Includes MS, Munchhausen, and the death of a parent.
This is definitely my biggest article so far and I know its pretty intense. Just stick to the end because there is a happy ending.
In my “about me” page I skimmed over a big part of my life. I want to tell you more about that but if you don’t like sad stories then you may want to click away and pick a different article. I certainly don’t like sad stories but it helps to know that at the end my family is happy! I wouldn’t normally put this article here but I get one comment more frequently than most. “Why are you married? You are so young. You haven’t even lived life yet!” It upsets me more than others because they couldn’t possibly know how much life a person has lived. Here is my story so far.
So as you know if you read my first part I grew up in a happy yellow house with a mom, dad, and a sister. I was very blessed. I had toys and a home and a family and I was very very loved. In 1st grade I was diagnosed with ADHD. This made school VERY hard. I was also extremely hyper so no one really wanted to be my friend. I was fine with that. I had an imaginary freind (didn’t we all). I was happy to just spend time with family and my IF. My mom was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) when I was in 4th grade. I did’nt really understand what this was but my mom had migraines all the time and couldn’t walk very well.
In 5th grade my mom put me through Eating Disorder Intensive Outpatient Therapy EDIOP. I was forced to expand my stomach at a fast pace while going to therapy. They would set a very specific diet and tell me I had to eat it in 20 minutes and finish it all or I’d have to drink a strawberry calorie drink. I didn’t understand why I had to do this though at the time because I wasn’t anorexic. I took this as an opportunity to help everyone else in group therapy. I told them about all of my favorite foods and made them feel beautiful and loved as much as I could. I remember this one morning I had to eat 2 pancakes 2 sausages, a yogurt, and grits. My normal breakfast was maybe a bowl of cereal or 1 piece of french toast and some water. I just didn’t have the stomach to fit that much. I tried my best to finish all the food but I was so full. I was crying and trying my best but I threw up. My mom yelled at me and made me drink 2 insures because I threw up. It was the worst morning I can remember. One afternoon my mom fell and couldn’t get up anymore. She was paralyzed from the waist down. I was convinced that I was doing this to her so I really stepped it up in therapy. They gave me a feeding tube and told me that I was getting worse. I believed them. No one would look at me at school. Adults would leave the room when I walked in. I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I was helping my mom and getting better! My doctors put me on house arrest for a the rest of the school year so that they could monitor me closer and so I wouldn’t accidentally exercise.
In 6th grade, I had gained 30 pounds so I was allowed to go back to school. My mom was getting worse. We got a hospital bed in our big happy yellow house. My mom got a fancy power chair and a nurse who would visit the house periodically to help give her showers and help with chores. The doctors told me that I was fine now! The therapist said that she better not see me again. I told her not to worry and that I was fine. I got my feeding tube removed and people were talking to me again. I got a friend at school who made me feel wanted. My ADHD was really bad this year and my teacher didn’t know how to handle it so he would get aggressive. He would throw my belongings around and yell so much his face would get red. I forgive him though. There was a vein that stuck out on his neck that I could see beating on the days that I was really hard to teach. My mom was getting better at driving her chair so there were less black marks on the nice white walls in the happy yellow house. My mom put me on depression pills and sleep aids. These helped my ADHD to be more manageable.
Things were pretty quiet until 9th grade. When I started high school I met a lot of different people that could be my friends! Since My ADHD was now just ADD I actually made some friends. In the first semester of my freshman year my mom had a major episode with her MS and we couldn’t take care of her anymore. She was moved into a long term care facility and we were told to say goodbye. I prepared to loose my mom and decide what to wear to the valentines day dance at the same time. My friends at school made a huge card and made my whole class sign it (it was a pretty small high school). I got to meet all of my mom’s family that lived in different countries and we took pictures and had a sermon and made promises to live the best lives we possibly could. Then she got better. Just like that. I mourned someone who wasn’t leaving. We visited all the time and gave her flowers and made her feel loved My life got really busy with school and crushes and I visited my mom once a week. Whenever I’d see her she would have something new wrong with her. As the year progressed I visited her less and less. It was so painful to see her fall apart. I would call her all the time and send her emails while my dad would go see her. I felt that I already didn’t have my mom anymore. Her MS had eaten the parts of her that made her my mom and what was left was the shell that looked like my mom but only yelled at doctors and complained about pain. She didn’t say I love you anymore unless her morphine was turned up. My stomach was in so much pain all the time and I still couldn’t smell strawberry protein drinks without wanting to cry.
