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Monday, June 12, 2017

Michelle Carter has Munchausen-by-proxy

It just struck me why Michelle Carter, currently on trial for manslaughter, was trying so hard to get her boyfriend Conrad Roy to commit suicide, and why, when he hesitated, she tried to shame him into doing it.

It wasn't as if she was about to inherit any money from him, or stood to gain anything material. They were just high school classmates. And it wasn't as if she had any particular reason to hate him: she was, after all, his girlfriend, and he was by all accounts a nice guy.

She simply wanted him to die so she could pose as his bereaved girlfriend and get lots of sympathy. There's no other explanation.

Carter sent a number of texts to other people, expressing worry about Conrad's well-being and professing ignorance as to his whereabouts. She was setting up a scenario where she could act as if she was utterly heartbroken and inconsolable because of her great love for him.

Carter had probably played out these scenes in her head beforehand. She had undoubtedly thought about how she would burst into tears while talking about the life she and Conrad had planned together, how they had even discussed marriage, and how he was the love of her life.

All her female friends would feel great sympathy. (And oh would she ever enjoy making them feel as if they were somehow lacking for not being capable of feeling as great a love as hers.) And all the boys.....well, she just knew that all of them would sympathize, and each would secretly want to replace Roy.

And Conrad's family would simply adore her. Every time they'd see her they would think, oh, that sweet little girl, she cared for Conrad so much. And she might have even been our daughter-in-law. Carter undoubtedly planned to remain a presence in their lives, making a big show of weeping at the funeral and then showing up at their doorstep on the anniversaries of his death to remind them that Conrad was not forgotten.

It would all be so very gratifying. She would be the absolute center of attention in her community. And everybody would say, oh, poor Michelle, she's so heartbroken. That poor girl, we should do whatever we can for her!

(It's called Munchausen-by-proxy.)

Look at that practiced expression of sadness and confusion on Carter's face:


There was only one little thing wrong with Carter's scheme: text messages are retrievable.

So now, people think the opposite of what she wanted them to.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

These people are dangerous. Another person with this disorder is a woman named Kathleen Bush - she intentionally made her daughter sick, having her hospitalized many times, forcing the child to undergo unnecessary procedures. Mrs. Bush went to prison for three years and when she was released, she returned to her husband and sons. The daughter had been removed from the household for her protection. Mother and daughter reunited when the daughter was an adult. The husband seemed to have a hard time believing that his wife could do what she did to their daughter. I always found this case I interesting, bizarre.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
Yes, these people are incredibly dangerous. Mrs. Bush should never have been accepted back by her family, she is poison, a sociopath. Her husband was just naive, and the daughter in particular should never have forgiven her. It was all done so Mrs. Bush could get sympathy and attention, that's the way Munchausen-by-proxy works.

GT said...


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/michelle-carter%E2%80%99s-ssri-hobbled-her-empathy-psychiatrist-says/ar-BBCzaOv

According to Carter's defense witness, it was all caused by the drug she was taking (Celexa). Amazing a drug that induces sociopathy - Can you imagine the TV commercial for the drug going over all the side effects at the end

May cause:
no empathy
to feel no love toward someone
to make unwise choices
bad decision making


I have to give it to her lawyer - Find an "expert" witness with an axe to grind to
help paint your Client as a victim of a "tragic psychiatric drugging of American children"



Anonymous said...

The girl basically grew up in foster care. After she was free of her mother, amazingly her health issues cleared up. Of course, the mother denies harming her daughter. To me, the whole family must be in denial.

- Susan

John Craig said...

GT --
The psychiatrist, Dr. Breggin, who's being used as Carter's defense witness, is the type who evidently is always described as "controversial." He once said on Oprah that patients should refuse to take their medication, and was called before some board as a result.

And yes, they could add "May cause one to commit manslaughter" to that list of side effects. Amazingly, even though the drug had robed Carter of her empathy, she was still able to feign empathy AND sympathy to all of the other people she texted when she was pretending to be so concerned about Roy's well-being. That Celexa has some complicated side effects.

John Craig said...

Susan --
I'm sure you're right about the family being in denial.

John Craig said...

Gilbert Ratchet --
Thank you, no, I did not mean to post that, how embarrassing. I hope it wasn't up there long. It's notes to myself of things I have to remember as well vague thoughts about posts i want to write in the future.

LBD said...

It's always interesting to me to see how many allies evil is able to count on, mainly because people are too mentally and physically lazy to face the actions they would be required to take were they to acknowledge the evil which is in plain sight. You see this a lot within families who deny child molestation has occurred even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Were the evil to be acknowledged, they would have to divorce, find a job or do with less money, find new living quarters, and on and on. Easier to say the kid made it up.

