Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood Paperback – September 28, 2004
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“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.
From the Inside Flap
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.
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 naivete 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.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I would really love to have an update on this family since this book was published. Is there a website or blog?
Prepare to be uncomfortable as you read one of the most insightful pieces of literature you'll ever encounter on this topic. Prepare to grow with the author as she relives and shares her dark story from the beginning all the way through the her epiphany moment when she realizes what has happened to her. This is one of the most real works I have ever read.
I have had a life-long interest in somewhat obscure psychiatric disorders, MBP being among them. I've never before seen anything on the subject written by a survivor of this from of child abuse. Most children die long before adulthood. On the upside, I do believe there is more of an awareness today in the pediatric field of medicine. It's certainly nowhere near the level needed. Hopefully, with first-person accounts such as this, people in general, and physicians especially, will become much more aware, making these cases more readily identified.
Essentially, she was robbed of an education (missing school for days at a time), friendships and a childhood by a sick, selfish biological mother who dragged her from one doctor's appointment to another, from one doctor's procedure to another, actually begging a cardiologist to do an open-heart surgery on her daughter. When the physician explained that none of the extensive tests showed that was necessary, he was shocked that the woman wasn't HAPPY that her daughter would not have to suffer a surgery like that. Julie's mother began her search for a cardiologist who would be more agreeable. That was the Munchausen by Proxy syndrome part of the abuse she suffered. There was the psychological and physical abuse as well, such as being starved to the point that Julie would sign up to clean lunch dishes at school to earn free food (did no one at school notice the girl had nothing to eat every day?).
On the outside, everything appeared perfect! Julie's mom made sure the kids had lots of land, horses, clothes, dogs, toys, a very nice double-wide trailer, etc. That made it all the more difficult to get anyone to believe what was happening inside. This book is a fascinating look at Munchausen by proxy from a victim. Difficult to read, but important to know.
Most recent customer reviews
God bless you for sharing your story. I hope you write more as you continue your struggle to save that other innocent life.