“Mom, you make me sick!”

I like watching true crime videos, and I thought this one was interesting. Kathy Bush was the Perfect Mother and an activist for health care reform. She is also a malignant narcissist who deliberately kept her young daughter Jennifer seriously ill in order to garner attention for herself from the medical establishment. This type of child abuse is known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

Here’s how Wikipedia defines Munchausen syndrome:

Munchausen syndrome, is a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention, sympathy, or reassurance to themselves. It is also sometimes known as hospital addiction syndrome, thick chart syndrome, or hospital hopper syndrome. True Munchausen syndrome fits within the subclass of factitious disorder with predominantly physical signs and symptoms, but they also have a history of recurrent hospitalization, travelling, and dramatic, untrue, and extremely improbable tales of their past experiences.

Munchausen syndrome by proxy is when a parent, usually a mother, deliberately makes their child ill to obtain attention and sympathy. They often become overinvolved in the child’s treatment procedures but their intent to is have control over the treatments so they can be sabotaged. It’s common for a mother who victimizes their child this way to be knowledgeable about medical procedures and protocol. They may have worked in medical professions such as nursing.

For Kathy, not only did she gain attention and plenty of sympathy from her entire community, it also provided a way for her to lobby for health care reform and get noticed by none other than Hilary Clinton, who took sympathy on Kathy and Jennifer as well.

Pay close attention to Kathy during her interviews. Although she tries to feign emotion and manages to even make herself cry, notice how dead looking her eyes are and how her words seem rehearsed, as if she’s reading from a script. Creepy!

By the time she reached her teens, Jennifer decided she wanted nothing to do with the calculating, narcissistic mother who almost killed her.

This comment under the video was interesting:

ASPD and malignant narcissism. Son’s are probably GC (golden child) while daughter is SG (scapegoat child). Reading through transcripts about her and reports from neighbors, friends, family etc, she had a pattern for years. It suggested histrionic behaviors as well as constant gaslighting (rewriting history to be in HER favor). It also suggested she regarded herself as the consummate victim and had a grandiose sense of self importance. Lastly, other things listed also described her as having a pathological desire to be admired and praised and would take credit for other peoples accomplishments. Invalidating others while justifying herself also seemed to on the menu as well.

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4 thoughts on ““Mom, you make me sick!”

  1. I wonder if there is a name for people who have children who already have an illness, and they use that for their own self-aggrandizement. I’ve known a couple of people who have lived that way. It always seemed related to mbp to me.

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    • It’s probably still called mbp, even if the child is already sick without the parent’s “help.” I would imagine in such a case, the parent wouldn’t really want the child to get well, but to keep them sick because of all the attention it brings to the poor suffering parent.

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  2. I’ve been reading here for a few days. Just recently out of a relationship with a narcissist. Found out today he sexually abused his daughters too. As the daughter of two narcissists I felt as though I was safe in confronting him about paying me some money he owed, etc. Now after finding out he is obviously sicker than I thought, I’m wondering if he’s going to try to hurt me. I have moved 3,200 miles away and he’s basically lazy. Should I be afraid? I’m living with my son but don’t know anyone else here. Should I be seeking out local resources? Any advice?

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, welcome to my blog and I’m sorry you are going through this.
      I can’t vouch for your safety , although 3200 miles is a lot and he’d have to be very determined (and rich) to stalk you if he’s that far away.
      It’s probably a good idea to check out local resources, including services for abused women just in case you need them. At least it might give you some peace of mind even if you don’t actually need their services.
      But don’t be afraid to live your life either, or do what you want. That’s what you’re
      trying to get away from–his control over you. Even after you’ve left, they can still hold control over our minds and make us feel afraid. They want you to feel that way. If you can work up some anger right now, it’s healthy and will override any fear.

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