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Think About It.... It is very important to talk to children about anger, about what they see in the world, and to evaluate the effects of the behavior they observe. Otherwise, their observations become the lesson itself.~ Jane Middelton-Moz, Ph.D., LCSW, Ultimate Guide to Transforming Anger
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Author Topic: Munchausen by proxy, it's real  (Read 2625 times)
Imstillstanding


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« on: September 12, 2010, 01:15:03 PM »

I haven't seen any posts on Munchausen by proxy syndrome. It's the worse kind of abuse! Not only does the abuser (usually mom) convince people that the child is sick, they feed of the sympathy of the people around her/him. They harm the child, then seek pitty. And it usually happens in pre-schoolers, so there's no evidence or testimony left behind.

I have a 5 yr old boy that was diagnosed with autism about 3 years ago. When I disovered BPD in my wife around the same time, everything started falling into place. I found out through the older kids that she wouldn't acknowledge, feed, care for my son while I was gone. But he was always in her arms when I was around. I would pretend I leave to work or on errand and shut the door and wait quietly by the door (inside the house) to see how she would treat him. I caught her in the act a lot, screaming at him, scaring him, just being a total monster. I'm not sure if she meant to abuse him and damage him in order to get attention, or if she just learned later that it was a good source of pitty. I figure it's the latter.

She would cry to doctors, relatives, friends, or anyone who would hear her that her son had autism and that it was such a terrible thing for her to deal with. I finally ran across this syndrome and figured out that she's doing it activley with kindergarten teachers, councelors now. She terrorized him about kinder, that he's gonna get arrested by security guards, that he can't play, and other scary stuff (according to the older kids) ... and then she goes to the school and has meetings to try to put him in special edcucation and that he's such a burden.

It's been a long struggle with my son but I've always kept my head up and thankfuly he's made a good recovery with the exception of some fine motor funcion skills and a mild speech delay.

It's a complicated concept, but it's very real. It's really sad because they don't leave marks or evidence. And the burning question is who does this kind of thing, if not someone with a personality disorder? I can't picture people with OCD, bipolar, schizo, or even antisocial and narcisism pd trying to elicit pitty from people this way.

Has anyone else noticed that mom hurts the kid(s) and then tries to get pitty from people, pretending that they are the real victims for having to deal with burden of caring for this sick child?
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JustSaying
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2010, 12:35:02 AM »

I saw it in a friend (ex-friend), with much the same story as you describe. Young child, autism, mom seeking personal sympathy at expense of kids. Disgusting stuff.  She was a diagnosed, and later institutionalized, schizophrenic.

I'm sorry this has happened with your son. It is fortunate he had you to save him from this fate. Are the behaviors of the mom still ongoing, or has something changed to prevent her from harming him further?
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Imstillstanding


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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2010, 03:34:28 AM »

We're going to court next week and I'm seeking full custody with supervised visitation. Right now we have shared custody and we should be divorced soon. She's still hurting my son emotionaly, psychologicaly, and physicaly. The other kids will tell me what happened during visitation with BPD mom. Usually screaming matches, spankings, cutting his nails (breaks my heart), puts them to sleep too late, doesn't feed them, scares them, shames them, emotionaly neglects them, etc.

If it ever happened around you, it would probably be very difficult to detect unless there are witnesses that are old enough to testify, or surveilance. I'm surprised there's not much on the subject in these forums. Does anyone suspect it may have happened or be happening? What about autism or asperger's?
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BehindTheScenes


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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 10:51:32 PM »

Glad to hear your son is better despite the situation. I have not witnessed Munchausen by proxy in my future DH's xuBPDgf with whom he has a small son. I am also not sure if your situation fits Munchausen by proxy exactly as I believe it occurs when people fake or make someone medically ill on purpose.

you wrote:
Quote
I'm not sure if she meant to abuse him and damage him in order to get attention, or if she just learned later that it was a good source of pitty. I figure it's the latter.

However, one of my DH's xuBPDgf's dysregulated behaviors is to exaggerate small illnesses as though they were life-threatening and to demand attention/cross boundaries because anything medical, no matter how small, is automatically (for her) an emergency. This has once resulted in a scary situation in which we feared harm for him.

