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on June 14, 2013
If this list describes you, then you must read this book. Then find a counselor and get some help to deal with it. It will hurt to read this book. You will have realizations that are mind-blowing and gut-wrenching. But you will find a lot of answers for why you are the way you are. This list is a quote from the book.

* When you see a tender mother-child interaction, you are emotionally triggered. You may feel choked up and teary or push away the pain by becoming critical and dismissive. (It hurts to see what you didn't have.)
* You would just as soon not look deeply into your relationship with your mother. Better to "let sleeping dogs lie."
* When you visit your mother, you find yourself numbing or going into a trance state in which you are not fully present. Visits are always upsetting, and you find yourself back in painful childhood feelings.
* You crave true closeness yet feel uncomfortable and afraid of it. It is unfamiliar to you.
* You feel some core shame and suffer from feelings (often hidden) that there is something unlovable about you.
* You avoid having children of your own, feeling somehow not quite like "parent material."

Remember Bruce Willis's character in The Sixth Sense? The realizations I had were like when he realizes at the end that he's one of the dead people. His life flashes before his eyes in a wave of disbelief and suddenly everything makes sense. He looks back on all the times that things were not quite right but he couldn't explain them at the time.

Now, there's an explanation.
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on November 10, 2011
I have always carried with me the feeling that I grew up without a mother, even though I had a mother. My mother was physically present (she even stayed at home and did not work most of the years of my childhood) and certainly not a malicious person by any stretch of the imagination. So this was a crazy feeling to carry around with me as an adult. This book confirmed for me that I am in fact not crazy to feel this way, and explained very clearly how and why many daughters enter adulthood with the feeling of being motherless or under-mothered, how this affects them in their adult life, and finally gives very practical advice for how to recover.

This books is clear, well-written, nuanced, and organized. In chapter two, The Many Faces of the Good Mother, it provides a clear, balanced picture of what it looks like when a mother is meeting her child's needs fully (not perfectly!). Other recovery books have helped me to see that abandonment and neglect exist on a spectrum (i.e. just because you weren't left as a baby on someone's doorstep doesn't mean you weren't abandoned on some level as a child). This book helped me to refine my understanding even further and hone in on the specific holes that I experienced in my relationship with my mother--holes that are still affecting how I function as an adult, and how I function as a mother myself. It isn't about blame or resentment, but about having clarity and taking responsibility for your needs so that you can move on. The book is very affirming in telling the reader: if it is still bothering you, then it is still bothering you. It's not over and done with until you feel finished with it. This book is written to help you move on so that you can think about other things.

I found some (not all) of the recovery exercises and suggestions to be a little on the cheesy side, but as I'm by now a seasoned reader of self-help books, I have developed a high tolerance for this kind of thing. I'm sure that different readers will take what is useful for them. As long as the book can benefit me hugely overall I don't mind if it throws out a few suggestions that I'm not crazy about. I definitely rate this book as a very important one in my overall journey in recovery because I firmly believe that there are very important issues specific to the mother-daughter relationship that need to be handled separately. Finally someone did (very gracefully, I might add), and I am really grateful! The world desperately needs its "good enough" mothers, and this book is one good tool for finding your way back to what that means when it was not modeled for you. Really, what could be more important?
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on April 23, 2016
My my experience with this type of parent, I think this book should be required reading for all Midwestern parents of eastern European origin - especially those of Wisconsin, Chicago and Michigan (especially Michigan) where I was raised or spent time - that is, those cultures who, as a whole, raise children 'by hand' and follow the Prussian school of child raising . So many children are damaged by abuse and neglect, and this has to truly be cause of much personal unhappiness and societal social problems in the U.S.

Ms Lee-Cori gives a thorough description of the problem in a way that's compassionate that is easily understandable to anyone who've experienced neglect and abuse at the hands of their parents. Then she goes on to describe practical solutions to how one might approach resolution in their adult years. This book gives hope and is worth studying.

