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BM with Münchausen syndrome?

Widget19's picture

Hello all. I have pored through all of the posts here and haven't seemed to find anyone with the same issue. Does anyone have a BM in their life with suspected Münchausen syndrome? BF's ex is constantly 'ill' and uses this excuse to lose jobs all the time and drop SS8 on us whenever she wants. She is very manipulative and somehow gets multiple doctors to believe her tales. DH even believes her sometimes and it makes me crazy! my brother's ex was the same way and I'm always amazed when I meet people like this as how the hell do they get people to believe them and where to they find these enablers to surround themselves with? It's nuts. BM once told BF she was in hospital with a temp of 53 degrees Celsius

Widget19's picture

You're so right! They know how to manipulate the system to get as much as they can from anyone.

My ex is a narcissist/sociopath and he's faking amnesia so he qualifies for benefits (as he wouldn't qualify otherwise for anything).

I have met lots of people that I suspect are faking celiac disease just to get attention from everyone from waiters at restaurants to their families, kids, friends, boss, etc.

uofarkchick's picture

I lived in a state where it seemed like doctors would sign off on anything to get people on disability. I met one woman who was too depressed to work. She wasn't too depressed to go out and go shopping or hang out with her friends but she just couldn't make it to work. My brother's ex was too violent to work. She flies in to violent rages if she doesn't get her way. My ex was trying to get on disability because he is too addicted to meth to work.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

If a parent makes a child sick so the parent can get attention it is called Munchausen by Proxy. Munchausen Syndrome applies to an individual.

People with Munchausen seek medical attention to fulfill a severe emotional need. They will fake illnesses and even harm themselves in order to get the attention they crave.
It is relatively rare.

Hypochondriacs actually believe there is something wrong with them and won't believe it when a doctor tells them they are fine. They will keep trying to get a doctor to believe them.

Widget19's picture

We haven't had to deal with munchausen by proxy (thank goodness!). Munchausen syndrome is a legitimate mental illness so I don't expect her to change whatsoever and definitely wouldn't force her...I refuse to even talk to her!

She is in hospital at least once a month with a new illness every damn time. You'd think one of the doctors would click and realise she's really good at faking symptoms and is there all the time! She craves the attention and sympathy of those around her, including SS who is always so worried about his mom and how she's feeling when he's with us. I am so tempted to just tell him she's faking it but would never.

Apparently her mother is the exact same way. SS had to have his vaccinations at the hospital with a doctor she'd managed to convince that her kids/grandkids were allergic to the multi-vaccine (the ones that contain more than 1, don't know the medical term) and had to have them separately. So the poor kid had about 6 needles each time rather than 2. Nuts

Widget19's picture

The fact that she's in my life makes it affect me. Her faking illness to pawn SS onto us, SS starting to act the same way, etc.

Widget19's picture

You're absolutely right that DH has a responsibility to parent his son. But constantly having to have SS picked up because BM is apparently sick is just not right. We'd be happy to have him more but then she knows we'd have him more than her and DH wouldn't necessarily need to pay child support. So she keeps him more days out of the year on paper per se (as there's no custody agreement) then feels like she deserves child support, but fakes illness so she doesn't have to deal with SS and gets attention and money at the same time.

SS attends school close to BMs house which is not close to ours as she is supposed to have him week days. Fair enough if it's a one-off but it's becoming a constant thing with her. DH has to take time off work to drop off and pick up at school as my kids schools are in the other direction from SS' school.

notsobad's picture

I think it's a part of narcissism in the BM I deal with.

If she isn't the centre of attention, she's suddenly ill. A migraine or an upset stomach.
DH said she did it their entire marriage. They'd be at a party and if no one was talking to her she'd suddenly be ill and have to be taken care of. Sometimes they'd leave but most often she'd just need a tea or a shot, lots of people saying are you ok? Feeling better? And she'd be fine.
At his fathers 60th birthday she suddenly had a migraine and needed to be taken home. DH said no, if you are so sick go sit in the car and we'll leave when the kids and I are ready. The marriage was near the end and everyone was tired of her bs.

Widget19's picture

That's absolutely narcissism. Ive dealt with that as well and it's horrid. You must have fun dealing with her :jawdrop:

notsobad's picture

Oh yes, she is.
DH is very good at dealing with her and keeping her away from me and our relationship.
Plus, the skids are adults and even though she tried, she wasn't able to PAS them.

Widget19's picture

That's great and pretty rare. Do the SKids know their mom is sick? my daughters biodad is a narc/sociopath and dealing with them is exhausting...don't know how DH manages to keep her away from you but good on him for it!!

notsobad's picture

Not really. They do try to keep her happy and fulfill her need to be the centre of attention. I think they honestly think she's a normal Mom, that she just loves them and this is how all Mothers are. That if you love your Mom you put her first, always!
However, she's said so many things about other people that she almost has to hold herself to the same standard.

As an example. When SD was dating and very serious about a guy, BM put him down and said he was a bad BF when he spent Xmas with his family instead of being with SD and her family. BM said if he really loved her, he'd be wherever she was. He wouldn't ever want to be apart from her, just like DH when they were dating. (Yeah, right whatever)
Fast forward to SS telling BM he's spending Xmas with his GF and not coming home. BM lost it! Cried and yelled, said he must not love her (BM) anymore.
SS said no, I'm just being a good BF and reminded BM of what she'd said about SDs ex and DH.
BM did try to make SSs GF out to be the controlling one but again SS didn't buy it. He told BM she was the controlling one and that he was doing what HE wanted. She'd taught him to put the most important woman in his life first, that woman isn't BM anymore.

I don't know how bad she was when DH was around but somehow he was able to keep her craziness at a minimum. Everyone loves DH. I've never heard anyone, other than BM, say a bad thing about him.

She also has a sister who is 1000x worse than she is and everyone talks about how crazy the sister is. BM is very effected by what other people think and her image. I think she's terrified that the skids and others will compare her to her sister. Plus, she's said so many bad things about the sister that she can't do the things sis has done without looking like an idiot.

we had some craziness from her in the beginning but when SS aged out he told the skids that he was divorced from BM. He never wanted to speak to her again. If they needed anything they could come to him. If he heard from BM that they needed something, they wouldn't get it.

Sweet T's picture

My ex husband is that way. In his MMPII test they diagnosed him with possible Somataform disorder. Google it. The person actually believes they are ill when they are not.

Thumper's picture

Has DH thought about modifying the current court order?

It is better for the child to know she can count on going to dads since mom is dropping him/her off on whims. THAT is not ok for the child. Poor thing doesn't know what is going on.

All Parents should be helping out when the other parent is ill. THAT is totally different than a parent doing what your bm is. A change of visitation should be strongly considered when it is on going. This is for the sake of child so she/he has security. Right now your step child doesn't have that.

I would tell bm ...sure drop the child off---and file modification.

Widget19's picture

Unfortunately there is no court order in place and there never has been. They've always had a verbal agreement that DH gets SS every weekend and every school holiday. That has never changed. I've advised DH to go to court and get something in writing but he doesn't feel it's necessary as this works for them. Fair enough I guess but he has no legal recourse if she does something like take off to another city (2 hours away) on a whim which she has done in the past!

Funnily enough, she's just been admitted to hospital (apparently) we will have SS for the rest of the week and weekend. Not complaining as I'd rather he be here than there but it's a huge ball ache as he's in school close to her house and we can't get all 3 kids to school on time as they're in different schools and DH now has to take his mornings and afternoons off to drop off and pick up SS from school.