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What happened to me?

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What happened to me?

Postby grandpolly » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:17 pm

Hello, everyone.

I'm kind of in a mess right now, and I would like some help in getting to grips with what happened to me.

It's been 5 years, roughly, that the term Münchhausen by proxy rings in my head. A friend of mine is the first who voiced it to me, after I explained to him what I went through. The description "feels" right, could be argued to fit symptoms to some extent, but I feel uncomfortable with it. I'd like to know what other people may feel about it. I'd be specifically interested in opinions of people who would be keen on disproving it.

My mother is a psychiatrist.

It feels difficult for me to say more in one go. Please ask questions so that I may open up. I'll do that gladly.

I'd really like to know what to think of it and what I could do to move forward. Moreover, please note that I am (mod edit) , so comparisons with the US, and specifically the US medical system or US medical procedures, may be flatly inadequate. Please bear with me.
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Re: What happened to me?

Postby grandpolly » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:57 am

I'm at a loss to describe what really happened to me. It doesn't really have any chronology to which I can hold to account for it. Some 5 years ago I told a friend what I've been going through, and he's the one that came out with MBP as an explanation. For quite some time, I've felt unable to relate to that diagnostic. Then I got hold of the medical records, and me and my ex-partner were struck. She felt she had been manipulated by my parents, and when I confronted her with an article about MBP, she acknowledged the situation, rather dumbfounded.

This MBP wasn't a child MBP. It was an early adult MBP involving essentially psychiatry, which is what my mother was REALLY fond of. Well, almost. I do remember that I've been brought to the local antipoison center quite a few times when I was a small kid... and that stopped as I believe that brought attention to child protection services and she understood that she had come under the radar.

The MBP behaviour kind of stopped throughout late childhood and early adolescence for this reason. It hadn't really stopped, because other malingering for attention did take place. She basically brought me whenever she could to doctors, but for rather small things, always related to some kind of medical anxiety she had (I could develop in another post, but all that was 100% in HER head). Small things, except a surgical intervention for (mod edit), where I had been under anesthetic, but woke up with the operation cancelled. In a sense, I believe that I got through the mess quite well during childhood.

However, she wasn't a fully qualified psychiatrist (only partially) until I came to be in my late teens or something like that. At that moment, the mess became unmanageable: both my brother and me became regularly committed to psych wards.

My brother is arguably the main victim of this situation (I cannot fully bring myself to call that MBP, for a weird reason, this qualification seems both legitimate and illegitimate at the same time). He's been fed neuroleptics in his burgers from around age 16 or similar, he now has no life, no sex life, no job, and is stuck at home with my mother and disabling back pains (from what I've incidentally gathered).

I kind of managed to fly away from this situation, but she's been catching up sending me to psych wards regularly over the course of my 20s and early 30s. My ex-partner was unknowingly shielding me from this behaviour, and it's only when we were more fragile that the "psych ward mentality" came back in force: she piggied back on problems an isolated couple with a child in early age usually have to get me committed again and again.

So me and my brother are the two schiz' kids of the wonderful caring mother/psychiatrist. She bypassed rules to get me committed, even claiming, of her own handwriting on the administrative files required to hospitalise people in my country, to be my doctor. There were quite a number of flat out lies in the records too. I do not really know how to expose all this, as discerning true from falsity from such documents is really hard to explain on a forum.

But remarkably, the first record where she managed to get me diagnosed with a mental illness (she had in the previous hospitalisation) is a record where basically, it's only her talking about her own problems! Through me, admittedly, but clearly, it's her psychiatric record, not mine! There are a few words in the records where you can sense that she was not entirely believed, but nevertheless, she managed to get me diagnosed with "simple schizophrenia" (which is not a valid diagnostic in the US, as it's too shallow when it comes to symptoms, requiring almost none...)

She was very happy with it, and she could now feel free to threaten me at will with psych wards. It's also on that record that she also pushed the fact that she had my brother diagnosed as schizophrenic to tilt the diagnosis, by virtue of him being a first-degree relative, to schizophrenia. There's much more to say about this record, but I'll pass for now.

I've read Terry E. on this forum claiming that to qualify as MBP, you need some kind of attention-seeking behaviour. It's there. But it's weird as it's mingled with (1) completely delusional perception of illness and her relatives, or rather completely hyperbolic thinking, (2) a vision of psychiatry that's really bent on enforcing a moral blueprint for humanity rather than a vision of psychiatry tailored to suffering individuals, (3) benefit seeking behaviour, as the medical certificates had their use for her end but (4) yes, ultimately, attention seeking.

