Since naming Mother Hunger, I’ve witnessed how the right term soothes an overactive amygdala and allows healing to unfold. Mother Hunger names a spectrum of difficult emotions. But in its most extreme, Mother Hunger is an absence of nurturing, protection and guidance that leads to complex trauma and disorganized attachment. I call this Third-degree Mother Hunger.
“This is the first time I’ve heard about it and it really resonates in a way that nothing really ever has” ~ podcast listener.
What is Third-degree Mother Hunger?
Those with Third-degree Mother Hunger experienced little if any nurturing, protection, or guidance as children. Their primary caregiver was both a threat and an attachment source. Nature’s adaptation to caregiver threat is an emotional eye patch; a type of blindness that keeps danger (caregiver) close.
As adults, individuals with Third-degree Mother Hunger are lonely and misunderstood. Early terror and deprivation branded their hearts (nervous system) with confusion and pain.
“Hearing the term alone produced a profound ‘aha!’ moment for me and I started a quest to learn as much as I could”~ podcast listener.
Adults living with extreme Mother Hunger may not appear scarred, but early childhood terror silently burned their developing immune system, cognitive abilities, and emotional well-being. It often takes decades to locate and soothe this tender wound. In the meantime, survivors struggle with dissociative traits, toxic shame, and memory difficulty.
A safe, surrogate caregiver is essential for healing an inner compass branded by fear. Emotional re-construction requires a trauma sensitive therapist, support groups, and therapeutic body work. Proximity to gentle mammals (horses, dogs, cats, cows) also soothes Third-degree Mother Hunger.
With tender strength and love,