Ghost Mothers: How to Heal Abandonment and Neglect, and Find Forgiveness

The following article appeared on a free article site back in 2006, I thought it is very relevant to this site, please read.

Mothers who are neglectful, selfish, and abandoning do not set out to do these things, they are a result of their own problems, their own pain, and maybe even mental illness. It is hard for us as her child to see this fully, or to forgive it.

So many women talk about their relationships with their mothers--no matter how old they are. For some, their mother, from whom they have supposedly separated long ago, still occupies a central place in the psyche. She’s too close, she’s too much. She has advice, is nosy, and interferes. The daughter wants time away, she wants boundaries, and fights for her separation from her mother.

For others, the mother still occupies the psyche, but with a wrenching kind of longing--a mother that is biological and even sometimes present, but also a mother who is so self-involved as to be emotionally absent, or literally out of the picture. This kind of mother takes up space and energy as a nagging, missing piece, a ghost. Her image hovers, her memory, or perhaps a dream of how it could have been, should have been, but never is.

Which kind of mother do you have?

My mother was a dream. I realize now, 10 years after her death, that I was always trying to get the dream to come true--to have her be warm and huggy, to have her want to know me, to visit me in my house, to know my children. To know me. It never happened. It left a yearning that I played out with men, it left a hole that I tried to fill in many ways.

When I was little, she left me when I was four years old, and once a year appeared in the landscape of my life--I lived with her mother--only to disappear too soon and in a flurry of anger at her own mother, without seeming to notice how hard it was for me.

So many people--men and women--struggle with this kind of emptiness, the burn of anger in the pit of the stomach, the unanswered questions that can’t be asked--why are you like this?

Mothers who are neglectful, selfish, and abandoning do not set out to do these things, they are a result of her own problems, her own pain, and maybe even mental illness. It is hard for us as her child to see this fully, or to forgive it.

How to help to heal the Ghost Mother wound:

1. Learn about your mother’s life--how she became the way she is--through talking with relatives, if she won’t talk to you directly, or by sitting down and hashing through history shown in photos and family albums.

2. Find adoptive mothers who will nurture you, and friends who understand your story.

3. Learn to mother yourself--through therapy, through having children of your own. They will teach you.

4. Write your story. Tell your story. Having witnesses to your story is a part of healing. Seeing compassion in the eyes of others shows you that you are worthy of it, and deserve it.

5. Learn to forgive. Work on it. Work on being yourself and having a life you like and enjoy.

6. Learn to surround yourself with who you like, people who love and like you, and beauty that makes you feel part of the web of life.


Linda Joy Myers, Ph. D., prize winning author of Becoming Whole: Writing Your Healing Story, is a Marriage and Family therapist and teaches memoir-as-healing workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally. Linda’s work has been praised by reviewers, healers, and radio and television interviewers.
You can post your comments on her blog at

I Cried Like a Child Receiving a Spanking in Church!

I don't know what came over me last Sunday in church, but I cried like a child getting a spanking from his or her parent -- I kid you not! It was the kind of cry where the mouth is wide, the yelling is loud and the tears are streaming out one's eyes like a waterfall! I was so overwhelmed with grief that I just dropped to the floor. I couldn't help myself. There was something about that song the choir sung, "God is here in this place..." Well I tell you with all the stress I have been under lately I needed God. Sorry to those of you who are unbelievers, but when I can't get help from man or woman, I have to go above and beyond!

You see, my issues are like every one else's -- too much to do with too little cash. Everything I have worked on over the years has been challenging and just when I would get some kind of a breakthrough with one of my endeavors, something strange would happen and then the ideas like Dominoes would just all fall down. Well I got tired of being defeated by unexplainable occurrences and so that is why I decided to take some people up on their promises that "God will work it out if only you would do this...and do that..." Well I knew what this and that meant, I would have to pray, associate with like-minded believers, take God at his word, etc. I started getting serious about what the word and the people around me were saying and now things are looking up! I wouldn't lie to you readers and I wouldn't sugarcoat the truth!

I also would like to mention that those who I thought would be supportive like family and friends have been my worst enemies. They have smiled in my face, but thought I wasn't paying attention and then I would see a few eye rolls behind my back. Little did they know that I wasn't the only one who saw the envy, the bitterness and the negativity be lashed in my direction, God saw it too! And that's why people who think they are going to capitalize off of me in the future I won't know! As I have told family and friends in the past, be with me in the bad times as well as the good, some of them just don't seem to get it -- too bad!

You see as mothers we have enough stuff to do and then when you have adults who stand around you and act like children too, it can be simply too much to bear! I guess my heavy crying in church was for me and everyone and everything that is in my path. Although I don't believe that God was spanking me spiritually, I do believe he was dealing with me on some of my weaknesses that day, because when I left the church I felt strong!

I don't know what you need in this life that will make you feel better where you are, but what I can assure you is that kneeling down on your knees every now and then doesn't hurt (that is of course if you have bad knees -- then sit down.) Take a moment to really release all the things that are hindering you from getting your priorities in life accomplished! You will have to let go of some things, because life my friend is too short!

