My father didn’t hit me.
My brother didn’t rape me.
My mom just wished me dead.
Most people who read about child molesting believe it and think it’s awfull.
Most people who read about sexual child abuse believe it and are shocked.
Most people who read about a mother who intentionally invents an illness for her child so that the mother herself can get attention from doctors and medical staff, cannot believe this. It is so far fetched. And yet…
I’m Roos Boum. Dutch from origin, born in 1963, emigrated to France in 2000. When I was a child, I was always ill. I had a hypogammaglobulinemea defect. My mother had to drag me from doctor to doctor and I’ve seen about all Dutch hospitals from the inside. What I remember from those days were white corridors, doctors in white coats and pain. Always they hurt me, with their nasty needles. My mom was never satisfied the way I behaved at doctors. I was not supposed to cry. It had to be done, my mom said, because I was going to die at three. I didn’t even understand I suppose what dying was. When I got to three, I was going to die at seven. And so on. She took away my future, apart from a loveless youth. As a teenager I often thought of suicide, but couldn’t leave my dog with her, what if my mom would do something to her to.
Didn’t I fight back? You know, when you are very young and the one person you should be able to trust 100%, says your ill, why shouldn’t you be? When you get older, you begin to understand that something is different about you and your family, and most of all, your mom is weird. At primary school you learn that other children are happy, but you aren’t. Grownups have a sort of distance respect for you and feel sorry for the child that will not live old bones. Children are hard and bullying became normal. Because I was often ill and kept home, but that didn’t show, did it. No, of course it didn’t but how was I to explain.
And yes, I did fight back. Once. When I was about twelve. She had me examined internally. I felt literally raped by her and the doctor. I could not dissociate, like I was most of the time was able to do at that age when she had nasty things done to me. At home something snapped and I’ve hit her several times, only to find out, that my father still didn’t believe my story and blamed me for lying.
I didn’t know what to believe anymore and I learned I couldn’t tell anyone. Nobody would believe me. One day, when we had moved again, my mom was all dressed up for the new pediatrician who as many predecessors had examined me to see about the hypogammaglobulinemea deficiency. When we got there, the doctor had called her predecessors and all I understood was that the doctor said that I had a touch of the theatricals and that my mom needed to be more firm on me. I didn’t even know what ‘touch of the theatricals’ was. That became clear as soon as we left the hospital. She was furious at me. Well the list of things like this is about 300 pages long.
I didn’t die and thought I must have outgrown my incurable illness. My mother kept on and on to everybody that is all was due to her good care and that is was a miracle. Of course, I still was very vulnerable to all kinds of diseases and still 1000 times we were at doctors.
At 15 I quit school, didn’t finish it. Started working and left home. I never was ill, healthy as a fish, till I was 18. Then she talked me into coming home again. And guess what. I got sick again. At least she found I was and not resistant to her manipulative ways. I again had examinations. Story of my life.
I left home again, was never ill again, found a partner and slowly managed to escape her manipulation. My dog I couldn’t take with me and the poor thing got ill. As did my aunt. My mom spend hours in hospitals with my aunt asking for second opinions, new medications, new treatments. She was the spokeswoman of my aunt. Also my father went into the hospital with one of the rarest diseases on earth according to my mother, although nothing was found. She, herself, of course had multiple bizarre diseases and she even managed to have some surgery. I moved 1000km away from her to France, but she still had a firm grip on me.
Until I was 40 when I discovered by coincidence, that it even exists, that there is something called Pediatric Condition Falsification or child abuse through Munchausen by proxy. Then I found out the truth about it all, I asked for my medical reports and found two letters from the pediatrician who said I had the theatricals. In that letter it stated literally that I had no incurable illness anymore and never ever had. I disengaged from my parents and when I tried to share it with others, I only found disbelieve. That’s when I conceived a plan to let the world know about this horrible form of childabuse from which I escaped very well. Lots of others still bear the physical scars (apart from PTSS) and I even know fellow sufferers who are still in wheelchairs due to their mom’s perpetrating Munchausen by proxy.
Those perpetrators are not psychologicaly ill in the sense that the perpetrator cannot have Munchausen by proxy or suffer from Munchausen by proxy. You read it the same way as incest. As a perpetrator you cannot have incest, and as a perpetrator you do not suffer from incest. Both forms of child abuse are premeditated, deliberately, with malice a forethought. The perpetrators are better actors than Meryl Streep, who manage to convince and manipulate others. Some children have had 50 operations before they were 12. How’s that possible? You tell me. Now that is unbelievable, but unfortunately the bitter truth. In Holland where I’m from, 5 children die every year from this form of child abuse. We have 17.000.000 inhabitants in Holland. So calculate for yourself how many children will die in your country. But the dying are just a tip of the iceberg, the suffering caused by this form of child abuse is a hundred times more with all the children that do not die.
