Cover Image: My Mother, Munchausen's and Me

My Mother, Munchausen's and Me

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Member Reviews

An intriguing and shocking book 
I kept reading it and couldn't put it down but a difficult subject and heartbreak for the family
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"I'd read several survivors of narcissistic parents, describe their childhood as being trapped in a dark cellar lit only by a flashlight... In his allegory Plato imagined a group of people chained from birth in a cave, facing a blank wall. Behind them  burned a fire, the only source of light, and all the prisoners could see - their only experiences of the world - were the shadows of puppet performance put on behind them by their captors. Mum had been my fire and my puppet master. "

".... Her cleaner, hairdressers, and counsellors are kept in her debt, whether by giving them extravagant presents, loaning money or insisting on paying for meals when they went out. Easily mistakable for  generosity, Elinor used this technique to control those around her"
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This is one of those books that's hard to read, but 100% necessary. I knew a bit about Munchausen's by Proxy, but not much about just Munchausen's. It was really interesting getting a first-hand account of it. 

I do agree with some reviewers that sometimes it didn't come across as abuse but on the other hand, nobody knows just how bad it was except for Helen. It's never easy to write about your own trauma, so I can't discount what she went through. 

I definitely recommend this one. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my eARC.
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A harrowing tale of a life lived with a narcissistic, abusive mother. I found myself shaking my head at the ever more dramatic and outrageous behaviour Elinor (Helen's mother) was portraying. It is absolutely unbelievable at times and I really felt for our author throughout.

Munchausen's is something that has intrigued me for a while, so when this memoir popped up for me to read, I knew it was going to be an interesting one. 

Very well written and easy to follow with memories of Helen from her childhood, through to her adult life with diary entries from her mother interwoven.

<i>Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review.</i>.
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An utterly fascinating book - I was gripped by this, and it was written with a flexibility and skill not always found in misery memoir.
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An insightful read and one which will stay with me a long time. Thank you for allowing me to read your story.
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First of all, I feel like I can’t give this a proper rating because of the genre so I’m giving it 5* because it’s harrowing and so heartbreaking what she went through. So this was on my TBR for quite a while and I truthfully didn’t pick it up as I knew it was a different read that I’m normally used to and I wanted to give it my full attention. 

When I just started this, I actually saw an interview on This Morning with Helen and it was so heartbreaking listening to her story but it made me want to read her book more. I’ve heard of Munchausen’s before but not too much, mainly just the story of Gypsy and her mum. This story was heartbreaking, I can’t imagine the life Helen’s had and the trauma she’s had to face and deal with. 

Definitely had many shocking moments in, such an interesting read and I’d definitely recommend it to those wanting to know more!
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I find the topic of my munchausens extremely fascinating. While most books discuss “by proxy” , this was almost the opposite, a child dealing with her mother faking illness and inflicting pain on herself. I felt a great deal of sympathy towards the author. I felt her mother was evil at times. At points the narrative was a bit repetitive but still a very interesting story.
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A story that was hard to read and digest but equally as hard to put down!

I'm a fan of true life books so was immediately grabbed by the cover of this one. Munchausens is one of those diagnoses that we have all heard about but it feels like it's also one of those that's a secret myth that nobody actually really knows anything about. 

This was insightful from the very start., not only the actual illness side but also highlighting the cracks and failure within the care system which seems even more prevalent in this day and age.

One thing I would add to the story though is more of her mothers diary entries like she did towards the end of the book to the beginning of the book where Helen tells her own childhood memories. 

I don't want to go into any detail as it will defhgive spoilers but I will say this is one hell of a memoir and I cant applaud Helen enough for her bravery in reliving it to put it on paper. I hope in some way it was cathartic and has helped you heal.

*Trigger warning:there are an awful lot of triggers within this book; abuse, criminal abuse, neglect, narcissism* 

Huge thanks to netgalley and Thread Books for the ARC.
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This was an interesting read. I love to learn about different perspectives and this was a deep dive on Munchausens. I recommend!
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I loved this book, it was so well written and so engaging and the authors story of what she went through with her mother and her mothers illness was completely fascinating, although I am sure it wasnt to live through it.  I was really taken by Helen and found myself detesting her mother. Such a good read for anyone that is fascinated by medical memoirs, psychology or mental health.
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I recently read My Mother, Munchausens and Me and found myself deliberating on how to put into words how I felt about it. How do you say “hey, sorry your life sucked but I loved it” because that’s what I fee like I am going to sound like. Not that I loved that the author had a traumatic relationship with her mother, though in too many ways I can resonate with this, but I enjoyed learning about Munchausens and narcissism in general. I was intrigued with her mother’s antics and found myself thinking “no she didn’t!” or “what’s she going to do next?” throughout the entirety of the book. While I disliked her mother, I do recognize that in many ways she was mentally ill, and I was really rooting for her to get medical help and repair their relationship. It was informational, interesting, and heartbreaking but I very much enjoyed it.
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What an interesting book and audiobook on so many levels.