I don't believe the family is "naive", I believe they find it too much trouble to deal with the consequences of acknowledging the truth. The state made it very convenient for them by relieving them of the burden of caring for the injured daughter. Mom moves back in and they don't have to do their own cooking and laundry any more. I really think it's that simple.

John Craig said...

LBD --
You have an evermore cynical view of humanity than I do. But when you spell it out that way.....I think you're right. There is a lot of laziness involved in what we do. I"m lazy in a lot of ways myself, though I've always called it "inertia" in my own case.

But yikes, a mother who's willing to hurt her own child in order to gain attention and sympathy from strangers.....I think I'd be too scared to live under the same roof as her.

LBD said...

That's another aspect of the tolerance of evil: astounding how easily people can accept the harm done to others as long as they weren't on the receiving end. The husband and sons are fine, so it's OK. It might as well have happened to a stranger in Peru, not their daughter and sister.

By a certain age, much of our lives are on autopilot. I find that once I have made certain decisions and set up organized systems (automatic bill payments, regular replenishing of things I use frequently) there is little effort I have to make in nearly every part of my daily life.

Sometimes I do things to shake it up (travel, remodeling a room) to break that rut. I do know that major change would be unpleasant to me. If I found out something dreadful about my spouse, the first thing I would think is, "Oh, crap, don't tell me I have to move"! I would do it but I sure wouldn't like it. Disclaimer: my husband is one of the nicest and most moral people in the universe, so unlikely. Just using an example.

Anonymous said...

LBD is right about the laziness part. But more than laziness, it is selfishness that stops families and society from taking action. To stop an abusive family member may mean personal loss of benefits. Believe me I have personally experienced it. It is painful to know that the ones who should protect you will do anything to prevent their apple cart from being upset.

Sherie

John Craig said...

LBD --
I can see how the sons might feel that way, but the father? I suppose that brings up the question of whether he's really the father, and if he isn't, if he's aware of that fact. Every now and then i'll hear of some woman in the inner city who's been extraordinarily mean to one of her children, while being a normal mother to the others. And I can't help but wonder if that's her way of getting back at the father of that particular child.

Good point, my life is largely on autopilot these days too. I don't have automatic bill payments, but I"m such a creature of habit that anyone on the outside looking in would say, that guy is really a pathetic creature of habit. At the same time, though, that's what allows me to do stuff like write a blog; not putting thought into other things (like a job) allows my mind to wander a little more freely.

LBD, sorry, I hate to have to tell you this, but your husband is a serial child molester. (JK)

John Craig said...

Sherie --
I'm surprised to hear that of you, you sound so well-adjusted and bright and cheerful in your comments. (Is that how you stumbled across this blog? By Googling questions about sociopaths?)

Now that you and LBD mention it, I do seem to recall a few instances of mothers who turned a blind eye to their husbands molesting their daughters. In fact I wrote about one such case here, Frances Lear:

http://justnotsaid.blogspot.com/2016/03/frances-lear.html

(Although in her case it was a stepmother, which I suppose is somewhat different.)

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, there are women who will turn a blind eye to husbands who are abusive toward their children. When I was in my twenties, I met a woman (our mothers were friends from church) who revealed to me that her father bullied her, but for some reason not her siblings. She chalked it up to the fact that she reminded her dad of himself. This woman worked as a head hunter, running her business from the basement of her mother's house. She explained how her dad was abusive toward her. No-one in the family growing up stuck up for her. It was when she was an adult and her father was being awful toward her that her mother finally defended her,telling her husband to back off. This woman claimed that this had been the first time that anyone in her family-of-origin had acknowledged the father's mistreatment of her. This woman was on to her second marriage, getting ready to end it because of how that husband treated her. It's painful how people can treat each other.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
It IS interesting that people will often hate those who remind them most of themselves, whether or not they are consciously aware of that.

Anonymous said...

After my mother died when I was 11years, I saw the face of evil. I wasted too much time and energy trying understand that nothing was wrong with me. My mother loved me very much. That's why I am stable and have raised a pretty nice 17 year old guy.

Sherie

John Craig said...

Sherie --
Ouch. I won't pry any further. Well, character is formed by age 11, in fact probably earlier than that, so you're lucky you had a nice mother. all it takes to grow up normal is the love of one parent.

Good job with your son.

GT said...

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/michelle-carter-found-guilty-in-boyfriends-texting-suicide/ar-BBCH3Fo?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp

She was found guilty - I doubt this was the type of attention she was seeking.

John Craig said...

GT --
Thank you, that's good news. And ha, no, not exactly what she was looking for.