We all want to be happy. However, if a woman pushes herself to emotional and mental exhaustion in order to reach "perfect" happiness, she could suffer from a condition she probably has never heard of: Missing Mother Syndrome.
When Megan Meadows (not her real name) came to me, she just wanted to lose weight. "Look at me!" she shouted, pinching her thighs. "I am fat! I am ugly! I hate my body!" Well, there was some middle-age spread, but she certainly was a very nice looking woman. Where did all this self-hate come from?
I am a Meridian Therapy practitioner who uses EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), a form of emotional acupressure, to release negative emotions. Tapping with the fingertips on certain energy points on the body while being "tuned in" to the problem, does stop food cravings. EFT is quite successful when it comes to weight loss. However, I realized that Megan's real challenges went far deeper than what she perceived right now as her "big" problem. She mentioned that her mom had recently died, and that brought up the sad story of her childhood. "I didn't have a mother", Megan said. "She was always gone, and when she was there, she tried to create the little girl of her dreams - she did not want me. I was a very lonely child."
The way I saw it, Megan has been suffering all her life from "Missing Mother Syndrome".
When Hope Edelman published her book "Motherless Daughters - The Legacy of Loss" in 1994, everyone who belonged to the secret sisterhood of women traumatized by early mother loss, had a revelation: That's exactly how I feel - and I am not alone!
Growing up without the secure presence of a loving, supportive mother implies much more than lacking a same-sex role model. It is devastating. Since the mother is the first, the basic caretaker, losing her -in a physical or emotional way- starts a nightmare of deprivation for a child. In a way, it never ends. Many negative conditions and feelings experienced later in life may have their roots in this extremely traumatic experience.
You could suffer from "Missing Mother Syndrome" if you experience the following conditions on a regular basis:
With tapping, deep seated negative emotions and painful memories are brought to the surface and released - fast and with little additional distress. Gary Craig, the founder of EFT: "EFT has a high success rate with trauma and abuse issues, especially when applied to specific events."
Happiness is not a single, solid "thing" one can chase down doggedly, obtain and possess. It is rather a fluid quality that evolves naturally, when the obstructions that keep it from being are dissolved. Childhood trauma is certainly one of the main obstructions. Sometimes, a condition that is obvious, is not the real problem. To recognize that "Missing Mother Syndrome" is the underlying cause of never feeling "right", can be the first step on a woman's Healing Journey.