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Munchausen's by Proxy - or am I just being paranoid?

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Munchausen's by Proxy - or am I just being paranoid?

Postby anotherfinemess » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:43 pm

Good evening all! I am posting this in the hope that someone will tell me not to be so silly and that I'm imagining things. I've certainly been spending too much time on my own. Think I'd better add that I'm a 48 year old female.

I've got a tricky relationship with my Mum and step-dad. Mum is can be very controlling & hyper-critical, while step-dad appears to tick all the boxes for NPD - he openly admits that if something doesn't directly involve him, he's not interested. I've spent my life walking on eggshells around both of them tbh! I've got a long history of health problems - CFS/ME, a heart condition, osteoporosis, Primary Ovarian Failure and a stoma bag due to a severe bowel disorder. Mum has designated herself my carer (in name only - she doesn't actually do an awful lot - her own health isn't too good these days either!)

During my childhood I had repeated severe ear infections (left me deaf in one ear which Mum didn't notice - an observant teacher did!). Mum also claimed I had glandular fever at 4 but a doctor told me several years ago after blood-work that I've never had glandular fever, or mono. I also had repeated strep throat which led to my tonsils being removed at age 26. Also, I suffered from mysterious headaches and tummy aches for which no cause was found.

I remember when I was a teenager undergoing tests for the Primary Ovarian Failure my Mum phoned the school office one day to speak to me - she told me that I didn't have cancer! I didn't even know I was being investigated for cancer & I'm pretty darn sure I wasn't - unless she meant a possible benign tumour on my pituitary gland which, I found out, was a possible cause of my symptoms. I thought at the time that was a weird thing for her to do.

When I was 19 I suffered a breakdown & spent 6 weeks in a psychiatric hospital. The doctors wanted to stop Mum from visiting me as they weren't happy about her influence (so Mum told me later). I discharged myself eventually.

Anyway, I'll admit I can be a tad paranoid & obsessive. But lately I have been emerging groggily from the fog I've spent most of my life in to realise the unhealthy nature of my relationship with my parents. And I'm wondering - am I a victim of some sort of Munchausen's By Proxy? Perhaps not full-blown but that Mum enjoyed the attention my illnesses gave her? A friend of both of us said recently that Mum was very self-centred and only saw my illnesses in the context of what they did to her, not what they did to me.

I have also learned that my Primary Ovarian Failure (which means I can't have children) was most likely caused by severe stress around the time of puberty. My Mum tells everyone it's hereditary. I haven't challenged her on it.

Am I imagining things? I'm not saying that Mum "gave" me any of my illnesses. She didn't force-feed me salt or anything like that! But are barely-recovered memories starting to surface here now I'm "waking up" a bit, or am I just paranoid? I'm feeling pretty guilty having posted this, but there are few places I could share it!
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Re: Munchausen's by Proxy - or am I just being paranoid?

Postby Veritatem » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:16 pm


I think if you have a gut feeling about this you may be correct.

I am only just uncovering similar themes that you mention (and also feel guilty and silly for doing so)

My mum also revolved her life and every conversation around my "illnesses and accidents" again from the angle of how it affected her. I am only just starting to see this. I'm not saying she caused them because I have had full blown FD myself since age 7 (or earlier) but I do remember her glorifying and exaggerating making things more sinister or urgent (probably where I learnt it from)

She also has many health conditions and talks repeatedly about them. She tries to label my children and topics of conversation are all doom and gloom.

My brother and I have recently worked out together (after years of separation and not getting on) that my mum gaslights and causes divides in such a complex but subtle way. So subtle that you think you must have imagined the whole thing Its only when you compare notes that things start to become clearer.

I would say trust your gut instinct.
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Re: Munchausen's by Proxy - or am I just being paranoid?

Postby stargazer47 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:17 pm


Sounds like you're right to be concerned. You know yourself best, and you were the other person in the room.

If there was another place for those to meet who have family and such that are affected, to meet and talk to one another with more anonymity, it would be nice, I think.

I am sorry for your pain.

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