And not only children. It is done on all living beings who cannot speak up for themselves: children, animals, elderly, handicapped and those who are just not articulate enough. And not only perpetrators make their victims ill as in Pediatric Condition Falsification (PCF). We also have the lesser known ECF Educational Condition Falsification, SCF Social Condition Falsification and so on.
Simply said, Munchausen by proxy is attention seeking from higher educated people. The perpetrator kicks on being able to manipulate those who are on a pedestal.
Well, I wrote my story in False Jasmine, A Youth Ripped Apart. Written in simple words and as a biographical fiction the book is read from the neighbour next door to highly specialised surgeons. The Dutch Child Abuse Help Centre has classified the book as a good book to learn from. In Holland the book became a bestseller, and I’m very proud of my fellow country man that they dare to read about it. I hope you will too. We need to, to create awareness.
Thank you for your time reading my story. Below you can read the first chapter.
The snowdrop is a little strong plant that threads its way through the snow. It’s the symbol of hope and of a new awakening after a long sad winter.
I’m standing on the back of the sofa. Outside it’s snowing. I push my face against the cold glass of the window. My nose flattens so that it looks silly. When I breathe out, two little clouds appear on the window pane. When I hold my breath, they disappear.
I’m not allowed to touch the windows. Mommy always says to me, “Don’t do that Rosalind, you’ll dirty my window panes.” I’m not allowed to climb on the sofa either, but by doing this, I can just look over the edge of the balcony into the nursery. It has cheerful colours on the windows. Yesterday the children were making Christmas Bells. I wasn’t. Last week I missed all the fun, too. I wasn’t at school then. Here in our living room we already have a Christmas tree with pretty decorations. Daddy said this morning: “Ten more sleeps, and then it’s Christmas!”
Children are running in the classroom, waving their arms and there… the teacher! She waves. I raise my arm, but I don’t wave. I put my hand against the glass. Lifting my arm hurts. Climbing on the back of the sofa hurts as well. It makes the bandage around my tummy pull. My leg is throbbing.
Tears are coming again. Not only from the pain. I cry quietly. Mommy mustn’t hear me crying. She’ll get angry. I feel so lonely; I want to go back to school. The teacher is much kinder than my mommy. I don’t want to be at home with her.
It’s all her fault. I didn’t fall. She pushed me! It was awful. I don’t know why she did it. She was telling me I had done something wrong when the doctor examined me. Other children behave well at the doctor’s mommy said. I don’t know what I had done wrong. She said I should have shown the doctor where it hurts. But daddy always says I mustn’t tell lies. I didn’t know what to do. Mommy sounded more and more angry.
I’m lying sopping wet in mommy’s and daddy’s bed. It hurts a lot. I can hear screaming. The woman next door whom I always call “aunty” is quarrelling with my mother. I can hear their voices: “… hospital… doctor…” again and again my mom says: “No, not on purpose.” I’ve got so much pain. Mommy is crying. Suddenly my uncle appears. What is he doing here? Then the doctor. He gives me an injection. That hurts as well. I hear him say something about an “ambulance”. More quarrelling and angry voices, but they are getting softer…
When I wake up again my father is home. My beloved daddy. Everything will be alright now. He’s afraid, like me. I can see it in his eyes.
“Hello, little one, are you awake?” Daddy sits on the bed with Puddycat.
Oh? I’m in their bed. I can see a very big bump. I look under the blankets. That’s strange; the neighbour’s footstool covers my tummy. The blanket and the bedspread are over the top of the stool. Mommy’s and daddy’s beautiful white bedspread has little ridges, like tiny streets. You can follow them with your finger to the big, red flower in the middle. I’m not allowed to do that in case I make it dirty. And now I’m under that same bedcover. My tummy and leg are bandaged.
Daddy sees me looking and says: “Mommy has carefully put you into our bed. You fell against the stove, remember?”
“I didn’t fall.”
“Yes, you did. You fell against the stove and you burnt yourself very badly,” says daddy again.
“I didn’t fall! Mommy pushed me against it!”
Daddy looks at me in a funny way. Then he starts to laugh aloud and says: “My little Rosy, what on earth are you thinking of? Do you think mommy would do that on purpose? It was an accident, silly girl. The towel slipped out of mommy’s hand when she was drying you.”
“That’s not true. She pushed me against it. I know I’m not allowed to go near the stove, because it’s hot.”
“Go back to sleep now. Puddycat can stay with you on the bed for a little while. Just this once! It was an accident silly, as if mommy would push you against a stove!”
Daddy’s face isn’t smiling anymore. Curtly he says: “Why on earth would your mother do that? Daddy doesn’t want to be angry with you, while you are very ill, but you must never say things like that again. Mommy loves you very much, and mommies don’t do things like that.”