I think that there is so much emotional material there for her, especially relevant to her personal history, that it may trigger her to be unable to regulate her emotions. With time I have picked up on a lot of her patterns, and the medical thing is definitely a trigger for things getting out of control.
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snowrose
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, 10:01:29 PM »

I can't picture people with OCD, bipolar, schizo, or even antisocial and narcisism pd trying to elicit pitty from people this way.

Has anyone else noticed that mom hurts the kid(s) and then tries to get pitty from people, pretending that they are the real victims for having to deal with burden of caring for this sick child?

It's been well-documented on this board that BPDs will play the victim for anything that's happening.  They have a need to be the center of attention, so a sick child (whether the illness is real or imagined) is only a stage for them to stand on and gather their own attention.

I'm glad that it sounds like your son is recovering.   x
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Trying to keep my balance while helping others grow.
JustSaying
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 10:19:33 PM »

Quote
It's been well-documented on this board that BPDs will play the victim for anything that's happening.

It get's almost comical at times, if you're able to dissociate enough to watch the dance, rather than get enmeshed in it. I once shared with her the news of a family member who'd just received a potential cancer diagnosis. The very first words out of her mouth were, "I was scared once that I had cancer." Heck? How was this about YOU?

Another time I mentioned a 69 car wreck on a freeway, and her response was, "A car almost hit me on the way home." No empathy for the true victims, no comment on their story at all. Their misery is just a canvas on which she can paint her tales of victimhood.

Some good that's come of it is that I'd never become that stereotypical male who whines about the slightest illness, because it'd just be fodder for how she has worse or feels worse. Ha!
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Imstillstanding


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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 01:39:33 AM »

Quote
It's been well-documented on this board that BPDs will play the victim for anything that's happening.
"I was scared once that I had cancer." WTH? How was this about YOU?

Yes, very comical! Anytime there was a funeral, my BPDw would do the same. Some how she was the victim of this tragedy. She would be even more theatrical than the close relatives of whomever had died. And when I didn't validate her mourning, I was a total jerk, etc. She had to be the center of that attention one way or the other.

I am also not sure if your situation fits Munchausen by proxy exactly as I believe it occurs when people fake or make someone medically ill on purpose.

Severe psychological/emotional abuse and neglect can make a child ill, may be hard to prove they are medically ill, but psychologicaly yes. And on top of that she exaggerates everything in order to make herself look like a martyr. She fits your description very well.

Nobody is born with an instict to cause a child's illness in order to feed off of people's pitty and sympathy. It has to be something learned. Somewhere along the line the BPD had a sick relative, etc and learned that it was a good source of attention. And who is better equipped to be pulling something like this, other than pwBPD. There's so much more on this subject that needs to be explorerd.
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Scott828
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 05:09:22 PM »

Mother of my S5, has played this card alot, in last 3 years. All I see, is a perfectly sensible and grounded son, and her behaviour will make him "not right" eventually, if not stopped.

At court for a year. Final trial in Nov, here's hoping.

Their behaviour is sickening and disgraceful to say the least.

Best wishes
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logicalark

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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2010, 08:26:51 PM »

My xwbp has been doing something very similar. We have a d7 with Down syndrome. She "loads" her with knowledge designed to make me look like I sexually abuse her. At times it changes and she starts saying things designed to make it look like I am always angry and talking about fighting. The mother gets to look like a victim by proxy. I think it is a little more advanced but must be fairly common. Fortunately I head the train off at the pass and report my observations to the therapist.
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tiredhusbandfather
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2010, 11:51:39 AM »

Is this a common thing with BPDs?  I have always wondered about my BPDw and her constant assertions that there are multiple things wrong with our children.  The latest floored me:  my D15 came home from school and told me that her mom had put on a school form that D15 is blind in one eye!  Not true, of course.  Now I'm wondering the best way to handle this with the school.  I listened to D15, validated, told her that is not true, as she knows, and that I would handle things with the school. . . Now, what to do?  Suggestions are most welcome.
Thanks
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