The attention seeking behaviour came into 3 parts: (1) seeking the attention of MD as a good caring mother is obviously a motivation (2) seeking the attention of her family relatives and friends as having mentally ill children that she'll be the one to push through life; but more importantly (3) it allowed her to validate the controversial psychiatric theories she firmly held (about a strong correlation between allegedly high IQ in her two male kids and psychiatric troubles/illnesses) and give her credibility in the outside world, which she'd been craving for all the time she had not been fully qualified as a psychiatrist.

She went in an activism frenzy that frankly seemed unnatural and overblown to me. I can find frightening quotes of her talking to media about high IQ, hilariously sub-scientific studies, and E. Fuller Torrey style hypochondria in seminars, where she basically advocated locking up high IQ kids as soon as they were going astray. (And she has "stringent" criteria for "going astray").

She's still dangerous to me, and I do live with some kind of PTSD. My aversion to doctors is absolute. And for good reasons: I tried last august (there was a triggering event) to get to talk with a doctor about the situation to ask what the way out could be. Police handcuffed me and I almost got locked up (I managed out of it by weirdly behaving as an arrogant asshole, exhibiting simple-Munchhausen-like knowledge of their specialty). I'm now highly psychologically screwed up, and though I've managed to get through life until now, I believe that I've been kind of breaking down in the past week.

I haven't exposed all I know and all I've lived through in this post. But my mother's mindframe about medicine is severely, severely twisted. Compared to other munchers I've read about, the kick she gets out of the attention seeking needs to be significantly intellectually satisfying. It's no simple "heal my kid that I've just hurt, you cool doctor". It needs to be confused and conflated with every theory she holds about mental illness, and she needs to get the doctor, friends and relatives to admire her smartness and competence and dedication to her kids. Well, now she only has one left to play this around, and it's unlikely that she'll be busted with this one...

After all I've written, MBP still doesn't feel right as a qualification for what happened, though it does seem to be the closest thing to describe it.

I need advice, now.
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Re: What happened to me?

Postby Terry E. » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:36 am

This is the second contact in recent months that relates more to a teen or young adult than a child, and not through poisoning but through maneuvering the psychiatric system.

This is not classic MBP, but it still has certain similarities but also a difference.

The similarities are:- high intellect, delusions of grandeur, tending towards narcissism

The difference is, it may also be used for control. With young children a parents control is absolute, god like.

With a teen it is not. This style of claim gives the parent back that absolute control.

The missing info is what happened to your father. Any chance of filling in that blank.
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Re: What happened to me?

Postby grandpolly » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:48 pm

I agree that there is a difference, and I would absolutely never claim that it is the same as classic MBP. In fact, it's difficult to compare, because while the damage being done in isolation is nowhere near the same magnitude as in classic MBP, the effects are quite strong nevertheless. It's rather fascinating, for instance, how I relate to other victims, with the added difference that the full damage really starts when you get to understand the full medical picture that is specific to psychiatry: that sense of enslavement to your records. It's also mindblowing to perceive, due to the psychological component of what I've lived through, how easily you can sink into the mind of a classic muncher.

It is also used for control, definitely. But even the claim that more control is required to handle your kid plays into the psychological needs of the parents. I'm under the impression that psychological needs of the MBP mother are similar to classic MBP, but also more complex and also more moving. In a sense, it's more like "sporadic MBP" (i.e. waiting for opportunities and weaknesses) than "obsessional MBP". And in my case, delusions were likely stronger than in classic MBP, (although I haven't settled down my opinion definitely on that).

My father is both in and both out of the MBP picture. In a sense, he's an instrument, but an instrument that needs to be convinced to step in through his own frame of mind. He has to cooperate for it to happen, as otherwise, hospitalisations would be much more difficult to carry through. That means he's lied to, but you need to incorporate truth in the lies. That's where confidence within the parenting couple, and a shared worldview (to enable the necessary hypocondria) both needs to play in. My father was dogmatically trusting to his partner (a trait I do share; trust issues came later on...) and the shared worldview came from the fact he was thoroughly imbued with psychoanalysis, which is the medium through which my parents came to meet, and the framework through which they came to conceptualise wanting me as a baby.

The behaviour in hospital is also weird. My mother did look out for psychiatrists that would play into her game; the criterion being typically "(mod edit ...) he'll be careful not to let my kid out soon enough". The last hospitalisation that she triggered had the psychiatrists diagnose me with a "paranoïac personality disorder" (good job, by the way), refuting other claims, and the non-relationship they entertained with my mother sent her in an outfit of rage: I was the mental patient holding the psychiatric staff back from using force on my mother: the world turned upside down...