First, I loved that Helen Naylor narrated it herself.  I find that especially with non-fiction when an author reads their story, there is just so much more that they give to the delivery of the book than if someone else narrated it.  

Then the actual story.  My only "experience" with Muchausen's is through tv and film and when it is portrayed it is typically that an adult is manipulating a child into looking/being sick to get attention for themselves and the child, so to read a book where the person with Munchausen's is manipulating on their own behalf was so eye opening.  I kept talking to everyone I knew about this book I was listening to because it described Munchausen in a way I had never heard and to hear it from someone who experienced it first hand was just interesting.
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Absolutely brilliant, shocking, unputdownable account of living with a mother with (undiagnosed) Munchausen's.
It is astonishing and heartbreaking to think what the author has put up with, and yet she writes with absolutely no self pity - the writing has a light touch, which belies the horror of her situation, and makes it, therefore, more devastating. I read it in a day and would recommend it to absolutely anyone!
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My heart aches for anyone who experiences this kind of trauma, but what resilience shines through. Absorbing account of living through a devastating illness of a parent, and the damages done by lies and illness,
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Everything Helen knew about herself and her upbringing was founded on a lie. The unexplained accidents and days spent entirely on her own as a little girl, imagining herself climbing into the loft and disappearing into a different world, tell a story of neglect. As a teenager, her mother’s advice to Helen on her body and mental health speaks of dangerous manipulation. My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me is a heart-breaking, honest and brave account of a daughter unravelling the truth about her mother and herself. It’s a story of a stolen childhood, mental illness, and the redemptive power of breaking a complex and toxic bond.

This is a very difficult and troubling book. I have come across many cases of Munchausen's and Munchausen's by proxy while working as an emergency care nurse. I do feel as though the author is still trapped and has not dealt with everything that did happen and that does come across quite a lot in the book. I'm not sure if it is how the book has been written and the format used but it is difficult to flow. I hope the author has now found peace. 

The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
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I want to start my review by warning people that there are many trigger warnings in this book, so please read this book and my review with care! 

My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me is a memoir following Helen and her harrowing relationship with an abusive and narcissistic mother. 

I was drawn to this book because of the title. I’m not a huge non-fiction fan but I do love reading memoirs about people who have lived through a unique experience. The insight memoirs like this can give is so so important. Being able to see the cracks in the system, the moments when they failed someone and caused great harm, allows us to try and stop it happening again. The only reason I did not give this 5 stars is because something was slightly lacking for me, although I cannot pinpoint what that is. 

What really struck me was how cleverly this book was written. I felt like I followed Helen on her journey. At first I found myself doubting her story, maybe her mum really was just extremely unwell. But as the book went on my eyes opened alongside Helen’s. I was left with shivers/goosebumps running through me in the last couple of chapters as the sheer extent of the situation was discussed. Writing and publishing something like this takes so much strength. I applaud Helen for having the courage to share her story and her life with us. This will definitely be a book that stays with me.

I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in memoirs, although please be wary of possible triggers. I would like to thank Netgalley, the publishers and Helen Naylor for allowing me to read this book and give my personal thoughts.
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This book seemed unreal to me, even though it's a true story. It's just unimaginable that a mother will allow her child to suffer, so that she can receive attention and pity from others. It really opened my eyes to Munchasen and that is truly is a mental illness, not just a passive thing people try to get attention with. This book was definitely filled with suspense and sadness, but at the same time, joy and overcoming. Helen did what she could and even more than most would think was necessary. She really only stopped being the "good daughter" when she realized she had to protect her heart and she had to protect her children. She knew she couldn't be the best mom to her children if she was allowing her heart to break and putting her mother first, when her mother seemingly didn't even put herself first, over her acts of "sickness". This is a very interesting look into mental illness and what some will do for attention and sympathy.
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This is a really interesting insight into living with a parent with Munchausen’s syndrome. 

Helen’s life in entirely dominated by her mothers illnesses and disabilities, but she learns they were all made up. 

Helen takes us through her life from childhood to her mother’s death. 

Her story is shocking, harrowing and heartbreaking, though her resilience shines through. 
I mainly read this in audiobook form which is narrated by the author herself. Helen did a fantastic job narrating and doing so really brought her story to life for me. 

There’s an awful lot of trigger warnings and I would recommend looking them up before reading.
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An absolutely startling, horrifying and honest account of surviving life with a parent with narcissistic personality disorder/munchausens syndrome (devastatingly undiagnosed).

Helen writes so eloquently about her gradual awakening to the extreme psychological damage inflicted on her by her mother. A woman whose love and approval she yearned for, but a woman incapable of giving it. Realising the neglect/abuse/gaslighting she endured, and the systemic failures of the health care system, it was only after her mother's death that she was able to begin to see the truth. Leaving her with complex ptsd and fear of trusting anyone, Helen nevertheless is able to recognise she is valuable, loving and a woman 'finally back in the sunshine'.

A very moving memoir that completely absorbed me.
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