You can live a full and productive life with issues.

I hope she can find a way.
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