As the other poster said, the difficult thing is that a situation like this is indeed not clear cut and the concept of abuse is open to opinion: pathological vs. normal in psychiatry is very difficult to differentiate both in theory and on the records. And moreover, MBP is in and of itself a psychiatric issue. So you get very frightened of going ever more deeper in the psychiatric world and ever more frightened of coercion. It's a self-feeding cycle.
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Re: What happened to me?

Postby grandpolly » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:25 pm

One more word concerning my father: He had been committed to a military psych ward in the flower power era. He was in the (french) marine commandos, and a superior who came to know that he had high academic credentials asked him to be instead a military (.... mod edit). Some kind of bravado landed him there. He met a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst who told him the usual story: his obedience problems were related to the fact he had not known his own father (who died early on, coming back from the "french" vietnam war). That's when his worldview shifted, and he met my mother a few years afterwards.

He was a person that was highly sensitive to illness in other people. More on a compassionate tone. Always talking about colleagues whose kids had rare diseases. He also was highly involved in day to day care of my sister's (illness ... mod edit) (I have no elements to know whether or not that was MBP related: the arguments on both sides weigh up, so I'll decline having any informed opinion, but I kind of "guess" not). He also was the one diagnosing minor illnesses, always able to navigate in medical manuals and illustrated medical books. (We had quite a number of them at home).

But I never sensed any kind of attention seeking behaviour at all within him. He really was more like a compassionate person, with a high moral sense of "doing things right and for the good". But he was also incredibly stubborn with highly intense moral and political views, not controversial, but almost.

In my view, he was "enabled": he had some kind of hypochondria by proxy, clearly, but some kind of "responsible hypochondria": he was concerned about doing the right thing all the time, and wasn't emotional at all about medicine. His views about medicine became more emotional, and instrumental later (in the sense he would not have problems lying to doctors for his own benefit), but were not hyperbolic.

One last note: I have no anger at all towards my parent. But no feelings either. My anger is entirely directed towards psychiatry. Maybe that's a consequence of things happening at an early adult age, and also because those who did directly use force were psychiatric staff. They are the ones I hold accountable for everything that happened, as they could have changed the course of things. I'm under the impression that this position would not be the "mainstream MBP" view. That's also likely a difference with non-psychiatric situations.
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Re: What happened to me?

Postby Terry E. » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:24 pm

I will give you more later, but it looks like she was using you to control him as well.

I think what we are discussing may well be MBP but a new modern day version of it.

Child abuse evolves with society.

As medicine evolves so will MBP.

This may well become the next challenge for child abuse.
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Re: What happened to me?

Postby grandpolly » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:02 am

Yes, she was. I indeed had that feeling 15 years ago. More generally, she was using us (not only me, I consider my brother to be the main victim) to control her own perception of her life story, not only my father. And importantly attempting to keep in sync her own perception with public perception. All that goes back to childhood and even before. By the way, her father was a medical doctor...

My worry is now how to reboot psychiatry. It seems an almost impossible task. I need to feel free and not threatened by it in order to reclaim the control on my life and attempt to find joy where I can. Haven't been able to go to work for a week. Feels like my life is again in jeopardy and is crashing down. I'll raise my head again, no doubt, but the damage is piling up rather unbearably, and I'll have to live with this cold-headed long-term will of suicide that's oddly incongruent with the fact that I never attempted any and likely never will have the "courage" to. There's no despair, but neither hope. Just a longing for the nonsense to stop for certain.
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Re: What happened to me?

Postby Terry E. » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:20 pm

grandpolly wrote:I agree that there is a difference, and I would absolutely never claim that it is the same as classic MBP.

The Classic MBP is what comes up in the orginal FBI profile - they are all different


In fact, it's difficult to compare, because while the damage being done in isolation is nowhere near the same magnitude as in classic MBP, the effects are quite strong nevertheless.

Actually in the classic case, which still get picked up (because the mothers are stupid) saves the child at an early age. there may be long term health consequences, but they are often saved from much worse damage.

It's rather fascinating, for instance, how I relate to other victims, with the added difference that the full damage really starts when you get to understand the full medical picture that is specific to psychiatry: that sense of enslavement to your records. It's also mindblowing to perceive, due to the psychological component of what I've lived through, how easily you can sink into the mind of a classic muncher.

