My Mother, Munchausens & Me by Helen Naylor

Oooo I find Munchausens so interesting; I started watching The Act but never did finish it and it was a major talking point of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills a few years ago. So a memoir of somebody who has experienced it first hand is definitely something I want to read!

Helen takes us through her journey acting as a carer for her parents from just 7 years old. Her Dad had a genuine cardiac condition, and her Mother suffered with ME. Although her dad was unwell for the majority of her childhood, his condition never impacted her particularly, although his indifference and drinking contributed to her feeling of neglect. But it was her mother’s requirement to take herself to bed each day for hours at a time leaving Helen to fend for herself which was the real difficulty in her life.

Helen takes us through her experience of living with disabled parents and the fear of spending her whole life caring for them. However, her mothers illness and behaviour begins to unravel and Helen spends so much time and energy trying to support her unsure of what to do next.

There is no real ‘big surprise’ in this book as the title gives away the ‘twist’. However, it is a really insightful book highlighting the struggles that a child can go through in middle class England and the failings of those services who’s aim it is to help and support. The manipulation is astounding and you really feel for so many individuals impacted by the deceit and mental illness.

If I’m honest, this book did go round in a lot of circles and at time the timeline didn’t seem to flow correctly. But I guess it’s just an honest account of somebody’s life which probably is repetitive and timelines don’t always make sense and sometimes are not remembered correctly. I definitely want to read some more accounts of individuals who have either been diagnosed with Munchausens themselves or lived with those who have, so if you have any recommendations let me know!

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