Fast forward to 11th grade. I was visiting my mom maybe once a month. She was slurring her speech now and was cursing at me. I only visited her now so that in rare case she was lucid she might remember I loved her and missed her. After a while she stopped waking up for our visits so we’d write her notes in a notebook. She loved those at first. After a while she thought that it was strangers writing on her stuff so she wrote a note back to us saying that we better leave her stuff alone. We stopped leaving notes.
I was too distracted with my mom’s sickness in 11th grade to do well at all at school so I had to drop out and attend an online school for senior year. At the half point of senior year my mom caught pneumonia. She already couldn’t breathe so the doctor told us to say goodbye. Again. She said she had a week. She passed away in 2 days. I wasn’t there when she passed but my dad told me that she saw bubbles. When she died I was my family’s rock. I comforted her friends at her funeral. I was my sister’s shoulder to cry on. I had mourned her 3 years ago. My dad stepped up after my mom died and he blossomed into a great dad and an amazing friend. My dad, sister, and I were extremely close after this. We were best friends. I was the mediator if hey had arguments and we’d would always come out of it better. My dad was pretty new at being a parent so I stepped into those shoes and filled that role for my sister. I was her mom figure from that moment on. At the end of high school I got a job at this little ice cream store near my old high school. Little did I know that 2 short months after my mom passed away I would meet my husband.
After I got married and moved out, my dad remarried this amazing woman who completes my dad in all the ways my mom hadn’t in years. He had his gleam back in his eyes. I was nice to see my best friend happy again. They decided to sell that big happy yellow house and move into a beautiful grey house with his new beautiful bride. To this day I miss that big happy yellow house and I hope that whoever lives there now makes bigger happier memories in that big happy yellow house.
Now, let me fill in some gaps. I found an old psych eval last year from when I was in 4th grade. The year this all started. On the front cover it said in dark letters “Mom is diagnosed schizophrenic who is not currently on medication.” This started to make some things make sense but I dug deeper. I called my mom’s sister and asked her if she knew anything about this. She asked if I really wanted to know the truth. I hesitantly said yes. the information she gave me was like the last piece of the puzzle that was lost in a couch cushion for years. She said that my mom struggled with Munchhausen growing up. In case you are not familiar, that is when someone fakes an illness for sympathy. She would wrap bandages around her legs and pretend she fell, or she would use crutches when she didn’t need them to make strangers fell bad for her. It’s common for people with Munchhausen that when they have kids it turns into Munchhausen by proxy. That is when a parent fakes an illness on their child to get sympathy. In some cases the parents actually secretly hurt their kids. My mom gave me a fake eating disorder to gain sympathy. The intense therapy really gave me stomach problems. Whenever her MS would get bad my “eating disorder” would get worse. My mom switched medical providers at the beginning so she could fake my weight loss. We don’t know how much of her MS was real. She was also a narcotics abuser as a teenager so when she was in the hospital on the Norco or Morphine drip she was probably faking pain to get more. That is why she would only say I love you when she was high. That’s why she stopped waking up on visits. That is why her personality faded away. The only place where my mom was my mom was in that big happy yellow house. I forgive her. She was sick. I know that I was loved and she knows that I loved her.
In conclusion, I am married and it is the happiest thing to happen to me in a long time. Telling me that I made the wrong choice is not helpful. God gave me my husband earlier than most and I am infinitely grateful. Those experiences gave me my passion to help others feel wanted and loved. Those experiences gave me the ability to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. They gave me the ability to forgive freely and without hesitation. I am who I am because of my experiences. Now I am on my journey to find my big happy yellow house with my best friend.