Unless there is intervention MBP involves emotional and often physical abuse. They often have the same issues as other child abuse survivors, .. self esteem, trust, attachment issues, plus screwed up education .. etc

It is also used for control, definitely. But even the claim that more control is required to handle your kid plays into the psychological needs of the parents. I'm under the impression that psychological needs of the MBP mother are similar to classic MBP, but also more complex and also more moving. In a sense, it's more like "sporadic MBP" (i.e. waiting for opportunities and weaknesses)

a lot of MBP is sporadic, opportunistic, always staying one step ahead of the "this can't be right, is it the child or the mother we should be looking at"

than "obsessional MBP". And in my case, delusions were likely stronger than in classic MBP, (although I haven't settled down my opinion definitely on that).

My father is both in and both out of the MBP picture. In a sense, he's an instrument, but an instrument that needs to be convinced to step in through his own frame of mind. He has to cooperate for it to happen, as otherwise, hospitalisations would be much more difficult to carry through. That means he's lied to, but you need to incorporate truth in the lies.

My father was a brilliant man. Wound up from an impoverished background CFO on a large multinational, but gradually was made to see her version of the world. Even though he knew that if he told anyone else they would think HE was mad.

That's where confidence within the parenting couple, and a shared worldview (to enable the necessary hypocondria) both needs to play in. My father was dogmatically trusting to his partner (a trait I do share; trust issues came later on...) and the shared worldview came from the fact he was thoroughly imbued with psychoanalysis, which is the medium through which my parents came to meet, and the framework through which they came to conceptualise wanting me as a baby.

The behaviour in hospital is also weird. My mother did look out for psychiatrists that would play into her game; the criterion being typically (mod edit ) he'll be careful not to let my kid out soon enough". The last hospitalisation that she triggered had the psychiatrists diagnose me with a "paranoïac personality disorder" (good job, by the way), refuting other claims, and the non-relationship they entertained with my mother sent her in an outfit of rage: I was the mental patient holding the psychiatric staff back from using force on my mother: the world turned upside down...

Mum would up in a straight jacket and padded cell .. no exaggeration.. one of my happiest memories.It keeps me sane.


As the other poster said, the difficult thing is that a situation like this is indeed not clear cut and the concept of abuse is open to opinion: pathological vs. normal in psychiatry is very difficult to differentiate both in theory and on the records. And moreover, MBP is in and of itself a psychiatric issue. So you get very frightened of going ever more deeper in the psychiatric world and ever more frightened of coercion. It's a self-feeding cycle.
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Re: What happened to me?

Postby grandpolly » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:12 pm

Oh boy... I'm twisted: you made me grin!

By the way. The ear problems? No surgeries on my end, but I do relate...
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Re: What happened to me?

Postby grandpolly » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:29 am

Well, I've just googled up "Tympanostomy tube". Recommandation is "Recurrent acute otitis media: three ear infections in six months or four infections in a year." I'd almost forgotten about that... I thought until then that it was rather normal for otitis, I did not know the "recurrent" part of it...

And I just checked: it's indeed surgery. Perhaps not the same as in your family, but still...

Many other "small" things, like growth hormones, something like 4 stomach pumpings, useless eyeglasses, obsession about skin cancer leading to repeated ablation of weird skin buttons, therapy for scoliosis and kyphosis, gaslighting me and my brother about us being rivals up to a late age, very very frequent trips to a friend dentist of hers, weekly health checkups with her own daddy doctor, repeated (mod edit) bone injuries, repeated cold showers for anger management (they loved cold showers in psychiatric institutions in the seventies, must have felt like home, I guess), obsessions about treating my constipation, echoing her psychoanalytic beliefs concerning psychosis and fecal matters, constant freaking out on mad cow disease, beaming smile when my brother broke my nose and she had it fixed "better than the original" (as she claimed), endless shopping errands to the drugstore, psychoanalytic psychodrama for anger management between me and my brother, hypnosis therapy, et ceterae, et ceterae, et ceterae...

That's what I meant when I wrote that "childhood was OK". And I still do believe it: it's fairly low intensity compared to what it would have been had we not had this visit of social services after the fourth stomach pumping and the second or third chin bone fracture.

Moreover she's more addicted to (mod edit) than anyone I've met, popping pills since the 70s at incredibly high dosages. It's partly the fact that I discovered the extent of that addiction that led to the second psychiatric commitment for alleged violence.

Drama queen for sure, but she really snapped completely when her parents died.

Also linked, I believe to the tuberculosis she had in childhood. That was a trauma for her.

Another trauma she had was the inability she experience to save one of her patients from (mod edit ) in the 70s. Allegedly, the boy was excellent a school and he got a slightly-less-than-excellent mark and committed suicide. So goes the legend, at least.

The only thing I believe I need to rule out for MBP is whether or not she was fully delusional (when lying or dramatising or inducing), or not. There were sadistic elements in her behaviour, but I still haven't figured out whether they do fit in a psychoanalytic delusion or not.
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