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Synopsis

A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctor’s examining table, missing yet another day of school. Just twelve, she’s tall, skinny, and weak. It’s four o’clock, and she hasn’t been allowed to eat anything all day. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She's about to suggest open-heart surgery on her child to "get to the bottom of this." She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans.

Sickened

From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually X-rayed, medicated, and operated on—in the vain pursuit of an illness that was created in her mother’s mind. Munchausen by proxy (MBP) is the world’s most hidden and dangerous form of child abuse, in which the caretaker—almost always the mother—invents or induces symptoms in her child because she craves the attention of medical professionals. Many MBP children die, but Julie Gregory not only survived, she escaped the powerful orbit of her mother's madness and rebuilt her identity as a vibrant, healthy young woman.

Sickened is a remarkable memoir that speaks in an original and distinctive Midwestern voice, rising to indelible scenes in prose of scathing beauty and fierce humor. Punctuated with Julie's actual medical records, it re-creates the bizarre cocoon of her family's isolated double-wide trailer, their wild shopping sprees and gun-waving confrontations, the astonishing naïveté of medical professionals and social workers. It also exposes the twisted bonds of terror and love that roped Julie's family together—including the love that made a child willing to sacrifice herself to win her mother's happiness.

The realization that the sickness lay in her mother, not in herself, would not come to Julie until adulthood. But when it did, it would strike like lightning. Through her painful metamorphosis, she discovered the courage to save her own life—and, ultimately, the life of the girl her mother had found to replace her. Sickened takes us to new places in the human heart and spirit. It is an unforgettable story, unforgettably told.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Sickened
Average rating
4 / 5
Sickened
April 22nd, 2014
Very informative. Wish more people were aware.
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1 review
Sickened
November 10th, 2013
A well written story of a broken little girl s journey to become a beautiful healthy grown woman. I liked this story and will recommend it.
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1 review
Sickened
September 15th, 2013
Beautifully written with fantastic blooming style, deep and aware, chilling and unpretentious. Letting you in on the deepest emotions and facts not for shock or pity, but for self repair and awareness. Loved this.
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1 review
Really Interesting
September 7th, 2013
It's a well written memoir, very interesting to read and to see from a child's perspective. I'd recommend it, especially to anyone interested in the field of psychology.
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1 review
Sickened
July 23rd, 2013
Julie Gregory is a very tough lady to have survived what she did at the hands of a mother who thought of no one but herself. Bravo Julie. This was a phenomenal book very hard to put down.
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1 review
Wow
July 18th, 2013
What an incredible story!
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1 review
Sickened
February 11th, 2013
Great book I have more knowledge on this disorder well written book !
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1 review

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