Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My Own Munchausen

After writing my post yesterday about the book I'm reading My Sweet Angel, which covers the topic of Munchausen by proxy, I read a little more about that disorder online here.

Munchausen by Proxy is psychological disorder in which "the parent (usually the mom) either fabricates an illness or induces an illness in their child." As I had previously mentioned, I've read about that topic before and found it fascinating.  It all sounds so gross and pathetic for a mother to get such pleasure out of all the attention that comes with having a sick kid.

The part of the term "by proxy" is defined in the urban dictionary as "the ability to do or be something without actually physically doing it."  Oddly, you don't find much online about Munchausen without the by proxy.

I got to thinking about my own odd childhood behaviors around the topic of Munchausen.  When I was early elementary school age, I loved "being sick" and staying home from school.  Mom would make a trip up to the school to pick up my homework, the teacher would send me little "get well soon" note, and I got to eat jello and watch tv all day. Fun! Once, in 3rd grade, I missed a solid 2 weeks of school due to a SEVERE cold.

Another time, around that same age, a girl in my class broke her arm and got a lot of attention.  It seemed pretty awesome to me as I watched people fawn all over her.  Her cast was signed and decorated by all the kids in the class.  It looked like such a fun adventure that I wanted a broken bone too!  So I started jumping off our trampoline in the backyard at home, landing in odd positions in the hopes that something would break.  But, I was apparently made of pretty tough stuff and nothing broke.  I did however, somehow talk my mom into getting me a sling for my fake injured arm.  But the sling just wasn't as cool as a cast and I never even wore it to school.

Moving along with a new tactic for injury, I tried hitting my ankle with my baton over and over until it looked a little red and swollen.  I claimed that someone stepped on it during storytime at school.  Mom actually took me to the doctor, and although it wasn't broken, maybe it was sprained or strained he said, so.... I got crutches!  I totally one upped the other girl in my glass with the arm cast. I needed even more help and attention than she did because of my crutches.  All the fun came to a quick end after about 2 days.  I was getting blisters on my armpits from those crutches because they were rubbing against my skin.  Painful.  Although I wanted attention for having a fake broken bone, I did not want the pain.  So, I ditched the crutches, claimed a miraculous recovery, and went on with my life.

Thank God I got over my Munchausen.
And thank God my Mom never had it by Proxy!


Valerie said...

Haha! Oh my goodness--lesson learned! I remember my sister feeling similarly--she wanted a broken leg. She also wanted our parents to be divorced because she thought it sounded cool to have two homes to visit. She also wanted braces because everyone else had them. This was the only thing she actually got.

Kerri said...

Valerie! That is so funny. The thing about the home visits!!! Well, I'm glad she got braces, and that your parents did NOT get the divorce she naively hoped for. I have a feeling it totally wouldn't have lived up to her expectations! ;)