I guess sometimes we just have to figuratively lift up a partner, children, family and friends and tell this magnificent God, "I can't do this anymore, you deal with them," then somehow he gives you the strength to get back in there and fight again! If you need some powerful prayers to read over your children purchase A Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian. I don't know her and as of this writing, I am getting nothing for mentioning her on this blog.

Well, I will close this blog with...
May you win every battle that is set before you from now and until the day you die!

Nicholl McGuire

Update on When Mothers Cry The Book...

Well 324 pages later and we have a book! It has been over a year since I first announced I was writing a book about motherhood issues --the good, the bad and the ugly! So where is the book at this point over with the folks at The actual release date is undetermined yet since I am awaiting for the final proof. However, I will have a link on this blog or you can periodically check Amazon between now and the beginning of October (o9) if you haven't heard from me. It will be listed under When Mothers Cry by Nicholl McGuire.

In other news...
I am also including additional writers to this blog who will periodically offer their insight on the joys and tears of parenting. Feel free to leave comments and visit their sites as well.

Well, thank you for your continued support and you will still continue to see some of my latest work here and there on the Internet -- be blessed and not stressed!

Nicholl McGuire


Basic Tips on Getting Motivated to Find a Job and Housing Assistance
Need help looking for a job and housing assistance? Article helps you get motivated and provides tips on not only how to get a job quickly, but how to make money online too!

Praying for Our Children’s Safety

Some parents pray about money, health, and even other people when they are ill, but when it comes to prayers of protection from all harm and danger, they forget. Although these prayers don’t keep everyone out of trouble all the time, it doesn’t hurt to have a little faith.


In Remembrance of New Mothers…

No one knows a mother like another mother; however, there is very little empathy given from the “know-it-all” type of mother. The one who thinks she has motherhood figured all out, when behind closed doors she suffers like the rest of us.

Comments like “why would she do that to her children” and “I would never do that to mine” fall quickly from mother’s lips when they don’t bother to understand, nor reach out to help their sister in need.

From mental illness to poverty, young, old and new mothers everywhere try to make sense of their relationships with loved ones, financial issues, and other challenges while trying to appear as if they are really happy with their lives to avoid public scrutiny.

A decision to give her cheating husband just one more chance, because he is the baby’s father only to find out he has cheated yet again has contributed to many mothers losing it! The idea that he has abused her trust yet again can be too much for any woman’s mindset.

Sometimes you have to stop and think about that woman passing you by with her whining children in tote. Does she have a man in her life who has done something to her that affected her mental well-being why she suddenly snaps out on her child, throws him in the car seat and speeds out the parking lot like a raging bull?

After carrying a child for nine months, some new mothers find out that their husbands aren't interested in being fathers --just one more thing to add to the symptoms new mothers feel during postpartum depression. Then there is the menopausal mother over 40 with 20 plus years of marriage behind her who finds out that her once loving mate is no longer interested in her or the children, because he is having a midlife crisis of his own.

These situations are real and they can send any woman over the edge. If you have ever wondered why the children end up drowned in the bathtub, left in a garbage dump, or dropped off at someone’s doorstep, consider this, the mother’s mind has retired, it's no longer in service.

She didn’t just check out the day the children were crying and fighting too much. She exhibited signs of losing control way before she did something to her children. Check her paper trail. She was mentally drained from her unhappy life when she called her friend sobbing uncontrollably.

She complained that her children’s father was never home. Her anger was brewing when she tried to get someone to watch her children, but her husband used manipulative tactics to make her feel guilty about leaving the house to get a job, go to church, take some time for herself, or go out with her friends.

So is abusing or murdering a child an excuse for a mother burdened by life? Of course not! However, when organizations tell women not to murder their unborn child, these same organizations are not their on the postpartum depression floors of every hospital in America. They are not escorting these women home and assisting them around the house for a week or more until the blues passes.

There are challenges awaiting at home when the new mother leaves the hospital: a disgruntled husband or boyfriend, an elderly relative who can’t handle baby cries, more children, an unclean home, and unpaid bills, are all issues that a new mother is still expected to handle while being bent over from a C-section operation or struggling from a vaginal delivery.

My sisters, where is the refrigerator magnet with the 1800# included with her free diaper bag that says, “Call us when you are feeling like you want to hurt your child?” It would be nice to see a pretty colored envelope with a letter inside stating, “We understand the crying at times will get on your nerves, call us and we will get someone to come to your home right away!”

So consider all of these things the next time you see a new mother walking by you with her belly stuck out ready to deliver any day now, or being pushed in a wheelchair with a new baby in her arms...please say a prayer for her, she will need it!

Written by Nicholl McGuire
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


BlogRoll Center

Submit Blog & RSS Feeds


This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.


Mom Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Loaded Web

parenting Blogs

Blog Top Sites

Blogging Fusion

Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

About Me

My photo

Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

When Mothers Cry Blog Archive