I Survived a Mother (I believe has) Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy

Amy Punt
6 min readFeb 15, 2022
Photo: Clker-Free-Vector-Images “Girl Sleeping” Pixabay

Trigger Warning: Child Sexual Abuse discussion ahead.

For many of us, lockdown changed our lives. It gave us, for better or worse, the chance to be alone with our thoughts. This has resulted in a massive shift in the employee/employer power paradigm as many workers refused to return to abusive bosses and inadequate pay once the lockdown ended. What’s more, any stigma that may have lingered over talk therapy has evaporated. Lockdown revealed to us that we’re not alone in our pain, what’s more, pain seems to be more the norm than the exception. And our old coping mechanisms: excessive consumption of alcohol, food, overworking, endless posting on social media and hanging out with friends, even religion, just doesn’t hold a candle to the actual work of facing the pain with a qualified professional.

After decades of struggling with triggers I could never explain to myself and all-consuming mental anguish that beleaguered my days and wrenched me from sleep each night, I found a therapist who could finally help me. Through trauma work and eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing EMDR, I am clawing my way back to balance and productivity. I always knew I came from an abusive home and that I suffered from poor parenting and sexual abuse. I didn’t, however, fully understand the scope of it, or my mother’s role in it, until I began uncovering the horrific events of my past.

And that’s in large part thanks to lockdown. Though unlike other workers, I must continue to labor in a job that fails to meet my financial responsibilities, and often feels like it’s retraumatizing me, I won’t stop pursuing my potential as I heal. Exploring that will be another post for another day, but today, I want to tell you about my mother.

I’m going to say things I was never meant to know, much less tell. I may open myself up to legal liability. OK, so I will allege the things I’m about to say. But the truth has its weight. It persists against all odds and the most complex obfuscation. Even if I wanted this to remain hidden, the truth reveals itself. So I can get on board with it and allow it to carry me to health, or, I cannot and continue to suffer under the lies my mother has worked so relentlessly to weave so tightly around myself, my two brothers, and my now…

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Amy Punt

As a child, writing saved my sanity. As an adult, writing saved my life. Now, I write in hopes of helping someone else.