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Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhoodby Julie Gregory
Synopses & Reviews
A painful but wonderfully written memoir that should create greater awareness of a bizarre disorder… Keen self-awareness, a sharp eye for details, and an original, poetic voice.
This story of unfathomable child abuse is told with remarkable wit, compassion, and courage. It's a work of beauty from a beast of a childhood.
--Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors and Dry
Like some Diane Arbus photograph come to life, Julie Gregory's Sickened offers us a portrait of quintessential American Disturbos in all their tender, heinous can't-look-and-can't-look-away glory. A miraculous book by a woman whose very survival is itself a miracle.
--Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight
Set in a southern-culture-on-the-skids world reminiscent of J.T. Leroy, Sickened is written with a lyrical directness that is both riveting and horrific. Julie Gregory reminds us that those who find the courage to slay the dragons of their past and stop the cycle of abuse are the true heroes of the world.
--Ann Magnuson, actress, singer, writer
"A stunning account by a courageous woman who journeyed from the depths of hell to reclaim her own power and worth. Julie Gregory casts an extraordinary beacon of healing. You will be hearing a lot about this one.
--Alan Cohen, author of I Had It All the Time
"A born storyteller with perfect pitch, Julie Gregory guides the reader through this surreal form of cruelty, in which the ultimate weapon is the scalpel, with originality, gusto and heart-stopping courage."
--Sylvia Fraser, author of My Father's House: A Memoir of Incest and of Healing
"Gripping self-disclosure by a remarkable young woman . . . Sickened will surely and finally impact the proper diagnosis and treatment of children caught in the terror of MBP."
--Chris Monaco, Ph.D., Director, Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline
This searing and beautiful memoir represents a genuine triumph
of the human spirit.
--Marc D. Feldman, M.D.
From the Hardcover edition.
An unusual memoir describes growing up as the victim of Munchausen by proxy, a dangerous form of child abuse in which her mother invented or caused a series of illnesses and ailments, and her struggle to escape her mother's serious psychological problems to rebuild her life as a healthy, compassionate young woman. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctors 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 recreates the bizarre cocoon of her family's isolated double-wide trailer, their wild shopping sprees and gun-waving confrontations, the astonishing naivet
About the Author
\JULIE GREGORY grew up in southern Ohio. She is now an expert writer and spokesperson on Munchausen by proxy and an advocate
in MBP cases. A graduate student in psychiatry at Sheffield University, England, she currently lives in the United States.
From the Hardcover edition.
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