It's heartbreaking to think that we in the U.S. would treat our children and other individuals so poorly without addressing this problem as a social concern with a long-term plan aimed at resolution. Perhaps this is the case, as this book wasn't available years ago so slowly we are headed in the right direction. But better yet, just reading this book has given me an insight into problems we all face and a daily basis and has made me a better person in that I can communicate with other people in a compassionate and constructive way. That alone is worth ten times the price of the book.
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on August 6, 2016
My mother was there physically but not emotionally. I had a counselor tell me I had been emotionally abandoned as a child which is more crazy-making than being actually physically abandoned. If you felt like this, read this book.
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on April 9, 2013
Cori does an amazing job of not only showing you how mother-neglect shapes your inner world but also gives a picture of how an engaged mother will mother her child in a positive way. It was eye opening and gentle at the same time. Very well written and informative! A must read for anyone with depression, low self-esteem, self-doubt, commitment phobic, overly needy, panic attacks, etc.
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on October 22, 2015
I decided to ignore the part of me that scoffs at the so-called "self-help" book section and give this particular book a try. I'm SO glad I did. I recognized myself in so many of the descriptions throughout the book, it was actually a relief to confront my painful childhood at last, rather than continuing to surpress or ignore it. I immediately recognized a pattern of defensive self-sufficiency, so eloquently described in the book. The author's methods of having you, the reader, ask yourself questions, run though different exercises, and open a dialogue with yourself about what you truly need for growth and wellness were quite helpful and eye-opening. I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of age, and maybe especially to the people who believe that your past is long gone and buried. That's more or less where I was before I picked up this book. "The past is done. Why bother?" But it really wasn't for me. This book gave me a toolkit for approaching my childhood, and viewing it through the lense of compassion and a fresh understanding. Highly recommended!
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on October 19, 2013
If this title has the slightest pull for you, I'd recommend you read it. To have someone articulate feelings and issues that had been swirling around unnamed for years was in itself highly therapeutic. This book is not about blaming someone; it is about sorting through damaging patterns bequeathed to us by someone who could not give us what we needed when we needed it and how we can FIX that. Highly, highly recommended.
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on November 21, 2016
This book is "right on the mark" for my needs. It brought tears of the loss of my childhood, Not far behind were ways to find comfort and coping skills.Thank you Jasmin for your hard work to write this book. With the help for my therapist and this book finally at the age of 70 I can find peace.
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on January 19, 2014
This book describes, in astonishing and gratifying detail, problems I have sometimes articulated to myself but never found an understanding ear for, so never fully addressed -- until now. I have long felt that I wasn't struggling with the effects of my mother's flaws, but with a lack of true mothering at all, even though I have a mother. The book is transformative, so insightful, and filled with exercises that help heal and set you up to gain mothering from yourself and other sources. My criticisms are: 1) there is a lot of emphasis on how the emotionally absent mother was probably depressed or overwhelmed; but mine was/is neither of those. 2) I would have liked more discussion of handling the ongoing relationship, for people like me whose mothers are still a regular presence in our lives.
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on May 16, 2018
I discovered this book a couple of years ago, and it has had a big impact on my life. Reading it was an eye- and heart-opening experience for more reasons than I can count. I'll share two of them here.

Early on in the book, the author offers a bird's eye view of the essential archetypal roles a mother plays: mother as Source, as Place of Attachment, as First Responder, as Modulator, as Nurturer, as Mirror, as Cheerleader, as Mentor, as Protector, as Home Base. She then goes on to explain what each of these role actually involves. It was comforting to understand what my mother actually did superbly well (she was a phenomenal cheerleader).  And it was also helpful to discover what she was not able to provide, and which I had not even known to look for.  Suddenly I had a clear map of the developmental gaps in my life, as well as a way of noticing who had already showed up along the way to fill them.  It has helped me to appreciate how blessed I have been with the kind of motherly love and support I have received from so many women (and some men) over the years.

Another one of the many things I love about the book is the list of essential "Good mother" messages.  I like to read and re-read them. I find them deeply healing.
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